A guide to the Elite Player Performance Plan
What is the EPPP?
The Elite Player Performance Plan is an ambitious long-term vision with the aim of giving English football the ability to create the best Academy system in the world, allowing clubs to produce more and better quality home grown players.
It has been developed after consultations with Academy Managers, Premier League clubs, the Football League, the Football Association, and other key stakeholders within the game.
From the 2012-13 season, Academies were audited by an external company Double pass, judged against the EPPP’s classification system, and put into one of four categories – the highest of which will give clubs more opportunity to extend its elite environment and make more strategic decisions.
The new classification replaced the old two-tier model of Academies and Centre of Excellence systems, and has seen a major change in the way that youth football is delivered in this country.
Category One - Regular graduation of players into the Premier League and wider professional game with up to 8,500 coaching hours
Category Two - Graduation of players into the Premier League and Championship from time to time and regular graduates into the wider game with up to 6,600 coaching hours
Category Three - Graduation of players regularly into the professional game predominantly in Leagues one and two and players potentially capable of progression into Cat One and Cat Two Academies with up to 3,600 coaching hours
Category Four - Graduation of players into the professional game League two and semi-professional level with up to 3,200 coaching hours
The Premier League, The Football League and the Football Association invest an increased amount of central income into Youth Development nationwide, so the higher the classification given to the club in the EPPP following the independent audit, the more funding is made available to the club, alongside signification financial commitments from the clubs at each category.
There are six fundamental principles that have been highlighted as key to the success of the EPPP, and will be achieved by focusing on coaching, classification, compensation, and education.
1. Increase the number and quality of home grown players gaining professional contracts in the clubs and playing first team football at the highest level.
2. Create more time for players to play and be coached.
3. Improve coaching provision.
4. Implement a system of effective measurement and quality assurance.
5. Positively influence strategic investment into the Academy System demonstrating value for money.
6. Seek to implement significant gains in every aspect of player development.
A focus of the EPPP is to allow players more time to practice with their coaches, as well as fostering links with local schools to not only aid players in their development as a footballer, but also to help nurture young players from an academic point of view.
Currently, as a Category 3 club, Scunthorpe United Academy competes in the Football League games programme, which is regionalised at this level. The U18s compete in the Youth Alliance League, north east section alongside other clubs also awarded category three and four status in the independent audits.
Youth Development games are played on Saturday mornings.
The schoolboy games programme is played at The St Lawrence Academy in Scunthorpe on Sunday mornings. Again, the games are regionalised for the nine to sixteen year olds. As there are 8 schoolboy teams, there are usually four home games and four away games each Sunday.
At category 3, the mandatory coaching hours each week over a 40 week season are:
• Foundation Development Phase
(U9-U11) 3 hours
• Youth Development Phase
(U12 & U13) 4 hours
(U14) 5 hours
(U15 & U16) 6 hours
• Professional Development Phase
(U17 & U18) 12 hours
The system for determining compensation for players has also been reviewed with the Football League, along with the restrictions on player recruitment.
If mutual agreement on compensation cannot be reached the Professional Football Compensation Committee (PFCC) adjudication will run to a set formula based on the cost of training and the level of academy where they have been trained, without taking into account future potential.
Figures for a category 3 player are:
For each year signed in the academy between ages 9-11: £3,000
For each year signed in the academy between ages 12-16: £12,500
The maximum amount a category 3 player could be sold for would be: £71,500
Key Performance Indicators
There are 8 key performance indicators for Academies, by which clubs were evaluated and assessed by as part of the audit process.
1 Vision, Leadership and Finance
4 Elite Performance
6 Relationships with External Agencies
7 The Player
8 Administration & General
Within each key performance indicator there are numerous mandatory entrance conditions that clubs have to reach to ensure they are meeting the standards required for the categorisation. Alongside this, there are also countless ‘best practice’ conditions that clubs must also be working towards to demonstrate that they are continually trying to improve their Academy development programme.
Scunthorpe United Football Club are very proud to have achieved category three Academy status as part of the Elite Player Performance Plan in both of the 2013 and the 2018 audits and have a clear vision and philosophy going forward.
From the achievement of our vision and long term plan, we strive to have a first class Sport Science and Medicine facility and the associated technology which will help us to develop superior athletic football players.
Through our Academy we aim to produce future young players who have the required attributes to play in our 1st team, these players may then progress to a higher level and gain the Football Club transfer revenue to reinvest in strengthening the structure of the Club.