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Page last updated at 07:27 GMT, Friday, 23 October 2009 08:27 UK

Burton receives fresh FA support

The National Footbal Centre site in Burton
Plans for the Burton centre were first unveiled in 2001

The Football Association has backed a new plan to get the National Football Centre (NFC) project back on track.

Development of the complex at Burton-on-Trent has been on hold for two years and the collapse of Setanta had left its future in limbo.

But an FA board meeting on Thursday gave its "full support" to a business plan presentation put forward by NFC chairman David Sheepshanks.

"These plans will see the NFC become a special place," said Sheepshanks.

"We will provide an inspirational centre for coach education and a learning and development centre for refereeing, administration, medical and sports science.

"It will also be used as a training home for Club England.

"Nevertheless, there is still a huge amount of work to be done before we can bring this project to fruition."

It was agreed that a further update on progress and finances would be made in the spring.

Earlier in October, chief executive Ian Watmore insisted the project had not been put on hold again.


FA chairman Lord Triesman admitted the collapse of Setanta which left the FA facing a £70m cash shortfall, 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 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 2009.

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.

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see also
Burton academy on track, says FA
09 Oct 09 |  Football
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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