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Project Brave rumbles on..

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http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/roy-macgregor-slams-sfa-amid-11304165.amp

 

The first public decry of the system from those involved. As expected, the SFA are shifting the goalposts to try and force smaller clubs out of the system, which would simply lead to youngsters being hoovered up by the top five clubs.

 

This could genuinely set us back decades.

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It's an absolute shambles but the club's deserve everything they get. We've had ample opportunity to empty Regan since the Rangers fiasco.

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Cant argue with anything Roy had said ,geography aside if one of the more philanthropic chairman is complaining then the rest of the clubs have no chance of meeting these ludicrous targets without serious financial repercussions.

it looks like the elitist clubs have stitched the rest  of us up , which should come as no surprise 

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It's an absolute shambles but the club's deserve everything they get. We've had ample opportunity to empty Regan since the Rangers fiasco.


Pretty much. As soon as the whole thing came to light people were predictings the regulations would constantly be adapted until only five clubs remained, and it certainly seems to be coming true.

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Once again the SFA in their narrow minded , inept manner have put the long term future of the game and some clubs at peril. I would as an experiment like to see these proposals advanced and made SFA policy because only then will the SFA be made aware of the major downside of their "elitist clubs". It would not take them long to grasp the fact that although the "elitist clubs" have the financial resources more available to fund a youth programme than other clubs such as Ross County, Hamilton , Motherwell Thistle etc these elitist clubs have a poor record in bringing through talented youngster's , it's only the aforementioned " minnow " clubs who through necessity seem to have in place relatively successful youth programmes in Scotland . Apart from Mckay at sevco and Teirney & Ralston at Celtic I find it hard to recall when these 2 "elitist" clubs churned players off their production line with great frequency.The SFA need to represent all of their member clubs in an equal manner or else the longevity of the sport continuing to be played professionally in the long term in Scotland will come under threat.

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Project brave has been the biggest pile of shit since day 1. But regan and the big clubs want it so they can stockpile even more youngsters, tough luck to anyone else.

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Project Brave needs to be stopped in its tracks for the good of Scotland's clubs.  Roy MacGregor and Alan Burrows are correct in what they say.  However surely the SFA is there to represent all of Scotland's clubs and a vote could be forced to bin this idea.  Lets not forget that Stewart Regan is simply an employee and should know his place.  He is there to do the bidding of all of our clubs and not tell them what to do.     

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The whole thing is going to end very badly. You only have to look down south at what has happened with the smaller clubs being decimated both player wise but also financially given that they cannot demand a proper fee for their young players if an elite team want to sign them. The English set up is even worse because despite their success at youth levels the bigger clubs in the Premiership still choose an overseas player most of the time instead of blooding a young English footballer (five out of six academy players are not playing professional football by the age of 21). There are even major concerns regarding the mental health of some of these young players given the immense pressure, initial contracts and then the release without any support after that. What this will do in Scotland is withdraw any financial incentives from clubs to develop their own players and it will allow the two or three bigger teams to essentially have player 'farms' like some of the clubs in England. They sign hundreds of players each year only to ditch 98% of them within a couple of years. You could argue that there might be some benefit because there will be more free agents available who have at least have had 'quality' coaching but that is not meant to be the benefit of something like this.

It is ridiculously expensive for the majority of Scottish teams and I agree with what MacGregor says about Brentford basically ditching their entire youth setup in favour of a 'B' team full of 21-23 year olds who essentially play reserve football in an unofficial capacity against similar teams. I've recently read  Michael Calvin's 'No Hunger in Paradise' which explains in a fantastic way some of the real dangers of these new systems (off topic but I'd recommend any of his books because they are all fantastic).

Will this improve the standard of player in Scotland? In some ways it might but the real danger for me is what it then does to the domestic game and some of the clubs that have spent years developing good, nurturing, productive youth systems living within their means. What next for those clubs?

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32 minutes ago, stumigoo said:

 In some ways it might but the real danger for me is what it then does to the domestic game and some of the clubs that have spent years developing good, nurturing, productive youth systems living within their means. What next for those clubs?

Some good points there.  What will this project do for the domestic game and smaller clubs?  I don't think it matters to the SFA as long as the national team and top 5 teams do all right out of it.

