How Liverpool’s new state-of-the-art training facility was inspired by Red Bull Salzburg

Exclusive: Liverpool’s £50m project has influences from Red Bull Salzburg’s benchmark-setting youth base

Melissa Reddy
Salzburg
Tuesday 10 December 2019 07:55
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Behind The Scenes: Liverpool's Champions League win vs Red Bull Salzburg

Liverpool’s new state-of-the-art training facility currently under construction in Kirkby drew inspiration from Red Bull Salzburg’s pioneering Academy complex.

The clubs collide in a defining final Group E encounter to decide their Champions League fates on Tuesday night, but are anything but adversarial off the pitch.

The European champions and their Austrian counterparts have a collaborative relationship based on the mutual respect of each other’s vision.

Both subscribe to the notion that a club can only be successful if there is a singular blueprint at play across all departments and are devoted to youth development.

And so when the Premier League leaders began sketching designs for their combined 9,200sqm first-team and academy base in Kirkby, they visited Europe’s premier sports centre to study some of their innovation.

The influence of Red Bull’s academy, home to 400 talented footballers and hockey players, can be seen in the crisp, modern layout of Liverpool’s project with the floor-to-ceiling glass windows inviting lots of natural daylight.

The hydrotherapy area, large indoor sports hall, open-plan recovery rooms and specialist sports rehabilitation suites mirror the innovation seen at the Austrian side’s youth base.

Liverpool’s £50m facility, due to be open before the start of the 2020-21 campaign and overseen by London architect firm KSS, is not the only one to have been influenced by Salzburg’s set-up.

The FC Bayern Campus, unveiled in August 2017, also extracted cutting-edge ideas from it.

“That just proves that we’ve got a lot of things right, because both Liverpool and Bayern Munich have taken inspiration from here for their complexes,” sporting director of Salzburg’s academy Frank Kramer told The Independent.

“Football in many ways is about collecting ideas and we are open in this way for sharing information.

“We cannot compete with Liverpool in terms of their status, we’re far away from being at their level, but it’s positive that concerning development and a youth environment they believe there are things we’ve done really well that is helpful.

“It’s good, but we shouldn’t feel special about this. When we need inspiration, we go somewhere else too. We search for the highest level and that gives us some orientation and it’s the same for them.

“They’re good guys, super smart. It’s finding out simple things like how many gyms to have, how big you suggest certain spaces should be, how many locker rooms to have, what worked for us – you need a basis.

“For example, if you’re building a house, you need to see what else is out there, what is possible.

“There’s nothing that’s new in football. It’s getting the best you can from everywhere and making it the perfect fit for your environment, which is what they have done and it will be amazing.

“The Liverpool guys are great to work with – Jürgen Klopp, [sporting director] Michael Edwards and [Academy manager] Alex Inglethorpe. Unbelievable football brains!”

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