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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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Lennyboy added 11:40 - Feb 6
I really dislike watching that waste of time ...ZORB's an embarrassment.

SouperJim added 11:48 - Feb 6
naa nobody here appears to be suggesting that Clegg should take any direct blame for our footballing performance over the last 4 years. What I'm saying is we've been pretty dire off the pitch too and for that the CEO quite rightly has to take the blame.

It doesn't matter how you dress it up, Clegg was shocking. He demonstrated time after time that he had little insight or understanding of the fan base and for the lions share of his tenure was a walking PR disaster. Some of his more publicised gaffs were truly shocking. He's said so himself that his job was to be the public face of the club. Well from where I'm sitting, he's pretty bloomin ugly.

naa added 12:01 - Feb 6
SouperJim: OK, I'm not here to defend Clegg, but I'd be interested to know what all these shocking things you talk about were. Can you give a few examples just so I get an idea where you're coming from?

petermorris added 12:08 - Feb 6
Lennyboy - don't watch the embarrassing ZORB BALL at half time.
Instead, join me and thousands of other, below the stands, in queues!

kerryblue added 12:27 - Feb 6
Clegg ses well able to praise himself but in all honesty he has achieved nothing here and wasnt up to the job,look at all the players that walked out of Portman Rd because they couldnt deal with him,total numpty and no loss,some people on here have terrible short memories

ipswich61 added 13:05 - Feb 6
I’ll leave a really good team in place. would have been an even better team if you had,nt been here in the 1st place

Dozzells_Bobblehat added 13:32 - Feb 6
kerryblue - really ? could you name this list of players that couldnt deal with SC??

Dozzells_Bobblehat added 13:35 - Feb 6
I think a lot of people live in a different world. Lots of talk about us needing a "football person" as CEO.
How many "football person"s have the skill set to be a CEO ??
I would suggest few and far between.

naa added 14:09 - Feb 6
Oh, here come the idiots (is it school lunchtime?).

Clegg's job, as a CEO is not really about the players. Sure, he negotiated the contracts, but that's because he's been told by ME what the budget is. But he didn't let players go, he didn't select them and he wasn't in much of a position to negotiate.

All those on here claiming he had anything to do with players leaving or some not signing can kindly go away until they understand what his role actually was (which is why he explains all the things he's been involved with in his time here)

RegencyBlue added 14:17 - Feb 6
Lets get back to basics.

His appointment was nothing to do with what would be good for ITFC but an attempt by Marcus Evans to use Cleggs contacts in the run up to the London Olympics IMHO. Appointing him as CEO of ITFC gave him a place in Evans organisation, which suited Evans at the time.

Ultimately nothing wrong with that, other than the fact that ITFC have paid a heavy price and could have had a far more suitable candidate in place for the last four years!

alfromcol added 14:30 - Feb 6
All on here blaming Clegg for the loss of players should reflect on the latest saga with DJ Campbell. DJ did a good job here, fitted well into the team, the loan made him a local hero etc etc. Brought him from obscurity into the public eye.

However, that counts for nothing to players and agents. He was probably, and no one knows, offered a reasonable deal to stay, where he could continue in the glow of the spotlight and hero worship. He, like many of his colleagues in football, is however hawking himself round to the highest bidder even if his public statements says he loved it here. Even the best CEO in the world has no chance of signing the players ITFC want in this environment unless we have an unlimited budget and no wage structure to adhere to.

I'm with naa on this

kerryblue added 14:43 - Feb 6
Dozzells bobblehat,do you forget so easily ,boyd,Austin,mcphail,mc cormack and plenty more use your noggin or are you clegg in disguise

Dozzells_Bobblehat added 14:50 - Feb 6
kerryblue - so u were in the room or have actual knowledge that those players didnt sign for us because of SC ??? I dont think so.
If you read these pieces you will see he states that the managers name the players, and ME decides how much we pay. You have no idea why Austin etc didnt sign. If you were a footballer would you think, right i like the club, i like the manager. i like the deal but hang on the CEO is a ****, so im not signing. Of course you wouldnt.
You my friend and many others just want someone to blame and the easy option is SC. Who will you blame from now on for any deals that fall through.......oh i know Lee Martin.