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I still believe that young players will have a better chance of becoming a professional footballer in Scotland and ultimately developing as a player in the top level (semi-pro/pro) by playing for 'smaller' clubs (Premiership 4th place & down the leagues) than spending several years in the 'elitist clubs' of whom they support and getting dropped from professional football before they're 21 - in most cases playing Junior football or Amateur football. Yes, there are some cases these 'free agents' will go on and play for 'smaller' clubs although do many make it to 'elite' level? Not many - I'd say they have a better chance of making a name for themselves in football being signed from a championship (Scotland) club to the premiership (whilst developing as they're playing regular football in our professional leagues) than dwindling down the pyramid system after an 'elite' club inevitably drops them.

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Noticed that's namechecked us in the article - had a quick look on the OS but can't find anything helpful. Presumably despite the Thistle Weir investment we're one of the clubs excluded?

Can anyone give a quick summary of what Project Brave means in practice i.e. how are clubs getting shafted?

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No sympathy for him at all. The penny finally drops when the corrupt oganisation he helps support turns on his club and he falls out with the puppet he helps to employ to screw over Scottish football. There would have been no toys out of the pram tantrums if County were included in the elite few and he wouldn't be saying what everyone has known since day one about this ridiculous project. McGregor's unsurprisingly been shot after flying with the crows and he just doesn't like it one bit. 

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Noticed that's namechecked us in the article - had a quick look on the OS but can't find anything helpful. Presumably despite the Thistle Weir investment we're one of the clubs excluded?
Can anyone give a quick summary of what Project Brave means in practice i.e. how are clubs getting shafted?


There will be a select few elite clubs, these will recieve the majority of the funding with what everyone else currently receives all but scraped. These teams will play against each other exclusively with the rest kept outside of the structure. The elite group will just about be set in stone, so even if you invest heavily and bridge the funding gap joining the elite set up won't be possible.

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1 hour ago, parsforlife said:

There will be a select few elite clubs, these will recieve the majority of the funding with what everyone else currently receives all but scraped. These teams will play against each other exclusively with the rest kept outside of the structure. The elite group will just about be set in stone, so even if you invest heavily and bridge the funding gap joining the elite set up won't be possible.

 

^^^^ TL,DR version.

2 hours ago, Thistle_do_nicely said:

Noticed that's namechecked us in the article - had a quick look on the OS but can't find anything helpful. Presumably despite the Thistle Weir investment we're one of the clubs excluded?

Can anyone give a quick summary of what Project Brave means in practice i.e. how are clubs getting shafted?

Hardly a quick summary but the MFC Podcast dedicated pretty much an entire episode to Project Brave with an interview with Alan Burrows back in January: http://www.mfc1886.com/mfc-podcast-2016-17-episode-21/ it's genuinely worth a listen if you've an interest in the whole Project Brave thing. It's worth your time and addresses the broad aspects and implications of Project Brave much better than I can.

In terms of what it means in practice it pretty much means that the clubs awarded "Elite" status will get the backing and will by nature be more attractive options to the best young players. The "Elite" clubs will just hoover up the best young talent, resources and support. It'd also be a completely closed shop.

In terms of the implications now really depends on what sort of concessions have been made from the original draft, which was entirely exclusive. In the original plan (I think) it suggested that there were only going to be a fixed number of "Elite"-status academies, in that case then regardless of whether your club met the criteria/requirements for "Elite" status then they could still be excluded. To take the Thistle Weir scenario as an example you could put in your application meet the requirements and show the necessary investment but because there are a fixed number of places you'd be excluded if the SFA went with say Aberdeen, Celtic, Hearts, Hibs, Rangers and Hamilton as being the best applications. In that case, if you weren't awarded "Elite" status then that's your tough luck and that would be you on the outside looking in regardless of how good your facilities were or how good a track record you have of bringing through and developing academy players. 

Reading between the lines there seems to have been some sort of movement on that front. Given MacGregor is complaining about the cost involved in meeting the "Elite" criteria it sounds as if it's a bit more open and as long as you tick the boxes required then you'll be awarded "Elite" status. Certainly in Motherwell's case Alan Burrows kicked off about the whole thing in spectacular style last season when the project was first mooted however Motherwell have been pretty quiet about things recently and there have been several oblique references to our position. Project Brave was mentioned with regards Stephen McManus' retirement and his taking up a position with the youth coaching team, we were advertising for a Head of Academy Sports Science and Medicine the other month as well. All of that seems to be box-ticking to meet the necessary requirements. We've got a history of ex-players coming back to Fir Park so it wouldn't be too much of a surprise if we saw a few others come back to make up the rest of the Academy staff requirements.

