The Welsh Gull

Torquay United, the Football League and other stuff


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Today the Football League quielty and reluctantly voted through the Elite Player Performance Plan or EPPP. This is a massive change in player transfers which could have dire consequences for the clubs of the lower leagues.

Basically, the tribunal system is now dead. This replaces it, and we don’t do well out of it. Instead of a tribunal deciding how much a young player is worth, the compensation amounts are fixed, depending on the status of the club (less to the smaller clubs) and how long said player has been at the club. And the amounts are far, far less than the current fees:

“The new tariffs will see a selling club paid £3,000-per-year for every year of a player’s development between the ages of nine and 11. The fee per year from 12 to 16 will depend on the selling club’s academy status – but ranges between £12,500 and £40,000.” –BBC

The former club would then get an additional amount for every appearance he makes (for the Premier League: 10: £150k, 20: £300k, 30: £450k, 40: £600k, 50: £750k, 60: £900k, 70: £1m) – great if the player is a big hit, but disastrous if he never breaks out of the reserves, which will be the reality for most of these layers.

How has this gone through? Because of the Premier League. They threatened to take away the money they give every year to the Football League for youth development – bullying, essentially. They’ve promised to put more into the pot if it went through, but it’s hard to see the advantage of this given that they’ll be paying clubs far less to buy their players off them. This of course will give them more money to buy more players, allowing them to hoover up any signs of discernible talent in the vicinity, and for them to afford a few talented youngsters to not make it.

Surely this is a depressing prospect – more wasted talent rotting away in the reserves, while the little clubs that could do with those players make even less money and teeter on the brink of liquidation.

The benefit of this, it is claimed (by the FA and Sir Trev), is for the best young players to be able to develop in the best facilities possible. Basically, it’s in order to chase international trophies. But surely there is this ulterior motive of the big clubs getting to pay less for quality players, which costs the likes of us down the chain (and big time, too) – a lot of Football League chairmen agree with the aims of the report on this subject but cannot understand why it has to go hand-in-hand with the removal of the tribunal system.

46 of the 72 teams voted it through. 22 teams voted against, including several Championship teams. 4 abstained. For me, this is the Football League signing its own death warrant.

Recommended further reading:

BBC’s Paul Fletcher


Written by James Bennett

October 20, 2011 at 17:28

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