Whelan unveils revamp plans

Dave Whelan
Dave Whelan
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DAVE Whelan has unveiled details of the £2m revamp which will bring Latics’ training ground into line with many of the Premier League’s top clubs.

The club chairman revealed he would be investing in the Christopher Park facility when the speculation over Roberto Martinez’s future came to an end.

With news of Martinez staying at Latics – having held talks with Liverpool owner John W Henry in Miami – grabbing the headlines and dominating conversations among supporters, the details of the training ground was largely overlooked.

But Whelan said it will be an exciting development which will help strengthen Wigan Athletic’s Premier League credentials.

Planning permission is being south from the local authority for a full-sized indoor artificial pitch and Whelan is keen to get the project going as soon as possible.

He expects it to cost £2m and reckons it will boost the club’s youth development section – and ensure training sessions aren’t impacted by the bad weather.

In recent winters, Martinez has been forced to use the SoccerDome pitches because of the bad weather.

Whelan said: “We’ve put in planning permission for a full-sized inside pitch at the bottom end of Christopher Park. We’re also building a new storage accommodation for the tractors and equipment we have down there. We want to bring it up to category two standard.

“I think there are six clubs at category one, and what you need is absolutely phenomenal in terms of the number of full-size pitches and facilities – most are going for category two.

“We’re waiting for the searches and everything else but we have to get on with it and we will.

“It will help bring the youth through and we will have a pitch we can use during the winter. That’s the plan.”

Meanwhile, former Latics hero Hugo Rodallega was being strongly tipped for a move to Scottish giants Celtic yesterday.