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Some of the benefits would include a larger catchment area which is determined by the Category of the academy. More money if one of our prospects are poached by a another club, with add ons increased. Increased coaching time for the players involved. More full-time staff. Cost obviously isn’t predetermined but articles I’ve seen is between £4-6million which is probably around double the cost of running a Cat 2. Although grants are provided to cover some of the costs. Significant investment would have to be put forward to meet the criteria of being a Cat 1, but I would imagine some this would already be offset with the new training facilities. Also I believe the costs aren’t factored into the FFP regulations so theoretically Landsdown could spend as much as he wants without it affecting the finances. I guess its weighing up the cost vs benefits.
Always a possibility, but they seem to be very proactive with their forward planning, that I’d expect them to have made a decision. I personally would love us to have the only Category 1 Academy in the South West and to hopefully be able to attract the best talent in the region. Although obviously the costs aren’t cheap!
Definitely wasn’t scripted as I asked a question on twitter during the feed. Some interesting responses. Although Mark Ashton did sit on the fence when I asked about applying for Cat 1 status for the academy.