The sporting director of Newcastle United, Dan Ashworth, has been speaking about the current vision of the Magpies, to become a sustainable top six club in the Premier League.

Dan spoke to UCFB about how important all departments and stakeholders are in the current vision of future growth at Newcastle United.

He said: “It’s really important to have a vision. That’s normally set by the board. A vision or target that people can aspire to and align to. Once you’ve got your vision, it’s about setting a plan where everyone feels a part of that plan.

“There’s a great quote: ‘A vision without a plan is just a dream, a plan without a dream is boring.’”

He added: “Ultimately, the success of any football club is driven by the First Team results. That could be men’s or women’s teams, but in the main, it’s the men’s results simply because that’s the bit at the moment, in the current game, that drives the revenues.

“For any club to stay in the Premier League is worth a lot in terms of TV and commercial rights. For us to get into the Champions League is also worth a lot in terms of TV and commercial rights.

“So, in order to sustain and have the resources to drive your vision, the First Team results are absolutely paramount.”

He went on to speak about how visions and ambitions at football clubs are long-term goals, saying: “You have to be careful not to react to short-term results, as a sporting director or as a board, as ownership or supporters, and just concentrate more on the medium- to long-term.

“There’s always moments for every team where you have rocky periods, and you don’t hit the level your vision or expectations may have.”

When asked about the vision in place at St James’ Park, Dan said: “The vision set by the Newcastle United board is to be a sustainable top six club. Sustainable brings in things like the academy, so it’s really important that we progress players through the academy, so they can feel connected as to how that vision will work.

“Then we can work with other departments, whether it be recruitment or First Team, to try and achieve that vision with some kind of strategic plan for Newcastle United.”

Dan then spoke to us about the importance of education in the modern football and wider sports industry.

He said: “Education is crucial. It gives you the credibility that you’ve got your qualifications and you’re certain about your career. Whether that’s as a physio, a psychologist or as a coach.

“Having a qualification shows me as a potential employer that this candidate is serious about their career. They want to get better, they want to learn. It is vital for all of us to have that mindset, that you want to get better and learn every day.”

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