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Mark Ashton Leaving (Merged)


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23 hours ago, Harry said:

That’s what’s in the official comms. 
Doesn’t match up with the fact that I been made aware of his appointment in December. Lansdown wanted Cotterill out but the board kept overruling him. Lansdown brought Ashton in to ‘verify’ the ‘problem’ that had occurred in the previous summer with recruitment. Ashton backed up Steve’s thinking and Cotterill was history. The announcement of Ashton post-sacking was designed to ensure Ashton took no responsibility for the sacking. 

Ashton was involved as a consultant re our Academy status a couple of years before he was appointed CEO. He wasn’t totally unknown to us.

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8 minutes ago, RedM said:

Ashton was involved as a consultant re our Academy status a couple of years before he was appointed CEO. He wasn’t totally unknown to us.

He was also involved in setting up recruitment ahead of the double winning season I believe

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3 minutes ago, JonDolman said:

I am surprised that people genuinely 'hate' Ashton

I’m not surprised because on Social Media nowadays there tends to be only a Love or Hate option. For most vocal people there is no grey area anymore sadly. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, OTIB or whatever only strong opinions tend to be heard. Trump, Boris, Brexit, BLM, Statues etc etc.
 

With City you can’t ‘quite like’ anyone anymore, whether it’s MA, SL, JL, LJ, Holden, Pearson, HNM, Antoine or Simpson. You are termed a ‘lover’ or a ‘hater’ and thus your opinion is dismissed. Thankfully on OTIB we still have the likes of @Davefevswho can still make reasoned arguments with facts and stats rather than their own agenda. 

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10 minutes ago, Johnny Musicworks said:

I’m not surprised because on Social Media nowadays there tends to be only a Love or Hate option. For most vocal people there is no grey area anymore sadly. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, OTIB or whatever only strong opinions tend to be heard. Trump, Boris, Brexit, BLM, Statues etc etc.
 

With City you can’t ‘quite like’ anyone anymore, whether it’s MA, SL, JL, LJ, Holden, Pearson, HNM, Antoine or Simpson. You are termed a ‘lover’ or a ‘hater’ and thus your opinion is dismissed. Thankfully on OTIB we still have the likes of @Davefevswho can still make reasoned arguments with facts and stats rather than their own agenda. 

Without reading the extremes of love and hate you can't come up with a balanced view, so drink it all in and get drunk on the opinion, then wake up with a screaming hangover and long for something grey.... or something like that anyway.

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1 hour ago, Show Me The Money! said:

To be fair to Ashton he didn’t pick all the players we signed and all that we sold. 

I know what you mean. As a fan I don’t like the fact we get mixed messages on who is responsible for incomings. 

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1 hour ago, Dolman_Stand said:

He was also involved in setting up recruitment ahead of the double winning season I believe

Pretty sure Harry or Davefevs confirmed MA consulted in 2012 but only came back the December before Cotts was sacked.

If so, assume Burt and Cotts fully responsible for double winning team and MA had no part in it. 

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1 hour ago, Dolman_Stand said:

He was also involved in setting up recruitment ahead of the double winning season I believe

No, that’s not correct.  He was involved in a consultancy capacity in 2012 when McInnes was manager and contributed to the decision to remove Russ Richardson (Recruitment).

He introduced a database.

McIness sacked.

SOD in. Burt in. SOD out.

Cotts in.

Somewhere along the lines the “database” / process chucked in bin.

Yet, very clever rhetoric that Ashton sewed the seeds on summer 14 recruitment with what he implemented in 2012..

@Harry anything to add?

3 minutes ago, Warwickshire Red said:

Pretty sure Harry or Davefevs confirmed MA consulted in 2012 but only came back the December before Cotts was sacked.

If so, assume Burt and Cotts fully responsible for double winning team and MA had no part in it. 

You’re too quick.

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In terms of the sheer amount of flak he gets, think parts are OTT. However the time is very much right for his departure.

1) Inflationary market or not and yes it helped, we were still towards the higher end of the Division over time in terms of Profit on Disposal of Players.

2) The recruitment gets slated but isn't it middling? We've slipped into a middling Championship side.

