Manchester United's plans to expand Old Trafford put on hold

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Manchester United's plans to expand the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand at Old Trafford have been temporarily halted.

The club has been tripped up by the same logistical issues that scuppered its previous two redevelopment proposals, which include the railway line running directly behind the stand.

There are also houses on the other side of the tracks, and the minimum room behind the stand makes it hard for heavy machinery to access the area.

"It's a very complex engineering challenge to deliver," United managing director Richard Arnold said, as reported by BBC Sport's Simon Stone.

"It would be a multi-season challenge and it isn't certain that there's a way of doing it which doesn't render us homeless."

The huge project is possible nowadays because of improved technology, but would probably necessitate Old Trafford to be vacated for some time to allow the work to take place. While Tottenham Hotspur can briefly call Wembley home while the new White Hart Lane is erected, all the stadiums nearby to Manchester United are occupied by rivals and thus would be unlikely interim abodes.

The current capacity of Old Trafford is around 75,000. The improvements to the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand would take that number to over 80,000.

Stone believes it would be a costly operation, "probably in excess of £200m for around 10,000 extra seats with limited additional corporate facilities."

The last time Old Trafford was expanded was in 2006 when the north-west and north-east quadrants had second tiers added, lifting the venue's seating by 8,000.

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Manchester United's plans to expand Old Trafford put on hold
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