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The Academics

You can't win anything with kids, sobeit with academy graduates.
Started on 27 January 2016 by Palestino
Latest Reply on 29 January 2016 by Griffo
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ASPIRE Academy Looking to England for New Project


The ASPIRE Academy was set-up in Qatar to help develop the young male Qatari athletes, whilst also providing them with secondary school education. They have since expanded their brand to smaller nations like Senegal, Paraguay and Thailand to help nurture their sporting talents. ASPIRE recently launched the HOPE project. The H.O.P.E Project – Habituating Overseas Professional Experience –was launched to provide its young football players (ages 18+) with the opportunity to experience training and playing for well-established professional football clubs in Europe. By sending a selection of its football players to these football organizations, the academy aims to help them gain experience, develop their skills and compete with multinational players coming from various multi-cultural backgrounds. International clubs include Real Madrid, Villarreal & Real Sociedad of Spain, Red Bull Salzburg of Austria, K.A.S. Eupen of Belgium, LASK Linz also of Austria. ASPIRE’s global ambassadors include Raul, Lionel Messi and Pelé.


Now ASPIRE want to outright own a football club sending youngsters of the new project to their new clubs to live and learn new cultures and experiences whilst they’re residents there. Off-field education will be included to them. Rumours coming from Qatar are that they are looking to the lower leagues of England to spearhead the new project.

There is one obstacle the ASPIRE bosses will need to overcome however. That is work permit issues. The English FA have very strict work permit laws which could prevent the non-EU graduates from joining an English club. Nevertheless, the rules are usually bent for bigger clubs which could give ASPIRE hope of their new project conceptions becoming reality.

Coventry City and ASPIRE links refuse to go away after ASPIRE announcement


Coventry City are the latest club to be linked with ASPIRE and the new impending takeover of an English club. ASPIRE officially revealed ealier in the week that they are going to take control of a lowly English club to further their graduates’ education on and off the pitch. Coventry laughed off any links in a club statement saying ‘no approach has ever been made and probably never will’.


Above: New home for some lucky graduates?

Semi-Pro Eastleigh of the Vanarama Conference were also linked to ASPIRE but a takeover of a 5th tier side looks improbable and ASPIRE are looking more towards a professional club. ASPIRE also confirmed that ex-Southampton executive chairman Nicola Cortese was appointed chief advisor in their search for an English representive.
Very interesting start, I have thought of this idea but I never ran with it, good presentation and I hope you continue with the story.

ASPIRE Work Permit Issue Green Light


According to Nicola Cortese, ASPIRE’s deal with the FA to give all academy graduates work permits is done.

ASPIRE were worried that their plans to take over a club in England would be scuppered by work permit rules but that is no longer an issue apparently. The way that ASPIRE recruit their players is no issue because of the extensive research they do on their players before taking them on. The players are brought in at 14-15 and their entire family backgrounds are checked as well as thorough mental and physical examinations to make sure the player is right for ASPIRE. Due to the way they go about their work has clearly impressed the English FA for them to allow ASPIRE to gain any work permit. This deal could change the English game. For better or worse, who knows but one thing is for sure is that ASPIRE aren’t playing around and their new club is to be confirmed within a couple of days.
Palestino's avatar Group Palestino
5 yearsEdited

ASPIRE Strike Deal with…

ASPIRE have confirmed their new club just a day after completing a controversial deal with the English FA too help their players gain an English work permit.

That new club is Cheltenham Town. No one expected this especially after their relegation last season where they got relegated into the Conference from the Football League. The Cheltenham Chairman Paul Baker bid his farewells via the clubs Twitter account telling the fans ‘you might see me at the ground for the odd game’ and wishes the clubs new owners all the best. Nicola Cortese has taken up the role as the Director of Football at the club and now faces the task of looking for a new manager after Gary Johnson left to become assistant manager at Barnsley assisting his son.


ASPIRE also released a statement on their website about the project they’re running at Cheltenham. It read;

‘First of all, we would like to assure all Cheltenham fans who are worried about the deal that we aren’t here to meddle with your football club, but to come together and achieve something beautiful.
The new project we are running is called the L.O.A.F. Development Programme. The basic and shortened explanation of the programme is too help nurture players who are sent to our academy from countries with poor football development, send them to CTFC to gain valuable footballing experience and opportunities that wouldn’t be available at our academy. The players will be officially owned by Cheltenham and can be sold by them. The players that will be sent over are from the Friends of ASPIRE Project and the nationalities of the players consist of;

• Guinea-Bissauan
• Syrian
• Malaysian
• Macedonian
• Honduran
Also some promising Qatari players may join the club as well.’


ASPIRE are certainly changing the international game for the good but who knows what it’ll do to the English game.
Very interesting, good update!

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