3) Surely a notable part of a reason for the decline is injuries. For big critics of the recruitment would a 1st XI then subs available a lot more often have been better results and performance wise this season. Think it might! This is just an example.

               Bentley 

Hunt Kalas Mawson DaSilva 

         Williams Walsh

Weimann Massengo Paterson

                    Wells

Subs: O'Leary, Sessegnon, Baker, Vyner, Nagy, O'Dowda, Semenyo, Martin, Diedhiou.

When fit, and let's not forget players such as Mariappa, Moore, Rowe, Bakinson and I'm sure I'm missing some, is that squad so bad. Sessegnon missed close to half a season through injury as well.

Granted this summer will be a big, a golden opportunity to rebuild in the manner Pearson would want but that squad when fit doesn't seem so bad.

Edited by Mr Popodopolous
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26 minutes ago, Davefevs said:

No, that’s not correct.  He was involved in a consultancy capacity in 2012 when McInnes was manager and contributed to the decision to remove Russ Richardson (Recruitment).

He introduced a database.

McIness sacked.

SOD in. Burt in. SOD out.

Cotts in.

Somewhere along the lines the “database” / process chucked in bin.

Yet, very clever rhetoric that Ashton sewed the seeds on summer 14 recruitment with what he implemented in 2012..

@Harry anything to add?

You’re too quick.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/35333639

"Prior to joining the U's, Ashton worked for City in a consultancy role when he was heavily involved in establishing the talent identification and recruitment system which was the foundation of the club's player recruitment in the first half of 2014.

He also led the project that enabled the club to secure Category 2 status for the academy while moving it to its present home at South Gloucestershire and Stroud College, in Filton.

"We made sure we didn't lose contact with Mark after he had done such an excellent job for us in establishing the systems which were used to such good effect in the 2014 summer transfer window," said Bristol City owner Steve Lansdown.

"We are delighted we have managed to persuade him to join us again, this time on a permanent basis. This appointment is a further step in our long-term strategy to build the best on and off the pitch specialist expertise across our whole group."

This is where I'd seen him credited to some extent with the 2014 recruitment drive (by Steve Lansdown no less), your timeline is correct though so how much of a role it played in reality is debateable.

 

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14 minutes ago, Dolman_Stand said:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/35333639

"Prior to joining the U's, Ashton worked for City in a consultancy role when he was heavily involved in establishing the talent identification and recruitment system which was the foundation of the club's player recruitment in the first half of 2014.

He also led the project that enabled the club to secure Category 2 status for the academy while moving it to its present home at South Gloucestershire and Stroud College, in Filton.

"We made sure we didn't lose contact with Mark after he had done such an excellent job for us in establishing the systems which were used to such good effect in the 2014 summer transfer window," said Bristol City owner Steve Lansdown.

"We are delighted we have managed to persuade him to join us again, this time on a permanent basis. This appointment is a further step in our long-term strategy to build the best on and off the pitch specialist expertise across our whole group."

This is where I'd seen him credited to some extent with the 2014 recruitment drive (by Steve Lansdown no less), your timeline is correct though so how much of a role it played in reality is debateable.

 

Yep, we all remember that.  More spin than a Shane Warne leggie out the rough 🤣🤣🤣.

 

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41 minutes ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

In terms of the sheer amount of flak he gets, think parts are OTT. However the time is very much right for his departure.

1) Inflationary market or not and yes it helped, we were still towards the higher end of the Division over time in terms of Profit on Disposal of Players.

2) The recruitment gets slated but isn't it middling? We've slipped into a middling Championship side.

3) Surely a notable part of a reason for the decline is injuries. For big critics of the recruitment would a 1st XI then subs available a lot more often have been better results and performance wise this season. Think it might! This is just an example.

               Bentley 

Hunt Kalas Mawson DaSilva 

         Williams Walsh

Weimann Massengo Paterson

                    Wells

Subs: O'Leary, Sessegnon, Baker, Vyner, Nagy, O'Dowda, Semenyo, Martin, Diedhiou.

When fit, and let's not forget players such as Mariappa, Moore, Rowe, Bakinson and I'm sure I'm missing some, is that squad so bad. Sessegnon missed close to half a season through injury as well.

