New fa­cil­ity didn’t af­fect Reds bud­get – Cor­mack

AFC: Vice-chair­man in­sists McInnes al­ways had club’ s fi­nan­cial back­ing

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - SPORT - BY PAUL THIRD

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

Wil­lie

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.”

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