Sir Jim Ratcliffe sent Man United instruction amid controversial Old Trafford decision

Sir Jim Ratcliffe pictured alongside Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford
-Credit: (Image: DARREN STAPLES/AFP via Getty Images)

Manchester United's co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe has been instructed to consult with supporters before going ahead with any plans to sell the naming rights of Old Trafford.

MEN Sport reported this week that Ratcliffe and Ineos are considering selling the naming rights to the stadium so as to fund either a significant redevelopment or build a new stadium. The United co-owners believe that supporters would welcome a brand new ground if it was in the general vicinity of the current Old Trafford.

However, whether they decide to rebuild or redevelop, United know the plans shall be costly. It is understood Old Trafford would cost around £800m to redevelop while a new stadium would cost anywhere between £1.5 and £2bn.

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To raise the funds needed, Ineos could welcome a sponsor but have assured fans the Old Trafford name would live on regardless. Speaking to, former midfielder Mikael Silvestre admitted he does not oppose the suggestions but feels the fans' voices need to be heard.

"I think nowadays extra funding will be good especially if you go into building a new stadium," he explained. "It doesn't change the fact that you can still call it Old Trafford and it will be Old Trafford anyhow.

"Naming is a business decision so it takes nothing away from the Old Trafford name. It's difficult to resist if it means a lot more revenue for the club.

"When he (Sir Jim Ratcliffe) first took over he said: 'We will consult the fans'. The fans should be consulted on this.

"It's a key step towards whether you take the decision to do it or not." Previous owners have ruled out the prospect of selling the naming rights to Old Trafford and it is unclear how fans would feel about adding a sponsor to the stadium.