Going into the 2015/16 season Newcastle United are ready to compete with Europe’s best, after Mike Ashley  invested £10m into a new state of the art training ground with work already well underway, which will be finished in early 2016, as well as having invested £15m into recruiting some of the best young talent around.

No, you’re not dreaming, it might not have actually occurred but it is what we were told was going to happen.

30 Nov 2013 Evening Chronicle

A statement from the club today read: “Newcastle United Football Club have announced plans for a stunning new state-of-the-art training complex as part of a multi-million pound redevelopment of the Club’s existing 35-acre training ground site.

“The current intention is that work will get underway in May 2015 and when complete in early 2016, the Magpies will occupy one of the finest training facilities of its kind in Europe.

“The Club’s current Training Centre building will be demolished and replaced by a much larger, high-tech structure.

“It will accommodate newly-designed changing, training, rehabilitation, medical, leisure and catering facilities and will also introduce the latest aquatic technology to the site, with a 20-metre swimming pool, a hydrotherapy and fitness pool and specialist equipment to aid injury prevention and recovery.

“The new construction will also create a fitness centre double the size of the Club’s existing gymnasium, as well as administrative space, a presentation suite for match analysis and a new media suite.”

Joe Kinnear spoke of his delight at the plans when he said:

“This is a hugely exciting development for Newcastle United. We have one of football’s great stadiums and we are delighted to now be announcing plans for a training complex which will rival any in Europe.

“It will also be an added attraction when we are looking to recruit players.”

(The £10m figure wasn’t mentioned in the initial announcement but was regularly quoted as the ballpark figure that Ashley was spending on the training ground revamp).

On 20 Feb 2014 the Chronicle

Newcastle United’s facility in Benton is set to have state-of-the-art facilities to rival clubs across Europe

The club hope to invest in developing the facility, bringing it in line with other clubs such as Arsenal and Manchester City, which have come to expect such provisions at top-level performance.

As part of extensive investment into Newcastle United Football Club, it is proposed to have a new specialised training facility encompassing substantial provisions meeting the first team’s requirements, such as a swimming pool, hydroworks aquatherapy pool, state-of-the-art gymnasium and physiotherapy clinic.

training ground

7 Oct 2014 the Chronicle

Newcastle United’s ambitious plans for a new state-of-the-art training ground have been unanimously approved by planners.

The Magpies had applied to demolish their existing Darsley Park complex, in Benton, and replace it with a 3,600sq-m centre, complete with gym, swimming pool, hydrotherapy pool, living and dining areas and outdoor barbecue zone.

North Tyneside Council’s planning committee waved through the proposal without debate – unanimously voting in favour of giving the multi-million pound project the greenlight.

The hope is that the new 100m long, 40m wide and 8m high cross laminated timber building, built using wood sourced from sustainable forests and finished with rain screen cladding, will put Newcastle’s facilities on a par with those of Premier League rivals such as Manchester City and Arsenal.

Joe Kinnear said when originally unveiling the plans:

“Top players and top teams need top training and medical facilities.

“The current training ground has served the club very well but the new complex will give the club all of the ingredients that it needs to continue maintaining and enhancing the performance of elite footballers.

9 July 2015

Fans, including writers on The Mag, have constantly asked what is happening with these exciting training ground plans that will help Newcastle compete with the best in Europe.

Today though the club published the minutes of the NUFC Fans Forum that took place on Monday 6 July, they included this question from a fan and then the club’s answer:

What stage is the club at with the new training ground?”

‘The club outlined that planning has been approved, tenders had been out and prices had been supplied. In order to proceed, contracts needed to be signed well in advance but because of the position the club found itself in towards the end of the season, the decision was taken not to commit at that time.

Along with the head coach, the club is now identifying the best time to start work and is mindful of disruptions mid-season.’

So this great overall Mike Ashley strategy to take Newcastle United forward is put on the back-burner because the team weren’t doing very well in the league.

With the work scheduled to start in May 2015 and take until early 2016, it was always going to disrupt during the season anyway.

(Now for the other £15m of Mike Ashley investment….)

1 FEBRUARY 2012 BY LEE RYDER – Chronicle

EXCLUSIVE: Ashley to invest in young talent

TOON owner Mike Ashley is believed to have ordered a major revamp at Newcastle United – in a move which sees the Magpies attempt to keep pace with some of Europe’s biggest clubs.

United insider told the Chronicle:

“The vision is for a brighter future at Newcastle.

“The owner is prepared to put money behind the latest project.

“It will give the club every chance to compete with clubs around Europe and beyond to make sure they can unearth some of the untapped talent which is clearly already out there.”

The brief to United’s scouting network is set to be intensified with talent from across the globe being lined up as part of an exciting new chapter in the club’s forward-thinking blueprint.

The Chronicle has also learned Newcastle’s owner is ready to back the plan with a kitty of up to £15m to be invested into the acquisition of talented youngsters from around Europe in the next few years.

So instead of a state of the art training ground and £15m worth of young talent bought over the last three years and now showing through into the first team…..

We now have exactly the same training facilities and no carefully planned investment of £15m on the best young talent, the reality being a whole host of players that Newcastle still can’t shift and now being reported as having (yet) another chance.

On the positive side, Mike Ashley has kept £25m in his pocket…