The Premier League have announced that they have canceled all remaining Academy games. This impacts all Academy age groups at Newcastle and other clubs.
Shareholders today unanimously agreed to curtail the 2019/20 Academy Games Programme
This decision has been taken to give Academy staff and their players an element of clarity at this challenging time
— PL Youth (@PLYouth) May 1, 2020
Here is the statement that was released after today’s Premier League meeting:
“Premier League Shareholders today unanimously agreed to curtail the 2019/20 Academy Games Programme.
“This decision, which is independent of any discussions regarding the resumption of the 2019/20 campaign for first-team football, has been taken to give Academy staff and their players clarity at this challenging time.
“The curtailment will include all Under-9 to Under-16 games as well as the Under-18 and Under-23 competitions.
“The methodology for determining the final league standings and outcomes for the season will be decided at a future date.
“Additionally, it is intended that any fixtures for the 2020/21 Academy season will not commence any earlier than would usually be expected.
“The decision has been made with the support of the EFL, which oversees the programme for Category Three and Category Four Clubs (Under-9 to Under-18).”
This decision is not very surprising considering the circumstances. With the league facing hurdle after hurdle in getting the senior games back underway, it was never going to be reasonable to have the youngsters playing anytime soon.
While it is a shame for the young lads who will now face a prolonged spell away from the game during a crucial time of their development, it would be hard to justify allowing them to play during this pandemic.
However, the Premier League is still not giving up on this season despite this decision. Like the German Bundesliga, Italian Serie A, and Spain’s La Liga, there is still a hope that the games will return in the coming months.
The Premier League concluded their latest meeting on Friday and are holding firm to their commitment to completing the current campaign. Here is the statement that was released after today’s three and a half hour meeting:
“At a meeting of Premier League Shareholders today, clubs discussed possible steps towards planning to resume the 2019/20 season, when it is safe and appropriate to do so.
“It was reiterated that the thoughts of all are with those directly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, the Premier League’s priority is the health and safety of players, coaches, managers, club staff, supporters, and the wider community.
“The League and clubs are considering the first tentative moves forward and will only return to training and playing with Government guidance, under expert medical advice and after consultation with players and managers. The League welcomed the creation of the Government medical working group for a return of elite sport, which met for the first time this morning.
“No decisions were taken at today’s Shareholders’ meeting, and clubs exchanged views on the information provided regarding Project Restart. It was agreed that the PFA, LMA, players, and managers are key to this process and will be further consulted.
“The clubs reconfirmed their commitment to finishing the 2019/20 season, maintaining integrity of the competition and welcomed the Government’s support.”