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  1. Nice idea and everything but Id personally feel like im wasting my money. Atleast when I pay for a matchday ticket im getting to see some occassionally good, but often mediocre football and im okay with that. I cant be so highly critical of the ownership and how they have run the club and then pay yet more money to bail them out of the mess that had absolutely nothing to do with me as a fan. Thats a step too far in how much of a 'supporter' I am, not everyone gets blind faith under the onus of being a proper fan in my book. In any case the EFL are going to appeal the fine.
  2. I appreciate that is what he has tried to do, but he has failed with that miserably. We used almost no acumen in the market and spent like crazy to try and compete. We have been leap frogged by most of the clubs in the league who dont have parachute payments despite spending more than them and they havent had to play with their accounting. Its sad to see because Mel does care... he and pearce are just not very good at running a football club unfortunately.
  3. But this has all been self induced.... just do the accounts properly, do it the same as everyone else, why give them the ammunition in the first place.
  4. When Mel bought the majority share of the club we we had finished third, had a manager proven at a higher level, a young hungry squad with some real talent. We finished last season and would have been relegated if everyone started on the same points, a talentless squad made up of over hyped academy players and far past it senior players. The club no longer owns its stadium and we have a manager with no experience and one of the worst records in recent history. To me that is terrible and we have the right to question that. I struggle to see where the EFL are to blame in that beyond a change in accounting policy.
  5. Most concerning for me is the mentality of the squad, there was so little fight and backbone to the performances, conceeding late goals, no bravery on the ball to try and make anything happen going forward. For all Lampards tactical flaws, he managed to create the best team spirit Ive seen at the club in ages. Rooney seems to have sapped any energy and fight from the players. I cant think of any player that really improved this season as a footballer.
  6. It is dying on a hill if i havent changed my opinion to yours? I have read and taken onboard everything you have said, but I just havent heard anything concrete enough to change my opinion. Very similar to yourself I imagine. I havent suggested at any point that we have stopped recruiting but we have wheeled it back significantly, its not either/or. No matter how good the recruitment, if half the playing squad are from the academy and are not up to scratch, the results wont be either. Buying expensive players is business as usual for us, not a change in recruitment strategy. Although Jozwiak and Bielik are younger, they were still bought when their stock was high. By not replacing senior pros e.g Bryson, Holmes, Huddlestone etc. we force the coaches hand to delve into the academy when injuries inevitably come, not replacing them was a decision and if Mels plan was as we have discussed, then it looks as though it was deliberate. True about giving the players the chance though, maybe thats where a loan out would be good as a trial run but that doesnt seem a big part of our player development either.
  7. Value for money on signings has definitely improved but it appears to me that there was no real strategy or ambition in these signings beyond picking up a bargain and plugging the gaps in a seriously weak team. It is an improvement but we are still a long way from recruiting players with a clear identity and strategy that fit the clubs style of play and have a longer term value. Only Jozwiak is likely to fetch a profit, which we desperately need right now. Not every signing has to be a uncovered gem but atleast giving it a go is worth a try, after Jozwiak the next youngest player from last summer who plays is Bryne and hes 29 now. We have improved but there is still quite a way to go for me. I am simply disputing the balance between recruitment and the academy that you are suggesting. Mel is suggesting a core of the squad being made up of home grown talent from the academy, something no team has managed to be successful at this level with such high proportions of players from their academy over a long period of time. We might be able to do it but its a big gamble and we would be the first to do it. Also how do we know for sure that the U23 centre backs arent ready but Ebosele and Mcdonald are after less than 250 minutes first team football combined? For me, thats too early to tell let alone hold off making a signing because of them, even players who have looked good for a few games havent gone on to make it at this level.
  8. I feel like this is cherry picking stats a bit. Brentford can afford to spend more off the pitch because they used their money very well on it. They also built a new stadium which I imagine contributed a big chuck of that spend.
  9. Because the academy model is Mels antidote to the issues with recruitment. If the problem is with recruitment and we are looking to the academy for a remedy, then we can call it into question, despite how well the academy is going? We still havent really sorted out our recruitment at all in the same 6 year period that the academy project has been running. I feel like it has been less 'thank god the academy has been there' and more 'recruitment hasnt worked, the academy is the way forward' I guess it depends on whether you see it this way or not. Had we got our recruitment right as Barnsley, Norwich, Brentford have in the last few seasons then we might not be falling foul of financial fair play now, of course getting recruitment right is easier said than done but if other clubs can do it why cant we? Academy player sales still havent produced enough funds to save us. I think this is where we differ, I am perhaps more sceptical of the academies ability to produce players consistently, but that is just my own view. I havent said at any point that having an academy is wrong, we need balance but i dont think that the way the club is being run is particularly balanced, but again you might disagree. I accept the view that it isnt either/or and that recruitment is part of it and this is my point. I havent seen any evidence (bar maybe Jozwiak) that we are trying to sharpen up our recruitment, instead we seem to be expecting that sibley, bird and co. can save us both financially and on the pitch. Does that mean the academy was a bad investment? No. Is this a bad plan by the execs and the owner? I would argue yes. You might also disgree that this was the plan but I am taking Mel for his word.
