One thing Newcastle United fans have come to believe, is never to believe anything that Mike Ashley says.
In August 2017, the NUFC owner declared ‘I want to build Newcastle from the bottom up. If I had my dream, I want to start with the Academy. I want to be able to produce more players like Andy Carrolls.’
Ironically, that pledge/commitment came only days after by far Newcastle’s best Academy prospect, Lewis Gibson, decided to move to Everton because of the failings of the Newcastle United Academy under Mike Ashley.
Remember, Mike Ashley is talking about his dream of building this brilliant Academy fully 10 years after buying Newcastle United. Any normal person would wonder how somebody would have the nerve to come out with a statement such as that, after a whole decade of refusing to allow proper investment in the Academy and the training facilities.
In his PR statement (see below) back in August 2017, Mike Ashley quoted the example of how Southampton repeatedly produce players through their Academy, though he could have quoted any numbers of others, Everton being another prime example.
Ashley went on to say…’would be my dream that once every two years we put in an academy player, so it is sort of a mantra of the club.’
It is simply embarrassing how he can come out with garbage such as that and then simply refuse to act on any of it.
Rafa Benitez asking this summer that Mike Ashley delivers on his promise in 2013 to build a state of the art training complex, that the owner allows proper investment in the failing Academy, the NUFC owner refusing to do so on all counts.
The Newcastle United Fans Forum meeting a month ago saw the question put once again about the failing Academy and the failure to properly fund and support it (like everything else at Newcastle United), the club/Ashley response to the question was: ‘The club believes the debate around Academies is intensifying. There is a belief that it is becoming more and more difficult to bring through young talent…’
So basically, only 13 months after Mike Ashley’s ‘dream’ of a successful Academy at the heart of Newcastle United, he is refusing to fund any improvements because no guarantee of it producing players.
It is a self-fulfilling prophecy, failing to invest in the Academy means almost no chance of first team players being produced, which then means Mike Ashley can point to it as proof of why he shouldn’t allow money to be spent on it.
Saturday saw the latest embarrassment for NUFC’s Academy team, you really have to feel for them, especially when you have the club/owner saying the Academy is a waste of time and not worth investing in.
The Newcastle United Academy team hammered 7-1 by…Everton. Fancy that, a club that put s proper investment into their Academy and regularly produces first team players, hammers a club that believes their Academy is a waste of time…
This is how the current league table looks after yesterday’s result:
The NUFC Academy side have conceded a shocking 31 goals in eight games and only scored 4 goals, Newcastle United keeping company with the League One and Championship club Academy sides at the bottom, as Everton are unbeaten at the very top.
With Mike Ashley refusing to allow proper investment in the first team squad, in the training facilities, in the Academy, it surely guarantees the club heading in only one direction.
People are in cloud cuckoo land if they really think there is any chance of Rafa Benitez sticking around at this joke of a club under Ashley.
If he stays as owner, it is only a question of when the club sinks, not if it does.
Mike Ashley speaking to Sky Sports – August 2017:
“For me, I want to build Newcastle from the bottom up.
“If I had my dream, I want to start with the Academy. I want to be able to produce more players like Andy Carrolls.
“I look at Southampton and the players they have produced from their academy and I believe that could be done, not like Leicester.
“Making that a big priority of the football club and it needs to be separate from the main football club.
“Why don’t you put some money in the North East, a real hotbed of a football academy and this would be my dream that once every two years we put in an academy player, so it is sort of a mantra of the club.
“We give our academy players coming through the first opportunity. Put them in the cup games.”
Newcastle United Fans Forum minutes from meeting on 24 September 2018:
Asked about what was happening with Newcastle United’s Academy, particularly relevant in light of Mike Ashley’s pledge/priority 13 months earlier (see above) on Sky Sports.
Mike Ashley/Newcastle United replying:
‘The club believes the debate around Academies is intensifying.
‘There is a belief that it is becoming more and more difficult to bring through young talent, with managers generally reluctant to call on Academy players in the Premier League.
‘The club also believes the current rules make it easier for the big five or six teams in the country to secure the best players from all other Academy systems.’