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Football League Clubs accept EPPP proposal

Fri 21st Oct 2011 | Football Club Management

Football League clubs have voted in favour of introducing the proposed Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) at a meeting in Walsall yesterday.

The new system is expected to increase the amount of coaching contact time for players in the country's top academies - those granted category one status.

"Following lengthy consideration, Football League clubs have voted to accept the Premier League's proposals on the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP). A Football League spokes person said yesterday.

"The League will now continue discussions with the Premier League on the implementation of the EPPP across professional football."

However, payments to clubs for youth development will increase but the regulations also include the abolition of the transfer tribunal system, to be replaced by a fixed level of compensation - leading to fears that lower-league teams will lose their top young talent to bigger clubs on the cheap.

In a statement released today, Burnley Football Club said they had voted against proposals that will benefit Premier League clubs in youth recruitment.

Burnley’s Chief Executive, Paul Fletcher believes the new system, will make it easier and cheaper for Premier League clubs to recruit young talent, comprising of a new compensation formula to force selling clubs to justify a valuation and only receive a set figure for each year the player has spent in the Youth system, usually totalling less than the previous tribunal fees.

Fletcher insisted the rule would have a detrimental effect on youth development at Turf Moor and in the lower leagues.

“This is a democracy and we have to go along with it, even though the Premier League is putting a gun to our heads.

“Youth Development has been an ethos and a brand at Burnley Football Club for many, many years and this threatens that.

“I want these young players to be viewed by Burnley supporters for two or three years once we have developed them, not be cherry-picked by the bigger clubs who then may not even develop that player to play in their first team.”

Fletcher added: “Manchester United Chief Executive David Gill asked me if we had a 14-year-old, who would he rather play for, Burnley or Manchester United?’

“My answer was he would rather play for United, but that I was sure a 14-year-old would rather make it at Burnley, than risk not ever becoming a professional footballer if he ended up at United because he was not good enough.

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