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Definite Signs That Ashley Willing To Support Rafa’s Requirements

There’s an encouraging report in the Chronicle today that a significant overhaul of the Newcastle Youth Academy is already underway.

That was one of Rafa’s requirements if he is to stay at Newcastle and he had told owner Mike Ashley he could produce some top players if there was sufficient investment into the Youth Academy.

The emergence of 21-year-old local lad Sean Longstaff – who already looks a superb player – may have convinced the owner that what Rafa was telling him was valid.

The club now have announced they have several new positions they need to fill for the upcoming season as part of the new investment in the Academy.

One position is for a specialist loan manager so the youngsters are sent out on loan to clubs where they can benefit from first-team action.

The Elias Sorensen’s loan deal to Blackpool this last few months has been an utter farce and disaster – with the 19-year-old not making the previous six squads at the seaside club.

Why on earth was he sent there – is a good question that needs to be answered with Sorensen one of our top young talents who has played only 32 minutes for Blackpool this year.

The current U23 manager Ben Dawson will now move into a technical position overseeing other coaches and Newcastle will bring in a new U23 manager for next season.

This is what a portion of a club statement that has been issued as reported in the Chronicle:

“The Club is looking to recruit a Player Development Coach (U23 Lead – Professional Phase) to work within Newcastle United Football Academy.”

“(They will) Work in conjunction with the Head of Coaching and U23 performance staff to plan, deliver and review the Player Development Programme in order to produce players capable of making the transition to first team football, primarily at Newcastle United Football Club.”

“The Loan Player Coordinator will work in conjunction with coaching, recruitment, safeguarding and education staff at the Academy to ensure that the Club’s loan strategy is efficiently and effectively implemented.”

“And provide weekly feedback to the Loan Management Team, including players’ progress reports to ensure transparency and effective management of all processes.”

This could be excellent news because Mike Ashley seems to be moving to invest money in the Youth Academy and that is one of Rafa’s requirements to stay at the club.

There was also news a few days ago that Ashley is willing to bring another top player in this summer.

That’s after he finally brought in Miguel Almiron in late January – with the 24-year-old already looking a cracking player for Newcastle.

Comments welcome.

8 comments so far

  • Tsunki

    Mar 13, 2019 at 2:47 PM

    Comment #1

    Massive post but bear with it – it’ll make your blood boil in genuine Tsunki-ist style 😀

    Can we just say the frog had it nailed now? The latest stories about Ashley staying put and reverting to previous tack may be just guesswork but equally validly could have been seeped out from Mikes PR crew to let the unthinkable sink in slowly and carefully until full grudging acceptance is achieved. Again.

    Ashley makes money out of this club. His shares in Sports Direct and subsidiaries benefit from the sporting connection, publicity and merchandising. He had spent 12 years insisting on his sporting business model being applied to football club ownership, he is trying to pioneer the sporting institution linked with merchandising model using this club. Player trading us the housekeeping, the engine maintenance if you like, same with ticket sales, corporate and catering. But the proper product is TV money and brand promotion. And it’s all Mike’s. Nothing virtual like his billions in assets that are “wallpapering” his businesses. This is his personal stash being shoved under the mattress. There’s no need to let it go if you’re not worried about being reviled or shamed. Look at the Oystons – minnows by comparison but their attitude had them dug in hard and fast. Imagine how difficult it will be to get rid of Ashley with even a shred of that obstinance.

    He’s not going, never was. The only way to get this fireproof leech off is to cut off the supply of blood, sorry to all the dedicated fans but as someone said recently the least you can do is stop buying food beer and merchandise if you “support the team and not the regime” let’s be honest, the romantic notion that the club and Geordies are inextricably intertwined is no longer relevant. We are just customers and we are dispensable as far as the owners are concerned – if, hypothetically, Ashley decides that he can make the same profits by disbanding the club or maybe use the ground for different purposes, where will we be linked? Consett used to be a community synonymous with steel. Many north east communities were so linked with coal. Did all those Wimbledon fans remain inextricably linked with their club? Nope they attended the matches of their closest alternatives and pledged allegiance to them. If you want to see Ashley go you might have to do what Blackpool fans successfully did (although it was slowed down by those who had that mindset of support the team etc) and not attend games or buy anything from a business linked with the owner. That is the only weapon we have against a money eating machine.