Granted this summer will be a big, a golden opportunity to rebuild in the manner Pearson would want but that squad when fit doesn't seem so bad.

Personally I would say recruitment and retention has been poor and getting worse. MA sold our most talented, younger players before their peak. He has replaced them with overpaid ageing journeymen with no sell-on value, a few injury-prone loan punts with us covering high wages, AND let contracts run down with too many players. Bordering on negligent for me and just compare it with a club like Brentford, which I think is a fair comparison. 

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1 hour ago, Johnny Musicworks said:

I’m not surprised because on Social Media nowadays there tends to be only a Love or Hate option. For most vocal people there is no grey area anymore sadly. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, OTIB or whatever only strong opinions tend to be heard. Trump, Boris, Brexit, BLM, Statues etc etc.
 

With City you can’t ‘quite like’ anyone anymore, whether it’s MA, SL, JL, LJ, Holden, Pearson, HNM, Antoine or Simpson. You are termed a ‘lover’ or a ‘hater’ and thus your opinion is dismissed. Thankfully on OTIB we still have the likes of @Davefevswho can still make reasoned arguments with facts and stats rather than their own agenda. 

The same is true of politics, opinions, etc. The nuance and subtlety of debate is gone, polarisation and antagonism has taken its place.

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36 minutes ago, Dolman_Stand said:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/35333639

"Prior to joining the U's, Ashton worked for City in a consultancy role when he was heavily involved in establishing the talent identification and recruitment system which was the foundation of the club's player recruitment in the first half of 2014.

He also led the project that enabled the club to secure Category 2 status for the academy while moving it to its present home at South Gloucestershire and Stroud College, in Filton.

"We made sure we didn't lose contact with Mark after he had done such an excellent job for us in establishing the systems which were used to such good effect in the 2014 summer transfer window," said Bristol City owner Steve Lansdown.

"We are delighted we have managed to persuade him to join us again, this time on a permanent basis. This appointment is a further step in our long-term strategy to build the best on and off the pitch specialist expertise across our whole group."

This is where I'd seen him credited to some extent with the 2014 recruitment drive (by Steve Lansdown no less), your timeline is correct though so how much of a role it played in reality is debateable.

 

The letters BS can stand for something besides Bristol Sport...

But let's be generous and call it spin instead. Lansdown was never shy of blowing smoke up Ashton's posterior and vice versa. 

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2 hours ago, JonDolman said:

I am surprised that people genuinely 'hate' Ashton

Personally I think only about 50% of the fan base hate him, though probably another 30% don’t even like him that much..

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2 hours ago, JonDolman said:

I am surprised that people genuinely 'hate' Ashton

Agreed.   But I do find myself wondering how long his involvement with this Ipswich business goes back?   By some accounts he seems to have been serving two masters for a while, which I do find upsetting.  

Also, in my business career, I'm aways interested in consultants who end up being CEO'S of their client and Ashton seems to be the sort of person who can spot a golden goose, shall we say?  He's done twice now.

Edited by Daniro
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2 hours ago, RedM said:

Ashton was involved as a consultant re our Academy status a couple of years before he was appointed CEO. He wasn’t totally unknown to us.

 

2 hours ago, Dolman_Stand said:

He was also involved in setting up recruitment ahead of the double winning season I believe

 

54 minutes ago, Dolman_Stand said:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/35333639

"Prior to joining the U's, Ashton worked for City in a consultancy role when he was heavily involved in establishing the talent identification and recruitment system which was the foundation of the club's player recruitment in the first half of 2014.

He also led the project that enabled the club to secure Category 2 status for the academy while moving it to its present home at South Gloucestershire and Stroud College, in Filton.

"We made sure we didn't lose contact with Mark after he had done such an excellent job for us in establishing the systems which were used to such good effect in the 2014 summer transfer window," said Bristol City owner Steve Lansdown.

"We are delighted we have managed to persuade him to join us again, this time on a permanent basis. This appointment is a further step in our long-term strategy to build the best on and off the pitch specialist expertise across our whole group."

This is where I'd seen him credited to some extent with the 2014 recruitment drive (by Steve Lansdown no less), your timeline is correct though so how much of a role it played in reality is debateable.

