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26th Jun 2024

Man United Women ‘moved to portable buildings’ to make space for men’s team in training facilities

Zoe Hodges

‘We are clearly disappointed’

Manchester United Women will be moved into portable buildings at the club’s Carrington training complex this season to allow the men’s squad to use their facilities whilst work is being done on their own.

The £10m state-of-the-art women’s and academy building only opened last year but the squad are being asked to once again work out of portable buildings as the men’s team will have priority access to their building.

Tom Garry of The Guardian, revealed the news just days after Sir Jim Ratcliffe was slammed by fans after saying in an interview with Bloomsberg that he had no plans for the women’s team yet as his focus was on the ‘first team’.

Renovation work began on Monday to modernise the men’s first team building in an investment which is thought to be costing United £50m. The club announced on June 14th that all areas of the men’s building were “being refurbished to deliver a world-class football facility with a positive culture to support future success.”

Everyday zones such as changing rooms, team meeting rooms, office spaces and communal areas will all be housed in temporary structures, but they will be able to use the same canteen as before and the same pitches.

The Manchester United Women’s Supporters Club who liaises with the club on a regular basis on behalf of the women’s team and their fans issued the following statement: “We are clearly disappointed with today’s news about training facilities and the constant fears that the women’s team is not a priority.

“The women’s team has a loyal fanbase that demands success and expect the club to recognise this and support the team fully.”

The staff and players are said to be disappointed by the club’s decision as the high calibre facilities made training more enjoyable last season. The squad won their first major trophy in May when they beat Tottenham Hotspur in the Adobe FA Cup Final 4-0 at Wembley.

The news broke just hours after it was revealed that FIFA Women’s Best Goalkeeper Mary Earps is set to leave the club on a free transfer to PSG and become the highest paid goalkeeper in women’s football.

Other key members of Marc Skinner’s starting XI are also tipped to depart this summer including captain Katie Zelem who looks set for a move abroad whilst United’s top goal scorer this season, Nikita Parris is also rumoured to be leaving.

The women’s team has faced a lot of upheaval since it reformed in 2018. The club trained at Leigh Sports Village where they play their home games until the Coronavirus pandemic hit when they were relocated to Carrington.

In 2021 it was said one of the main reasons Casey Stoney decided to depart as manager was because of the poor facilities. At the time, the squad were getting changed in temporary buildings and a marquee was being used as a makeshift gym.  

In a statement, the club said: “We considered temporarily relocating teams to an alternative facility to ease pressure at Carrington, but this was ruled out for performance reasons. The pitches, fitness and nutrition facilities at Carrington are of significantly higher quality than what would have been available elsewhere. These core facilities will remain available to all our teams through a phased approach to the redevelopment, use of temporary buildings, and adaptation of unaffected areas. Scale and ambition of the project will deliver huge long-term benefits for all our teams and this work is necessary to restore Carrington to a world-class training facility.”

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