At the end of the EFL’s first ever Youth Development Week, the League announced a three-year extension to the successful EFL Futures initiative. The £1million per-season programme, which will now run until the end of the 2021/22 campaign, provides EFL clubs with a financial incentive to give home grown players more first team opportunities. Confirmation of the extension follows a week of high profile coverage of the work of the EFL and its clubs are undertaking in developing some of the best young players in the country.
EFL Futures launched in December 2016. Under the initiative, clubs are rewarded for providing starting opportunities in EFL fixtures for players under the age of 21 and who are eligible to play for England (or Wales for Swansea City and Newport County).
Shaun Harvey, EFL Chief Executive, said: “I am delighted we have been able to confirm a significant extension to a campaign which provides EFL clubs with a tangible, financial reward for providing young players with first team opportunities. The announcement comes at the end of a week of raising awareness of a key strategic aim of the EFL, to create more and better home grown players. Clubs invest over £90million a year into Youth Development programmes and are supported centrally by regulatory interventions.”
With one in four registered players in the EFL being eligible for EFL Futures, the Sky Bet Championship has seen the biggest increase in starting appearances for young English players, rising by 15 per cent since 2017. There have been almost 1,500 starting opportunities so far this season for 169 young English players across all three EFL divisions.
Funding is provided through the one per cent Youth Development Levy, with the campaign central to the EFL’s ambition to create opportunities for young players and representing a collective commitment between clubs and partners to improve opportunities for home grown players. For more information on EFL Futures or the EFL’s commitment to Youth Development, please click here