Filed: Saturday, 28th July 2012
By: Staff Writer
Tony Carr has thanked the board for their support in West Ham's bid to achieve Elite Player Performance Plan category one status.
As revealed exclusively here on KUMB.com last month, West Ham United have been placed in the highest Academy category - meaning that Carr and his team at Chadwell Heath can continue their stirling work.
"I'm absolutely thrilled that we have been awarded Category One status for the 2012/13 season, which is a culmination of months of hard work by a huge team of people," Carr told whufc.com. "I would to thank all of my staff at the Academy who have put in countless late nights to make sure we achieved the top standing.
"I must also pay tribute to the Board, who have demonstrated their unwavering commitment to West Ham United's Academy by providing the necessary funding for the upgrades to our facilities and staff at Chadwell Heath and Little Heath.
"This award will ensure the steady stream of talent we have coming through from our Academy will continue and we can go on to produce more and more world-class players for West Ham United."
David Gold, whose financial backing was instrumental in the club gaining Category One status added: "We are pleased that the independent auditors have seen fit to award West Ham United the top-rated status. I know only too well how important it is to the club.
"From the moment the new EPPP system was confirmed, it was our Board's absolute priority to make sure our Academy maintained its world-renowned reputation as one of the best in the business. I would like to thank Tony and his team of staff, who all worked hard to ensure we achieved our collective aim.
"We will not be resting on our laurels now though, as we will be continuing to invest and grow our Academy even further."
The Premier League-driven scheme, which begins this coming season introduces a four-tier system which, critics argue, will increase the power of the country's elite clubs by ensuring that Football League clubs receive just a fraction of the fees they can currently command for promising youngsters.
Category One clubs such as West Ham - aka 'Super Academies' - will be able to offer young players vastly suprior training programs whereas those clubs at the bottom of the scale - Category Four Academies - will only be able to take on players released by other teams.
Meanwhile selling clubs will now only receive between £12,500 and £40,000 for ever year a player has trained with them between the ages of 12 and 16 - whilst the existing '90-minute rule' - a rule that states a player must live within an hour-and-a-half of the club with whom he trains - will also be abolished.
The EPPP was ratified - reluctantly - by the 72 Football League clubs in October 2011 after the Premier League threatened to withhold a £5million annual youth development payment should its plans be rejected.
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