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First Team News

Peter Ridsdale Delighted With 'Magnificent Facility'

13 October 2020

The Preston North End first team squad trained at the club's new training ground in Euxton for the first time on Tuesday, and owner's representative Peter Ridsdale is delighted to see the club deliver the promise of Premier League quality facilities.

Speaking on the morning of the team's first day at their new home, Peter spoke to iFollow PNE on what the move means for the football club, the work that has gone in to enhancing the facility and paid credit to Mr Hemmings for his invaluable support of the football club.

"It's delivering a promise, a few years ago we said we wanted a Premier League quality training ground. We have obviously looked at a couple of alternatives elsewhere with Ingol and then a plan to upgrade Springfields but opportunistically this came along and we've acquired it, we've refurbished it and we've moved in.

"I think anybody who sees it will realise what a magnificent facility it is for our players and our aspirations for the future.

"When we first saw it a few weeks ago obviously it needed a little bit of vision as to what we could make of it, it was a great facility but we've refurbished it all the way through. Mr Hemmings has agreed to not only acquire it but also to put money aside for that purpose in the middle of a very difficult period, obviously being in the middle of a pandemic.

"What we've done is essentially deliver a facility that, had we built it from scratch, would probably have cost around £10million, so I think everybody will be proud to work here on a daily basis and I hope our players will be inspired by it."

As well as much improved facilities for the first team squad, the new training base also allows space for the administration staff, something Peter feels is beneficial, and he also outlined some of the other key improvements.

"What we've now got is the ability for all of us to be together as a football club, the administration staff of the football club, the players and the manager are all in one place.

"We've got undersoil heating on one of the pitches, we've got the facilities like the plunge pools, we've got the gym that we've now refurbished with completely new equipment and it is truly a Premier League quality facility.

"Springfields was tired, it was old, and it didn't really have the space that we needed for a Premier League football club. Now what we have to do is deliver that on the field now we've delivered it off the field.

"One of the things that is interesting is that people look at Deepdale and say what a magnificent facility it is, but of course we play there once a fortnight. The reality is that the players are at the training ground for five days a week, and when you want to attract quality players or even retain the ones that you've got, where they are Monday to Friday is very important.

"This is clearly a massive upgrade on what we've had in the past and what we would like to think is it is part of that process of retention and attraction.

"I'm excited, I'd like to think the players are as well. Anybody who isn't excited about this just doesn't understand what it's all about because you take facilities for granted, we probably got used to Springfields but it's such a stark difference.

"I would like to think it will be something that motivates the players and obviously as we go back in after the international break in to a key group of fixtures, I would think the players will be lifted by it."

"Most supporters only see the stadium, and obviously the players see their normal work place which is the training ground. What we've now got is a training ground that mirrors the quality of the stadium, if we have aspirations to continue to move up the football pyramid we have now got both."

Peter also paid tribute to Mr Hemmings for his continued support and commitment to the football club, adding:

"What frustrates me as somebody who works for him and for the football club is that he doesn't get the credit that he deserves, we run the business properly.

We obviously don't pay the highest salaries but what we do is we pay the salaries. There are plenty of football clubs at the moment who are worrying about whether they can pay the wage bill or the tax bill, we've managed to pay our players all of the way through, we've no debt, we've paid the creditors and we've now got assets.

"We've got the stadium, we've got the training ground and anybody who wants to support a football club wants to be reassured that the football club is going to be there in the future. We are probably the most stable football club outside of the Premier League and that is to Mr Hemmings' credit. I don't think that he gets that credit that he deserves."

You can watch the full interview with Peter on iFollow PNE now by clicking on the video at the top of the page.


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