The Football League have slammed plans by the Premier League to completely redevelop the current academy system in England and Wales.
The Premier League Head of Youth, Jon Roddy, has revealed new plans, called the Elite Player Performance Plan, along with the Football Association.
This would completely overturn the original academy system that was introduced by Howard Wilkinson in 1997.
Clubs and coaches have all been eagerly anticipating the revealing of these plans for the Elite Player Performance Plan that the Premier League hopes to ratify by the end of the season.
The new scheme looks at putting clubs in one of four categories. These categories all have different conditions on the limit of training and development the clubs and players will have access to.
The Premier League believes that young boys need more coaching in order to develop them as a player in a similar way to the prestigious Barca and Ajax academies.
Of course, the plans are very complicated, but nevertheless here’s how Sky Sports have explained the categories.
The expected cost for a Category 1 centre would be £2.5million per year, although Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore admits that nobody currently hits that level.
“We are so committed to adopting such a high level that none of the clubs meet a Category 1,” said Scudamore.
Category 2 would be similar to 1, but they would have less time with the boys as they would not have to meet as stringent requirements on their education. But like Category 1 they would be allowed to take in boys and train them from the age of four and sign them at nine.
Category 3 academies, unlike 1 and 2, would not be allowed to get hold of young players until 11, whilst a Category 4 academy would be seen as a safety net picking up released players or late developers aged 16.
Part of the proposals also include the abolishment of the rule which states that players must live within 90 minutes of their club. This could mean a lad as young as four could be travelling over 6 hours to train and represent his club.
The Football League have claimed that these plans will simply ruin youth football throughout the country.
They have said it would become uneconomic and almost impossible for lower and poorer clubs to run an academy.
Although it will improve the footballing ability of those who make it, what about those who don’t?
The Football League believes that it could damage the lives of those who are released at latter stages as they would have no education to fall back on.
The Football League predict that 30-40 clubs would give up youth development.
What do you think about the new categorisation system?