FA vote on pursuing National Football Centre
Just days after committing what could rise to an eye-watering £40 million to secure the services of Fabio Capello and his Italian cohorts until 2012, the Football Association board will vote this week on whether to write off £15 million by scrapping the proposed National Football Centre at Burton - the centre of excellence that was meant to ensure the long-term health of the England team.
The option of axing the £60 million project, which has already cost the FA £20 million to acquire the land in Staffordshire, installing floodlights and laying down eight pitches, is one of four choices that will be presented to the FA board at a meeting at Soho Square on Thursday that will have far-reaching consequences for the English game.
The other options are to continue the project according to the original specifications, progress on a scaled-down basis or to redevelop the site in partnership with another business, such as a hotel. It is understood that if the FA choose to scrap Burton altogether, they could expect to recoup just £5 million for the 350 acres of land.
FA spokesman Adrian Bevington confirmed that Burton's fate was likely to be settled once and for all. "You can never say that anything is set in stone but this was always highlighted as the board meeting where key decisions would be taken on the project. There are certain ways in which it could go forward from the options that will be presented and I'm not sure which way it will go. I wouldn't even begin to second-guess it."
The centre would provide a hub for all of England's junior and senior teams as well as a base for sports science, medicine and research.