Long Termism - Transfers and development to get us back to the top of the game

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Long Termism - Transfers and development to get us back to the top of the game

Post by GhostoftheBok » Tue Jun 08, 2021 7:59 pm

Before we start on this, this isn't one of those "this works in Football Manager so I'm going to write about it" posts you see sometimes, filled with wish-listing and namedropping of future prospects. It's about how a club without billionaire backers can cement itself at top of the game and remain sustainable.

I don't think anyone doubts that the current owners and manager have in mind more than getting back into the Championship and then hanging around there. Evatt wants to manage in the Premier League, whether with us or another club. The owners will want the investment returns you only get from top tier TV deals. In order to achieve that goal, the preparation has to have already started.

At the beginning of last season we were almost purely fire fighting. We had to get in players to keep us up in the lowest professional league and then in January, having seen where we stood (and having got rid of TP), we were able to do proper work to give us a chance to win. This summer is the first where we have a real platform and sense of stability. It is the point at which the work of turning us into a properly run, elite development club can begin in earnest.

Obviously the primary aim of this window has to be putting in place a squad that can compete at the top end of league one, but at the same time we have to have an eye on progression far beyond that goal. Evatt spoke of "layering" his squad - having two first team players for each position and then a youth player pushing for first team football behind them - and that is an important goal. Each recruitment window we have doesn't just affect the next 6-12 months. Good recruitment right through our development levels can have an impact for a decade or more. Behind those youth players pushing for first team inclusion must be more talent looking for their own chance to show they can step up.

As a club, we will not be able to buy our way up the leagues. Our recruitment will have to be meticulous, with planned obsolescence of older players allowing younger lads to come through, and maintain an understanding that players who do well here will likely have to be sold. That goes so far as the manager and his staff, who could also leave at any time - any long term development path must be able to survive the coming and going of our lead coaches.

The most successful clubs (success has many values, depending on a club's potential) have a culture that breeds awareness of the comings and goings within their youth systems. Bolton fans have, through years of learned behaviour, somewhat ceased to care about what happens in our academy and U23s. The academy has had too little impact for most to even consider youth development when looking forward to summer transfer window and players who were bought for the U23s tended to disappear and never be heard from again. If we are to re-establish ourselves as a club that matters in English football, that has got to change.

There are a number of ways to run a successful development system, from poaching cast offs from bigger clubs to hunting in non-league football for hidden gems and developing a reputation for youth coaching excellence in order to attract the most talented kids in the country; but all of them require that the entire club is geared towards the production of talent. Managers have to pay attention to what is going on outside the first team squad, recruitment teams have to have the next 5-10 years in mind as they plan and fans have to expect and demand to see "one of their own" progress on a regular basis. For clubs like Man City, Tottenham, Peterborough and Southampton, player development is in their DNA.

Speaking to Bolton fans over the years, youth development has primarily been seen as a risk. I'd like to suggest it is now a necessity. This club cannot go out and buy stars every summer in the current financial climate and we cannot pay star wages without reinvesting the kind of money that only player sales will bring in. Whether you look at Brentford, Swansea or Peterborough, clubs that excel at player development can punch well above their weight. We have to aspire to that level of professionalism in this area. Whether it is developing players from the age of 8, picking up talented teenagers let go from other academies or bringing in lads in their late teens to early 20s who haven't fulfilled their potential, we have to get good at this side of the game.

As I say, this starts now. There are players in and around the squad at the moment who we can potentially turn into stars at this level. Players who can either take us where we want to go, or generate the transfer fees we need to continue our regeneration as a club. We will need to see more, however; especially in the area of youth recruitment. A good "window" for Bolton will not just be defined by getting a goal scorer or a tricky winger - it will also mean bringing in young players who may barely rate a press release, but who will start to seed the ground for seasons to come. Hopefully we will start to see evidence of this kind of forward planning as the summer develops. Undoubtedly these kinds of discussions have been going on for months.

Bolton fans can't just think about "the squad" anymore, in my view. We have to start thinking about "the squads", not just the first team but on down through a system that we need to rebuild. It may take several years of hard work to get this club to where it needs to be in this area, but the evidence of a long term strategy needs to start showing itself now. A reconnection of the football team to the fans requires a recognisable footballing identity (which Evatt is already instilling), a club identity (which the owners are realising) and a sense amongst fans that their team belongs to and represents them (which is massively boosted by the regular development of home grown talent).

