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Last Updated: Friday, 21 December 2007, 13:16 GMT
FA backs National Football Centre
The FA has already invested 25m in the 350-acre site in Burton
The Football Association has backed the concept of a National Football Centre.

The FA board's approval was granted subject to a detailed exploration of the business and funding plans.

"I'm delighted that the board has given the green light for a National Football Centre," said FA chief executive Brian Barwick following Thursday's meeting.

The FA's preferred option is for the centre to be built at Burton-on-Trent, but it has not ruled out basing it elsewhere, possibly closer to London.

Football League chairman and FA board member, Brian Mawhinney, told BBC Radio 5 Live on Friday: "It will depend on the business case that is developed because if we moved we would certainly take some sort of loss at Burton.

Everyone involved in the FA's coaching and player development structures believes that a national football centre is vital to the long-term health of English football

Sir Trevor Brooking

"We have to make sure wherever we go we don't have unsustainable subsidies that would have to be put into the new system which over time might amount to much more than Burton.

"Burton is where we start, Brian Barwick made that clear yesterday but where we finish up remains to be seen."

The Burton option would be linked to a hotel and conference facility.

The FA has already invested 25m in the 350-acre site in Staffordshire which it purchased in 2001.

"This is a major step forward for the project," said Barwick.

"There was general agreement within the board that a national football centre would be a major asset in the development of players, coaches and referees in this country."

The FA plans to use the centre as a training base for all England national and junior teams.

It would also house medical, exercise, science, coaching, video analysis and education departments.

606: DEBATE
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The FA board held its meeting at the De Vere Wokefield Park Hotel near Reading, which houses the BMW Academy, the company's specialist staff training centre.

Board members visited the facility to see how the joint operation worked.

The FA's director of football development Sir Trevor Brooking, England Under-21 coach Stuart Pearce and national coach Steve Wigley all made presentations on the football development context for the project.

"Everyone involved in the FA's coaching and player development structures believes that a national football centre is vital to the long-term health of English football," added Brooking.

"We were hugely encouraged by the extremely positive reception from both the professional and grassroots game."



SEE ALSO
Jewell doubt over National Centre
19 Dec 07 |  Derby County
Burton 'vital to England success'
18 Dec 07 |  Football
Brooking urges coaching overhaul
18 Dec 07 |  Football
National centre vital says Pearce
26 Nov 07 |  Internationals
Football centre re-think welcomed
26 Sep 07 |  Staffordshire
Fears over football centre's future
14 Jan 04 |  Staffordshire


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