Ipswich Town miss out on Category One academy status

Ipswich Town Ipswich Town

Thursday, July 24, 2014
5:13 PM

Ipswich Town have been informed that their application for Category One academy status has been rejected.

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Bryan Klug, Ipswich Town academy director

“We’re obviously disappointed to miss out on Category 1 this time.

“The staff, in particular Helen Broughton, worked tirelessly to prepare for the audit and we felt confident that our structure is good enough to be granted Category 1 status.

“We’re all disappointed, frustrated, but we go again. Getting to Category 1 is our aim and everyone is fully committed to getting there.

“I have spoken to Marcus (Evans, club owner) and he’s as disappointed as the rest of us but he’s fully supportive of us moving forward and continuing to push for Category 1. “We have made a lot of progress over the past year and we will continue to make progress.

“We will be audited again next season and we will be doing everything we can to achieve Category 1 status because that puts us in the best position to produce young footballers for Ipswich Town.”

Following a complex audit in May, carried out by an independent Belgian company, the Blues fell short of the required 75% result by just 0.3%.

Former Ipswich chief executive Simon Clegg voted against the Elite Player Performance Plan in 2011, insisting that the new system had been designed as a closed shop for the top Premier League clubs.

Premier League chairman Richard Scudamore threatened to withdraw solidarity payments to Football League clubs if EPPP wasn’t introduced though and the system was voted in by 46 votes to 22.

Town initially opted for Category Two status, leading to more than 5,000 supporters signing a petition, and last season the Blues vowed to spend thousands on upgrading their staff numbers, facilities and infrastructure in order to apply for top-level Category One status.

When applying last July, the club announced a bold plan – that 50% of the first team squad will be academy graduates by 2017. At that time, supporters and local business were asked to donate money to the academy to help with running costs – estimated to be £2.5m a year for Category One clubs, though that money falls outside of the limitations put on owner investment under new Financial Fair Play rules.

Ipswich’s audit was carried out in May and, earlier this month, Town managing director Ian Milne said the club’s continued wait on a decision was ‘frustrating and ridiculous’, while he slammed the new system as ‘slightly disorganised’ and ‘a little bit of a mess’.

The benefits of Category One status include membership in an elite Under-21 league and the ability to recruit players from further afield.

The Premier League website’s official EPPP information page states that ‘academies will be independently audited and given a Category status of 1 to 4, with 1 being the most elite. Up to 10 different factors will be considered in the grading, including productivity rates; training facilities; and coaching, education and welfare provisions. The higher a club’s Category the more funding will be available to it and the EPPP will see the Premier League and FA invest more central income than ever before in Youth Development programmes across the country.’

Championship clubs Bolton, Blackburn, Middlesbrough, Norwich and Wolves all have Category One status, while Derby and Brighton have applied.

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18 comments

  • Agreed Craig, especially when one of the greatest flops in World Cup football ( Rooney) is destined to receive £5M from brand payments if handed the England captaincy.

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    Brian Betts

    Sunday, July 27, 2014

  • Un baa leave a bubble!

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    Blue and true since 1962

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • What a disaster English football is. You would think there would be a massive crisis meeting after the pathetic efforts of your national team at the world cup and all clubs would be strongly encouraged to develop youth teams for the future but it seems there is no hope for you.

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    Craig Warr

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • It would have helped us winretain young talent if we had cat 1 - now only Norwich have it in east anglia - which will likely work in their favour

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    bluestar

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • Lyric Break

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • B T I think the true phase was not useless but ceased to be which most probably is more appropriate.

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    chantry boy

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • How can Colchester be upgraded to cat 2 status subject to having indoor training facilities they don't actually have but we fail to be upgraded to cat 1 by 0.3%. This doesn't make any sense at all. It does look like the club aimed low in trying to reach this status but either way it either stinks of a closed shop or just a plain & simple farce by the FA premier league.

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    russell mariner

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • Great Scudamore has killed off Ipswich.... Ipswich is now a dead parrot, deceased and useless

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    BT

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • Strange thing to say Ken when you are a user.

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    Cyril Baker

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • May I join Richard Gardiner in regretting that this site appears to be the chosen domicile of the most tedious and banal trolls.

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    Ken Hairy

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • Looks like Town have screwed over by the FA, PL and Scudamore again. I don't think it really matters thought, as the Elite Player Performance Plan is heavily biased to favour the PL clubs anyway. Town would have spent all that money and time developing the players, and if any of them turned out any good a PL team would come in and poach them for 25,000. Whats the point in that. I'm afraid we're going to have to do it the hard way with free's and loans like Mick is doing. The academy is screwed, the system is screwed, Scudamore has effectively killed English football and Ipswich Town Football club. All eyes on Mick now. No pressure son. Oh and before i forget. Ray Bidwolf is a clown.

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    Staidtastic

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • Very disappointing,someone has screwed up ITFC should have got this sorted, I sort of get the feeling we tried to do just enough and it has backfired badly.

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    mike blunt

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • OMG here we go again. Season hasn't even started & the usual cheery comments emanate from the usual sources. LOL.

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    Richard Gardiner

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • Ged Scott agrees with Ray Bidwolf agrees with Rita WAG. I, however, agree with russell mariner.

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    Manchester Blue

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • That's quite a meek & lame response by the club. If I had supposedly spent a large amount of money on trying to gain a status & then to be told I had missed out by 0.3% I would be absolutely fuming. If there was any common sense or or any kind of sense at all then surely we could have been awarded the higher category subject to certain conditions being met, exactly as Colchester United have done.

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    russell mariner

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • Well I for one am not surprised. It says above one of the criteria is productivity and while we paid £20k to Wolves for one of their juniors and loaned in several more from other clubs while our own Academy players have been loaned out to non-league clubs so, justifiably, we miss out. That is the outcome of having a moron running our club.

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    BlueArgyll

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • Just what ITFC wanted, then. Will the donated cash now be reimbursed?

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    Rita WAG

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • What an utter load of tosh.

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    Liz Knott

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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