Man Utd co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe suffers blow as UK government 'set to snub proposal'


Manchester United shareholder Sir Jim Ratcliffe is likely to be knocked back by the UK Government in pursuit of public funds to finance the club's new stadium. The British billionaire wants to construct a 'Wembley of the North' and rid fans of Old Trafford, which has become outdated in its current state.

Sir Jim hoped that the government would assist in developing a new home for United and a regeneration of the surrounding area. But the suggestions are believed to have gone down badly among a host of senior political figures.

According to The Times, government insiders believe United will 'almost certainly' need to finance a new stadium themselves. Proposing to use public money sparked controversy given that Everton have gone to great lengths to fund their own new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock, which remains under construction.

Sir Jim is yet to approach the government on the matter, and former Conservative sports minister Tracey Crouch has warned him off doing so.

"When you have historic football clubs elsewhere in the pyramid on the brink of collapse, it is an astonishing suggestion that taxpayers’ money could be spent on one of the richest football clubs in the world because of the underinvestment in its stadium by its billionaire owners," she said.

Meanwhile, former Labour sports minister Richard Caborn stated: "Public money should absolutely not be used for a new stadium for Manchester United. Look at how Everton are struggling to pay for their new stadium. It wouldn’t be right."

"But where’s the national stadium for football? It’s in the south. Where’s the national stadium for rugby? It’s in the south. Where’s the national stadium for tennis? It’s in the south. Where’s the national concert stadium? It’s the O2, it’s in the south. Where’s the Olympic Village? It’s in the south.

"All of this talk about ‘levelling up’ and ‘the northern powerhouse’. Where is the stadium in the north?"

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