By Dan Chapman
Clubs falling foul of assumptions
At Full Contact our solicitors are currently advising clients in relation to the much publicised changes brought about by the controversial Elite Player Performance Plan (“EPPP”).
The EPPP Rules have created a new system of Academy accreditation and the current two tier system of Academies and Centres of Excellences will be replaced with a four tier system of categories ranging from Category I to Category IV; Category I holding the highest level of accreditation. The most publicised impact of the EPPP is that those with the highest accreditation are able to recruit young players nationwide (a considerable change from the current 90 minutes rule), and a fixed tariff compensation scheme is introduced to cover those situations where a youth player moves Clubs.
We are noting that some Clubs appear to naturally assume that existing Centres of Excellence will ordinarily fall into Categories III and IV and that Academies will fall into Categories I and II. This is simply not the case. The Rules set out stringent requirements covering all areas of a football academy from educational standards to facilities and staffing levels; thus raising the bar dramatically in terms of what is now expected and regulated. Many Clubs who aspire to Category II status will need to significantly upgrade their Academy offering in order to obtain this level, and many Clubs will simply not be able to afford to do so.
Whilst grant support is available, the Rules set out minimum requirements of expenditure for each Category in order for the club to receive grant support; Category I being required to spend £2.35 million and Category II £960,000. However, it is now apparent that the costs of improving Academies up to the necessary standards is likely, in many cases, to cost Clubs far in excess of the minimum. The facility and staffing requirements are proving to be more expensive than some Clubs seem to have anticipated, both to gain the desired Category status and to then maintain it (status being reviewed each two years).
We at Full Contact have experienced first hand the difficulties many Clubs are facing with the daunting task of upgrading their Academies, or making the fundamental decision as to which Category to aim for. We are happy to provide Clubs with a no obligation, free appraisal of their circumstances and options and are then able to work on a consultancy basis to deal with much of the daunting documentation and process on a fixed fee basis.
Contact Full Contact solicitor Dan Chapman for more details.« Football Clubs in “poor financial health” Internet Defamation Protection Service »
The spearhead and Senior Partner of Full Contact, Dan is an experienced solicitor and advocate, with a specialist background in employment law and sports.
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