The EFL has today confirmed that the Academy Games Programme for the 2019/20 season has been terminated with immediate effect.
The EFL administers the programme for Category 3 and 4 Clubs (U9 to U18) whilst the Premier League does so for Category 1 and 2 Clubs (U9 to U23) and the decision, which is independent of any discussions regarding the resumption of the 2019/20 campaign for first team football, has been taken to give Academy staff and their players an element of clarity at this challenging time.
The methodology for determining the final League standings or other outcomes for the season will be decided at a future date. Additionally, it is intended that any fixtures for the 2020/21 Academy season will not commence any earlier than would usually be expected.
Academy Manager Dan Harris told us:
"The announcement wasn't unexpected and we fully support and understand the reasons they have made the decision. It now gives us an opportunity as a club to start building towards next season and allows us to explore a number of ways that we can make sure our player's wellbeingand development are taken care of over the next few months."
A number of other competitons are also affected:
The Community & Education Football Alliance (CEFA)
As a football competition run for EFL Club Community Organisations, who represent Premier League and EFL Clubs across the country, the League offers playing opportunities for young people of all abilities, with most teams comprising of students from further education. Therefore, the ongoing uncertainty in respect logistics and timing of the academic year for Schools, Colleges and Universities means continued participation in this competition has been ended for this year academic year.
Due to the ongoing repercussions in respect of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the logistical challenges this presents for Club Community schemes and schools across the country, regretfully the decision has been made to cancel the Utilita Kids Cup competition for the 2019/20 season.
The competition had reached the Regional Finals stage before it was postponed, and with school
closures, the prospect of rescheduling a range of regional events and mobilising a significant number of schools to attend, is hugely challenging if not unfeasible.
In the Utilita Girls Cup competition, the two finalist schools had already been determined prior to its postponement. The intention remains to reschedule this final on the rearranged date of the Leasing.com Trophy Final.