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Clegg: No Decision Made on Academy Category
Clegg: No Decision Made on Academy Category
Thursday, 8th Dec 2011 09:02

Town chief executive Simon Clegg says the Blues are still to make a decision on whether to opt for Academy Category One or Two status when the changes to the system come into force next season.

He says that while the club knows the figures involved - an annual cost of £1.5 million plus a £750,000 grant from the Premier League for Category One or £480,000 plus a grant of another £480,000 for Category Two – the full details of what will be involved are not yet clear.

Clegg, manager Paul Jewell and owner Marcus Evans will weigh up the pros and cons: “It’s a decision the three of us will come to," he said.

“At the moment they’ve not given us the full detail of what’s involved. They’ve given us the figures, which [for Category One] are a significant increase on what we’re spending at the moment.

“You have to say, what are the benefits of Category One? And one of the benefits is that you can effectively poach on a nationwide basis, but you need to think realistically how many parents from just outside Newcastle are going to let someone under the age of 15 relocate down to Ipswich?

“Most people who have got young teenagers in an ideal world would want them to grow up at home and be able to continue their footballing skills within the normal family arrangement.”

Norwich City have said they will be opting for Category One - Town Academy manager Sammy Morgan's preference from a footballing perspective - but Clegg says that doesn’t necessarily mean the Blues will follow their lead, despite fears that Town's youth set-up might be viewed as a second class system: “We won’t be forced into it. What we will do is do the right thing for this football club.

“We will continue to invest and prioritise the Academy accordingly and we will continue to select players when it’s right and when they are ready to move into the first team.

“But let’s not lose sight of the additional money that’s going to cost and you have to weigh up the financial benefits in the context of financial fair play.

“It may well be that youth development sits outside that, that’s still to be decided and that’s something which has been mooted, but it’s still an important consideration in terms of the overall financing of a football team. ”

He says he’s well aware of the cash brought in by selling Town’s young talent over the years: “I’ve done a huge analysis in terms of how much money has been generated by the Academy over the years.

“You only need to throw a Connor Wickham, a Titus Bramble or a Kieron Dyer every few years. It’s quite interesting to look at those figures.”

As for the financial fair play developments which Championship clubs signed up to earlier in the year, he says the details of how clubs move to a break-even model are amongst the many unknowns at present: “Nothing’s been set yet, that’s the challenge. “

“There’s going to be a level of deviation that you’re allowed over a period of time. The period of time and the level of deviation is still being determined. There’s still a lot of detail to go on this. I’m told we will get a formal presentation in February.”

Clegg and Town back the proposals with the Blues’ and other sides’ debts growing year on year as clubs compete to sign the best players at this level: “The club supports it as a matter of principle. I come at this like the 23 other clubs in the Championship and that is that we’ll agree with it as long as we can retain some competitive advantage.

“I’m not going to agree to something which is going to be financially disadvantageous to us over and above the other teams. But, of course, every other club is looking at it in exactly the same way.”

The Blues chief admits to being not overly happy with the way the changes to the youth system came about: “I have to say I was hugely frustrated with the academy thing. We were held to ransom by the Premier League.

“Eighteen months ago we agreed to a new solidarity payment and part of the agreement to that was the complete review and restructuring of the academy set-up, and now we find ourselves in this position.

“Would we have voted for the solidarity agreement 18 months ago if we knew what we knew now? I don’t know. The answer to that probably is yes because, let’s not kid ourselves, the Football League is totally dependent on the financial support of the Premier League to continue.”

Meanwhile, a recent graduate of the Academy, midfielder Reggie Lambe, who was released by the club last summer, has had his move to MLS side Toronto FC confirmed.

The 20-year-old will be working under Blues legend Paul Mariner, who is the Canadian club's director of player development.

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shaunminx added 09:23 - Dec 8
Mr Clegg
You and yours don't give a stuff about the academy at the minute so why bother feeding us this bull.
Ever since your mate Marcus appointed you this club has been in demise and if it carries on then we'll be lucky to have a first team in the football league let alone worry about the youth set up.

JimmyJazz added 09:24 - Dec 8

saffronblue added 09:24 - Dec 8
Surely the issue is not if we can tempt 15 year olds down from Newcastle but can we stop talented local youth heading to Norwich over Ipswich

Alternatively we could let others develop the youth and then spend millions buying them only for them to flop - Martin, JET etc.. in the hope we can pick up the odd Cresswell.

BROTHERBLUE1974 added 09:35 - Dec 8
Basically, none of you 3 are interested in the youth of today. Cause if you were you'd be doing you up most to bring to the club and also play some of the older ones. Instead of sending them out on loan and trying to build a team of pre Madonnas.

safeashouses added 09:39 - Dec 8
Its doomed if PJ is involved in the decision. This guys decision making on things he is supposed to know about has been shocking so why let him decide the future of something he blantantly doesnt give a dam about or knows about. Surely Sammy Morgan should be involved and listened to as he is the Academy Manager with bags of experience. But perhaps Mr Evans doesnt want the academy either !!!

RegencyBlue added 09:39 - Dec 8
Reading between the lines I would say this is preparing us for the worst.

Well if the Acadamy is allowed to become a second class establishment Clegg Evans and co can whistle for my season ticket money next season.

This is a 'this far and no further moment' for me in the relentless decline of our club. What sort of message will it send out if we do not go for catagory one status other than we just cant be bothered.

spanish_archer added 09:40 - Dec 8
“You have to say, what are the benefits of Category One? And one of the benefits is that you can effectively poach on a nationwide basis, but you need to think realistically how many parents from just outside Newcastle are going to let someone under the age of 15 relocate down to Ipswich?

