Following complaints about the state of facilities at NUFC over recent weeks, the club’s facilities manager Eddie Rutherford has now responded – and part of his response includes a line confirming there are ‘phenomenal plans’ in place for new developments.
Here’s some of what he had to say in the club’s defence – also insisting that there are big plans in place when it comes to the development of the training ground:
“Yes, we know we need a building long-term,”
“We know that but other investments down there have been put in place.”
“It’s common knowledge we have plans for the training ground, and they’re phenomenal plans…I’d love to do them tomorrow but everything up there at the moment is not falling to bits.
“If you go up there, the buildings – to look at – are not the best to look at and for the world to go ‘Wow what a structure’. “But inside all the equipment the players need, medical, restaurant and kitchen is all really good.”
Rutherford also confirmed plans to give the tunnel at SJP a total makeover – with plans to put bits of the clubs history on the walls, saying players will feel ‘inspired’ when walking through it, giving it an ‘update’ with the current one looking quite dated.
My take on this is it sounds like a good idea but however many pictures you have of club legends on the wall they will still be plastered with tacky Sports Direct signs. Two NUFC legends who should be decorated in the tunnel, Keegan and Shearer, would likely be left out anyway after criticising Mike Ashley.
It’s important to recognise that Rutherford has been at the club 17 years, pre-dating Mike Ashley, so he isn’t just another mouthpiece of the current regime. However after such little investment into facilities this decade it’s hard to be anything other than skeptical at these comments on ‘exciting plans’. Budgets or time-frames or not, some of the pictures from the ground are just unacceptable. The training ground plans have been cancelled as we are being left behind; Huddersfield are the latest to start work on a new training ground. Realistically, have the facilities even stagnated over the last years or have they got worse?
Rutherford and his team are likely to be doing their best with limited budgets and resources from Lee Charnley and the real shame is the fact that our owner and CEO have left it to them to come out and defend their work. Charnley instead cancels fans forum meetings and let’s others take the stick for his decisions.
The infrastructure and facilities at Newcastle are not good enough and have been neglected – the sooner we find an owner who understand this, the better.