    I know it’s going to be controversial and I am donning my tin hat and stab vest now ? but in the end this “it’s in the blood” stuff would ring truer if those who couldn’t bear to stay away actually did, and demonstrated they cared enough to make that sacrifice for the long term good instead of meekly handing over their cash and customer loyalty because basically they find it easier and less inconvenient which is the real reason isn’t it? ?

    If it’s more of the same next season I personally will not go to another match, buy any merchandise, buy anything from any of Ashley’s businesses or brands (and there are lots) and I will not subscribe to any sports channels, nowtv, Amazon event, match of the day or dodgy stream so that he gets not a penny more from me. That way I can safely say his staying will not be because of me not trying. And I’ll whine and moan about it all the time ?

    Thankfully for all blog stalwarts I won’t have any opinions on match stats or players because all I’ll know about are scorelines and match reports. Whahay! Always a silver lining folks!

  • Jib

    Mar 13, 2019 at 2:49 PM

    Comment #2

    S O R E N S E N called up for Denmark U20’s
    vs Romania in Andalucia (lucky bugger)

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Mar 13, 2019 at 2:51 PM

    Comment #3

    Could see Dawson getting chucked into the coaches role if Rafa leaves……

    Already in the club , highly rated and is working with the youngsters win win for Ashley!

  • Jib

    Mar 13, 2019 at 2:51 PM

    Comment #4

    Elias is also rumoured to be in Blackpool’s
    squad for Saturday !!!!

  • ronaldo aarons

    Mar 13, 2019 at 3:05 PM

    Comment #5

    Newcastle United FC
    Newcastle United youngsters Elias Sørensen, Jamie Sterry and Cal Roberts have returned to St. James’ Park from their respective loan spells with

  • RobLeenio

    Mar 13, 2019 at 3:06 PM

    Comment #6

    Tsunki “Can we just say the frog had it nailed now?”

    To my mind, not many (if any) ever said explicitly that he was wrong, in fact I always said he could be right just the same as I’ve always said rumours of a sale should be treated with scepticism. The issue I had with the frog was his boring repetition, his classing of posters who didn’t take up his mantra as ‘shills’ (including me, EGB, NY Mag, OLG, Jib, Magscar, Jane, Jesper, catchy and many others) and his sheer depressing volubility.

    Yes, there is a chance he was right all along, but there is still a chance that he’s wrong – it’s only been around 4-5 months since Ashley said there was a sale on the cards, that’s not actually a very long time, though it feels like forever.

    At the end of the day, none of us know what’s going on in the club, it’s toon22’s arrogance in insisting that he’s right and anyone who disagrees in the detail is not only wrong but an instrument working for the incumbent ownership that rankles.

  • Genjikai

    Mar 13, 2019 at 3:10 PM

    Comment #7

    Tsunki maybe toon22s shills had it nailed on as in toon22 is the real shill.
    Not so subtly ashley posting on here saying im never ganna sell.
    Trust is i know, im ashley im never going to sell.
    Bargin basement pr.
    Its never ashley fault.
    Good post though, agree with it. Something needs to be done. Like if the ashleys toon dont change. Then maybe our toon fanbase should.

  • wynsleap

    Mar 13, 2019 at 5:25 PM

    Comment #8

    “Mike Ashley seems to be moving to invest money into the Academy”.
    On what basis do you make that statement Ed? A couple of staff appointments (and let’s face it they could be the assistant reserve manager from Accrington Stanley at 10 bob a week for all we know) isn’t going to cut the mustard for Rafa. Have we not seen enough of The Rotund Controller to know that ‘big white man speaks with forked tongue’?


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