Sheffield United CEO Stephen Bettis has offered an update on the redevelopment plans for the Shirecliffe training facility.
Owner Prince Abdullah has finally completed the purchase of the remaining assets from Kevin McCabe. The Saudi Prince took sole ownership of the club last September following a High Court ruling.
This included former owner McCabe’s shares in the Blades, as well as assets including Bramall Lane stadium itself, the Copthorne Hotel at the ground, Shirecliffe and the academy.
Yet there was a delay in this being completed because of a disagreement over the purchase price. As a result, the case went to the Court of Arbitration and eventually the deal was confirmed on July 1.
It means that United can move forwards with their short and long-term plans for redevelopment. One of the first things they intend to improve is the Kop.
The pillars will be removed from the stand to help the viewing experience for the fans. There are also plans to develop the training ground.
Sheffield United CEO Stephen Bettis’ update
Clearly written before the purchase of assets was completed, Bettis offered an update on Shirecliffe in the latest match day programme.
This was printed for yesterday’s 3-1 Premier League victory over Tottenham Hotspur. Inside it read:
“This delay has not halted our plans to redevelop the training facility at Shirecliffe.
“We are constantly in dialogue with a number of parties regarding the future expansion and are very close to finalising and revealing, in detail, some of our plans.”
It’s believed that the academy and first team facilities will be split, with the former moving to a new location. The old RAF Norton Aerodrome site is mooted as the most likely option.
This will allow the academy to make the necessary changes to meet the requirements for category one status under the Premier League’s Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP).
It would also free up space so upgrades can be made for the first team at Shirecliffe.