Gary Neville demands best stadium in the world from Old Trafford regernation

Gary Neville demands best stadium in the world from Old Trafford regernation

It was interesting to hear Gary Neville speak about the Old Trafford regeneration project on the latest Manchester United podcast.

As a member of the newly formed task force, Neville speaks with insight about the upcoming plans for Old Trafford.

Fans are being left out of the loop while a decision is made to remain at Old Trafford or build an entirely new stadium from scratch.

Neville admits he doesn’t know which of those two outcomes is most likely, but spoke passionately about how United’s history and traditions should encourage us to innovate and embrace change.

“There are three things I feel that Manchester United have to do, or at least two they have to do and one they should try and do,” Neville said, as per ManUtd.com.

“One is that we have to have the best stadium in the world. Two is that we have to have the best training ground in the world and three is that we have to win. The third one, actually, I’m a little patient on. I’m a Manchester United fan; things move in cycles. You can’t always win.

“But if number one and two are right, and if you have the right people in the club, you’ve got a great chance of number three happening.”

I would have thought Neville was a traditionalist when it comes to football, but he suggests that fans should be open to the idea of something new. Is he hinted at United moving away from Old Trafford?

“I’m not one of those that says that because I’ve watched football out there for 45 years that I need to watch the exact same players on that exact blade of grass,” he continued. “You know, if you think of the development, that is not the stadium that’s been there 110 years. You know, the Stretford End is not the Stretford End that I saw growing up. The stands all around the ground have been redeveloped in the last 30-40 years. 

“I’m not one of those people that says we can’t develop behind while we still play here and then move into a new stadium.  On the other hand, if the best solution is to refurbish the current stadium and do what Real Madrid and Barcelona have done, which is essentially wrap their stadium and sort of, if you like, fit it from the inside out, then if that is the best solution then I’m not against it.”

Neville added: “We’ve always been proud of the stories of Sir Matt Busby redeveloping the stadium, having come back from America and seeing hospitality boxes in the 50s and 60s and around that time, and how the manager when we were here, Sir Alex Ferguson, moved the training ground from The Cliff to Carrington.

“It was difficult for us, wasn’t it? Because we didn’t want to leave The Cliff; we loved The Cliff. It was in our hearts. But we needed this world-class, modern facility that Sport Science could move forward in, with all the sort of advancements in technology and medical.”

Neville happy to be part of the task force

The footballer-turned-pundit went on to explain his role in the task force.

Neville doesn’t feel there is a role for him at the club in any other department, but he feels the stadium is really important.

“I think it’s the one thing that actually I can contribute to. I don’t think that there is a role for me at the club in any other department. I think that I’m happy there is action on the other side of the club. I think that’s really important.

“There’s been inaction I feel for 10 years, and I think now that we’ve got a sort of interference within the ownership that there is at least action.  There has been sweeping changes made in the last few months and now we have to be patient and see what happens in this next two or three years.

“What I am absolutely certain of is that we need to have a stadium that is up there with some of the other great stadiums in Europe and in this country at this moment in time, Tottenham is the benchmark. It’s a stunning stadium, brand new, and we need to get to that level.

“United is a club that has to be inspired and motivated by its history, but be a modern club that moves forward and that means from a people perspective, and it means from a place perspective.”

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