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UPDATE 1-Soccer-Coe to head Man United task force around new or rebuilt Old Trafford

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(Adds quotes and details)By Lori EwingMANCHESTER, England, March 8 (Reuters) -Manchester United do not plan to leave Old Trafford, the club confirmed on Friday, and have appointed Sebastian Coe as chair of a task force to study whether to renovate the 144-year-old stadium or build new on adjacent club-owned land.The Old Trafford Regeneration Task Force comes on the heels of British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe’s acquisition of a 27.7%stake in the club.”This can be a major regeneration project for an area of Greater Manchester which has played such a key role in British industrial history, but which today requires new investment to thrive again,” Ratcliffe said in a statement.”The north-west of England has a greater concentration of major football clubs than anywhere else in the world, yet we don’t have a stadium on the scale of Wembley, the Nou Camp or the Bernabeu.”We will not be able to change that on our own, which is why this task force is so important to help us seize this once-in-a-century opportunity.”Ratcliffe’s initial conclusion was that a new-build would be the best solution and the club’s board is supportive of exploring this route.Coe is the former chair of the 2012 London Olympics organising committee and current president of World Athletics.Other members of the task force include Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, Sara Todd, Chief Executive of Trafford Council, and Gary Neville, former captain of Manchester United, among others.United want to be equipped to handle international games and major finals plus provide a modernised home for the club, they said, but were keen to stay in the Old Trafford area to remain rooted to their historic home. Old Trafford opened in 1910 and last had renovations in 2006.Ratcliffe committed 237 million pounds ($304.50 million) of his own money for improvement in infrastructure, though any project would cost considerably more and so the club will explore public-private partners.”It is very encouraging to see the emphasis being put on fan consultation, and exciting to see the vision and ambition behind this project, not only to put Old Trafford back on among the world’s leading football stadiums, but for it to form part of a wider regeneration,” said task force member Duncan Drasdo, CEO of Manchester United Supporters Trust.”Fans are the heartbeat of any football stadium.($1 = 0.7783 pounds) (Reporting by Lori Ewing Editing by Toby Davis)

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