The success of the academy and the acquisition of young talent can no longer be optional. These things must become fundamental to who we are as a football club. Bolton fans need to play their part, by understanding what is going on in our youth system and showing support for young lads who are breaking through. Young players have to believe they will get a chance if they are good enough and also that they will be shown the support they need when they do. It is a community effort.
Last edited by GhostoftheBok on Wed Jun 09, 2021 12:16 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Long Termism - Transfers and development to get us back to the top of the game

Post by TANGODANCER » Tue Jun 08, 2021 8:54 pm

Not sure how the wages work amongst young lads, but surely numbers matter? With the hard lessons we've learned over the last few years, finance control is a real priority. I ask because I don't know?
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Re: Long Termism - Transfers and development to get us back to the top of the game

Post by GhostoftheBok » Tue Jun 08, 2021 10:08 pm

TANGODANCER wrote:
Tue Jun 08, 2021 8:54 pm
Not sure how the wages work amongst young lads, but surely numbers matter? With the hard lessons we've learned over the last few years, finance control is a real priority. I ask because I don't know?
It's all the same pot eventually, so it absolutely matters. That is, however, one of the major benefits of a productive development structure. Young lads aren't payed huge sums. If we go out and pick up a lad at 21 who has been with a Prem side he may be on decent money depending on his deal, but if we go out and pick up a 16 year old who has been released then we're not talking much.

Lads like Dapo and Johnston are technically development signings. Having hardly played any first team football, despite their age, they are a side effect of the modern academy system - with top clubs hoarding talent. They will also be part of the main squad. They will be on less than players like Delfouneso though, you'd imagine, and have considerably more resale potential; but still draw a proper wage. I'd image they are both on a bit more than Thomason, who came in from a low level and will need to do more to get a bump up the scale. Thomason is a great example of another area to look for talent, if you can trust your recruitment system to make good decisions and your playing staff to get the most from a player.

Younger lads might only be on a couple of hundred quid a week or less, sometimes with allowances like accommodation expenses if they live away from home. Clubs like Peterborough run a youth set up for the same amount Sunderland throw at a single player. You have to pay coaches, maintain facilities etc, so there are additional costs to consider. The fact is, though, most successful clubs outside the top 5 European leagues either make a loss, or operate a profitable development system. When the cameras are not rolling, quality coaching at all levels keeps you alive.

That's my take on it, anyway.

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Re: Long Termism - Transfers and development to get us back to the top of the game

Post by BWFC_Insane » Tue Jun 08, 2021 10:45 pm

I believe FV have acknowledged that should we reach the championship that is the point they may need to look for further investors to help push the club on. You can’t compete in the championship easily these days without some financial clout. It’s why I think a couple of years in league one wouldn’t be a bad thing.

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Re: Long Termism - Transfers and development to get us back to the top of the game

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Wed Jun 09, 2021 12:06 am

Thoughtful, erudite and entirely correct. Thanks Ghost.

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Re: Long Termism - Transfers and development to get us back to the top of the game

Post by Worthy4England » Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:05 am

In principle, I think the better we get at youth development is a good thing, and I hear a lot about the benefits of academies, often with the tag line of "look how successful they've been coz they've sold these players at value £x or Joe's made the first team". In one sense it sells itself on the principle of "would you like a pipeline of talent that you can either use to avoid transfer fees or sell to generate revenue" - Yes please, at that level, I'll take one. Where it gets trickier is the business case surrounding it, because to generate those outcomes (which are somewhat uncertain and unpredictable) you have to make investment.

What I've never seen is anything approaching a long term business case demonstrating the whole cost benefits. At the top level, my head says it makes good sense, so I'm not being critical or suggesting it doesn't work, or anything like that, I'm just saying I don't know how well it works, in proven numbers. Even fairly simplistically.

Nor do I know whether we'd have turned up those players in any event through just scouting or whether those players are 10%, 50% or 100% better because they come through a category 1 vs category 2 vs no academy.

So I think I'd want to be clear as an owner on where I'm pitching my lot. I'm not going to start with City's academy because I can't afford it (and I think only FV will know whether we're actually in a position financially to commit at this stage to anything more than we currently have). So I tried to educate myself a little and did a bit of (fairly cursory) reading.

