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Archive for category: Elite Player Performance Plan.

How would YOU spend Mike Ashley’s £100 million windfall on Newcastle United?

February 26th, 2013 | 74 Comments |

Mike Ashley.
Ashley: £100 million windfall.
It may not have escaped the attention of you fans out there that Mike Ashley has recently had a windfall of around £100 million after selling aprroximately 7% of his holding in tacky sportwear retailer, Sports Direct.

Reading about it in the Guardian’s “Market Forces ‘blog” this morning as I enjoyed my Eggs Benedict. I noticed this part of the article:

“Supporters of Newcastle United, which Ashley owns, must be hoping some of the money is destined for new players in the summer.”

Which made me curious. If YOU were Mike Ashley, and you wanted to invest the whole of that £100 million in Newcastle United, how would you spend it?

After all, Ashley and his Tat Direct have already had tens of millions of pounds worth of free advertising out of the club, so it would only be fair! Of course, as Ashley is as tight as a gnat’s chuff, it probably won’t happen. But nonetheless, I thought it would be an interesting excercise in seeing how you might want to improve the club. (more…)


Where has all that membership money gone, Derek?

August 2nd, 2012 | 52 Comments |

Newcastle United Academy.
What went wrong?
“We do not want to put prices up. People might say we have put membership up on the season tickets. But that is going straight into the Academy. It was discounted for the first year but that is going into the Academy because we need to find the money from somewhere.”

Said Derek Llambias defending the introduction of compulsory membership to buy season and away tickets, and also it’s subsequent increase from £15 to £25 after only a year.

There was also much bragging about the huge sums being invested in the Academy, with Newcastle seeking to emulate the Barcelona “la Masia” model started by Johan Cruyff, which has acheived so much success for the Catalan club. As we predicted back in June, and now know for sure, when it came to attaining “Elite Player Performance Plan” Category One status, it turned out that they didn’t even manage to emulate the Wolves, Stoke City and Blunderland models, with even Championship neighbours, Middlesbrough looking likely to achieve what Newcastle United couldn’t. The other clubs who have now been informed they have been successful are Fulham, Southampton and West Ham, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United, with Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham, Everton, Aston Villa, Reading, Bolton Wanderers, Norwich, West Brom and Watford still waiting to be audited by the organisation carrying out the inspections, “Foot Pass England.” Troubled Blackburn Rovers and Crystal Palace are the other clubs who have been told they have failed in their repective attempts to obtiain the highest designation.

So what went wrong? (more…)


Sunderland and Middlesbrough to get EPPP “Category One” status, but not Newcastle?

June 28th, 2012 | 32 Comments |

Newcastle United Academy.
Not good enough to join the elite?
When I first saw this story in the Northern Echo last Saturday, I didn’t discount it entirely, but I had the usual doubts I have about virtually every Newcastle United story at the moment. But then it resurfaced again in this story yesterday, and I’m not quite so doubtful anymore.

The “story” is that whilst our much loved cousins at Sunderland Association Football Club, and also from Championship Middlesbrough, seem to be nailed on to acheive the highest “Category One” status in the Premier League’s new “Elite Player Performance Plan” (EPPP) for football academies, Newcastle United have allegedly been told they haven’t have made the grade after an audit of the club in March, and will probably only be awarded “Category Two” status. The independent auditors who carried out the inspections, “Foot Pass England” judged clubs on ten factors, these factors being:

1. Vision and strategy (more…)