Leeds United training ground explained - Thorp Arch history, Marcelo Bielsa's changes and why the Whites want to move nearer to Elland Road
Leeds United are seeking approval to build a state of the art training facility near Elland Road which would see the club move away from their current Thorp Arch complex.
But what is the history of the club's association with their current training ground and why do they want to move? Here's what you need to know:
Where do Leeds United train currently?
Leeds United currently train at Thorp Arch, which is situated near the town of Wetherby in West Yorkshire. The state of the art facility is situated 20 miles out of the city centre and is around a 30 minute drive from the club's home ground of Elland Road.
Why did Leeds United move to Thorp Arch?
Thorp Arch was the brainchild of former manager Howard Wilkinson.
Leeds were training on Fullerton Park behind the West Stand of Elland Road upon his arrival in 1988, with Wilkinson believing that the club needed a world class purpose built facility to progress.
Thorp Arch was identified as a prime location with a state of the art complex in mind. Upon its completion the facility boasted new changing rooms, an indoor pitch, swimming pool and a host of outdoor pitches.
When did the club move to Thorp Arch?
The club moved from their Fullerton Park training ground to Thorp Arch in 1994. It has undergone a number of improvements and changes since.
Do Leeds own Thorp Arch?
Amid a financial crisis at the club, Thorp Arch was sold in 2004. Leeds currently lease the training complex and had a buy-back clause which elapsed under former chairman Ken Bates in 2009.
Marcelo Bielsa has recently made changes to Thorp Arch - but what were they?
The Argentine arrived at the club in the summer of 2018 and immediately sourced blueprints for the club's training facility.
Bielsa had a host of changes made.
A new running track was installed along with sleep pods in an external building along with a renovation of the changing rooms so that they now mirror Elland Road.
The Argentine also had a host of alterations within the walls of the complex, which included new offices and a brand new games room for the playing staff to relax in between training sessions.
Why do Leeds want to leave Thorp Arch?
Managing director Angus Kinnear says that the club want to move back to a facility closer to Elland Road to be near the "heart of the city."
He told the YEP: “We remain committed to bringing a state of the art, community focused training facility back to the heart of the city, helping us to create a talent development pathway for inner city youth.
“Collaboration with the local community is paramount to our plans and we will be stepping up our consultation with residents, schools and business owners in Beeston and Holbeck in the coming weeks.”
When were plans first announced?
Leeds first announced plans over a new training complex in 2017. The club have been working closely with Leeds City Council in a bid to purchase the former site of the Matthew Murray School which closed in 2006.
The land is situated just a stone's throw away from the club's home ground.
What happens next?
For now, the club will continue to train at Thorp Arch for the foreseeable future. Approval is being sought over whether the club will be granted permission to purchase the land near Elland Road, with council chiefs set to meet in September to discuss the issue and decide whether to give the plans the green light.