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The 5 Pillars, what were they then? Have they changed now?


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I don’t believe that the basics have changed , in fact they have proved to be very profitable with players being sold for small fortunes , youngsters coming in and the crowds are improving with all the work being put into the community and the performances on the pitch.

Every business needs a plan and City have that base which is very important. The stability has been a big part of our success both in the pitch and in attracting new players .

We are going in the right direction because we know which direction that we’re actually going in, which is a massive change from the past . 

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3 hours ago, Unan said:

 

At that point the community trust were running post school coaching sessions across Bristol that could/would feed players into the academy. There is still coaching in the community but I would hesitate to call it a pathway. It is not as focussed in its ambitions.

Bristol City do have pre academy teams with excellent coaches but its not a large network of coaching. 

Edited by Cowshed
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IMO, the five pillars failed because they became our only policy.

We were on a downhill spiral, mostly because we had spent money on a few flops and/or offered large contracts for players we couldn't shit on. Instead of gradually easing ourselves into a youth policy, Lansdown Jr and McInnes announce that we're focusing on the five pillars, and spending kinda...stopped.

From there, the writing was always on the wall. The club focused on coaches that would continue this vision, and we fell into League 1. It took hiring a manager (not a head coach) that had the balls to tell the ownership that you cannot build a team out of youngsters, and that a mixture of experience and youth is required. Cotterill built a balanced team, and we went from an inconsistent mess to a team that walked away with the League 1 title.

We're largely still following the same policy, but the club have realised that balance is key. You need a mixture of youngsters on the fringes, players establishing themselves, first team players, and players at their peak with experience in the game.

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35 minutes ago, EnderMB said:

IMO, the five pillars failed because they became our only policy.

We were on a downhill spiral, mostly because we had spent money on a few flops and/or offered large contracts for players we couldn't shit on. Instead of gradually easing ourselves into a youth policy, Lansdown Jr and McInnes announce that we're focusing on the five pillars, and spending kinda...stopped.

From there, the writing was always on the wall. The club focused on coaches that would continue this vision, and we fell into League 1. It took hiring a manager (not a head coach) that had the balls to tell the ownership that you cannot build a team out of youngsters, and that a mixture of experience and youth is required. Cotterill built a balanced team, and we went from an inconsistent mess to a team that walked away with the League 1 title.

We're largely still following the same policy, but the club have realised that balance is key. You need a mixture of youngsters on the fringes, players establishing themselves, first team players, and players at their peak with experience in the game.

The major area where I disagree is that the five pillars succeeded. Yes, there was a realisation that we needed to move away for a short period to stop the rot and turn the club around, which Cotterill did, but the work around the five pillars continued in the background during that time and the Johnson appointment really saw it come into fruition.

If you look at what they were:

1) Investing in the Academy and Local Players - Very hard to argue against the fact this is happening, albeit with a few grumbles that the number of players we have signed are restricting the pathway.

2) Community - I think the Community Trust are way more visible.

3) Facilities - massive improvements..

4) Financial prudence - I'd say so. 

5) As a general rule signing players under 24 - this is what we are mostly doing. 

For all the derision the pillars got at the time, they have not failed at all and we have been following them pretty effectively. 

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25 minutes ago, LondonBristolian said:

The major area where I disagree is that the five pillars succeeded. Yes, there was a realisation that we needed to move away for a short period to stop the rot and turn the club around, which Cotterill did, but the work around the five pillars continued in the background during that time and the Johnson appointment really saw it come into fruition.

If you look at what they were:

1) Investing in the Academy and Local Players - Very hard to argue against the fact this is happening, albeit with a few grumbles that the number of players we have signed are restricting the pathway.

2) Community - I think the Community Trust are way more visible.

3) Facilities - massive improvements..

4) Financial prudence - I'd say so. 

5) As a general rule signing players under 24 - this is what we are mostly doing. 

For all the derision the pillars got at the time, they have not failed at all and we have been following them pretty effectively. 

Point 1) is not that simple imo. The club are not existing to “give away” the shirt to Academy players in order to justify a pillar. They have to be good enough. The large number of players we have playing in League’s 1 and 2 suggests the Academy is not far off being fit for purpose at the level we play at. BUT we have to remember that to get a regular game at Championship level as a youngster you have to be quite exceptional in comparison to your peers.

The policy of sending our best young ‘uns out to “man up” (with the exception of Lloyd Kelly who was that one particularly outstanding talent you get occasionally  that didn’t need it) seems like it might bear fruit in the long run. Many of them are getting regular game time and good reviews in the lower leagues which suggests that a few of them will be up to Championship football and perhaps beyond in the long run.

Parents (and fans) who want it all “now” for the kids are living in cloud cuckoo land.

Edited by Numero Uno
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1 hour ago, LondonBristolian said:

The major area where I disagree is that the five pillars succeeded. Yes, there was a realisation that we needed to move away for a short period to stop the rot and turn the club around, which Cotterill did, but the work around the five pillars continued in the background during that time and the Johnson appointment really saw it come into fruition.