Article around City's academy having sold £136m of ex academy talent. Looks great, but the academy cost £200m and that's ignoring running costs...Of course they have Foden, he's worth a good few million, so maybe it's breaking closer to even, maybe it's cash generating...

I skimmed an article on how Swansea, in their time of need, cut back to make (all a bit subjective) £3m-£5m per year savings within the Academy - from which given they still have an academy, but of a lower classification, puts the running costs somewhere near eyewatering by our likely affordability and North of £5m.

Peterborough, sure they have a reasonable academy, funded by £4.7m of council grant.

And everyone's favourite, Southampton who have 180 players in theirs. Will they find a couple of decent ones from 180? You'd maybe hope so. They were trumpeting 6 in their first team squad in 2018, I think, but under that group, amongst others was Lloyd Isgrove and some other chap playing for Cheltenham, one is looking good for them Ward-Prowse and one was flogged to Fulham for £6m..But I don't know whether it's making money or costing money...

As a Club, the more talent we develop that avoids transfer fees is undoubtedly a good thing. We should do some of this, it'd be stupid not to, but point me at the business case, so I know what it entails.

I'm not contending Clubs shouldn't do player development, we always have and we always should. But it has to be on an understood and sustainable basis.

Regarding the community aspect. I typically get to watch maybe 10-12, or in a good year maybe 15-18 home matches a season. I don't travel away much. I'd like to have more free time, but like most people there are other priorities. Whilst not negative towards "non first team squads" I'm not realistically going to get much of my attention, other than a passing "that's great" should I hear they've won something or performed well.

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Re: Long Termism - Transfers and development to get us back to the top of the game

Post by BWFC_Insane » Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:37 am

Worthy4England wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:05 am
In principle, I think the better we get at youth development is a good thing, and I hear a lot about the benefits of academies, often with the tag line of "look how successful they've been coz they've sold these players at value £x or Joe's made the first team". In one sense it sells itself on the principle of "would you like a pipeline of talent that you can either use to avoid transfer fees or sell to generate revenue" - Yes please, at that level, I'll take one. Where it gets trickier is the business case surrounding it, because to generate those outcomes (which are somewhat uncertain and unpredictable) you have to make investment.

What I've never seen is anything approaching a long term business case demonstrating the whole cost benefits. At the top level, my head says it makes good sense, so I'm not being critical or suggesting it doesn't work, or anything like that, I'm just saying I don't know how well it works, in proven numbers. Even fairly simplistically.

Nor do I know whether we'd have turned up those players in any event through just scouting or whether those players are 10%, 50% or 100% better because they come through a category 1 vs category 2 vs no academy.

So I think I'd want to be clear as an owner on where I'm pitching my lot. I'm not going to start with City's academy because I can't afford it (and I think only FV will know whether we're actually in a position financially to commit at this stage to anything more than we currently have). So I tried to educate myself a little and did a bit of (fairly cursory) reading.

Article around City's academy having sold £136m of ex academy talent. Looks great, but the academy cost £200m and that's ignoring running costs...Of course they have Foden, he's worth a good few million, so maybe it's breaking closer to even, maybe it's cash generating...

I skimmed an article on how Swansea, in their time of need, cut back to make (all a bit subjective) £3m-£5m per year savings within the Academy - from which given they still have an academy, but of a lower classification, puts the running costs somewhere near eyewatering by our likely affordability and North of £5m.

Peterborough, sure they have a reasonable academy, funded by £4.7m of council grant.

And everyone's favourite, Southampton who have 180 players in theirs. Will they find a couple of decent ones from 180? You'd maybe hope so. They were trumpeting 6 in their first team squad in 2018, I think, but under that group, amongst others was Lloyd Isgrove and some other chap playing for Cheltenham, one is looking good for them Ward-Prowse and one was flogged to Fulham for £6m..But I don't know whether it's making money or costing money...

As a Club, the more talent we develop that avoids transfer fees is undoubtedly a good thing. We should do some of this, it'd be stupid not to, but point me at the business case, so I know what it entails.

I'm not contending Clubs shouldn't do player development, we always have and we always should. But it has to be on an understood and sustainable basis.

