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Beefy

Life President
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
18,901
Location
Old Leigh
Whilst the rest of us were watching the match, Ron was emailing us his latest thoughts:

I want to begin this week by thanking all our supporters who were able to attend the match at Colchester this weekend.

The 1800 or so who made the journey across Essex showed, once again, what passion is about. There is no doubt they helped contribute to lift the team’s performance and thankfully achieve the right result.

The celebrations on Saturday were in stark contrast to one of the most miserable evenings I have endured last Tuesday against Crewe Alexandra. I can understand the supporters’ frustration on that night and I can assure you that I felt no different.

Whilst there can be no guarantees in football I guess on the back of two wins I felt that Crewe on a Tuesday night would be easy prey and three more points would be added to our tally. However it was not to be. Crewe defended in numbers not dissimilar to our efforts against Chelsea; only on this occasion we did not have the ability to break them down.

Whilst it is incredibly frustrating it is not correct to criticise our players for we have to give credit to Crewe in how they marshalled their defence and were able to cut us out for 90 minutes. Nevertheless we made up for it on Saturday and it was great for all our fans that the team bounced back against our Essex rivals.

As mentioned last week, I would like to stay with youth development because I believe this is the area where Southend United will make great advances and be able to steal a march over our competitors.

I included a “family tree” relating to the football management which I am repeating below for ease of reference. There is one minor amendment and that relates to Colin West where I have added “or A N Other”. I have tended to write these blogs on a Tuesday immediately prior to publication, which was the case last week. Colin had already moved on to Hartlepool by that time and a reference to a replacement should have been included.



With a view to ensuring a smooth transition from youth development into the first team squad it has been decided that for the next ten reserve team matches Ricky Duncan will head up that activity as part of his over all responsibilities. Rather than have a stepped change from youth to first team squad we introduced, earlier this year, the ability to retain players for a longer period so they did not automatically drop of the assembly line.

In the past if it was thought a player would not make the grade at aged 18 the football management would simply cut them lose and that is how mistakes can be made. Now we are prepared to maintain the investment in those individuals to ensure that there is no latent development that we might have missed in their formative years and underpin what we hope will be a seamless transition.

Obviously Michael Kightly stands out as one of those “lost” individuals and had Michael been around us for a further two years he might have developed the sort of potential that he is now displaying at Wolves – who knows!

The fact is that we want to ensure that no opportunities are missed and no individual falls between two stalls. We are not only casting our net far and wide but when we do capture those youngsters we want to make sure they are developed to their full potential with a view to joining Southend United’s first team.

As the Club overall develops, and the quality of players that we are recruiting improves, a time will arise when those players who have developed may not make the grade with Southend’s first team. However they will nevertheless be well placed to join another club and return some of Southend United’s investment when they move on. We are far from that position at present but we have laid very solid foundations over the past three to four years, and as each season goes by that business plan matures.

Let’s take a step back and look at some of the players we have purchased over the past three to three and a half years and the price we have paid for them in addition to, in most instances, very significant wages.

Contained in the list below are the initial capital sums but in some instances further payments are due on appearances or promotion. Supporters can decide for themselves the relative values those players have contributed to the Club’s advancement.



What I am attempting to do through our youth development is simply eradicate as many of the pitfalls as possible that exist in football by ensuring careful research, due diligence, and an ethos that breeds winners.

Many of you will be saying “of course, why wouldn’t you” and yes, indeed why wouldn’t any club want such a scenario. I can tell you that in the lower leagues it takes a lot of investment, both financial and management time, to ensure a structure as I am describing is not only put in place but is maintained with continuity. That is why I say these activities are an investment in Southend’s future and I will not jeopardise that future by what might appear on the face to be a short term gain.

I said in my first blog that Rome was not built in a day. To put in place solid foundations and well considered infrastructure takes not only major investment, a great deal of time including, and most importantly, a stable management at all levels. It would not have escaped your notice that Steve Tilson and Paul Brush are two of the longest serving managers in the country. Some might say that is because they have been successful. That success cannot be created in a vacuum.

