Academy Player Contracts

If you are a football lover, then you will find this article interesting. In it, we shall discuss the topic “Academy Player Contracts” and other subtopics like Introduction To Academy Player Contracts, Youth Football Academy Contract Phases, Foundation Phase Contract Registrations, Youth Football Academy Contracts—Registration Process, etc.

Introduction To Academy Player Contracts

Enrolling in a youth football academy can often be a source of confusion and stress for both young players and their parents. The extensive use of abbreviations in various forms can make it challenging to determine which documents to sign and when to do so.


The following guide outlines the types of forms you can anticipate signing at different age levels within the academy. This is whether you’re a new recruit or a player receiving an extension offer. The registration process plays a vital role in the journey of youth development.

It signifies a commitment from both the player and the academy and sets the course for the player’s football journey over the next few years. Therefore, it’s crucial to thoroughly evaluate all aspects of the academy to ensure it’s the right fit for you.


Related: How To Enrol in the Real Sociedad Football Academy

Youth Football Academy Contract Phases

Age groups have divided the English academy system into three distinct stages. In each of these stages, individuals are required to enrol and dedicate themselves to their academic journey. These stages are as follows:

  1. The foundation phase encompasses players aged from under 9 to under 11.
  2. The youth development phase is for players between the ages of 12 and 16.
  3. The last phase within the academy system is the professional development phase. It is for players aged from under 17s to under 21s.

Youth Football Academy Contracts: Registration Process

The football league will quickly look over your entry when your club joins or extends. You have 7 days to change your mind if you don’t want to go through with your registration. This is the time when you are an official player for your club. This lets you take part in games and training classes.


However, it’s crucial not to interact with or accept approaches from any other Premier League or Football League clubs during this time. Once registered, other clubs are also prohibited from attempting to recruit you. This rule applies consistently as you progress through different phases of academy development.

Related: Ways To Enter The Real Madrid Football Academy

Foundation Phase Contract Registrations

The foundation phase marks the initial opportunity for a young athlete to join a professional academy. This is typically between the ages of 9 and 11. This transition can be quite distinct from grassroots football, requiring some adjustment to academy life.

It depends on whether you’re joining a Premier League or Football League school, your registration can last for up to one year during this early stage of growth.

These forms include:

  1. Premier League Club Academy, Form PLYD 5
  2. Football League Club Academy, Form YD4

Filling out this form allows you to join the club for a maximum of one year. If you register during the middle of the season, this period will be shorter. Your academy will inform you before the third Saturday in May whether they wish to retain your membership or release you. You will receive one of the following:

  1. Premier League Club Academy, Form PLYD 11
  2. Football League Club Academy, Form 30

This letter will inform you of your status, indicating whether you are secure with the club or need to seek a new one.

Related: How To Enroll Into Wolves Football Academy

Expectations From Foundation Phase Players

If you agree to the extension offer, you don’t have to say anything because the extension will happen on its own. However, if you want to leave your current school because another club has made you an offer, the new club will have to pay your current club.

Foundation Phase Players Not Having Extension Offer

Relax if you didn’t get an offer to extend your registration. The school has given you useful training that a lot of young players never get. Additionally, you are still young, so you can enjoy playing casual football until another chance comes up. Starting on the first Saturday of June, you will not have to pay to register, and if another school is interested in you, they can contact you without having to pay anything.

Youth Football Academy Contracts: Youth Development Phase Registrations

During the youth development phase, the registration durations vary for age groups U12 to U16. U12, U14, and U16 players can only register for one year, while U13 and U15 players can register for two years. This flexibility aims to ease your concerns, allowing you to focus on your football. If you belong to the U12 or U14 age group, your club will decide whether to extend your contract at the end of the season.

For Premier League Academy players, they will send a PLYD Form 9, and for Football League Academy players, they will send a Form 30. These forms will tell you if they are giving you more time or letting you go. If you want to keep playing for your present team, don’t do anything. But if you want to join a different team, the new one will make up for the old one. You can join a new club on the first Saturday in June if your current club doesn’t agree to let you stay registered.

Related: How To Join Newcastle Football Academy

Youth Football Academy Contracts: -Professional Development Phase U17’s – U21’s

After successfully navigating the foundational and youth development stages, it’s time to delve into the more business-oriented aspect of your journey in the academy. By this point, you should be well-acquainted with your club’s philosophy, and the club should have a clear understanding of your abilities.

The academy now provides you with an opportunity to enrol in the professional phase through a scholarship or apprenticeship programme. This commitment lasts for two years and encompasses both your education and football development. It’s worth noting that a club can extend a scholarship offer after January 1st of the year you turn 14. The specific forms for these scholarship agreements are as follows:

  • Premier League Academy: PLYD Form 11
  • Football League Academy, Form 33 Once your academy extends an offer, you must respond within 28 days from the date it’s issued. Failure to do so will result in the club withdrawing the offer.

We recommend reviewing the scholarship offer carefully and consulting with a legal expert. This is a crucial phase in your personal growth and a significant life decision, so it’s beneficial to be diligent.

Non-Scholarship Academy Players

This phase in a young player’s journey can be anxiety-inducing. If you’re approaching the conclusion of your Under 16 Academy season and haven’t received a scholarship offer, it’s time to begin searching for a different club.

Starting on March 1st, you have the freedom to seek out a new club without being obligated to provide compensation.

Regardless of the duration of your membership with the academy, the club is committed to ensuring the well-being of all its players. They will provide the guidance and assistance required to transition to your next phase.

Related: Gaining Entrance Into Manchester City Football Academy


Youth football academies can be quite demanding for young athletes, especially during registration times when competition is fierce for limited spots. It’s crucial to realise that not getting a registration offer doesn’t mean the end of your football journey. The skills and discipline you’ve gained during your time at the academy can be applied to various other career paths.


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