Regarding the community aspect. I typically get to watch maybe 10-12, or in a good year maybe 15-18 home matches a season. I don't travel away much. I'd like to have more free time, but like most people there are other priorities. Whilst not negative towards "non first team squads" I'm not realistically going to get much of my attention, other than a passing "that's great" should I hear they've won something or performed well.
Excellent points here. I'd say a business case also needs to somehow factor in the intangibles....which possibly means modelling scenarios based on other examples.

For example - your academy might cost more to run than you can raise from player sales. But you might have 3 or 4 first team players out of it that bring you success - so you have to factor what the cost would be of signing equivalent players on the market.

Secondly - what's the cost of other models - because presumably regardless of running an academy or not you still will want some way to bring younger talent into the fold. Whether that's at a later point through U18 and reserve teams and recruitment at that level or just the traditional 'youth team' model - which costs less on paper but brings bigger risks with it regarding contracts etc....you need to understand what the risk reward is of the academy.

I'd also add there are relatively few and I'd argue no examples of clubs sustainably hitting the top flight based on their youth development and academy primarily. I know some may argue Southampton but their top scorer was imported - as was much of their team. So it does come back to my first example. What are the relative costs of developing first team players through the academy vs importing them from elsewhere. Given the academy runs off volume in a way (for every 20 1 might make the first team type of thing) I suspect this calculation is more complex and ultimately not as clear cut as it may seem.

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Re: Long Termism - Transfers and development to get us back to the top of the game

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Wed Jun 09, 2021 10:41 am

FV strike me as financially savvy, although as outlined above there are plenty of unknowns. Many of the big clubs are basically kid-farmers, offering contracts to players they'll never pick just so they can negotiate sell-on percentages in case they come good later; they're also useful ways to get around "homegrown player" rules. But we're a goodly ways off that sort of problem yet.

One thing to note is that thanks the the Elite Player Performance Plan, the level of academy now dictates your compensation: the higher the academy rating (which is dictated by how much you spend and how many staff), the more compo you get if little Johnny Kickaball decides to uproot to, oh I dunno, Chelsea.

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Re: Long Termism - Transfers and development to get us back to the top of the game

Post by The_Gun » Wed Jun 09, 2021 10:56 am

A lot of very good points made by Ghost, Worthy and even Insano here.

In every aspect of life sustainability is key, and recent years have shown this to be especially true in football. Youth development is perhaps the most obvious area for a club to focus on in order to become 'sustainable'. However, if you look at teams like Brentford, Peterborough, and on the continent Sevilla and Villarreal, they're achieving continued success through efficient 'buy low, sell high' transfer structures, rather than just pumping out players from expensive academies. This clearly isn't something which is easy to achieve (see 'Moneyball', T.Phoenix), but is perhaps more attainable in the near term.

The academy conundrum at Bolton is a complex one, and one which I am not well placed to address given I haven't lived in the town for over 15 years. On the face of it we have some natural advantages in that Bolton is a very large town and football is by far the dominant sport, but then the proximity to so many other big clubs and our lack of reputation for developing youngsters do seem to negate these plus points quite significantly. We're never going to not be near all those other clubs, but we can work on our local reputation, and it seems as though Evatt is extremely keen to do this.

As mentioned, I don't know what the scene is like locally these days, so I would have to be guided by others, but when I was at St Joseph's, in the shadow of the 'Bok, the best players at the school and in the local area weren't playing for Bolton. The best lads at our school were getting cherry-picked by City, and that was when we were in the Prem and before they had ploughed all that cash into their youth set-up. My brother played with one of McGinlay's sons, and even he was on City's books. As a minimum our goal has to be for the majority of the better kids in the Bolton area to be playing for Bolton Wanderers, even if we accept that one or two exceptional talents will get lured to the bigger PL sides.

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Re: Long Termism - Transfers and development to get us back to the top of the game

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Wed Jun 09, 2021 12:32 pm

I hear the desire to get the best kids under our wing, and I agree. However, I would warn that getting the best kids at 8, 10, 12 or 14 is very far from future-proof. Not only do kids grow and improve (or not) at unpredictable rates, but if they get very good they'll f**k off for f**k all anyway - ask Luca Connell, who spent nine years on our books and earned us a relatively large £350,000 - £40k per year, so maybe he covered the coach's wage. Ask Kyle Bartley, who left us for Arsenal for nothing.