If you look at what they were:

1) Investing in the Academy and Local Players - Very hard to argue against the fact this is happening, albeit with a few grumbles that the number of players we have signed are restricting the pathway.

2) Community - I think the Community Trust are way more visible.

3) Facilities - massive improvements..

4) Financial prudence - I'd say so. 

5) As a general rule signing players under 24 - this is what we are mostly doing. 

For all the derision the pillars got at the time, they have not failed at all and we have been following them pretty effectively. 

They are currently succeeding, but my point was that suddenly changing club policy is what allows a club on the downturn to continue to plummet. You only need to look at Sunderland to see this in action. The second their owner shopped spending, despite having a squad that was more than good enough for the Championship, showed a decline that was near impossible to stop.

The ideas are sound, but switching from one plan to another in a reactionary manner was our downfall, and it took caving into Cotterill to bring the club back.

Frankly, I'm still not sold on whether it's a good idea because the jury is still out as to whether it's a mixture of LJ's influence, Ashton being brought in, or whether we simply had a good batch of youngsters at the right time.

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50 minutes ago, EnderMB said:

They are currently succeeding, but my point was that suddenly changing club policy is what allows a club on the downturn to continue to plummet. You only need to look at Sunderland to see this in action. The second their owner shopped spending, despite having a squad that was more than good enough for the Championship, showed a decline that was near impossible to stop.

The ideas are sound, but switching from one plan to another in a reactionary manner was our downfall, and it took caving into Cotterill to bring the club back.

Frankly, I'm still not sold on whether it's a good idea because the jury is still out as to whether it's a mixture of LJ's influence, Ashton being brought in, or whether we simply had a good batch of youngsters at the right time.

I think it’s a case of do the right things and when you have a downturn, which is inevitable, continue to do the right things until things go back upwards again. I agree that reactionary changes in trying to arrest a decline just make the problem worse.

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2 hours ago, Numero Uno said:

Point 1) is not that simple imo. The club are not existing to “give away” the shirt to Academy players in order to justify a pillar. They have to be good enough. The large number of players we have playing in League’s 1 and 2 suggests the Academy is not far off being fit for purpose at the level we play at. BUT we have to remember that to get a regular game at Championship level as a youngster you have to be quite exceptional in comparison to your peers.

The policy of sending our best young ‘uns out to “man up” (with the exception of Lloyd Kelly who was that one particularly outstanding talent you get occasionally  that didn’t need it) seems like it might bear fruit in the long run. Many of them are getting regular game time and good reviews in the lower leagues which suggests that a few of them will be up to Championship football and perhaps beyond in the long run.

Parents (and fans) who want it all “now” for the kids are living in cloud cuckoo land.

I think the other point to make is that the academy can still be successful even if it does not produce players that play for Bristol City. 

The quality of player that our first team needs is not fixed. Over the past ten years (I can't recall exactly when the pillars were stated) we have gone from the middle of the Championship, to the bottom of League 1 and now sit 5th in the Championship. Over that ten years a player who was 12 in the play-off season will have matured into a 22 year-old. Over the course of that maturation the quality that he needs to develop to achieve the end goal of playing for Bristol City's first XI has changed drastically. In 2013/14 he would have been looking at Wagstaff and a young Pack as his competition, and may have been pegged as first team potential. Now, when he is 22, our first team are signing players like Nagy and Massengo. I think this is broadly what has happened to Joe Morrell; the club has developed faster than he has.

Morrell may never become a regular in our starting line up. However, he may be sold to Lincoln for a million pounds at the end of the season and go on to captain Lincoln to a league title next season. I, and I think the club, would count that as a success for the academy. I think Brian Tinnion said as much in the recent "Cider With" that OSIB did with him. Likewise Bobby Reid, Lloyd Kelly and Joe Bryan - it is a success for the academy to realise 30 million quid for those three and produce three players that other clubs have deemed to be premier league quality.

If and when we achieve promotion, and if we survive up there for a few seasons, we will see very few academy players in our starting XI. However, we would instead likely see the academy make substantial money through loan fees paid by championship clubs, plus transfer fees as we sell 18-22 year olds at 2-5 million a pop.

That would still be a success. We would still, as a club, have proven that we had invested, through the academy, in young Bristol (and hinterlands) born men who go on to have careers in professional football and make very good livings for themselves. 

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2 hours ago, Andre_The_Giant said:

Was mentioned by Jon L in the latest A Cider With OSIB podcast.

The answer was that the pillars didn’t go away, they just stopped talking about them.

Talk is cheap. Credit to the club for the way they’ve silently and diligently implemented things in last 5 years.

In hindsight Flinty and Pack were 'pillars' of our defence .. So that's two of 'em gone!

Onwards and upwards COYR's !  

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