Sunderland youth chief Ged McNamee says club owner Ellis Short is a huge supporter of the academy.
Short took time out from his busy schedule to watch Sunderland’s youngsters at Chelsea last week.
McNamee told The Journal: “He’s a great supporter of the Academy which is great for me and for all the people involved in it.
“Recently, the Under-21s played at Chelsea and he was at the game. He wants to know. He has an interest in it, he knows that it’s a valued element of the club and hopefully we can find some more Jordan Hendersons and Jack Colbacks.
“From a financial aspect it helps the club because then they’re not having to pay millions to bring in players from a distance. Obviously if you have a Jordan Henderson and you do sell him on, it’s profit.
“He’s very hands-on and that’s been fantastic for us. With EPPP there’s got to be a willingness there from the club to say we want to be Category One. To achieve that we had to get the indoor building and he was a big part of that.”