Keir Starmer meets Jim Ratcliffe for Old Trafford redevelopment talks

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer met with Manchester United co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe on Sunday to discuss the redevelopment of Old Trafford.

The PA news agency understands Starmer attended United’s Premier League game against Arsenal as a guest of Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, who is a member of the task force exploring options for how to revitalise United’s home ground.

Burnham was also present at the talks ahead of kick-off along with Lord Coe, chair of the Old Trafford Regeneration Task Force.

Sir Keir Starmer gives a thumbs up at Old Trafford
Sir Keir Starmer gives a thumbs up at Old Trafford (Martin Rickett/PA)

The stadium is the focal point of the project, which is looking to regenerate the wider Trafford Park area.

It is understood the discussions with Arsenal fan Starmer were part of ongoing engagement with political leaders on a local, regional and national level as options for the project are explored.

With redevelopment of the existing site costing in the region of £1billion and building a new stadium altogether requiring a £2billion outlay, the task force will also examine options for financing the project.

Ratcliffe favours a new ground and got a reminder of the issues facing grand but deteriorating Old Trafford as a storm broke out towards the end of the 1-0 defeat to Arsenal.

Water poured from the corner of the roof between the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand and East Stand, funnelling down like a waterfall onto the seats beneath.

In the opposite corner, water raced down the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand steps and flooded the moat around the pitch.

A social video appeared to show pipes had broken above that area and other footage highlighted other issues around the ground, including in the tunnel area.

PA understands senior figures met to discuss the issues shortly after the match. United were contacted for comment about the stadium issues.

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