Premier League press for change in youth compensation

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Football News

The Premier League are pressing for a major change in the way smaller clubs are compensated for youth players in a move which could boost the number of English players in the top flight.

They are proposing a fixed level of compensation for young players who are snapped up before they have signed a professional contract at the age of 16.

The planned system would see more compensation money tied to 'add-ons' - such as playing for the first team, making a fixed number of performances and playing at under-21 and senior international level.

The Premier League accept that the initial fee for young players will often be less than would be received under the current tribunal system, but believe it will often work out more in the longer term.

Some League One and Two chairmen fear that the new system will open the floodgates to poaching by top clubs but the Football League clubs have had to agree to a review of the system as part of their acceptance of a package for solidarity payments - including parachute payments of £48million being paid over four years.

Premier League chiefs, who insist they will not impose the new system without Football League agreement, hope it will stop clubs going to France and the rest of the continent where compensation is cheaper, because there would be less of a risk in taking on English youngsters even if they fail to make the grade.

Clubs in the top-flight will be obliged to have at least eight 'home-grown' players in their 25-man squads from next season.

The first effect of the new system would be to rank clubs' academies with more compensation to be paid for a youth player from a four-star rated academy compared to a three, two or one-star academy.

The most recent high-profile tribunal decision for a youth player was for midfielder John Bostock two years ago, when Tottenham were ordered to pay Crystal Palace £700,000 for the player who was then 16.

The then Palace chairman Simon Jordan was furious at the level of the fee, claiming Bostock was "world class", but the midfielder has not broken into the Spurs team and has had mixed success on loan at Brentford.

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