Could this be the answer?

If you’re not a footy fan, or follower, I suggest you have a read of some of my other blog posts, particularly some of the ‘Dave’ short stories – they’re a hoot!

If you are, then read on and see if I’ve got the answer to the youth development conundrum currently plaguing English Football.

The problem as I see it, is that the Premier League clubs are trying to develop their own talent, but due to the high number of foreign and short term purchases fueled by fear of relegation or failure to secure European football, the youth players are often left languishing in the background, destined for a future at Southend or Walsall. And when the top teams do spy a young star at the lower teams, they usually entice them away for nothing (only to leave them in the reserves and eventually sent to ply their trade at Northampton or Shrewsbury).

So what am I suggesting? It’s fairly simple-ish…

1) Take Premier League youth development away from the clubs and centralise it in the new FA place at Burton on Trent. Each team puts an equal amount of cash into the running of it. Then at the beginning of each season, youth graduates are subjected to an NFL-style draft – ie the newly promoted teams get to pick first, and so on until the champions get last pick, and then we go round again until all players have a club.

2) Teams outside of the Premier League remain in charge of their own youth development and if a star is spotted, the Premier League Academy (or whatever you want to call it) buys part ownership of the player (with the source club retaining 50% ownership) and takes them to the Academy. Upon graduation, the source club maintain that 50% stake unless the destination club in the Premier League choose to buy them out, with any fee set by a tribunal (to prevent the big club ripping off the small club, and by the same token, preventing the small club over-inflating the value).



future England star in the making??



3) Like in Amercian Sport, when transfers are negotiated, sometimes terms involve trading of draft picks – so a team could effectively give up their right to an early choice of the young players in order to secure a sought-after player.



At the end of the day, this would prevent the clubs with larger resources from swallowing up all the young stars and leaving them to go stale, it would give the teams that struggle the previous season a chance to catch up for the next season, and more importantly, it would protect the lower league clubs from the vulture-like Premier League scouts out for potential at a cheap price.

That’s my 3 step plan to football fairness in England. Who knows, we might even get a decent England team before I die…



Nah…

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