Championship

Bellingham slams Birmingham’s decision to ‘remodel’ their academy

Birmingham's announcement that they intend to 'remodel' their academy has been greeted with disdain by graduate Jude Bellingham.

 
4:36pm on Tuesday 8th December 2020
By
Robin Bairner

Jude Bellingham has taken to his social media channels to criticise Birmingham City’s decision to remodel their youth system.

The 17-year-old was at Birmingham from a young age but was sold to Borussia Dortmund in the summer.

Since moving to Germany, the attacker has been a revelation. He has turned out 13 times for Lucien Favre’s side and has scored a single goal.

He is, however, dismayed to see Birmingham disband the academy system that he came through.

The announcement from the Blues came on Monday.

“Firstly, we share an immediate geographical catchment area with a number of other professional Football Clubs which makes attracting the best young talents from the local region increasingly difficult,” a statement from the club reads.

“Secondly, whilst we continue to field a competitive Under-23s team in the Professional Development League, there lies difficulty in exposing players to the standard of football which renders them equipped and ready for our First Team.

“Additionally, the necessary resource and funding of the Academy has to make sense from a business perspective.

“The review has highlighted that in the current climate, with the associated costs of operating an academy system of ten different age groups, developing value is becoming increasingly difficult.

“As a direct response to the findings of the internal review, the Club will be looking at remodelling the Academy system and exploring a “B and C Team” model.”

Birmingham have cited Brexit as a further reason to “revaluate” their player recruitment and youth development policies.

Bellingham, meanwhile, took to Twitter and posted a single facepalm emoji to make his feelings on the decision clear.

His transfer in the summer is understood to have cost Dortmund in the region of £25 million up front, although the official fee was undisclosed.

Upon his departure, Birmingham retired Bellingham’s No.22 shirt in order “to remember one of our own and inspire others”.

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