Contributions from a lot of quarters and from dedicated individuals with varying skill sets to maintain harmony on and off the pitch - including in the boardroom. You haven’t got to look very far to see the disharmony that is rife in so many clubs with changing managers, changing chairmen, changing shareholders.

With so many changes brings with it a change in personnel down the management pyramid. This in turn disrupts the infrastructure and also policy as individuals come and go.

Here at Southend United it is important to me to maintain that continuity but equally I would not be soft if the structure we had put in place was not creating the anticipated rewards. That said, do not misread that I have got any plans to change the hierarchy in any area of the Club moreover I am creating an environment from which future success should be derived if there are changes personnel can “slot” into the system.

You can see from the football management chart above how seriously we now take our scouting network than we ever have in the past. Our sports science is growing all the time and whereas the players three years ago may have had just bean(s) on toast for lunch, we now prepare not only breakfast but also a lunch with carefully considered nutritional values and variety (beans on toast!!).

I hope in some small way that the greater time the players spend with each other before and after training that team spirit will be enhanced, provided always that we have been careful in our selection process to ensure the individuals’ characters harmonise. We do not have to have the greatest players to have a winning team. We do not have any bad apples at Southend United but I can tell you from past experience they can be very disruptive to winning ways.

In closing I hope these ramblings have helped identify why I put so much store in youth development and why I believe it is the lifeblood of Southend United’s future where further investment will continue to be made.

Eventually it would be good to see constant recruitment year on year from our youth development programme supplemented by individuals sourced from our scouting network, both home and abroad. Those players having been screened to ensure as far as possible we take out the peaks and troughs (both financial and success) that affect so many football clubs.

This is not the entire picture and I could talk much more on the subject but I hope, as I say above, this gives some understanding as to how we can develop future stars whilst supplementing the investment and avoid some of the losses that all football clubs inevitably make through player purchase and very significant wasted wages.

Finally whilst not related in any way to youth development I thought I would finish by saying that earlier today I received a letter from a “supporter” which, although not dated, I suspect was written following the match against Crewe Alexandra last Tuesday. I have not been able to identify the individual from our data base and had I been able to do so I would have liked to share the views he expressed. However there was no address or telephone number and I suspect the writer used a pseudonym.

Mr Invisible suggested that the team lacked passion and he wanted me to “pay off Steve Tilson” and get a “management with high ambitions to progress” and stop “fobbing us off with your blog”.

He also went on with one or two ill conceived comments not worthy of mention here. However, for the record, I certainly consider the suggestion of our management team lacking ambition as ridiculous. Neither have I any plans to “pay off Steve Tilson”. As regards “fobbing us off with your blog” I can say from my heart that what I say in here is how I see things. If supporters are not interested or think I am wasting my time then I guess that message will be conveyed to me, in which case I will get back to work.

The idea of a blog first arose in an impromptu meeting I had with members of the Shrimpers Trust back in September when I met with Paul FitzGerald, Paul Yeomanson and Bryan Woodford. I cannot recollect the exact conversation but it was suggested by one of the Pauls (I think) that communicating with the fans on a regular basis i.e. once a month would be a good idea. I agreed – but few people would understand just how busy I have become and until such time as we are on site with the new stadium there will be no let up.

I therefore felt that I would not have the time to devote to such a regular commitment but now that I have embraced the idea I hope that supporters think it is worthwhile.

Credit where credit is due, the idea first came from the Shrimpers Trust.

To be honest I do not know what next week’s subject will be about for whilst I am trying to bring some uniformity to each week’s topic there is a tendency to overlap.

There are so many thoughts and actions at present that it is a case of prioritising the subject and one that I think you will also find interesting. Hopefully by next Tuesday I would have thought of something.

See you next week.

Up the Blues!

Ron Martin
Chairman,
Southend United Football Club
 
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Kenny

Thailand Shrimper
Joined
Oct 28, 2003
Messages
3,582
Location
Bangkok
I love the way he puts "In Closing" and then carries on for another 8 or so paragraphs!
 

Beefy

Life President
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
18,901
Location
Old Leigh
I wish he wouldn't put those pictures in. It's a bitch to cut and paste onto here. As evidenced by the fact that I've stuffed it up.
 

