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Clegg: Academy Amongst Proudest Achievements at Town
Wednesday, 6th Feb 2013 06:00

Departing chief executive Simon Clegg cites the work which has taken place at the academy over the last year amongst his proudest achievements during his time at Town. He revealed that the Blues’ youth set-up passed its recent audit and has been confirmed as a Category Two academy.

The Premier League's Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) led to a reorganisation of the academy system prior to this season, something that Clegg has spent much of the last year working on.

He says he recently heard the news that the academy had passed the independent audit it underwent in November: “It’s been recommended to the FA's Professional Game Board that we should be given Category Two status.

“Bryan Klug and I were down in London meeting with the auditors the week before last. The recommendation is that we should be given Category Two status."

Clegg faced criticism for not opting for the more costly Category One, but believes Category Two was the right choice for the Blues and that it was a significant achievement to make the improvements required to make that grade.

He said: “People shouldn’t underestimate the workload that went into that. It is typical of football fans, they read a snippet and working on the basis that we’ve got a fantastic academy, say we must go Category One. That was the wrong decision for the football club. I stood up and I was very vocal about it.

“I hope over the last four years I have been accessible and I’ve not shied away from answering difficult questions when there have been difficult questions, either to fans or the media.

“The academy and what’s been achieved, and particularly bringing Bryan Klug back, I take some pride from that.”

In terms of the first team, there have also been days to remember, if perhaps fewer than he would have expected when he took over from Derek Bowden in April 2009: “There have been some really good upsides, beating Arsenal 1-0 here, beating West Ham 5-1 and indeed beating Middlesbrough 4-0 on Saturday. There have been some good upsides, but perhaps not as many good times as I had hoped for.”

Off the field, he believes he has made his mark on the club: “I take some pride from the fact that it was my idea to rename the Sir Bobby Robson Stand and the Sir Alf Ramsey Stand.

“I take pride that we’ve brought in the East of England Co-op as a stand sponsor here.

"I think we’ve been able to protect the season ticket prices in the main over the last five years. I’ve made it very clear that my priority would be to protect the season ticket holders as much as I could.

“We’ve brought on the IT side, we’ve brought in direct debits spread over 12 months on an interest-free basis. We’ve brought in online matchday ticket sales with people having the ability to print tickets at home. I think there have been a number of initiatives that I’m quite proud of.

“On my head be it, but, having sat in the lower North Stand on one occasion, I took a somewhat blind approach to allow standing to go on there, which was not without its challenges from some of my colleagues here. But I was prepared to stand up and do that.

“We tried to do some stuff to help create atmosphere here, whether that’s stuff with the military that we’ve had here, whether it’s the Olympic torchbearers being paraded around the pitch, whether it’s Commonwealth or Olympic medallists in the directors’ box, zorb ball racing or the cheerleaders, I have tried to do things.

“I’ve tried to engage with supporters’ forums and even last Saturday, although obviously I couldn’t tell them anything about this week, I spent 45 minutes with the supporters’ forum here before the home game.

“I’ve tried to attend as many branch meetings as possible, although I’m disappointed that I’ve not got out to the Supporters Clubs in Barbados and Australia."

He says Town will always have a place in his heart: “It’s a great club, it’s been a huge privilege to be at the helm for four years and I’ll leave a really good team in place and I’ll continue to follow Town and support Town for the rest of my life. It’s been a very important part of my life for the last four years.”

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jocasaja added 17:57 - Feb 6
Good riddance - pompous arrogant fool - more suited to schoolboy athletics than the real world of football
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ntoms97 added 18:15 - Feb 6
Is that stuart pearce on the right
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muccletonjoe added 18:32 - Feb 6
I think the reason why alot of people didnt like him was because he was not and is not a football man and at times seemed very naieve when talking about the subject , good at PR but needed more to his armoury than that .
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ntoms97 added 18:34 - Feb 6
is that stuart pearce in background
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Norwichbeater added 19:17 - Feb 6
He was appalling. The Ipswich problems have been deep rooted and he has played a huge part in that. He obviously didnt do it on purpose though.
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Blue041273 added 19:42 - Feb 6
OK. Please explain what makes 'a football man'. As fans we have opinions which outside the pub have no relevance whatsoever. We may think we know what it takes to make the club, and indeed the team, better, but we can be comfortable in the fact that our views and theories for improvement will never be tested. We may think that we 'know' about football but in the professional sense we know 'Jack S***'. Please give me a list of CEOs at other clubs who are 'football men'. We can then judge whether or not the role of CEO needs a background in the game or if maybe alternative skill sets are advantageous.
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itfchorry added 19:59 - Feb 6
New CEO latest odds -
bluey 123 5/4
Walberswick 2-1
Mutiny 80-1
Naa 500-1
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h32 added 20:21 - Feb 6
After saying all that Simon - none of us really understood your complete remit within the Club, but whatever the entirety of what 'you did' whilst here - most of us would thank you for that.

I personally think you were / are a truly decent person who had some care for our Club - and will continue to do so - but taking the stick that you did ( very possibly) unfairly by many, would have been enough for anyone to make the decision you did.

Personally wish you well - and Thanks.
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h32 added 20:23 - Feb 6
...... totally convinced you did your very best.
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blue_moon09 added 20:27 - Feb 6
brilliant reading all these comments from so called experts who don't even attend home games, your pathetic. his left the club now move on arm chair fans...
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WashbrookBlue added 20:30 - Feb 6
I am absolutely flabbergasted by the positive ratings for any positive Clegg comments which one can only put down to some sentimental tosh about misplaced sympathy for people that get sacked. Some FACTS.....

* We are one of the most if not most expensive teams to watch.
* The entertainment on the pitch has been the worst in living memory during his reign.
* Our league position has been the worst in living memory during his reign in which he has money to spend that his predecessor would have died for.
* Our average gate has plummeted by about 25% during his reign whilst that of our neighbours consistently stayed at 25000 even after they were relegated.
* He has consistently failed to deliver the players the manager has asked for.
* He gave away the most valuable jewell (excuse pun!) in our crown for nothing and has presided over several million pound signings that have had no resale value.
* He has been paid a massive salary and given absolute authority by the owner to make all on and off pitch decisions..
* he has consistently refused to accept ANY responsibility for any of this , choosing instead to arrognatly blame supporters who don't undertsand his job and just have 20 20 hinsight.
* And most of all...HE IS ACCOUNTABLE and therefore should have been sacked ages ago like the two failed managers he helped appoint.

Even now, this arrogant relegation denier has the gall to come on here and talk of things that are "AMONGST" his greatest achievements. Direct debits????? Going to branch meetings???

And still you lot come on here and say "fair play to the guy"??? This is failure on a massive scale and every supporter should be rightly angry and the absolute incompetence of him and every other person at Board and team management level that has dragged us down to this level in spite of the resources that others could only dream of. Unbelievable.
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newboy added 13:27 - Feb 7
I, I, I, me, me, me you are a useless waste of space and anyone who wants to promote their sport should not be offering you a job. You ruined the academy and it's good name both you and Sally should be grateful you have swindled the club out of the wage you have been getting for so long you certainly never earned it!!
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