  10. Good example, but I think only really Williams looks of the quality to play even for us, but fair one on the Nevilles and brown. Simpson and bardsley were never united quality though. I accept we dont need that level of player though. Spending on the academy doesnt always produce results, the same with signings too admittedly, but we are hoping that the talent pool is there rather than fishing from an already existing pool as a previous poster put it. Yes I thought he did very well last season. Young players are inconsistent, thats how it goes and he may well come back strong next season, but if he doesnt or has a downturn in form and we dont have an other option then we may be in trouble again. This still seems ambitious to acheive consistently but thats just my opinion. I think we have started to show a little more nuance in the transfer market, e.g Jozwiak, young international player going into a big tournament, bielik would have been the same if not for an injury. Our problem is with recruitment but we are trying to solve it with the academy, where as I think fixing the recruitment is the answer rather than gambling on consistently producing great players in decent numbers consistently to pay the bills and get us promoted, it would be great to be wrong though. I guess it depends on where you want to make your gamble.
  11. *unproven quality. I dont feel as though producing four left backs in a row that can play at championship level is realistic, considering its never been done before by any club really (If someone can find one then great). If we sold buchanan this summer or even next, do we think Archie is ready and of the same quality, if not better? And then again with Malone? It might be possible, but there isnt any evidence of it working elsewhere. The fact that so few players up until 2016 ever made a mark on the first team suggests this. If the squad was supplemented with smart signings as well to take the pressure off the young players or even allow them to go out on loan (which few of ours seem to do) then I think that might yield better results. As I have said before I am not discussing the quality of the current crop, but only knight and buchanan managed to nail down a regular spot this season despite the dire competition for places... 'Nearly all was' an exaggeration but even half seems to be very ambitious based on previous years, and yes U23 football has changed now but even if you doubled what we were getting before, its still probably not enough.
  12. I think we are talking about different things here. You seem to be arguing for the quality in the academy, which I dont dispute. I am talking purely about the business model. I am scepticle of the long term sustainability of relying on the academy for both first team players and player sales. Even the best academies only produce a very small handful of players that are good enough for first team level, most with about 1/2 at a time. Chelsea and united have a particularly good crop at the moment which has skewed things slightly with 3/4 players. It may well be the case that the U23 league improves the amount of players coming through that are first team quality, but the current crop arent yet good enough (as this season has shown) and we are gambling heavily on them improving very quickly to avoid relegation. And if this new crop do succeed, then we will need 5/6 ready to take their place and so on as some will surely be sold whether the club want to sell or not. For the model to work, we would need nearly everyone on that list from each year to be first team quality or higher. We might just disagree on how likely this is and how sustainable it is as a business model, which is fine. I have watched an awful lot of our u18 and u23's.
  13. I agree with you that they want to get players in the first team, but if the players arent good enough, then they buy in players. At the moment there are players that are good enough, but that might not be the case in the future and they wont be relying of the academy to constantly be producing players of that quality. Exactly. A lack of first team opportunities for an academy player? Their model cant have been matching ours then? And this is my point, with the model as it is, we would need to be producing players of this quality year after year after year while remaining competitive, something which not even Barca have managed. I am looking long term here beyond the current set of Bird, sibley and Co. can we really produce that quality consistently when no other academy have done it (bar Bilbao)?
  14. Bilbao have around 70% players from their academy at all times due to their commitment to only play basque players. Chelsea and united are capatalising on those players being good enough, it isnt their club model to have half their team made up of academy players, just good fortune, look at their teams of 5 years ago, and united bought back pogba after he was deemed good enough. Barcelona have had to invest heavily in players due to the failure of La Masia to produce first team quality players in the last 5 years (although a few decent prospects coming through now). None of these clubs have sustained high proportions of academy players over the long term.
  15. We would be in a far worse position without the academy granted, but i ask the question whether leaning on the academy in this way was the plan all along and we are seeing the results of that? Asking too much too soon of many youngsters.
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