EXCLUSIVE: Ronaldo was dismayed by the state of the facilities at United’s Carrington training HQ which he felt had not been upgraded at all since he departed for Real Madrid back in 2009
Cristiano Ronaldo has forced a revamp of Manchester United’s training ground swimming pool – after complaining it was old and a health hazard.
The United striker told bosses at the club’s Aon training complex at Carrington he did not want to use the main pool and plunge pool – because loose, chipped and missing tiles made it a danger. And he urged the club to re-tile and refurbish both pools telling them he could not believe it hadn’t changed in the TWELVE years he’s been away from Old Trafford.
Club bosses took his complaints seriously – and ordered remedial works on the pools which will be upgraded in time for pre season training which starts in mid July. The 37-year-old star – United’s top scorer last season with 24 goals – is said to have been disappointed by the declining standards in facilities both at Carrington and Old Trafford since his shock return last summer.
And the pools in the main building of the training ground have been on his hit list since re-signing.
It’s believed the Portuguese icon made sure his rented home in Cheshire had an indoor swimming pool so he could perform water-based exercises without having to use the Carrington pool. Pool-Gate is the latest in a series of issues with facilities at the club.
It understood the club has also spent in excess of £ 200,000 installing a new boiler system at the training ground after problems causing intermittent hot and cold water affected the training ground last winter. United’s training center was once a state-of-the-art complex when it was unveiled in 2000.
But in the last few years, like Old Trafford, it’s fallen behind those of rivals like Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham who have all built impressive facilities which have eclipsed Carrington. A United source said: “Cristiano is an important voice at the training ground.
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“In the past players might have said something but nothing happened. If Cristiano speaks up, people listen, take notice and things tend to change! ” Last year United applied for planning permission to build additional changing rooms, offices, gyms and catering areas at Carrington.
That followed a request to planners to erect new LED floodlights, an all-seater stand for 500 spectators including wheelchair access. Collette Roche, Chief Operating Officer explained last year: “Longer term, we are looking at fuller redevelopment plans for Carrington to ensure it will be a state-of-the-art, fully integrated facility for our men’s, women’s and academy groups.
“Significant, game-changing investment will be made into our training facilities to take Carrington to the next level once again.”