The NextGen Series will not take place this season due to lack of definite funding.
The news broke this morning that Europe’s premier youth tournament, spanning across the season, would not take place this year after it was revealed they were concerned about funding for the tournament.
Many people have expressed sadness at this news as the competition has been a revelation since it’s introduction into European football two seasons ago.
An official statement read: “It is with regret that the NextGen Series has today announced it will be suspending the tournament for one season due to a lack of definite funding.
“Over the past two seasons NextGen has played a major part in the development of European football and has enjoyed great success with many NextGen players including Celtic’s Tony Watt, Villa’s Gary Gardner and Ajax’s Viktor Fischer progressing to their first teams.”
Co-founders of the NextGen Series, Mark Warburton and Justin Andrews, were eager to voice their gratefulness at those who have helped them over the past couple of years to make the competition the success that it has been. “The level of support we have received from the football industry, media and fans has been magnificent and for that we are truly grateful. It is hugely disappointing that an event of this nature, designed to assist with the development of Europe’s elite players, should have to take such action but we hope to be back next season with an even better tournament!”
The news could come after the launch of the UEFA Youth League, which is set to kick off in line with the Champions League group stages.
UEFA’s tournament meant the NextGen Series were forced to change from an under 19 to an under 20 tournament, to differentiate themselves.
Aston Villa won last year’s tournament by beating Chelsea in the final. Inter Milan won the inaugural edition of the tournament in 2012 after defeating Ajax in that final.
Many fans of the tournament expressed their sadness at it’s exit from the football calendar via Twitter:
Regrettable news today as Europe’s @NextGenSeries announces a suspension for one season due to “lack of definite funding”.
— Gary Meenaghan (@GMeenaghan) August 16, 2013
NextGen Series suspended for a season due to a lack of funding. A brilliant concept, and one I enjoyed working with very much. It’ll be back
— Jamie MacLaurin (@JamieMacLaurin) August 16, 2013
@theyouthradar Shame. UEFA can’t bear to see any revenue potential without controling it. No good for players development.
— Nuno Valinhas (@nunovalinhas) August 16, 2013