Just under two years ago we brought you news of claims that Newcastle had failed to get Category One status for their Academy.
This was a crushing blow as the new system was specifically brought into allow the bigger richer clubs to prey on the smaller ones without the top Category One status.
The top status allows those clubs to spread their youth net further afield and basically steal away the top talent form those without the top status, with those clubs having no powers to stop kids leaving and instead receiving compensation set out in the rules according to age….not potential.
While Newcastle failed to get that top status in 2012, Sunderland and Middlesbrough did, plus pretty much every Premier League club and a decent number below.
Newcastle United repeatedly refused to confirm whether they indeed had failed to get the top status and they even had friendly media putting out stories saying the status was expecting any day soon.
However, when the news first broke we discovered that the rule stated that if you failed, a club had to wait two years to be re-evaluated.
So two years on…Newcastle United have now announced that they have just been granted Category One status!
A big relief for the club and especially the fans who didn’t want to see their best young kids stolen away by ‘bigger’ clubs and certainly not by the mackems or Boro!
This is what we reported in 2012;
There are reports this morning that Newcastle United are one of the clubs to suffer the blow of failing to achieve the top grade under the new four-tier Premier League system for youth development.
As well as a financial blow, the main damage to Newcastle United would be that clubs given the category one status will be allowed to scout youngsters from further afield instead of just locally.
Fulham, Southampton, Stoke, West Ham, Wolves and the mackems have all announced that they have been accepted but Goal.com are reporting that Newcastle, Blackburn and Crystal Palace have all been knocked back.
Twelve clubs have been inspected by the league’s independent standards organisation and the Professional Game Board has ratified the recommendations of the audit team.
Twenty three clubs applied for category one status and Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Middlesbrough are believed to be the four other newly accredited Category One clubs.
However, Newcastle, Blackburn and Palace are believed to have all been awarded Category Two status.
In September, the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham, Everton, Aston Villa, Reading, Bolton Wanderers, Norwich, West Brom and Watford will be independently audited and then rated accordingly.
Under the funding mechanism for the new system – called the Elite Player Performance Plan – each Category One club is projected to receive a minimum £775,000-a-year in Premier League funding from the youth development pot. Category Two clubs will receive a minimum £480,000, Category Three clubs £210,000 and Category Four clubs £100,000.
Each club is graded according to criteria such as facilities, productivity rates, coaching staff and funding, with a fixed tariff paid for players under 18 according to how much time has been invested in them.
If Newcastle have indeed failed then it will be at least two years before they would be reviewed and re-categorised if necessary.