I'm aware that that sounds defeatist and I reiterate I want us to get better at scouting the area – partly for the One Club One Community One Town ethos. But the realpolitik is that Peterborough are likely to make more money from dealings like signing 22-year-old Newcastle reject Ivan Toney for £650,000 and selling him for up to £10m than they will for combing the Fens for fledgling full-backs.

TL;dr: Local kids? Fine. But the real money's in the bigger clubs' cast-offs.

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Re: Long Termism - Transfers and development to get us back to the top of the game

Post by Bruce Rioja » Wed Jun 09, 2021 12:43 pm

The_Gun wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 10:56 am
A lot of very good points made by Ghost, Worthy and even Insano here.
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Re: Long Termism - Transfers and development to get us back to the top of the game

Post by GhostoftheBok » Wed Jun 09, 2021 3:05 pm

Uch. I wrote an entire, detailed response and when I clicked to post it disappeared. Sod writing that again. Key points:

We are not City, Spurs, Liverpool, Crewe, Peterborough or anyone else. All those clubs invest in their systems to a different degree and all are happy with the returns they get on their investments. We are Bolton Wanderers. What a successful system looks like varies from club to club, we have to understand what we need from ours and go for that. What those other clubs have in common is taking their systems very, very seriously and being able to rely upon them for what they need. Whether it's keeping the club punching above its weight like Crewe or turning out world stars like Barcelona, what success looks like varies.

The academy and its culture forms part of the wider club and must reflect who we want to be. Pressure from below improves what is up top. First team players must know they can lose their places to players coming up if they don't perform and they must feel like they are walking around a club that is going places, even if they are strolling along the youth pitches. Sod a Gary Megson style "realism and not living in the past" approach to the game, the history and stature of the club demands a drive for excellence in all areas. That has to be reinforced again and again.

Whatever path we identify as the best for us and whatever metrics we use to judge success, we must aim to be the best in the game at that kind of development. We can't phone it in in professional sport, or produce the odd league player and be happy. We have to have the aim of being regarded as one of the best run systems in Europe, or there's no point showing up on a Monday. Achieving that aim is different, but we have got to push for it. This club has enough history and standing to really be something in the game, but if we don't have that in mind we will never get anywhere. If we have a million quid a year to put into development, then it needs to be the best spent million quid in Europe. If we have £50 and a Snickers, then that Snickers needs to feed the best coach £50 ever bought.

This is an area clubs around Europe excel at. To think we can't ever be at an elite level in this area is both factually wrong and defeatist. It can be done, but you need the right people making the decisions and they need to have a goal that is right up there with the best. With luck and a lot of skill, you can get there. If we miss and get anywhere close then it will pay dividends. As with transfers, managers and everything else - most things in football fail. Through bad panning or bad luck, things don't work out. There is, however, no club that ended up successful by accident. Whilst your plans can and do go wrong, without planning you guarantee failure. If we ever want to be at an elite level again, why not start right now?

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Re: Long Termism - Transfers and development to get us back to the top of the game

Post by GhostoftheBok » Wed Jun 09, 2021 3:31 pm

TLDR version of that. Any kind of development model that gets young players in and reliably puts first team players (or sellable assets) out is a good model. We need to figure out what model will give us that and build that - but any model that does that requires a full development structure of some kind. You can't cherry pick and just get rid of everything else. Players don't develop in vacuums.

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Re: Long Termism - Transfers and development to get us back to the top of the game

Post by BWFC_Insane » Wed Jun 09, 2021 3:49 pm

GhostoftheBok wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 3:31 pm
TLDR version of that. Any kind of development model that gets young players in and reliably puts first team players (or sellable assets) out is a good model. We need to figure out what model will give us that and build that - but any model that does that requires a full development structure of some kind. You can't cherry pick and just get rid of everything else. Players don't develop in vacuums.
Yeah I don't think anyone is saying we don't need a model that brings players through. But its worth exploring. Is it possible to take cast offs at 18/19 and do it that way rather than from scratch? Rochdale did that a while ago I believe to mixed success. Crewe are interesting but their main system has been chucking lots of young players into the 1st team and had very mixed results season by season as a result. They probably exist as a club on this basis rather than trying to get into the upper echelons.

