Mayor Andy Burnham envisages Manchester becoming ‘world’s biggest football city’

Mayor Andy Burnham envisages Manchester becoming ‘world’s biggest football city’

Manchester would become the biggest city in world football with the redevelopment of the Old Trafford area, according to Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham.

The taskforce, which includes Burnham, was announced last week to begin planning for the Old Trafford’s future.

United are proposing a regeneration of sorts – like the east side of Manchester has experienced since City moved into the Etihad Stadium in 2003. That area has been built as a campus, which could mean more jobs and opportunities for those in the Trafford area.

Burnham is already convinced “no city would come close” to Manchester.

Of course, we’ll assess judgement until more details are released. Then we’ll have to see what the stadium is like and how much season tickets will cost before getting too excited.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Burnham said: “You could make an argument that this is the biggest city in world football [now] because of the two clubs we have got within it.

“If the ambitious vision comes through, either refurbished or new build, there would be no doubt about that.”

The task force is being led by Lord Coe and won’t include any club officials. However, there will be fan representation which is crucial to ensure match day fans are considered throughout the process since we’ll be the fans using the stadium most frequently.

Most reports are suggesting that Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s preference would be to build an entirely new stadium adjacent to Old Trafford.

Burnham added: “If on the west of Greater Manchester you have United at the heart of a new campus of facilities that links to Media City and the east of the city you have Manchester City, who continue to build out from the Etihad with a new massive indoor arena going in there, just think about that.

“No other city in the world would be set up in terms of its football infrastructure to Manchester. No-one would come close. This is why I will give this task force everything we’ve got to help because the benefits to our city-region are massive if we unlock them. It’s not for show.”

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