AHEAD OF THE GAME: Brentford set to reopen their academy

AHEAD OF THE GAME: Brentford are set to reopen their academy six years after its controversial closure following their improved financial situation… while Middlesbrough look to cash in on £20m-rated Djed Spence

  • Brentford set to reopen their academy six years after its controversial closure
  • Middlesbrough have already gained a financial windfall from Djed Spence, 21
  • The Football Association are losing their experienced head of integrity to tennis
  • Turnstile operators at the London Stadium have been told to inspect all tickets 

Brentford are planning to reopen their academy six years after its controversial closure.

The club shut their category two academy and withdrew from the game’s elite player performance plan in 2016, opting instead to focus their youth development on players aged between 17 and 21, as they felt that approach was a better use of their limited resources at the time.

Brentford’s change of heart is the result of their improved financial circumstances following promotion and the fact that the Premier League are considering changing their rules to make academies compulsory.

In addition, the impact of Brexit has made Brentford’s existing model of recruiting talented teenagers, primarily from Scandinavia, less effective.

Following the UK’s departure from the European Union English clubs are no longer able to sign EU players under the age of 18 and are limited to bringing in three players between the ages of 18 and 21 from the continent in each transfer window.

Brentford are planning to reopen their academy six years after its controversial closure

Middlesbrough have already gained a financial windfall from Djed Spence following Forest’s promotion to the Premier League as they prepare to cash in by selling the 21-year-old for over £20 million this summer. 

Boro shrewdly added bonus and promotion clauses worth hundreds of thousands of pounds when Spence’s loan agreement with Forest was renegotiated in January —despite the fact that Forest were well outside the play-off places at the time, as well as extending the right back’s contract by a further 12 months to protect his transfer value.

Forest are keen to sign Spence on a permanent basis, after he was integral to Steve Cooper’s side winning promotion, but they face competition from Tottenham, Newcastle and Borussia Dortmund.

Middlesbrough have already gained a financial windfall from Djed Spence following Forest’s promotion to the Premier League as they prepare sell him or over £20 million this summer

TIERNEY KEEPS VAR OFF EFL RADAR

Referee Paul Tierney’s operation of VAR at last weekend’s Championship play-off final is likely to bring a speedy end to discussions about introducing the review system throughout the EFL.

VAR was used at all three play-off finals for the first time this season, but Tierney’s application of it in particular caused controversy at Wembley as he failed to intervene on either occasion when Jon Moss twice missed two clear penalty appeals by Huddersfield Town, which helped to condemn them to a 1-0 defeat by Nottingham Forest.

Championship clubs already had concerns about bringing in VAR on a permanent basis due to the cost of operating the system, and the controversy in the biggest game of the season — worth £180million to the winners — will not have swayed the doubters.

Referee Paul Tierney’s operation of VAR at last weekend’s Championship play-off final is likely to bring a speedy end to discussions about introducing the review system throughout the EFL

FA SUFFER A LOSS OF INTEGRITY

The Football Association are losing their experienced head of integrity to tennis. 

Jenni Kennedy, who has been at the FA for 19 years, is moving across London from Wembley to Roehampton to become director of investigations at the International Tennis Integrity Association, the organisation charged with investigating corruption, doping and match-fixing in the sport. 

Kennedy spent five years as a police officer after leaving Exeter University with a law degree in 1995 and rose her way up the ranks at the FA after joining as a compliance officer in 2003.

Jenni Kennedy, who has been at the FA for 19 years, is moving to Roehampton to become director of investigations at the International Tennis Integrity Association

TICKET SCAM ALERT AT LONDON STADIUM FOR PLAY-OFF CLASH

Turnstile operators at the London Stadium have been told to inspect all tickets thoroughly at Saturday’s National League final between Grimsby Town and Solihull Moors after all the concession prices sold out in certain areas of the ground following a row about ticket prices. 

There are concerns that many adult fans may have bought under 16 tickets for the crucial game that will determine promotion to the EFL, as full-priced tickets cost almost £50.

The ticket inspectors have been told to refuse entry to anyone in possession of the wrong type of ticket.

Turnstile operators at the London Stadium have been told to inspect all tickets thoroughly at Saturday’s National League final between Grimsby Town and Solihull Moors




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