Arsenal plan big improvements to London Colney training ground

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Arsenal are attempting to undergo an ambitious revamp of their London Colney training ground in another show of financial strength, reports the Daily Mail.

The Gunners training facilities were state of the art when the doors were originally opened in 1999 at a cost of £10 million. Now, however, they have fallen behind rivals such as Chelsea and Tottenham and Arsene Wenger is keen to bring Arsenal's HQ up to date.

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Construction plans have already started on Arsenal's Hale End site, where the famous academy is located. Both indoor and outdoor facilities are being improved in a multi-million pound project in order to make sure the Gunners continue to produce world-class talent.

The plans at the academy are being overseen by Andries Jonker, who succeeded Liam Brady as the new academy chief in the summer, and his assistants Jan van Look and Frans de Kat.

Planning permission

Wenger has also been at the forefront of plans to redevelop the first team's facilities at London Colney. Arsenal want to extend the training facilities, located in Hertfordshire but are yet to start work.

The club are still awaiting planning permission from the local council and their ambitions could be held back should the application hit problems.

Financial strength

Wenger was heralded as an influential figure when the original training facility was built and the Frenchman's ambitions quickly turned to a new stadium. Their financial outlay to build a new ground on Ashburton Grove ran to the tune of £360 million, causing the club huge financial strain.

However, despite still boasting gross debts of over £200m, the Gunners find themselves in a healthy financial stadium after agreeing new sponsorship deals with Puma and Fly Emirates.

Their cash reserves remain over £100 million, leaving their net debt at around £90 million for the first time since construction started on the Emirates Stadium. Having guided Arsenal through a turbulent period, the hope is that their financial strength, with the help of FFP, will put them at the upper echelons of world football again.

They celebrated that renewed financial strength by spending around £70 million on transfers in the summer and now have the ability to fund the ambitious project to bring their training facilities back up to world-class standard.

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