Newcastle United: A blueprint for the future
The other night I couldn’t sleep and my mind turned to matters Newcastle United; not to the current dreadful state that the club is in, but more speculation about what could have, perhaps should have, been done to improve the club and its standing within the local community.
Yes, I know it is pie in the sky with the current regime but surely with a new owner who is willing to invest and to see the untapped potential of the club…?
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The Board and Business Matters
- The creation of an effective and accountable board, including the appointment of an experienced and committed Chief Executive with a knowledge of the game. The board would also include a fans’ representative.
- A more ethical approach towards sponsorship.
- The appointment of an experienced business manager who would undertake a root and branch review of current practices at the club with a view to securing and improving revenue streams through advertising etc.
- The appointment of a competent press relations team and a Fans’ Liaison Officer who would work with a newly created fans forum on a regular basis.
First Team Matters
- The appointment of an experienced (but hopefully young) manager with a reputation for developing and successfully introducing young players into a first team setting and for playing attractive yet effective football.
- The Manager would be solely responsible for first team matters. His initial mandate would be to bring in effective players to stabilise the club’s Premier League position and to develop the first team into a squad capable of challenging for the top 6 over the first 2-3 years. The current shortsighted policy of having an age limit on first team signings would be abandoned immediately.
- The Manager would appoint his own coaching staff (and recommend elite scouting appointments) and would liaise extensively with the newly appointed Development Squad Manager.
Youth Development (2)
- The club would look into the possibility of establishing its own Academy School (the Sir Bobby Robson Memorial Academy School sounds good I think), which would be responsible for the education of youth players and (possibly) wider members of the local community.
- Part of the role of the academy school would be to provide a sound education and a good sense of the history of the local area. The academy would also, for the later years, provide a good base in sports sciences for those who were interested.
- The end aim of the academy would be to produce well educated and fully rounded young people who would be able to go on to successful careers (whether in football or not).
- The club would also develop, alongside the academy school, substantial links with local universities with the aim of developing bursaries and apprentices which would aid graduates of the academy school. The club would also work with the universities to develop research on relevant aspects of sports science and business management.
- The club would actively develop links with local football clubs, youth clubs and schools to allow it to tap into future prospects but also to enable the partner clubs and schools to develop and benefit from, for example, club led coaching sessions.
- Part of the above would be the creation of a regional youth football tournament with the final to be played at St. James’ and with scholarships at the Football Academy for the top rated player (voted on by scout reports, the Head of Youth Development and the managers of participants). The winning team would receive a substantial cash prize and trophy, whilst other successful teams (possibly quarter-finalists upwards?) would receive smaller prizes. Group winners would receive coaching sessions from the club.
Well, that is only what my sleep befuddled brain came up with in the hour or so before I dozed off. Fantasy and fanciful I know but, considering the reality of our club, what else is there at the moment?
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