New cash incentive for clubs to develop young players
The Football League has announced a new Â£2.25m incentive for its 72 clubs to help revitalise the fortunes of the England national team.
Branded 'EFL Futures', the incentive will aim to help clubs develop more young players.
A sum of Â£750,000 per season is being made available for the next three years to reward those clubs who provide starting opportunities in league games for home-grown players under the age of 21 and are qualified for England.
It comes on the back of controversial changes to the newly-named Checkatrade Trophy, which has seen the introduction of B teams from Premier League and Championship clubs,
Shaun Harvey, CEO of EFL, said: “The EFL has, quite rightly, been deeply engaged in playing our part in resolving some of the key issues that were identified in the England commission report. Our challenge was ensuring we looked to address these issues in a way that worked for the EFL and our clubs.
“We are acknowledging the fact that a high performing England national team is good for the game as a whole in this country and we are therefore committed to doing everything we can to help the national team develop. I hope today’s announcement is further evidence of the EFL taking the initiative and trying to help find their part of the solution to what is a collective problem.
“To date, our highest profile initiative is the introduction of Category 1 teams in the Checkatrade Trophy and despite some of the negative attention that has almost appeared to engulf the competition, it has provided an opportunity for over 200 under-21 players to be involved in competitive football as well as providing the financial incentive the competition required for League One and League Two clubs. These opportunities didn’t exist previously.
“Clearly, there is still plenty of work to be done in this area but the provision of these additional funds through EFL Futures ensures we are on track with our commitment to make a significant, valuable and lasting contribution to the future fortune of the England national team.”