It’s already well-known that Aston Villa couldn’t have picked a worse time to get relegated from the financial point-of-view. Next season the TV deal will see the Premier League receiving a total of £8.3bn (2016-19), which marks an £3.1bn increase in total running from 2013 to 2016. In short, it’s a very bad time to drop out of the league.
The timing get worse when you also consider that Villa supporters will also miss out on the benefits of the introduction of a £30 cap on away tickets in Premier League, which also comes into play next season.
This week there was news that Villa’s youth players may also miss out on a big opportunity, when it was reported that the Premier League clubs are to discuss the possibility of entering their Under-21s teams into the Football League’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy next season, as a way of giving academy-produced players a taste of real competitive football.
With the idea of B-Teams – which was made by Football Association chairman Greg Dyke a couple of years ago – put on the backburner, it is hoped that inclusion of U-21 teams in the formerly known Football League trophy, will give young players proper competitive experience and lift the profile of the competition that has a Wembley Stadium final.
Aston Villa with its top-rated academy, would have been allowed to enter, with entry only open to Premier League clubs with category one-rated academies, as audited under, the new Elite Player Performance Plan.
As it was reported in the Telegraph:
‘The Football League would permit the entry of the clubs in return for a payment towards the youth and development programmes of the 48 League One and League Two clubs to compensate them for the potential loss of missing out on a Wembley final.’
Missing out on such an opportunity will be a further blow to the Villa Youth Academy, after the disbandment of the Next Gen Series European youth tournament. Villa won the last staged Next Gen Series in 2013, effectively making the club the Youth European Champions.
Unfortunately, UEFA came along and set up a youth Champions League which only allowed entry to the teams whose senior teams were in the Champions League proper. Thus creating a situation where the top teams would enjoy maintaining a distinct advantage over their domestic league rivals in terms of both money and youth development.
This widening of the gulf is something Aston Villa will experience more and more, unless the new look board turn fortunes around dramatically within the next couple of seasons.
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