Date: 7th August 2009 at 7:45am
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One month ago City announced that MCFC Academy legend Jim Cassell was to take up a new post as head of an overseas academy department. Reaction at the time seemed fairly muted…

Based on the early July quotes that we can read on the dynamic new MCFC official site, Cassell appears delighted with the prospect.

‘I am thrilled to be part of such a ground-breaking venture. We have been having conversations for the past year about doing something new. If we didn’t add to what we do and come up with something new there was a fear that people in the Academy might alienate themselves away from new initiatives in the club.

‘The attraction of the role I am about to undertake with the international academies is that I have to come out of my comfort zone and if you want to go into the top echelon of the game that is what you have to do whether you are player, a coach or an Academy chief.’

Fast forward four weeks and up pops Das Daily Mail shrieking ‘City boss Hughes risks fury of fans by sending youth chief Cassell to Abu Dhabi.’

The article goes on to suggest ‘tension’ between Mark Hughes, his management team and Cassell throughout last season. The Academy guru is variously described as ‘saddened,’ ‘puzzled,’ and ‘unhappy’ at his ‘removal’ from his post as City’s Academy director.

The write up then lists upcoming Academy personnel changes. You’d be hard pressed to find that information on the official site.

Meanwhile, we the fans are said to be ‘alarmed.’ Well, I personally have yet to guage that sentiment across Planet Blue, much as I admire and respect Cassell’s brilliant work at making City’s Academy the envy of European football. Nothing I’ve read intimated that Cass is being forced out.

We’ve already seen a robustly led Manchester City steam into a couple of newspapers recently with libel action and react swiftly to certain hack’s shite stirring. It will be interesting to see how the club reacts to today’s allegations.

There are Blues out there in cyberspace who do terrific work following the fortunes of the Academy. If they can shed any light or truth upon what The Mail has published today, then please drop us a line at VMC.

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