Raj Singh questions whether Hartlepool United's academy is proving 'value for money' after Luca Murphy release

Raj Singh says Hartlepool United's academy system could be cut as it is yet to prove it is "value for money".

Saturday, 23rd March 2019, 5:53 pm
Updated Saturday, 23rd March 2019, 5:58 pm
Hartlepool United chairman Raj Singh.

Chairman Singh's comments come in light of the recent decision to release 17-year-old Luca Murphy, who Pools may yet not get a fee for, despite having coached him since the age of nine.

And Singh says the defender's departure is playing a massive role in his thinking moving forward.

"This is still a loss-making business at the present time and the initial financial commitment made when Jeff (Stelling) and I first started talking about the takeover has already gone in to the football club," Singh told Pools' matchday programme The Blue Print.

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"Now we have to look at ways of making sure we are cutting our cloth accordingly. Going forward I know that Mark Maguire on various different things to bring in additional revenue.

"On that note, one of the things being looked at is the academy and whether we can try and make that self-sufficient. I think it's been made clear that we lose the funding of £180,000 from the EFL next season. So we need to try and find a way of making up that loss because if we can't then we have to look at an alternative.

"With any loss-making business, you have to look at what value for money any section of the business can bring you. In that respect, I think I've pumped in over £200,000 to the academy this year and it hasn't brought any return - so that £200,000 could have been used on paying bills elsewhere within the club.

"A frustration on that front comes from the recent news about young defender Luca Murphy. At one point it looked as thought we were going to attract a substantial fee from a Premier League club for the lad, which would have benefited him and the club. However, that didn't materialise and when he came back to us he was offered a pro contract which he turned down flat and made it clear he didn't want to be at the club.

"When something like that happens, it makes that £200,000 plus you've spent even harder to swallow. It even leaves a nasty taste in the mouth."