Beefy

Life President
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
18,901
Location
Old Leigh
Right, I think I've got the formatting right. It works in my Firefox anyway.

Plain text next week please Ron.

Thanks,

Beefy.
 

Kenny

Thailand Shrimper
Joined
Oct 28, 2003
Messages
3,582
Location
Bangkok
That image of the players names with Transfer fees is worth a "Discuss" thread all of its own. Reading through it was good to see bargains like Hooper and Eastwood, not so good to see the amounts next to Paynter, Foran, Harrold and to some extent Revs.
 

Perth Bambi

Pinocchio
Joined
Jan 31, 2004
Messages
2,245
Location
Leeds
That image of the players names with Transfer fees is worth a "Discuss" thread all of its own. Reading through it was good to see bargains like Hooper and Eastwood, not so good to see the amounts next to Paynter, Foran, Harrold and to some extent Revs.

I am more worried about the amount spent on Liptak and Ricketts.
 
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Andy_S

Member of the Barry Corr Fan Club
Joined
Oct 25, 2003
Messages
8,900
Location
New Barn, Kent
I wonder if the person who wrote into him comes from the Zone............ Fair chance? ;)
 

seany t

President
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
3,566
Right, I think I've got the formatting right. It works in my Firefox anyway.

Plain text next week please Ron.

Thanks,

Beefy.

But they're so pretty! So it'd appear from that list, that the more we spend on a player, the worse they are?

JFC was a snip!
 

Einstein

Esch Zhed Eff Schee
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
5,475
Location
Den Haag, Netherlands
Finally whilst not related in any way to youth development I thought I would finish by saying that earlier today I received a letter from a “supporter” which, although not dated, I suspect was written following the match against Crewe Alexandra last Tuesday. I have not been able to identify the individual from our data base and had I been able to do so I would have liked to share the views he expressed. However there was no address or telephone number and I suspect the writer used a pseudonym.

Mr Invisible suggested that the team lacked passion and he wanted me to “pay off Steve Tilson” and get a “management with high ambitions to progress” and stop “fobbing us off with your blog”.

He also went on with one or two ill conceived comments not worthy of mention here. However, for the record, I certainly consider the suggestion of our management team lacking ambition as ridiculous. Neither have I any plans to “pay off Steve Tilson”. As regards “fobbing us off with your blog” I can say from my heart that what I say in here is how I see things. If supporters are not interested or think I am wasting my time then I guess that message will be conveyed to me, in which case I will get back to work.
Has anyone got TTK's mobile number they can pass onto Ron?

Ron, a good read again though and please keep them coming. I think a poll on SZ would score at least a 75% approval rating right now. More than most of the Presidents & Prime Ministers around the world would get from their country polls!
 

Kenny

Thailand Shrimper
Joined
Oct 28, 2003
Messages
3,582
Location
Bangkok
Hmmm, Ron sounds battle weary from a lot of our bad transfer dealings and is really pushing our Youth system. I don't expect us to be splashing the cash in the off season.
 

sufc1234

Youth Team
Joined
May 26, 2008
Messages
159
harrold revell paynter ricketts foran what a waist....brighton must have been so happy with that and yeovil. Its like selling scanell for 200000
 

Ron Manager

formerly Libertine
Joined
Jan 21, 2007
Messages
5,626
Location
Brisbane, Australia
There will be good buys and bad buys. How about this question.... calculate our net spend on transfer fees since Tilly took over and consider the strength of the team now compared to when he took over and consider the journey the club had been on since then - has he spent wisely overall?
 

OldBlueLady

Junior Blues Coordinator⭐
Joined
Dec 27, 2007
Messages
47,926
Location
Benfleet
Surely that "Family Tree" thing is the same as what was published last week? I shall have to be having words because I haven't seen this latest piece of penmanship dropping in my inbox yet....it's just not good enough!
 

Gremlin

Life President
Joined
Nov 13, 2003
Messages
5,139
Location
In the works
For me the stand-out figure from the list is the rather obscure £74,900 for Michael Ricketts. I can only assume Ron deducted £100 for Fat Boy's "snack" in the Boots & Laces canteen prior to the contract negotiations.
 
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