 

This is what you would generously call an embellished CV, or less generously, bull. 
 

Dave’s post above is the truth. But to add :

Yes, he was here in a consultancy role throughout 2012. He essentially came in to set up a recruitment database (on behalf of his company Tactical Change). He sacked the head scout. He provided zero support to the then manager McInness resulting in what was a somewhat novice manager with a lack of Champ level contacts, and no head scout or scouting network to support him, leaving DMC to either source his own inferior players from Scotland and his limited contacts or be bedecked with Ashton’s wondrous network which brought us the recruitment of the single most yellowbellied side I’ve ever seen which got relegated the year after Ashton had left. 

The subsequent managers (Sod, Cotts) as well as Burt, pretty much scrapped and ignored Ashton’s wondrous network that he’d implemented and went ahead to bring in their own players with zero Ashton influence. The clubs claims that Ashton’s systems contributed to the recruitment of the promotion squad is North Korea levels of propaganda. If anyone wants a named source on that, I’ll give you 3 - SOD, Cotts & Burt. 

The claims that Ashton lead the project for Academy 2 Status in also ridiculously North Korean and does a huge disservice to the people who ACTUALLY delivered it - Amy Kington and her team, with major input from SOD as well. If you want a source on that too - SOD and a number of others who actually worked on that project. 
 

It’s hilarious to me that now he’s leaving, we’re seeing the propaganda machine in further flow, suggesting that somehow he was involved in the stadium rebuild that was started years before his arrival. Absolutely brilliant. 

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8 minutes ago, GrahamC said:

Personally I think only about 50% of the fan base hate him, though probably another 30% don’t even like him that much..

50% of people who comment on here and twitter you mean? I know fans who know very little about things like who our CEO is.

4 minutes ago, Daniro said:

Agreed.   But I do find myself wondering how long his involvement with this Ipswich business goes back?   By some accounts he seems to have been serving two masters for a while, which I do find upsetting.  

Also, in my business career, I'm aways interested in consultants who end up being CEO'S of their client and Ashton seems to be the sort of person who can spot a golden goose, shall we say?  He's done twice now.

It seems to me Lansdown doesn't want to lose Ashton. Going by what he has said about Ashton leaving end of the season for Ipswich. 

I don't know what has and hasn't happened.

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3 minutes ago, Harry said:

 

 

This is what you would generously call an embellished CV, or less generously, bull. 
 

Dave’s post above is the truth. But to add :

Yes, he was here in a consultancy role throughout 2012. He essentially came in to set up a recruitment database (on behalf of his company Tactical Change). He sacked the head scout. He provided zero support to the then manager McInness resulting in what was a somewhat novice manager with a lack of Champ level contacts, and no head scout or scouting network to support him, leaving DMC to either source his own inferior players from Scotland and his limited contacts or be bedecked with Ashton’s wondrous network which brought us the recruitment of the single most yellowbellied side I’ve ever seen which got relegated the year after Ashton had left. 

The subsequent managers (Sod, Cotts) as well as Burt, pretty much scrapped and ignored Ashton’s wondrous network that he’d implemented and went ahead to bring in their own players with zero Ashton influence. The clubs claims that Ashton’s systems contributed to the recruitment of the promotion squad is North Korea levels of propaganda. If anyone wants a named source on that, I’ll give you 3 - SOD, Cotts & Burt. 

The claims that Ashton lead the project for Academy 2 Status in also ridiculously North Korean and does a huge disservice to the people who ACTUALLY delivered it - Amy Kington and her team, with major input from SOD as well. If you want a source on that too - SOD and a number of others who actually worked on that project. 
 

It’s hilarious to me that now he’s leaving, we’re seeing the propaganda machine in further flow, suggesting that somehow he was involved in the stadium rebuild that was started years before his arrival. Absolutely brilliant. 

Why do you think Ashton was able to impress SL for so long? Do you think it's simply because SL is used to corporate types from his career so works well with them? 

 

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6 minutes ago, Harry said:

 

 

This is what you would generously call an embellished CV, or less generously, bull. 
 

