First of all I want to applaud the London Times www.thetimes.co.uk for this week's two part investigation into the recruiting, the development and the end product of young players in the professional clubs of England & Wales.
We might believe that since a large percentage of players on show in the EPL and The Championship are foreign born and brought over here due to their relatively reduced cost compared to home grown talent that their is very little good news.
In fact 96% of all 8-18 year olds in Premier League Academies are British born. What happens later is not such good news. 96% of scholars signed at 16 years old won't play professionally after their 18th birthday. 98% will not play past 21 !! 76% of scholars leaving EPL Academies in 2013-14 found contracts elsewhere. 60 players under 20 are suffering from depression and are being helped by the charity XPRO.
At present a player can sign with a club as an Under 9 year old...far too early say many, who feel that they should be playing with their mates at that age. Danny Higginbotham is a comparatively well know ex players with Derby county, Southampton and Stoke City who was signed on at 14 by Manchester United. His 9 year old son Jak was asked to sign for the progressive academy at Crew Alexander but his dad is against the idea at that age. Many such players are released at age 12 and they and their parents find it difficult to deal with.
The Premier League is in the middle of a four year project, spending £340 million on their ELITE PLAYER PERFORMANCE PLAN (EPPP),where a players schooling is a central pillar. Clubs such as Sunderland, Chelsea, Southampton, Manchester United, Manchester City are applauded for their dedication and concern. After young players are released they are given financial and other support for at least twelve months.
WHAT A JOKE. 47 year old pretty boy DAVID GINOLA ex Paris Saint-Germain, Spurs, Newcastle,Aston Villa, Everton and French national team player has announced that he intends to challenge 78 year old SEPP BLATTER for the Presidency of FIFA this coming May 29th. He is sponsored by the Irish bookmaker Paddy Power whose recent claim to fame was to sponsor Dennis Rodman's trips to North Korea. FIFA statutes say that a candidate has to have had at least two years participating in football administration in the last five years. They must also show that FIVE national federations support them by a closing date of January 27th I believe. SOME CHANCE.