The Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP)

Below we give details from the Premier League website of their plans for the Elite Player Performance Plan, but before then we give some further commentary.

It should be reminded at this stage, that not all the details have been released into the public domain, or even to the Football League clubs – however, the Football League clubs were expected to vote on accepting the plan based on the details they were given.

Current rules limit coaching hours and place travel restrictions on young players, but this plan aims to change all that. It is aiming to bring in 15-20 hours of coaching time per week for ages 9-16, up from the current target of 5 hours, which will bring it closer into line with other European countries. Coaching is currently limited to 2,000 hours between the ages of 10 and 18, but the EPPP would up that to around 10,000 hours, which will no doubt make a huge difference to the young players in England. It also aims to scrap the travel rule, which currently only allows sides to sign players based within 90 minutes travelling distance of the club. The new plan would mean that the bigger clubs could effectively take players from different areas and move them into a residential complex on site, the thought behind it being that the most promising players can only benefit from playing amongst the best.

Although there are many laudable aims of the plan there are many concerning issues for Championship clubs and for others who do not gain Academy 1 status including an overhaul of the tribunal system

There will be a fixed tariff dependent on how long a player has been at the selling club. For example, the fee is fixed at £3,000-per-year for a player’s development from nine to 11-years-old – however only Category 1 and 2 clubs will be able to sign players if this age. The fee from 12 to 16 will depend on a club’s academy status but will range from £12,500 to £40,000.

This will bring to an end Premier League clubs paying large fees for the best young talent in the Football League. Chelsea recently reportedly shelled out an initial £1.5m to MK Dons for 14-year-old Oluwaseyi Ojo. Under the new system they would be able to buy him for less than £150,000. Everton also recently signed George Green from Bradford City for a £300k, rising to £2m based on various bonuses – under the EPPP, Bradford would receive no more than £50k, if they were Category Four (as League Two clubs are likely to be). Source: BBC Sport

It would therefore be worth a top-flight club buying several young players for under £100,000 on the basis they can afford for several to fall by the wayside – as long as some succeed., leaving what for the other clubs? And this could be very negative for the players themselves because their development could become blocked by more senior players, fewer young players appear to come through at teh senior level than previously. The counter argument is that if you are good enough you will succeed but many of us have seem players flourish once given a chance but patience is needed because it does not always happen immediately and because of the pressures of the Premier League clubs seek instant gratification.

What we may see develop is Premier league reserve clubs playing in the Championship or feeder clubs as we see elsewhere in Europe. Is that what we want?

Premier League announcement

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