I think the main point where we might differ is I don't believe you can get to the premiership (not a reasonable likelihood anyway) based on development. I think its just not possible because if you get really lucky your players are gone before they're fully developed. Yes you have a lot of money but then its down to recruitment anyway. So I think realistically the development will only take you so far. There are very very few examples of clubs getting to the top flight based primarily on homegrown players. In fact I can't really think of any - bar Southampton and even that's a bit tenuous.

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Re: Long Termism - Transfers and development to get us back to the top of the game

Post by GhostoftheBok » Wed Jun 09, 2021 4:22 pm

BWFC_Insane wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 3:49 pm
I think the main point where we might differ is I don't believe you can get to the premiership (not a reasonable likelihood anyway) based on development.
I also don't think you can get to the Prem purely on development, so we probably don't differ here.

I do think that the clubs that punch well above their investment weight in terms of challenging have productive systems. Norwich would be an example.

Development is a vital piece in a jigsaw. If you've no money to invest but great youth development then you're Crewe, who yo-yo around because youth development is inherently patchy - especially when you have to immediately flog anyone half decent to keep the lights on. If you have a tiny bit of money and good development then you are Peterborough, who are fairly stable but not hitting the heights - able to spend some money on young talent to even out the bumps inherent in working with kids under 18.

Development without some investment won't get you places unless you are genuinely world class and thus it's not to be used as a model. We will not attract the best young talent in England and Europe, ever (or at least not for decades). We need to do good work in the transfer market if we are to get anywhere, but we also need youth development to augment that - because we don't have the money to just buy our way up by going out and spending £60-80m in the Championship - we likely never will.

Southampton is a good example of a club with superb development and also good money. Not top level investment, but very good backing. Maybe that's attainable for us in the future, though Saint's catchment area is notoriously good. Brentford is another, where they use gambling metrics to identify undervalued players (the dreaded moneyball that TP was obviously so bad at). What Brentford had was time, as that form of player speculation is inherently unstable over short periods, along with that investment. Short term thinking in football is a killer.

Bolton isn't the size of club that can rely on one thing to get us up there. We are not rich, we don't have a tradition of world class youth production etc. We need to use every tool we can to the highest level possible. Buying promising young players for half a million will be part of that, as will getting in cast offs at 15, finding talented 8-10 year olds and bringing in 21-24 year olds who have lost their way in the Prem system. You do all these things to essentially play the odds and you look at the results over phases and not just seasons. Where you strike the balance depends on the realities on the ground and that's where we need the higher ups to make good calls.

There are pitfalls to be avoided, but we can't go out and spend millions per position on ready made players every season. Not least because even most of those transfers fail in football. Most managers and most players fail to achieve what the buying club wants. Development has risks, but it's inherently less risky than the senior market, when you're talking per £. It's the retirement planning of football investment, vs the day trading of main transfers.

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Re: Long Termism - Transfers and development to get us back to the top of the game

Post by Harry Genshaw » Wed Jun 09, 2021 8:39 pm

Dave Sutton's barnet wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 12:32 pm
But the realpolitik is that Peterborough are likely to make more money from dealings like signing 22-year-old Newcastle reject Ivan Toney for £650,000 and selling him for up to £10m than they will for combing the Fens for fledgling full-backs.

TL;dr: Local kids? Fine. But the real money's in the bigger clubs' cast-offs.
This is about where I'm at. I'd be tempted to sack the academy/junior stuff off and concentrate on developing good relationships with City, Utd, Blackburn etc who can say to the lads they're releasing, Bolton might be an option. Trial games, short term contracts etc. Most still won't make it, but that one or two that will could provide an excellent return.

Bury showed it was possible to have an academy system pay for itself and we've got their main guy haven't we? I imagine the vast majority though are a financial drain.
"Get your feet off the furniture you Oxbridge tw*t. You're not on a feckin punt now you know"

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Re: Long Termism - Transfers and development to get us back to the top of the game

Post by Worthy4England » Wed Jun 09, 2021 8:55 pm

Don't think anyone's (certainly not me) suggesting we should do "something" in development. I'm not close enough to the intricacies to know what that might be, I'm sure FV will, along with Evatt make some decisions as to how they want to approach it, both structurally and financially.

