Old Trafford future in doubt March 6, 2006

Cumbes still raises idea of Lancashire move

Cricinfo staff

Once again, the weekend papers were full of reports that Lancashire are still considering moving from Old Trafford to a new, purpose-built stadium in nearby Wigan where a 22-acre site has already been identified.

The Press Association carried a story quoting Jim Cumbes, the county's chief executive, in which he talked about a new £25 million ground and the possibility of Lancashire leaving Old Trafford. "Obviously, emotionally Old Trafford has a huge pull but if the decision is to relocate, we have to remember tradition is great as long as it doesn't hold back progress," he said. If we can get to the right arrangement here at the ground then that may well be the decision that would be taken."

But in the Manchester Evening News, Cumbes admitted that any such move could only happen if it did not saddle the county with a massive - and presumably unserviceable - debt.

"It shouldn't be impossible to do providing we can find the right plan," Cumbes told the paper. "We don't want to do something that puts the club into great debt."

It is predicted that much of the cost of any new development would be offset by the sale of the existing venue

The issue is likely to be decided later in the summer by which time all proposals and their financial implications are likely to be put to the membership, who will have to give their approval before anything can go ahead.

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