Man Utd co-owner Ratcliffe reacts after confirmation of imminent £50m upgrade

Joe Williams
Man Utd co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe
Sir Jim Ratcliffe watches the FA Cup final.

Man Utd co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe hopes to see impact “on the pitch” after confirming work will begin to modernise the club’s Carrington training ground.

One of Ratcliffe and INEOS’ top pledges after completing a deal to buy 27.7 per cent of the Premier League club earlier this year was to make big upgrades to the infrastructure.

Cristiano Ronaldo highlighted the issue in his interview with Piers Morgan weeks before his exit from Man Utd was confirmed.

The Al-Nassr striker said of the club’s facilities: “I don’t know what’s going on but since Sir Alex Ferguson left I saw no evolution in the club, the progress was zero. Nothing changed. Surprisingly.

“Not only the pool, the jacuzzi, even the gym… Even some points, the technology, the kitchen, the chefs, which is, I appreciate, lovely persons. They stopped in a time, which surprised me a lot.”

Explaining the work about to take place at Man Utd, a statement on the club’s official website read: “Manchester United will commence work to modernise the men’s first team building at Carrington Training Complex next week, with a focus on creating a high-performance collaborative environment for players and staff.

“The £50 million project will result in all areas of the building being refurbished to deliver a world-class football facility with a positive culture to support future success.

“The architectural practice Foster + Partners, led by Manchester-born Lord Norman Foster, has been appointed to lead the project. Foster + Partners has a rich history of designing pioneering football stadiums and arenas. The practice was responsible for the reshaping of Wembley Stadium and the design of the Lusail Stadium in Qatar – the centrepiece of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

“The renovation work will begin on Monday and is expected to last for the duration of the 2024/25 season. The initial focus will be on the gym, medical, nutrition, and recovery areas, with a design emphasis on creating more space for collaboration and innovation among players and staff.

“Temporary adaptations will be made to the rest of the Carrington site to ensure players and staff from all our teams can continue to operate successfully next season.

“This latest phase of development at Carrington follows the opening of the £10 million state-of-the-art women’s and Academy building last summer – meaning more than £60 million will have been invested in creating a truly integrated facility for our entire football department over the past two years.”

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Reacting to the news, Ratcliffe said: “We want to create a world class environment for our teams to win. When we conducted a thorough review of the Carrington training facilities and met with our men’s first team players, it was clear the standards had fallen below some of our peers. This project will ensure Manchester United’s training ground is once more renovated to the highest standards.

“Lord Foster, a fellow Mancunian, has brought some great inspiration to the design, in conjunction with the Manchester United team and we look forward to seeing the improvement to the facilities but most importantly on the pitch.”