Newcastle used rubbish bins and paddling pools for players before Saudi billions

It's no secret Newcastle have come a long way since being bought out by Saudi Arabia, and footage of the club's former facilities shows the extent of that transformation.

With a little motivation and the billionaire backing of the Public Investment Fund, the Magpies have gone from mid-table messrs to Champions League contenders in only a couple of seasons. That makeover has coincided with the opening of a new training ground at Benton, complete with cryo chamber, hydrotherapy facilities and hyperbaric chamber.

But players became accustomed to more archaic methods during the Mike Ashley era and relied on wheelie bins for their ice bath treatments during training sessions. And footage showed paddling pools were also deployed as a means of changing temperature to stimulate muscles and aid recovery.

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It was during Steve McClaren's reign ahead of the 2015/16 campaign that NUFC TV posted clips from pre-season. And players could be seen darting from their stretches into the rubbish containers filled with ice and cold water, much to the chagrin of some.

Former Magpie midfielder Jack Colback can be seen hunched over with his legs submerged, taking the task a lot better than former club hero Papiss Demba Cisse. The Senegalese striker groaned as he got to grips with the cold conditions, while Moussa Sissoko folded his arms in defiance.

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Some fans couldn't believe a Premier League outfit was using paddling pools and wheelie bins as actual equipment as recently as 2015. One questioned: "What the f*** was going on at this football club", while others called the conditions "embarrassing".

However, others were quick to reply with images of other teams like Arsenal and Belgium also using bins for ice baths. Cold therapy isn't intended for prolonged use at a time, and the containers get the job done just the same after all.

Warning: Explicit language

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Nevertheless, those at Newcastle have become accustomed to much more princely standards in the present day. Eddie Howe has since taken over as manager and helped usher in the club's new era of success in all areas.

Both fans and the media were often highly critical of how the club was run during Ashley's ownership, which officially ended with the PIF takeover in October 2021. The new finances running the club mean things are only likely to keep improving in the years to come – and without a paddling pool in sight.

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