Interesting news that Newcastle United have made a pact with both Sunderland and Middlesbrough.

The three north east clubs are said to have agreed a joint path forward when it comes to their academies.

The Times have revealed that the trio of clubs have made a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ to not raid each other’s academies for promising players.

There have been numerous instances of this going on elsewhere but the newspaper reports that with the north east geographical isolation, the clubs believe it makes sense to co-exist in a decent way.

The report says that the north east three will still compete when it comes to any player who isn’t already registered but nobody already at Newcastle, Sunderland or Middlesbrough who is under the age of 18, will be ‘induced’ to go to another one of the three.

As for Newcastle United’s current Academy team, it has been a desperate start to the season.

Saturday saw them play away at Middlesbrough and despite being the better side for long spells of the game and leading 1-0 and 2-1, they eventually lost 2-1.

That sees them without a win in their opening eight matches and only three points to show for their efforts.

This puts them 12th of 12 in the Under 18s league table (north).

The Times:

‘Newcastle, Middlesbrough and Sunderland are pioneering a unique approach to youth development with the clubs having reached a gentleman’s agreement not to poach youngsters from each other’s academies.

The north-east non-aggression pact is a marked contrast to the way many academies are run in other areas of the country, where complaints about tapping-up and the reporting of alleged breaches in regulations to the Premier League are commonplace.

The north-east accord stems from the clubs’ realisation that due to geography they have a limited number of players to pick from and are better served concentrating on developing those already on their books.

There is competition between them to sign non-registered players, but no players under 18 are induced to switch clubs.’