City reveal training complex plans

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Manchester City have unveiled their plans for a giant new training complex that the club claim will be the best in the world.

The 80-acre site next to their stadium in east Manchester will take years to be completed - with the first step being whether planning permission is given in December - and will contain a 7,000-seat mini-stadium, 15 full-size pitches, and sleeping accommodation for 72 senior and youth players.

Brian Marwood, the club's chief football operations officer, said: "This could be the most important investment the club has ever made under its new ownership. This is part of a 10-year strategy for long-term sustainable success."

He added: "Phase one culminated in the club winning the FA Cup and qualifying for the Champions League last season. This signals the beginning of the next phase.

"We know that youth development has to be at the heart of this club. Investment in the transfer market has helped us reach a certain level, to stay there will take investment in player development, welfare and top-class facilities.

"While new signings were making the headlines there were changes behind the scenes even in the early days."

The development has been planned for three years during which City sent officials to Arsenal, Barcelona and Ajax, as well as bodies from outside of football including the New York Giants, LA Lakers, New York Knicks and the Australian Institute of Sport to look at their operations.

Nick Smith, the project consultant who made most of the visits to other facilities, said: "We believe ours will become the world's best training facility."

Marwood said an overall cost of the development had yet to be clarified. City have already bought most of the land, much of which is polluted by past industries, and are in the process of cleaning it.

The club have also promised to provide 5.5 acres for community use, including a sixth form college, and contribute towards a new public swimming pool.

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