Oldham Athletic to close Academy after promotion hopes ended

Oldham will no longer receive central funding for their Category Three Academy

Oldham will no longer receive central funding for their Category Three Academy

Oldham Athletic are closing their Category Three Academy after missing out on the National League play-offs.

The Latics' 2-2 draw with Halifax Town 10 days ago consigned them to a third straight season in non league. That means they lose Academy funding from the Premier League through the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP).

Furthermore, if any of their Academy players were signed by other clubs, they would not receive compensation - and they are no longer able to be involved in the EFL Youth Alliance for Under-18 teams.

Oldham placed an impressive 56th out of 80 teams in the last edition of TGG’s Academy Productivity Rankings for 2021/22. Graduates to have progressed to the first team in recent seasons include Will Sutton, Harry Vaughan, Benny Couto and Junior Luamba.

Now the Latics’ youth system will take the form of a Development Centre, which will be self-funded and incorporate girls and women's football.

In a statement, the club said: “We have always been proud of our Academy structure and value our commitment to developing talented young players. Over the years, we have provided the opportunity for young players to progress in a professional environment and we have been privileged to see so many of them flourish under the guidance of talented coaches.

Mina Cup

“Over the last year, the Academy has operated on reduced funding from the EFL. Since the takeover of the club, the Board has worked hard in lobbying government and football authorities by arguing the status of our Academy should be assessed on its own merits, rather than league position.

“Despite receiving support from prominent figures within politics and football, we have been unable to bring about change in this regard. As a result, there will be enforced changes to our academy structure from the 2024/25 season.

"The club remains committed to producing homegrown talent and providing a platform for young players to develop. As we look forward, the club intends to operate a high-level academy structure which is self-funded and we are determined to retain an Academy system that everyone can be proud of.

"Young players who are already within our U8-U15 age groups have been given the option to remain in the new structure with assessment days scheduled during the summer to recruit additional players.

“The first-year players within the current U18 squad have excelled after being recruited through open trials, while the football development programme coached by Nicky Adams will now have further opportunity to grow.

“As a club, we remain passionate about providing a future for young footballers within our community and look forward to continuing to support the next generation of players in their development.”

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