Why Brentford’s decision is worrying for the future of many academies, but an understandable choice for many Football League clubs
To have decided to close their Academy weeks after sorting out their groups and signing new players for next season seemed very heartless and thoughtless. Perhaps the decision had been made months ago and it was merely a case of letting the season come to an end, acting like business as usual and then hitting the sucker-punch at the end. A pretty devastating one for all the young players within Brentford’s Academy programme who dreams must have felt tarnished in the 90 minute meeting which was held to announce the immediate closure of the Academy. Why had this decision being made, so drastically too, and what does it say about the state of Academies outside the Premier League?
It was an economical and perhaps one could argue analytical decision (this is of course the route Brentford have taken under owner Matthew Benham and the newly appointed co-director's of football Rasmus Ankersen and Phil Giles. Up till now it hasn’t precisely corresponded to success on the pitch, the club seemed in a much better position under the management of Mark Warburton, but this is the route they have chosen to take.
The decision to close the Academy was based on simple economics. As the statement from the club read “The club must strive to find ways to do things differently to our rivals, in order to compete and progress as a Championship football club. We cannot outspend the vast majority of our competitors therefore we will never shy away from taking the kind of decision that can give us a competitive edge."
At a cost of £1.5m a year to be a Category 2 Academy the club felt this was too much expenditure for the ‘hope’ of ‘producing’ a player for the 1st team, or more importantly it seems these days, a player who can be sold for upwards of £5m to a Premier League club.
Read more here http://whitehouseaddress.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/the-difficulties-with-academies-eppp.html?m=1