Swindon wont - I hope not, they've got some brilliant youngsters.
incase anyone cared
Yeovil's closed last night, they have had to go to cat 4, just a youth team next season,here's a report from the Yeovil website cider space.
Yeovil Town's Centre Of Excellence programme is believed to be facing cut-backs, according to another local club. The Glovers set up the scheme around the summer of 2008 with the aim of developing young footballers into first team players, but at present it's not entirely clear what direction the club are going in for next season.
An article in Saturday's Gloucestershire Echo may provide some clues, as their local side, Cheltenham Town have considered their own plans for next season. The article is uncredited, but appears to have been penned by one of the people within their CoE ranks - most likely Head of Youth Russell Milton or Centre of Excellence Manager Peter Beadle. They believe that both Swindon Town and Yeovil Town are considering downsizing their youth programmes to run with just an Under-18s side and told the paper:
"It is a difficult time for some clubs' youth set-ups and rumours are that Swindon Town and Yeovil Town are thinking of just running a youth team next season, rather than a Centre of Excellence. It would be a crying shame if we (Cheltenham Town) had to let ours go and, fingers crossed, everything is in place for it to continue next season and we are pretty much there."
The reason why football clubs are currently reconsidering their youth set-ups is the introduction of the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) that was reluctantly voted in by Football League clubs on October 20th 2011, and is expected to come into force for the start of the 2012-13 season. This was a highly controversial system proposed by the Premier League aimed at introducing a fixed tariff for top flight clubs to 'poach' other clubs players without independent tribunals agreeing fees on behalf of clubs.
The changes propose a four-tier academy system, with those clubs who adopt the higher tiers having to meet certain standards in terms of the number of full time staff and operational budget, but in turn able to recoup that investment by being able to charge higher fees if their players are sold. Fees for players would be based upon the number of years they had spent in the academy. With the category of academy also affecting the fixed fee, the new rules heavily favour those clubs with financial clout - particularly Premier League sides - meaning that it has come under fire from both employees and fans of smaller clubs.
Those clubs who attain a Category One academy status will also be able to bypass the "90 minute rule", that restricts young players being taken from clubs unless the players concerned live within 90 minutes of the club wanting to take them on. This means that if the likes of Chelsea happen to spot another Michael Woods (now with Yeovil Town) within a club's academy system at the age of 9 years old, they may get him for as little as Â£3,000, rather than the Â£5 million tribunal fee they were forced to pay Leeds United (along with Tom Taiwo) at the time that Woods was 16 years old.
Looking at the other Category levels, roughly speaking Category Two is equivalent to the current Academy status, whilst Category Three fits with the current Centre of Excellence status. Category Four clubs would only be able to develop players aged 16-18 years old, with the theory being that they would pick up players released from other clubs.
At present, that means that Yeovil Town's current set-up with fit in with the new Category Three academy, but if the Gloucestershire Echo report is accurate, they are considering dropping into Category Four. So why would clubs consider downsizing when it restricts the age of players they are allowed to recruit? Peterborough United Director of Football Barry Fry predicted at the time of the launch of EPPP that he could see this happening at a lot of smaller clubs, and explains why:
"What frightens me is that a lot of clubs will pull out of having a youth system altogether. Lower league clubs will look at how much it costs to run their academy or school of excellence and think that, if the Premier League can nick their best players for a low price, what is the point of investing in it?"
Posters on the Green Room forum say that parents of current Centre of Excellence players have been called to a meeting tonight to discuss the future of the scheme. Hopefully the Gloucestershire Echo's rumours are incorrect, but it's easy to see why clubs are currently rethinking their strategies
Edited by Portland Bill, 02 May 2012 - 06:00 AM.