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Newcastle United Academy Shambles Continues With Club Not Releasing Results Of Latest Inspection

8 years ago

Earlier today we reported that Reading had become the latest club to achieve Category One (Top) status for its Academy.

I wrote in [intlink id=”31411″ type=”post”]my article this morning[/intlink] that as well as Reading, the list of clubs with Category One Academies now numbers twenty and includes Bolton, Wolves, Blackburn, Leicester, Sunderland and Middlesbrough.

The plot thickens though because In May 2013 via an Academy Newsletter, the Academy Manager, Joe Joyce, said this;

“It is almost 12 months since auditors Doublepass, visited the Academy to assess our ‘Elite Player Development Programme’. They’ll be returning later this month to review the work that has been carried out as a result of the Post Audit Action Plan.

Following the visit they will make a final recommendation to the Professional Game Board who, in turn, will award the Academy a category.

It has always been the intention of Newcastle United Football Academy to achieve Category One status. Hopefully, with the increased staffing levels and implementation of new initiatives, this target will be realised.

The decision will be communicated by the PGB in June.”

Just to quickly explain again, there are massive benefits in terms of the ability to attract young talent (from near to home and further afield) if you have Category One status, the flipside of course is that without it then you are second best/left behind.

Reading what Joe Joyce had to say then it appears that;

Newcastle failed to get Category One status a year ago, when Sunderland & Boro did.
Then a bit like a school failing their Ofsted visit, it appears they were then told what they had to put right (‘Post Audit Action Plan’).
The things Newcastle failed on appear to be not enough staff (‘increased staffing levels’) and a number of other unnamed issues to be solved by ‘new initiatives’.
NUFC were given a year to put these things right and the Auditors came back in May to see what the state of play was now.
The club would then find out from the Professional Game Board whether their ‘Post Audit Action Plan’ had been successful in June (last month).

When it takes the club a period of time to admit there is now a Director of Football, despite him going on Sky Sports and telling the world days earlier, then is there a chance Newcastle have got the essential upgrade but they simply haven’t chosen to tell us?

Well unfortunately, common sense tells me that as laid out by Joe Joyce, they were due to find out in June and no doubt have, but the news isn’t what they wanted to hear and so they aren’t going to share it with us. A bit like this previous 12 months ever since they failed to get top status.

It just depresses me that the club can’t even get this relatively straightforward initiative ‘over the line’ and sends out a terrible message to potential young recruits.

The club knew they were going to be examined, both 12 months ago and in May just gone, so isn’t it a case of somebody responsible going around beforehand and making sure every criteria is met?

That is of course if the Academy have had the right level of resources to make passing the Auditors’ visit possible, such as enough staff and so on…

When I hear other fans say stuff along the lines of ‘why are you complaining, get behind the club, there’s still weeks/hours/minutes left and so on’, I say to them – how can you have blind faith that the invisible magic pixies/elves at St.James’ Park are going to make everything alright, when they can’t get basic stuff like the Academy right?


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