Dave’s post above is the truth. But to add :

Yes, he was here in a consultancy role throughout 2012. He essentially came in to set up a recruitment database (on behalf of his company Tactical Change). He sacked the head scout. He provided zero support to the then manager McInness resulting in what was a somewhat novice manager with a lack of Champ level contacts, and no head scout or scouting network to support him, leaving DMC to either source his own inferior players from Scotland and his limited contacts or be bedecked with Ashton’s wondrous network which brought us the recruitment of the single most yellowbellied side I’ve ever seen which got relegated the year after Ashton had left. 

The subsequent managers (Sod, Cotts) as well as Burt, pretty much scrapped and ignored Ashton’s wondrous network that he’d implemented and went ahead to bring in their own players with zero Ashton influence. The clubs claims that Ashton’s systems contributed to the recruitment of the promotion squad is North Korea levels of propaganda. If anyone wants a named source on that, I’ll give you 3 - SOD, Cotts & Burt. 

The claims that Ashton lead the project for Academy 2 Status in also ridiculously North Korean and does a huge disservice to the people who ACTUALLY delivered it - Amy Kington and her team, with major input from SOD as well. If you want a source on that too - SOD and a number of others who actually worked on that project. 
 

It’s hilarious to me that now he’s leaving, we’re seeing the propaganda machine in further flow, suggesting that somehow he was involved in the stadium rebuild that was started years before his arrival. Absolutely brilliant. 

One aim for next season is surely for BS to stop Bull Shitting us fans please. FFS. It is also disrespectful to the team at AG who actually did deliver it.

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1 hour ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

In terms of the sheer amount of flak he gets, think parts are OTT. However the time is very much right for his departure.

1) Inflationary market or not and yes it helped, we were still towards the higher end of the Division over time in terms of Profit on Disposal of Players.

2) The recruitment gets slated but isn't it middling? We've slipped into a middling Championship side.

3) Surely a notable part of a reason for the decline is injuries. For big critics of the recruitment would a 1st XI then subs available a lot more often have been better results and performance wise this season. Think it might! This is just an example.

               Bentley 

Hunt Kalas Mawson DaSilva 

         Williams Walsh

Weimann Massengo Paterson

                    Wells

Subs: O'Leary, Sessegnon, Baker, Vyner, Nagy, O'Dowda, Semenyo, Martin, Diedhiou.

When fit, and let's not forget players such as Mariappa, Moore, Rowe, Bakinson and I'm sure I'm missing some, is that squad so bad. Sessegnon missed close to half a season through injury as well.

Granted this summer will be a big, a golden opportunity to rebuild in the manner Pearson would want but that squad when fit doesn't seem so bad.

I really do think we had the players to have a very good season. Far too many injuries. 

Pearson + that squad of players + not many long term injuries. Where would we be right now I wonder.

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Just now, Phileas Fogg said:

Why do you think Ashton was able to impress SL for so long? Do you think it's simply because SL is used to corporate types from his career so works well with them? 

 

Most likely.   The culture at Hargreaves Lansdown when SL was there would suggest as much.    Hargreaves was a coercive, opinionated,  bullying type and we all know what dear old Stevie is like; dogged and firm in his beliefs, you might say.    Smooth talking yes-men only survived in senior positions.

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14 minutes ago, Phileas Fogg said:

Why do you think Ashton was able to impress SL for so long? Do you think it's simply because SL is used to corporate types from his career so works well with them? 

 

I don’t know mate. I know a few people who know SL personally and even they have been baffled on this. SL isn’t stupid and he doesn’t take any shit, so they are just baffled as to what MA has done to gain his trust. Honestly mate, that is one thing I don’t have an answer for. 😆

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It would be interesting to know what role MA has had in attracting investors if any. Maybe the Ipswich consortium were offered to us first through his contacts and it may be the reason SL is reluctant to lose him is that he will need someone else who has those sort of contacts.
 

On the other hand Jon being in Bermuda with all its financial connections may be leading the search for investors himself and MA was to be the man to take on the negotiating, dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s. It could all add up to SL being more hands on in the short term and hopefully he will start by wrapping up the deal with NP.

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19 minutes ago, Phileas Fogg said:

Why do you think Ashton was able to impress SL for so long? 

