Ready in two years: Manchester City unveil ‘best project around’ as Eastlands transformation set for go ahead

By Dean Wilkins

An ultra-modern, state-of-the-art football and training academy is all but ready to be given the green light as Manchester City appointed their construction company today.

The project could take two years to complete and will become one of the most expensive sporting complexes on the planet – with nearby residents ready to benefit from the multi-million transformation.

A minimum requirement of 70 percent local labour and materials used to construct the development has been set by the Blues, with BAM Construction – based in Salford – used to deliver the build.

Ferran Soriano, City’s chief executive, said: “Today is an extremely important day for the future of Manchester City Football Club.

“The development of young and home-grown players is central to our strategy of creating both a winning team and a sustainable football club – an ambition outlined by Sheikh Mansour at the outset of his ownership in September 2008.

“We are now in a position, after four years of research and planning, to execute that strategy and we are delighted to join with BAM who will play a large part in helping us to do so.”

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The complex will comprise 16.5 football pitches, including one dedicated to Joe Hart and other goalkeeper training, and a 7,000-capacity stadium for youth team matches.

All of the club’s senior and youth teams will be based there – moving away from Carrington and Platt Lane – and there will also be a first-team building with gym and medical facilities.

The club have donated a 5.5-acre portion of the site for the building of a new sixth form college and a new sports centre is also planned.

Patrick Vieira, City’s football development executive, said: “It is a long-term commitment from the football club and I am really excited about it because once you see the pictures then you can’t wait for the work to start.

“I think the club are creating something fantastic because when you are a footballer you want to develop yourself and you are looking for the best facilities to do so.

“I do not have any doubt that if you are young, talented and a hard worker and you have got these facilities you will have more chance of being successful.”

The once barren wasteland is being transformed into a living, breathing green area as 2,000 trees will be planted and up to 210 jobs will be created.

The Arsenal legend Vieira added: “Before designing the facilities they have been to the football world, the basketball world and the NFL world, so a lot of hard work has been done around the project.

“That is why I believe it is the best project around in all sports.”

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