bluey123 added 14:55 - Feb 6
Cant believe all the people saying how wonderful Clegg has been I bet most of you called for his head before McCarthy came and seems to have turned the club round I hope!!!
This man is partly responsible for bringing in the worst managers in our history and some of the worst players ever to wear an ITFC shirt.
He has done nothing for this club but make us a laughing stock remember he has admitted he was responsible for Jordan Rhodes leaving and blames Evans for not signing the players that were in his office the mans a JOKE goodbye and good riddance.
The one thing he did do was painted the turnstiles well done Mr Clegg.

itfc1981 added 15:03 - Feb 6
Dozzells_Bobblehat no he was not in the room but Derry was and as the Dark Lord said 'he should have never been let out off the building without signing'.

You live in a dream world if you cant see the failures,

Clegg 'Players holding the club to ransome' remark showed he was clearly out of touch with the squad and management seeing as Jewell had publicy defend the players.

Dozzells_Bobblehat added 15:11 - Feb 6
bluey123 - none of us are saying SC was wonderful, try reading my earlier posts, and i certainly didnt call for his head because i dont know what the details of his role were and i have said that before (as have others), and i would suggest, neither do you.

itfc1981 - right, so now we are taking Roy Keane as the gospel..........hmmm

There could be a hundred reasons why those players didnt sign and we dont know so we cant assign blame, at least the reasonable of us dont.
I was as disappointed as anyone that DJ hasnt returned but it sounds like he too has been up to some slightly underhand tricks (if true), and to be honest if any of those players wanted more money than we can afford to pay within our wage structure then im glad we didnt sign them.

alfromcol added 15:24 - Feb 6
Dozzells_Bobblehat spot on

naa added 15:40 - Feb 6
afromcol, Dozzells-Bobblehat: Glad to see that there are some fans here with some sense.

bluey123 added 16:22 - Feb 6
Dozzells-Bobblehat read what people have been quoted for there reason for not signing and what Keane said the man had no experience with footballers or what was required by this club .
He is partly responsible for this clubs free fall down the league and there fore does not deserve any respect.
As for naa I dont see how you can call yourself a fan seeing how this once great club as fallen

Tractastic added 16:30 - Feb 6
I'm not blaming Clegg for everything but he has to take some responsibility for our current position and the last 4 years.As you point out he did have a role in manager selection and players contracts which has been a disaster has it not? Two of the worst managers in the clubs history,letting Jordan Rhodes go for a pittance and allowing key players like McCauley to go without replacing them isn't great planning or vision.
And as for the tickets prices which he brings up.Well we happen to the most expensive in the Championship according to a recent BBC report!
Surprised he didn't bring up the painting of the turnstiles as an achievement although it must have been a close call and don't get me started on the ridiculous kit advert which made us a laughing stock.

Basically Clegg was just telling us what a good job he has done and personally i don't buy it. Just my opinion.

carloss added 17:06 - Feb 6

Wtf you having a dig at my comments for I dare say with Cleggs upbringing he has achieved a lot more than I have, I suggest you read the rest of the comments regarding Cleggs superb reign I think you'll find they are in agreeance with me.


Blue041273 added 17:12 - Feb 6

'Freefall down the League' - dropping a few places in the Championship does not constitute a 'free fall'. For real 'free fall' just look at Luton.


Our ticket prices have always been high. Price rises during the last 4 years have not been outside the norm.

Just a couple of observations where the truth gets in the way of the 'facts' as others see them.

kevtblue added 17:13 - Feb 6
I think the real answer is that his employer Marcus Evans despite whats been said has also decided he isnt doing a good enough job and thats why he has gone. If he was any good he would still be here!!!!

runningout added 17:20 - Feb 6
Sorry, but to read what he suggests as his achievements while at our once great club, proves to me what an embarrassment we have turned out to be.. could have had a monkey in that position and come up with said ideas.. I'm hanging my head in shame of the past so many years

Lombokblue added 17:38 - Feb 6
If he had been a success he wouldn't be going or he would be going to a better job. I think this was probably planned with the departure of PJ when we were rock bottom, once the new manager was in and the transfer window was closed then Clegg would be on his way

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