There are a number of performance-related criteria that have been drawn up and as MacGregor alludes to they're asking for a set number of dedicated, full-time staff to be employed by the academies (Six minumum) along with KPI's such as how many youth players do you have out on loan at other clubs (there's a points based system for that), what sort of historic track record there is in terms of youth development along with all the infrastructure stuff.

As I've said Alan Burrows has spoken openly and extensively on the whole thing from day 1:

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/15002576.Exclusive__Motherwell_CEO_Alan_Burrows_on_the_provincial_pitfalls_of_Project_Brave/
http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/15051704.Burrows__SFA_have_made_progress_on_Project_Brave__but_we_still_need_more_reassurance_over_games_programme/

Edited by capt_oats

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Here's a list of the players who played for Scotland on Thursday and where they began their careers.

Craig Gordon - Currie Boy's Club  - Hearts

Kieran Tierney - Celtic

Christophe Berra - Hearts

Charlie Mulgrew - Celtic

Andrew Robertson - Celtic/Queens Park really because Celtic only wanted giants at the time.

James Morrison - Middlesborough (not sure English players really count though)

Darren Fletcher - Man Utd

Barry Bannan - Celtic/Aston Villa

James Forrest - Celtic

Leigh Griffiths - Livingston

Matt Phillips - Wycombe Wanderers (same as Morrison)

Ikechi Anya - Cambridge Utd/Wycombe Wanderers

James McArthur - Rangers/St. Johnstone/Clyde/Hamilton

Chris Martin - Norwich City (same as Morrison)

Nobody produced by Aberdeen or Hibs. (To be fair though Scott Brown would have probably played if fit and he started at Hibs)

Aberdeen's elite team status means f**k all when it comes to producing players for the Scotland team. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Suspect Device

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This exercise seems so self-destructive to me. As much as it might seem like good self-preservation from the bigger clubs to do what they can to ringfence the funding, they are generally fuelled by guys down the pyramid. Taking away that level of competition from the set-up and reducing the scope of other clubs just serves to diminish the pool of Scottish players as a whole (i.e. the guys that they usually poach at some point in their careers) for the sake of a measly few thousand pounds.

If the closed-off concept is removed and it comes to a practice of just improving standards in what qualifies for elite, that's fair enough and something which I don't think I could find much argument with.

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It's by no means the most mental part of Project Brave but the fact that it was Brian McClair who drew up the blueprint for it, despite only being in the job for 17 months, is a worthwhile reminder when considering the absolutely useless governance on the part of the SFA/Regan.

We're in a position where the current Performance Director is being asked to deliver something that isn't even his idea.

As far as Roy MacGregor goes though, this is from November 2016, suffice to say he seems to have changed his tune a bit: 
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/38043081

Edited by capt_oats

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Here's a list of the players who played for Scotland on Thursday and where they began their careers.
Craig Gordon - Currie Boy's Club  - Hearts
Kieran Tierney - Celtic
Christophe Berra - Hearts
Charlie Mulgrew - Celtic
Andrew Robertson - Celtic/Queens Park really because Celtic only wanted giants at the time.
James Morrison - Middlesborough (not sure English players really count though)
Darren Fletcher - Man Utd
Barry Bannan - Celtic/Aston Villa
James Forrest - Celtic
Leigh Griffiths - Livingston
Matt Phillips - Wycombe Wanderers (same as Morrison)
Ikechi Anya - Cambridge Utd/Wycombe Wanderers
James McArthur - Rangers/St. Johnstone/Clyde/Hamilton
Chris Martin - Norwich City (same as Morrison)
Nobody produced by Aberdeen or Hibs. (To be fair though Scott Brown would have probably played if fit and he started at Hibs)
Aberdeen's elite team status means f**k all when it comes to producing players for the Scotland team. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Aye but at least you know Ryan jack will be called up soon

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Project get the money to the richer clubs, was always going to be a disaster, but is proving more-so now. The SFA have changed the criteria multiple times, even with things like you have to own your own training facility, this has now been changed again to you can have a service agreement so Aberdeen Hearts and Hibs can get in. It is purely a money making scheme for the bigger clubs so the SFA can make it look like they are helping but in reality they are killing the smaller teams.

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