Blackpool are set to finally upgrade their training facilities – but only in the short term.
The club’s Squires Gate training ground has long been the talk of players and managers alike at Bloomfield Road, with Ian Holloway once describing the facility as a ‘hellhole’.
Manager Lee Clark has told The Gazette work is set to begin on demolishing the current training ground and replacing it with a new structure, although it’s understood these will be temporary buildings rather than the previously promised total rebuild.
“As we speak we are in the process of upgrading the facilities at Squires Gate,” said Clark.
“That’s crucial to what I’m trying to do as I need to create an environment at the football club where the players don’t want to leave the training base.
“We want to be able to use our training ground morning and afternoon.
“The existing buildings will be getting demolished and we’ll be replacing them with new buildings.
“Eventually those will be able to be moved to the new training facility.”
Only yesterday former Blackpool and England international Trevor Sinclair described the training ground as a ‘disgrace’ and the facilities have long been a point of ridicule for the club.
Over the years there have been plenty of promised refurbishments, with chairman Karl Oyston claiming almost exactly a year ago, “A new training ground will absolutely happen.
“I’ll deliver it as soon as I possibly can.”
Long-term plans for the complex remain in place, and Clark was quick to point out just how important a proper training complex is for the club.
He said: “It’s crucial to us. We are only at the stadium once every two weeks really, we spend all our time at the training ground.
“If you want to improve as a team and a club you can only do it at the training ground.
“We will have a good gym down there and other things.
“It’s so vital to what we want to do here.
“If you look at all the successful teams around, their work is done on the training ground.
“Yes they have good players but they have the facilities too.”
Clark’s keen on changing a number of things on and off the field, including bringing the club’s youth academy back to work alongside the first team.
The youth set-up was moved away from Squires Gate two years ago but Clark is keen on them returning.
He said: “We’ve seen this season how many players have broken through from the youth set-up so it’s important we have them around us.”