The plight of the Newcastle United Academy looks ever worse.
In a poor state season after season, just over 14 months ago Mike Ashley gave hope of better to come.
In his infamous Sky Sports ‘interview’ (see below) he 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.’
A shame that it had taken over a decade of owning the club to realise this was what needed to happen but better late than never…
Sadly, like pretty much everything the NUFC owner promises, this turned out to be simply more lies.
After a whole decade of refusing to allow proper investment in the Academy and the training facilities, rather than this August 2017 promise heralding a golden new era of investment in the Newcastle United Academy, instead only 13 months later Mike Ashley himself totally dashed those hopes he’d raised.
Rafa Benitez asked 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 in September 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 the Newcastle United 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 beaten 3-0 at home by a very average Stoke side, the NUFC side not having a single shot on target.
Their last five league results now show:
Newcastle 0 Stoke 3
Everton 7 Newcastle 1
Man Utd 3 Newcastle 0
Newcastle 0 Derby 8
Liverpool 4 Newcastle 1
A whopping 25 goals conceded in only these last five matches.
This is how the current league table looks after Saturday’s result:
The Newcastle United Academy side have conceded a shocking 34 goals in nine games and only scored 4 goals, below League One Sunderland and only Championship West Brom keeping NUFC off the very bottom.
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.
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.’