With the new EPPP rules coming into force next season, many academies will be frantically looking at the details of the new proposals and trying to work out which tier they will be in next year.
It should not be too hard to figure out which academies will be in tier 1. Manchester United, Manchester City, Newcastle, Arsenal, Chelsea and a few others will all have the required levels of funding and staff members to qualify for tier 1 status, leaving the rest of the academies to drop into either tier 2 or 3.
For those players that have been in the academy system for the past few years we suggest that you buy your folks a new map book because all the post codes that your Dad has been entering into his sat nav every Sunday for the last few years could be changing!
Unless you are lucky enough to play in a tier 1 academy next year, your fixture list will now include many of the centres of excellence clubs. Days out to the likes of Manchester City and Everton will come to an end and will be replaced by trips to the likes of Grimsby or Macclesfield!
For current academy players the new rules could have quite an impact as matches could become less competitive, the football pitches are not of the same standard in many centres of excellence clubs and the excitement of travelling to some of the top Premier League clubs will no longer be a factor.
For players that are currently members of a centre of excellence the prospects could be a little brighter as match days will now include visits to academies with the prospect of playing against better players (in some academies), playing on billiard like pitches and generally visiting better facilities.
For the kids that have joined academies for the thrill of playing the top clubs life could now be a little different next year as the prospects of winning that elusive scholarship could get even harder!
Let us know what you think of the new changes and how you think it may affect your club. Please leave a comment or join our forum.