Reasons why Manchester will dominate world football for years
It is little wonder why the city of Manchester is a force to reckon with when it comes to the beautiful game of football in Europe.
The passion of the game is in the very air the citizens breathe. Not a day passes without a word about football – from the pubs, buses, the streets, and right through to the two magnificent stadia of Manchester United and Manchester City.
The trophy laden chambers of United and recent exploits of City in the most-watched league competition in the world – the English Premier League, makes it impossible for the history of the game to be written without these two clubs.
But these achievements have not come on a silver platter. The history, current state, and future plans of both clubs were told to some 50 Chevening Scholars who converged on the city for the 'Developing Goals: Inspiring Football' event. Every single scholar was left in awe of how forward thinking the management of the clubs are.
We started from the Manchester City Academy, then to the National Football Museum and a tour of the ‘heaven’ or ‘mecca’ of Football, Old Trafford, home of Manchester United. Due to the heavy industrialisation of Manchester in the 1700s and 1800s, there was pollution everywhere, forcing most people to leave. This affected both clubs which were founded in 1800s.
Several years down the line, this city has become the second most sought after in the UK. This is largely due to the development of football which has attracted the teeming youth and younger generations across the country. A whopping £200 million has been invested in building the Manchester City Academy – the most ultra-modern facility of its kind in Europe, sitting on 600 acres of land with over ten training pitches including an indoor one.
As part of the UK’s grand agenda of developing the youth and the sport called ‘Street to Stadium’, community football pitches have been constructed right next to the academy where local young people can learn to play. While there they see the first team training so they are inspired. Both can see the Premier League stadium where they all want to play.
The money has been invested in the local economy, creating jobs with 94% of materials used - carpet, furniture, glass, and more - coming from within a one-mile radius of the academy. A university is to be built with the first intake expected in September 2021. Around 7,000 new homes are being built as part of this massive project.
Peter Bradshaw, Director of Estates at Manchester City said, because of the constant rains in Manchester, ‘We built a reservoir; an £8m rainwater harvesting tank so all our toilets are flushed with rainwater, and all our pitches are watered with rainwater.
‘We have our own borehole for drinking water, and a natural spring on the side which comes from way down in the ground, so we’re totally self-sufficient. We’ve done the same with energy so all our lighting, heating, and cooling comes from self-generation on the site.’
A very commendable feat and a bright future for the academy and the community. Talking about ‘bright’: Cheveners needed sunglasses to enter the trophy room of Manchester United due to the sparkling silverware collection in its gallery at Old Trafford.
A tour of the massive 75,643 capacity stadium got scholars acknowledging the greatness of the club and the legends who created the success. And talking about legends, the National Football Museum houses great collection of their memorabilia, including from Sir Bobby Charlton, George Best, and Pele, to name just a few. If you are ever in the Manchester, grab a ticket to watch a game at either of the stadia and your life shall never be the same.