Youth Football Academy Contract Phases
The English academy system has 3 different phases based on age groups. During each of this phases you will need to register and commit to your academy. These are different phases:
- Foundation Phase takes place when a player is Under 9s – Under 11’s
- Youth Development Phase takes place when a player is Under 12’s – Under 16’s
- The final phase of the academy system is the Professional Development phase and takes place when a player is Under 17’s – Under 21’s
Youth Football Academy Contracts – Registration ProcessThe football league will process your registration as soon as your sign (or extend) for your club. If you’re having second thoughts and want to cancel your registration, you have a 7 day (cooling off) period. You are an official player for the club during this 7 days period, so you can attend training and play matches. But, this means you must not approach any other Premier League or Football league club. Also, clubs cannot approach or try to sign you once you’ve registered. As you are now an official player for your academy, you must not try to approach any other Premier League or Football League club. So how does registration different throughout each phase of Academy development.
Foundation Phase Contract RegistrationsThe foundation phase is when a young player can first sign for a professional academy, aged Under 9’s – Under 11’s. During this phase, you may realize a big difference from grassroots football, so it can take time for you to adapt to Academy life. At the first stage in the academy development system, your registration can be a maximum of 1 year. This annual registration form depends on if you are joining a Premier League or Football League Academy. These forms are:
- Premier League Club Academy – PLYD Form 5
- Football League Club Academy – YD4 Form
- Premier League Club Academy- 11 PLYD Form 8
- Football League Club Academy – Form 30
What Next for Foundation Phase PlayersIf you are happy with your extension offer you need not reply, as this is an automatic extension. But, if want to move from your Academy as another club has made an offer, the new club will need pay compensation to your current club.
Foundation Phase Players Without an Extension OfferIf you are one of the unlucky players who did not receive a registration extension offer, please do not panic. Playing in an Academy has given you experience that most young players will never get. Plus you are still young and can get back to grassroots pressure free football until another opportunity arises. You will be free from your registration on the 1st Saturday of June. If any other academy is interested in you, they can do so without compensation fee.
Youth Football Academy Contracts – Youth Development Phase RegistrationsFor age groups U12’s – U16’s Registration duration’s change during the Youth Development phase. Under 12’s, Under 14’s and Under 16’s can still only sign a one-year registration. However, Under 13’s – Under 15’s can sign a 2-year registration. This should give you peace of mind and allow you to concentrate on your football. If you are in the Under 12 or Under 14 age group, at the end of the season your club will decide whether to extend your contract. They will send a:
- PLYD form 9 for Premier League Academy players
- Form 30 for Football league academy players
Youth Football Academy Contracts -Professional Development Phase U17’s – U21’sAfter you progress through the foundation and youth development phases, it’s time for the business end of the academy. By now you should know the philosophy of your club and your club should know what you’re made of. The academy will offer you the chance to register for the Professional phase, via a scholarship (apprenticeship). This is a full-time agreement between the club and player, which last for 2 years. It includes the player’s education and football development. Although a club can offer you a scholarship after the 1st January the year you turn 14. The scholarship agreement forms are:
- Premier League Academy – PLYD Form 11
- Football League Academy – Form 33
Youth Football Academy Contracts – Legal Advice
We suggest you read over the scholarship offer and seek the advice from a legal professional. This is an important period in your development and a big life commitment, so it pays to be thorough.
Academy Players with No Scholarship Offer
This time of a young players career can be stressful. If you are nearing the end of your Under 16 Academy season and yet to receive a scholarship offer, it’s time to look for a new club.
As of the 1st March, you are free to look for a new club without them having to pay compensation. If you are in this situation check out our guide to football trials.
No matter how many years you were with the Academy, the club has a duty of care to all players. They will offer all the advice and support needed to move on to your next chapter.
Academy football can be a stressful environment for young players, which increases around the registration period. With such high competition for so few places, it’s important to understand that if you do not receive a registration offer, you will still find opportunities to move forward in football. The experience and discipline you’ve learned throughout your time at the academy are transferable to any career.