Whilst we throw Club names out as "examples of where it works really well", I'm fairly sure one of the teams cited as "the opposite of Peterborough" - so Sunderland - have their own academy. With their spending power on transfers plus an Academy you'd think they were certs for promotion from T3 next season! :-)

TL:DR - Do something around development - yes. But only do it aligned to cost and revenue targets - yes. Make sure we understand the costs and the benefits rather than wouldn't it be great if...

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Re: Long Termism - Transfers and development to get us back to the top of the game

Post by GhostoftheBok » Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:06 pm

Worthy4England wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 8:55 pm
TL:DR - Do something around development - yes. But only do it aligned to cost and revenue targets - yes. Make sure we understand the costs and the benefits rather than wouldn't it be great if...
Pretty sure that's precisely what I suggested :pissed:

We put together an academy system in the Prem as a fairly romantic gesture, without a fixed idea of how it was going to work. Phil and Eddie listened to different "gurus" who all had different ideas, tried each idea (lets scout all the unknown areas of Europe, lets stick to local lads etc) and then scrapped it after a couple of years when it didn't work to move onto a new approach. All the time hiring managers who were not really interested in the academy.

Anything we do has to be meticulously researched and planned and we need the courage of our convictions about it. We have a manager who wants to buy into it to and is actually driving it, so that's huge.

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Re: Long Termism - Transfers and development to get us back to the top of the game

Post by The_Gun » Thu Jun 10, 2021 9:23 am

Worthy4England wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 8:55 pm
Don't think anyone's (certainly not me) suggesting we should do "something" in development. I'm not close enough to the intricacies to know what that might be, I'm sure FV will, along with Evatt make some decisions as to how they want to approach it, both structurally and financially.

Whilst we throw Club names out as "examples of where it works really well", I'm fairly sure one of the teams cited as "the opposite of Peterborough" - so Sunderland - have their own academy. With their spending power on transfers plus an Academy you'd think they were certs for promotion from T3 next season! :-)

TL:DR - Do something around development - yes. But only do it aligned to cost and revenue targets - yes. Make sure we understand the costs and the benefits rather than wouldn't it be great if...
:D As demonstrated in that Netflix series, if the club is run by morons it doesn't matter how much cash they have. Fundamentally, that's the core point, right? There are lots of potentially successful models, but ultimately you need smart, long-term thinkers at the top.

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Re: Long Termism - Transfers and development to get us back to the top of the game

Post by BWFC_Insane » Thu Jun 10, 2021 9:28 am

The_Gun wrote:
Thu Jun 10, 2021 9:23 am
Worthy4England wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 8:55 pm
Don't think anyone's (certainly not me) suggesting we should do "something" in development. I'm not close enough to the intricacies to know what that might be, I'm sure FV will, along with Evatt make some decisions as to how they want to approach it, both structurally and financially.

Whilst we throw Club names out as "examples of where it works really well", I'm fairly sure one of the teams cited as "the opposite of Peterborough" - so Sunderland - have their own academy. With their spending power on transfers plus an Academy you'd think they were certs for promotion from T3 next season! :-)

TL:DR - Do something around development - yes. But only do it aligned to cost and revenue targets - yes. Make sure we understand the costs and the benefits rather than wouldn't it be great if...
:D As demonstrated in that Netflix series, if the club is run by morons it doesn't matter how much cash they have. Fundamentally, that's the core point, right? There are lots of potentially successful models, but ultimately you need smart, long-term thinkers at the top.
Yes and an ability to appoint good managers. If you look at our last run out of league one to the premiership it was primarily on the back of two outstanding managers in Bruce and Sam. You can argue all you want about models and structures and academies but for me a club like Bolton live and die on the quality of their manager. You can see that the Phonenix and Evatt structure didn't work because ultimately it was confused. I think a club like ours with our stature needs a focal point type manager and it seems FV and Evatt realised that. We need to have someone to pin it on. And that takes broad shoulders. And when you look down the managers we've had Bruce, Sam rose to the challenge. Todd perhaps was a better coach but his shoulders definitely slumped as manager. Since then we've seen a lot of managers who were good elsewhere feel too much pressure here. Freedman, Lennon, Coyle. And only really Parky in the most extreme of circumstances seemed to be able to take the load.

Ian Evatt seems to know that's what is needed so its a good, no great, start.

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