That this would happen has been rumored for a while now, but official bad news today that the Newcastle United Youth Academy will not receive Category One status under the new Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP).
The EPPP is meant to bolster the chances of local young footballers to break through into the first team squads of football clubs over time, and it was launched last October, and to achieve Category One status, a club must have a budget of £2.5M and 18 full time staff, among other criteria.
Newcastle find themselves in Category Two, and this is a blow for the Academy, and even an embarrassment, because Sunderland and Middlesbrough have already received Category One status.
Newcastle were obviously hoping to reach the top grade, but they didn’t make it, and there have been rumors we wouldn’t make it, for a couple of months now.
And why we fell short we have no idea, but this is a blow to the club, because one of Newcastle’s fundamental strategies for success, is to bring youngsters through the club.
And we have a Category Two Youth Academy?
Newcastle will suffer financially as well, because a Category One club will receive a minimum £775K every year in funding from the Premier League, and Category Two clubs will receive only £480K.
We assume Newcastle will know the criteria they failed to meet for Category One, and quickly fix them, so we can get to Category One status as soon as possible.
We assume that’s the plan.