Huddersfield Town chairman Dean Hoyle is considering shutting down the club’s youth academy, according to the Daily Mail.
Suggestions that talks have been taking place
Sources have suggested the Huddersfield chief has been in talks with Premier League bosses over the possibility of closing the academy due to a lack of youngsters progressing through the system into the first-team picture.
Only midfielder Philip Billing has progressed into the first team fold having joined from Danish side Esbjerg in 2013, while Jordan Williams, an England youth international who recently made his debut for the club, has been loaned out to League One side Bury.
Young goalkeeper and local lad Ryan Schofield has been included in David Wagner’s squad for this season and had been used in the pre-season campaign, but is considered fourth-choice stopper behind Jonas Lossl, Joel Coleman and recent signing Robert Green.
The Huddersfield chairman feels money will be better spent elsewhere
Less than a handful of players over the years have progressed through the club’s academy to be a mainstay of the first-team and Dean Hoyle believes money could be better spent elsewhere.
Back in 2016, the Huddersfield Daily Examiner reported in a fans’ questions and answer session with the chairman that the youth system costs the club £1.5million a year to run with £1m coming from the club and the rest in grants.
The Terriers may consider going down the same line as Championship side Brentford, who ditched their academy last year and now operate a B team for 17 to 21-year-olds arranging friendlies with top sides around Europe including Bayern Munich.
Downgrading the academy status is another option for Huddersfield
Another option being considered by Town is downgrading the status of the academy from a Category 2 to a Category 3.
Lowering the status would save the club money in the long term while still having a youth system in place, although they would not have the same benefits as they currently do now.
Being a Category 2 academy allows the Terriers to compete with Category 1 clubs to recruit players from the age of eight.
Should they downgrade to a level three Category, then the lowest age limit for signing in 12 years old. Bournemouth are the only Premier League club with a Category 3 status academy.