By Staff writer
Redevelopment of brownfield site in Manchester gets seal of approval from British Chancellor George Osborne
Abu Dhabi-owned Manchester City on Monday opened the City Football Academy (CFA), its new youth development and first team training centre.
The unveiling of the 80–acre regenerated brownfield site, adjacent to the Etihad Stadium and part of the wider 200 acres known as the Etihad Campus, was overseen by chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak and George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer during his visit to the city.
The facility was formally opened by former City manager and the Club’s most decorated captain, Tony Book.
Speaking of his visit, Osborne said: "I am a strong believer in improving sporting facilities for young people, which is why I am delighted to oversee the opening of the City Football Academy today.
"The partnership between Abu Dhabi United Group and Manchester City Council is a benchmark for public private partnership, driving investment into the North of England and developing projects where business and the community benefit."
Al Mubarak added: "At the outset of his ownership, back in autumn 2008, His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, set out his vision for the future of Manchester City Football Club. He pledged to bring success on the field and to nurture young talent whilst at the same time remaining proudly rooted to the community in which it resided.
"The cornerstone of the future, was a vision for youth development and sustainability; a vision to educate talented young footballers on and off the pitch and to do so in a facility supported by the best coaches and coaching programmes. The vision was underpinned by an unwavering commitment to the regeneration of the local area in both economic and environmental terms.
"Today marks the end of six years of extensive research, development and construction involving many, many people. It also marks the beginning of a responsibility to deliver against the opportunities that this Academy now creates for us."
The CFA is home to all of Manchester City’s football teams of both genders and all age groups. Two thirds of the 16.5 pitches on site are dedicated to the youth talent and the wider development of the young players is supported by tailored coaching and education facilities, medical and sports science services, sleeping accommodation and parents’ facilities.
The CFA also accommodates the majority of Manchester based staff in one connected operational base and is a global headquarters for those in the wider City Football family, which now includes sister clubs New York City FC, Melbourne City FC and Yokohama Marinos.