New facility didn’t affect Reds budget – Cormack
AFC: Vice-chairman insists McInnes always had club’ s financial backing
Aberdeenvice-chairman Dave Cormack insists manager Derek McInnes’s budget has not been hampered by the building of the club’s new training ground Cormack Park.
The club’s new training facility and community hub was officially opened by former manager Sir Alex Ferguson on Thursday.
Cormack is aware some Dons fans are concerned the club’s focus on delivering the new £13 million training ground means investment in the team has been adversely affected – but he insists that is not the case.
The Dons director concedes Aberdeen cannot compete
Dave Cormack financially with the Old Firm but insists manager McInnes has been supported by the board.
He said: “There is a bit of an arms race between Celtic and Rangers with Rangers coming back up and spending money. Celtic have upped the ante as well and those are tough things to compete with.
“Some people think we have skimped on the football operations budget to take the money for the training ground. “That was never the case because we are up significantly on our football wage bill over the last three years. The budgets for both were separated.”
One area where the vicechairman believes Cormack Park can help the manager is in attracting players and he says the new facility has already proven a valuable asset to McInnes in his attempts to attract signing targets to the club.
He said: “This is critical for the football club. You could argue that the training ground is more critical than the stadium.
“It helped us bring the likes of Ryan Hedges and Funso Ojo to the club because they came to see these facilities.
“They were being courted by other teams who said that our training ground would never happen. Part of Derek’s selling point to these players was that this was going to be a reality.
“It is important for attracting players and also for the existing team that is here because we will have a lot more time for coaching one-on-one and in teams because we no longer have to bus people around the city, whether that is a youth or the first-team.”
It bears his family name but Aberdeen vice-chairman Dave Cormack insists the club will honour its legends as it makes plans for the future.
The opening of Cormack Park, the training ground and community hub, represents the culmination of phase one of Aberdeen’s development, with the focus now shifting to phase two: the delivery of a new stadium.
The summer of 2023 is the tentative date for the opening of the club’s new home and Cormack is confident the club’s legacy will remain intact despite leaving Pittodrie.
He said: “Early on when (Cormack Park) was announced I put something up on social media to explain the rationale and I think I got something like 1,000 likes.
“Part of the concern was that we should be naming it after a legend. We have plans to do lots here and we will do lots for our legends.
“Richard Gordon and
Miller, who are on the Hall of Fame committee, will help to arrange things to honour the legacy of our club over time.” Cormack believes the decision to name the youth academy after former goalkeeper Bobby Clark and the naming of pitches after former players reflects the club’s commitment to its past but is also mindful of the commercial opportunities
Bobby Clark: An Aberdeen legend that exist from new developments and the potential income that can be generated from naming rights.
He said: “Tom Crotty and I made a donation to the club for Bobby Clark because he is someone who is near and dear to us.
“That is why we have the Bobby Clark Academy and that is just the first of many things that we can do in this area.
“In the modern world, for the stadium and other areas we are going to need to look at naming rights etc, related to commercial support because this is the way things are moving.
“I believe Atlanta United got £800 million from Mercedes-Benz USA over 10 years.
“I know people had concerns and some misconceptions that our history and our legends won’t be recognised but I am absolutely all for doing that and we will have a committee in place to do that.”