Daniel Levy, the Tottenham chairman, has promised that the club’s new training complex at Bulls Cross, Enfield will not impinge on their ability to compete in the transfer market. Speaking at the official launch of work on the new facility, Levy said: “As far as this facility is concerned, the money has already been raised for this. It has no impact whatsoever on anything else to do with the club.” At a cost of £30m, there were fears by some that the new facility would limit the amount of money available to manager Harry Redknapp for strengthening his team. Levy has moved to reassure fans that the budget for building on the 67-acre site is entirely separate to the money that would be available for playing staff, which would be the same with or without the presence of the construction plans.
The new training centre – to be used by both the first team and the Spurs Academy – will feature ten natural grass pitches and one artificial pitch outdoors, with parts of the complex being floodlit. The main pitch to be used by the first team will be of the same quality as that which would be installed at the proposed New Spurs Stadium and will have undersoil heating. Additionally, a two-storey training centre will be built on the site, covered by a transparent ETFE roof in the same vein as Cornwall’s Eden Project.
With new regulations governing squad sizes and youth quotas in the Premier League to be introduced from next season, the onus on clubs will be to produce increased numbers of talented young players of first team standard. As well as acting as a high-quality facility for existing first team members to train, the new complex will assist in increasing the productivity of the Academy. Ledley King remains the only regular at White Hart Lane to have emerged from the youth system and he joined Levy and Redknapp at the launch. King said: “Having come through the ranks here at Spurs and understanding the value and importance the club places on developing home-grown talent, this facility will provide a fantastic platform for our Academy.”
Spurs have been developing the plans for the past five years and have visited a large number of facilities globally to gain ideas. Levy believes that the training complex could play a factor in attracting top players to the club, giving them an edge over their rivals. He enthused: “If you’ve got a very well known player and we are competing with other clubs and he comes and he looks at three different clubs and he looks at this facility which is miles ahead of anybody else, then hopefully it will give us the edge.” It is not just established talent that the club hopes the new development will attract as Spurs look to further join their top-flight rivals in searching for the pick of the globe’s youngsters. Levy added: “As far as Spurs fans are concerned, I think they love the idea of a young player coming through the ranks .I don’t think it is so important to them that the player has been here since he was eight, but they love the idea of a young player, wherever he has come from, getting the chance of being a real success in the first team.”
The site will be finished in around three years and will also include state of the art medical and rehabilitation facilities, something that will benefit the likes of King as he looks to prolong his playing career for as long as possible in spite of his troublesome knee. By the time the facility opens, Spurs will hope to have made further inroads into the highest echelons of the Premier League, something Redknapp believes is possible: “This is a massive club and this new facility shows that we are continually looking to move forward and to compete at the highest level.” He is looking forward to being able to work at the venue and added: “It will be terrific when completed. Our players at all levels will thrive in these surroundings.”
With plans being discussed for a new stadium close to the existing White Hart Lane site and with work underway on the new training ground, these are exciting times for Tottenham. It is also a promising time for the London Borough of Enfield who the club are working in partnership with. The club are committed to further developing their community programmes in Enfield and will be investing £2.3m into local schemes as part of the project for the new complex.
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