Welcome to We Love You Everton - A Blog made for fans of Everton Football Club

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Finch Farm Training Ground

Finch Farm is the training ground for Everton F.C., in the Liverpool suburb of Halewood.
The School of Science is the nickname given to the complex by some supporters, referring to a long-standing nickname for the club.

The training ground houses both the Everton first team and the youth academy.

The first team squad officially moved to the complex on 9 October 2007, some time behind the target date of pre-season.

Plans were drawn up for the Cheshire County Council owned site in 2002.

Everton originally tried to find land in Liverpool but eventually settled on the 55-acre (220,000 m2) site, off Higher Road and Finch Lane in Halewood. Some Halewood residents fought the plans as the training complex and academy was built on greenbelt land.

Finch Farm was acquired in 2006 by Everton who later sold the land on for £2.1 million and then had it developed to the club’s specification by developers ROM Capital (an arm of the aAim Group) who are now known as Hudson Capital Properties.

Finch Farm was designed by North-West based architects AFL. The contract was valued at £9million. A site worker was killed during the final stages of development.

On completion, Finch Farm was valued by ROM Capital at £17 M. Everton signed a 50-year tenancy agreement with ROM Capital for Finch Farm. Everton have an option to purchase the site every 5 years.

Between the 2006/07 and 2007/08 financial accounts' "Other Operating Costs" increased significantly from £11.7m to £21.1m. The club largely attributed this rise to Finch Farm in the club's Financial Review in the annual report:

"Further significant increases in operating costs were also incurred in the year following the opening of the new Finch Farm training facility.

The additional operating costs compared with those incurred at Bellefield are seen as a necessary investment to provide the appropriate training facilities required by both first team players and academy players at a Premier League club of Everton’s standing."

In October 2011, Hudson Capital Properties put Finch Farm on sale, the asking price was £15.3million.

The facility boasts some of the finest training facilities in the world, and features 10 full-size grass pitches on three plateaus, one of which is a floodlit along with an additional floodlit synthetic pitch and specialist training areas for fitness work and goalkeepers, as well as an exact recreation of the pitch at Goodison Park.

Inside the training complex there are extensive changing facilities for both the senior squad and the Academy players.

The state-of-the-art facilities on offer will arguably make Everton a big draw for future signings and should also provide a boost in the development of the Club's Academy players, with the facilities including the following:
  •     Gym
  •     Synthetic indoor training pitch
  •     Hydrotherapy pools
  •     Spa
  •     Sauna
  •     Physiotherapy rooms
  •     Media centre
  •     Video lounges including a video editing suite

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