Sir Alex Ferguson has described United’s recently-renovated Carrington training headquarters as akin to “a £20million signing”, and the Reds boss believes that not only will it help his current players prepare and recuperate before and after matches, but it could also attract new talent.
The Trafford Training Centre, or Carrington as it’s known by players, staff and fans, will become the Aon Training Complex from 1 July, a partnership that points to the investment made in United’s training facilities.
But it is the recent revamp of Carrington, including new medical and sports science facilities, that Sir Alex feels is a significant addition to the club.
Speaking to Inside United in his regular monthly interview, Sir Alex says: “As I said last year, it could be our best signing. It’s working out at about £20million that we’ve spent, but it’s given us a training facility where all the players are saying, ‘Wow, this is some training ground now.’
“It’s one of the best. And I think if any player were to come here with any doubts about where they should be, they’ll soon find out that this is a fantastic set-up.”
Sir Alex has seen the development of United’s training facilities as a key part of his job as manager during 26 years in charge of the Reds, and while he recognises the historical importance of places like The Cliff, United’s former training ground in Salford, evolving with the times and ensuring the players have state-of-the-art equipment and expertise to work with is essential.
“The Cliff played its part in the beginning – there’s no doubt about that,” Sir Alex adds. “Sir Matt had The Cliff built back in the 1950s, but [by the 1990s] it was too small for the progress that the club had made. Although we did a lot of development of the indoor space in terms of dressing areas for the Reserves, it still wasn’t big enough.
“For quite a while [former secretary] Ken Merrett and I used to hunt around Manchester looking for old bits of