Glad John Wark's parents had more vision when Warky was 15 than this guy...

cornishnick added 09:51 - Dec 8
Quite worrying. Not convinced the 3 muskateers really know what they're doing when it comes to football

shaunminx added 10:13 - Dec 8
Musketeers??? Muskerhounds have more clue than these three unwise monkeys!

newboy added 10:14 - Dec 8
The end of the academy then no surprise the fat scouser would be more interested in a retirement home and given cleggs olympic connexions I would have expected better than him. And let's not include Sammy Morgan in the decision after he only has MORE KNOWLEDGE AN EXPERIENCE than the lot of you put together I won't be renewing my season ticket next year under jewell i would rather watch local football played by people who give a damm - and i may not use it again this season sick of the manager the players and the poor management of the club

suffolklad added 10:24 - Dec 8
More whitewash from Clegg I see

itfc1981 added 10:26 - Dec 8
Utter rubbish Clegg, it is as clear as a sunny day you have made your mind that its cat 2 for us. you are getting in all your excuses in now so (you hope) the fans will goo quitely along with your cheap option.

You cant let talent be stolen under our noses by Norwich, Bobby Robson would turn in his grave.

PS. of course the academy wont produce much money if you sell the players to early, like you did with Jordan Rhodes. I hope you took stupidity at Board Room level into account when you did your 'huge analysis'.

If Marcus Evans has any gumption he will opt for option 1. 1.5 milion a season is nothing considering he lets mangers blow that every season on rubbish like JET and Martin.

For once Clegg prove me wrong, but I dont hold my breath that you will.

Greybritain added 10:30 - Dec 8
I would rather you spent money on youth than pis*ing it away on OAPs wages.

ozzydog added 10:30 - Dec 8
“Most people who have got young teenagers in an ideal world would want them to grow up at home and be able to continue their footballing skills within the normal family arrangement.”

YOU Mr Clegg are a complete waste of space,get out of Ipswich and ITFC you are not welcome.

How long a list do you want of young lads that have come from all over the UK to Ipswich and gone on to be successful professionally footballers.

I actually find it hard to express how angry your words, lack of judgement and football knowledge makes me and the damage it is doing to Ipswich Town Football Club

tractorgirls added 10:39 - Dec 8
Clegg, you utter knob... John Wark, Kevin Beattie, George Burley... enough said.

Guthrum added 10:44 - Dec 8
Blimey! They haven't yet sorted out the details of this "financial fair play" agreement which is being imposed and enforced in the near future? No wonder clubs are dithering about considerable extra expense like this when they don't know where the ground will lie going forward; whether it will be exempt from the new rules or not (it should be IMO, youth development is too important).

The football authorities are a shambles!

itfc1981 added 10:54 - Dec 8
Look Clegg if you go CAT 1 we also get into the PL reserves league, so that will help the first team.


CAT 1 protest is needed now!

SouperJim added 10:59 - Dec 8
So if we don't go category one, Norwich will be able to poach our young talent at will.

I suggest the club think long and hard about how the fanbase would react to that before making a disasterous decision.

Skippy93 added 11:01 - Dec 8
“You only need to throw a Connor Wickham, a Titus Bramble or a Kieron Dyer every few years. It’s quite interesting to look at those figures.”

Is that all you think about, Mr. Clegg? The £ signs? Does the footballing future of this club ever come into question any more?..... thought not.

jonwillpott added 11:30 - Dec 8
There should not be ANY decision to make Mr Clegg - just like our rivals up the road. OK I accept it is a considerable outlay for our owner BUT I believe it would be repaid threefold from what a young 'Ipswich' team would offer in the future i.e. Premiership Football (hopefully), more 'bums on seats' as local people would support a local home grown side and sell-on fees where we are forced to sell players on.

Marcus should know as a succesful businessman,that you have to speculate to accumulate!!!


petersongoal added 11:36 - Dec 8
as soon as Mr Evans has had all the Olympic tickets and promotion of your back Mr Clegg, you'll be on your way! Hopefully it'll get us a few extra transfer pennies!

LFCITFC added 11:40 - Dec 8
The Catergory A Academy statue is shocking and will bankrupt many smaller clubs who rely on bringing through there youngsters and selling them on.
These clubs can not afford to spend the extra on becoming CAT A.
Its a Lose Lose situation for many clubs.
Before people start moaning that it will be better for England, it wont.
Teams can still "compensate" families for moving from one country to another to place them in their academy as long as they live within 90 minutes. This happens everywhere in the world.
The obvious example is Lionel Messi, how much money has the club who spotted Messi lost in transfer fees!!
The same is happening here with premier league teams. they are now full of foreign kids, so this is not going to improve english football.

Oh, one more thing, Clegg is a Clown. The FA are just as bad

Jewell_do added 11:44 - Dec 8
Get this clown out of our club now. I suggest he asks the likes of Burley, Beattie, Wark etc if moving to Ipswich at 15 helped their families. This man hasn't got a clue about the football world and is slowly killing this club in the process.

bluearmy89 added 11:51 - Dec 8
Dear Mr Clegg how? How the hell are you making any sort of decisions? How on earth are you in a job where you know nothing of this football club and what the fans want and strive for? How hard is it to make this decision, CAT 1!!!!?? Mr Clegg look at the dwindling numbers at Portman Road, where we are in the league and yourself!

Clucking bell clucking banker!

walberswick added 11:54 - Dec 8
If Ipswich can't see the benefits of a top class Category One Academy then you can count me out.

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