 

Because Ashton was happy to do the owner's bidding, to the letter. Unlike several previous employees (Pelling, Cotts, Burt), ie. he was impressed by Ashton's loyalty (which he bought with an exorbitant salary)

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1 hour ago, Wolf Island said:

Personally I would say recruitment and retention has been poor and getting worse. MA sold our most talented, younger players before their peak. He has replaced them with overpaid ageing journeymen with no sell-on value, a few injury-prone loan punts with us covering high wages, AND let contracts run down with too many players. Bordering on negligent for me and just compare it with a club like Brentford, which I think is a fair comparison. 

'OVERPAID ageing journeymen'

Does this stand up to scrutiny? I'd say it's a mixed bag. Players with a certain amount of ability and under 30.

Bentley- In and approaching prime age range for a GK. 

Sessegnon- England U21 International.

Kalas- Czech International, two promotions and two playoffs at this level. Under 30.

Mawson- Under 30. Very good CB- when fit!

DaSilva- Signed age 21, only 23 now. Chelsea Academy, England U21 or was. Seems to have a lot of injuries.

Williams- Very good fitness record- until he joined us!! 23 when signed, 24 now, peak age still ahead.

Walsh- Too many injuries. Yet he has something, if only we could get him fit and in a consistent run with Williams.

Massengo- Best years are ahead of him IMO. Still only 19, only turns 20 in the summer.

Palmer- I'll grant, not worked as hoped. Has shown flashes but don't think he is suitable for the CM 3. Certainly not to date worth the outlay. Is 24 now, approaching a crunch period in his overall career.

Unnecessary who have now gone.

Did we need to sign Szmodics as well as Palmer?

The leap for Eisa was too much, we possibly made a book profit. Neither him or Szmodics were too old though.

Nagy- 24 I think? Not as down on him as many on here.

Last season:

Pereira-Loan. Age 21 on signing.

Benkovic- Didn't play to strengths, ball carrying CB on the left, best in a 3. Aged 22 when we signed him.

Afobe under 30 and was great until his injury. Just what we needed.

Assorted others.

Moore only turns 24 in May, O'Dowda is 25 and turns 26 soon.

How far back do we want to go.

Now of late, we have signed too many outfield players aged 30 and above, I do agree. Last couple of seasons:

Simpson, Mariappa, Williams, Rowe, Lansbury, Henriksen, Rodri, Wells and Martin.

Rodri was short term so I kinda discount, I'm not averse to a squad having some players 30 or a bit above though I'm not keen on it in particular at CB for tactical reasons and as forwards. Rowe has actually done a very good job relative to outlay and expectation mostly.

Martin we did not manage well at all, see how Derby utilised him last season. It paid off too with 15-20 goals and assists in the League. Would have to check but think that was his combined output.

Wells has been stuck on the left for decent periods. Replicate QPR level, no. Better than we've seen? Yes.

I maintain, the injuries have blurred lines on recruitment. How can you judge fairly a players ability if there are persistent injuries.

@Harry

That side you refer to, assuming 2012/13 had some alright component parts. 

Heaton, Cunningham, Adomah, Baldock, Davies. Anderson had flashes. Lacked a certain balance for sure, Danns made a difference on loan. Might the issue have laid deeper however. Adomah of course had nothing to do with Ashton.

Seem to recall multiple left backs getting injured?

You also state the most yellowbellied side, was it won 5 and drew 2 at home of O'Driscoll's first 7. Some quite good results and performances among them.

Edited by Mr Popodopolous
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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

 

@Harry

That side you refer to, assuming 2012/13 had some alright component parts. 

Heaton, Cunningham, Adomah, Baldock, Davies. Anderson had flashes. Lacked a certain balance for sure, Danns made a difference on loan. Might the issue have laid deeper however. Adomah of course had nothing to do with Ashton.

Seem to recall multiple left backs getting injured?

You can remember them fondly if you like. I remember it as the most gutless collection of players who were relegated about 17 games before the end of the season. I don’t recall too fond memories of Bates, McManus, Pearson, Briggs, Wilson, Kelly, Davies etc. Recruitment that year was terrible and resulted in an overpaid, over the hill or injury ridden collection of players who rolled over for every opponent. Sound familiar? Ashton’s hand.... 

Edited by Harry
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