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Page last updated at 12:18 GMT, Friday, 9 October 2009 13:18 UK

Burton academy on track, says FA

Football Association chief executive Ian Watmore
Watmore joined the Football Association in June this year

Football Association chief executive Ian Watmore insists development of the National Football Centre at Burton has not been put on hold again.

FA chairman Lord Triesman said the collapse of Setanta had hindered the project, but Watmore said Burton "has not been put on a backburner".

"There remains a strong commitment within the organisation to get the centre up and running," said Watmore.

"However, the project has to be financially sustainable."

Plans for the Burton centre, inspired by France's successful academy at Clairefontaine, were first unveiled in 2001 but were delayed for a number of years during the construction of the new Wembley stadium.

The FA is continuing to develop a business plan for the National Football Centre

Football Association chief executive Ian Watmore

The hold ups culminated in a decision to halt construction in 2004 with only the basic infrastructure and pitches completed.

Setanta, who screened England's away World Cup qualifiers and FA Cup games, went into administration in June this year.

It also had a contract with the FA to broadcast England's home friendly matches, England Under-21 games and the FA Community Shield.

The broadcaster failed to make a number of payments to sporting organisations, including the Scottish Premier League.

Triesman this week stressed to the Leaders in Football conference his support for the National Football Centre but added: "Everyone knows that Setanta has made a significant difference to the money available to the FA."


However, Watmore insists the FA is still committed to the project.

"The FA is continuing to develop a business plan for the National Football Centre," he added.

"We now have a very experienced group of people managing the plans for the NFC, headed by [former Ipswich chairman] David Sheepshanks.

"We're working hard to develop a robust business case detailing precisely how the centre will operate, how much it will cost and how, together with commercial partners, it will be funded.

"This will be presented to the FA board at the end of this month for further discussion."

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see also
England 'must improve 2018 bid'
07 Oct 09 |  Football
Triesman calls for World Cup bid support
18 May 09 |  Internationals
2018 bid chief calls for humility
18 May 09 |  Football
Setanta goes into administration
23 Jun 09 |  Business
FA's Triesman urges broad reforms
07 Oct 08 |  Economy
FA board gives Burton green light
03 Jun 08 |  Internationals
FA backs National Football Centre
21 Dec 07 |  Internationals
Burton 'vital to England success'
18 Dec 07 |  Football
FA reviews academy plan
20 Nov 02 |  Football
FA unveil academy plans
15 Feb 01 |  Football
Football on the BBC
11 Aug 10 |  Football

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