EY Report

'Significant investment' boosting homegrown stars

31 Jan 2022
Trent Alexander-Arnold, Liverpool; Mason Mount, Chelsea

How Premier League's Elite Player Performance Plan supports Academies throughout the football pyramid

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The EY Report into the economic and social impact of the Premier League has highlighted the "significant investments" the League has made into Academies in the English football pyramid, bringing with it a positive impact on the number of homegrown players in Premier League teams and the performances of the England national teams.

Between the 2012/13 and 2020/21 seasons, some £1.6billion was invested through the Premier League's Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) into Academies at more than 90 clubs in the Premier League and EFL to develop homegrown talent.

Such investment has been with the aim of improving coaching, education standards and facilities at Academies.

7503_Premier League_EY Infographics_v6_2

The sustained investment has brought about an increase in the numbers of English or homegrown players featuring in the Premier League over that same period.

In the 2019/20 season analysed by EY, the number of minutes played by homegrown players aged 23 or under was 50 per cent up on the average across the previous three campaigns.

See: PL Academies give positive experience, say parents

The following season, an average of more than 38 per cent of starters were eligible to play for England, a 12-year high.

The long-term strategy of the EPPP aims to develop more and better homegrown players through the Academy system, ensuring players have access to a varied games programme and regular high-level competition.

This has benefitted clubs at all levels of the Premier League, including those in UEFA competitions. Indeed, more than a quarter of the players in the matchday squads of the Premier League clubs taking part in the 2020/21 UEFA competition finals were English, with an average age of 24.8.

James-Foden-UCL-PL-composite

For the second time in three seasons, the UEFA Champions League final was between two English teams, with young homegrown talent playing a key role for both Manchester City and Chelsea throughout the season.

Such development and experiences in the Premier League and UEFA Champions League for English players are also having a beneficial impact on their national team, as the EY report alludes to.

"Academies supported by Premier League investment have played a key role in the development of many English stars," it says.

"For example, a number of players from the England FIFA 2018 World Cup semi-finalist and UEFA Euro 2020 finalist squads were products of the EPPP, including Jude Bellingham, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Ben Chilwell, Phil Foden, Reece James, Mason Mount, Aaron Ramsdale, Marcus Rashford, Declan Rice, Bukayo Saka, Jadon Sancho and Benjamin White."

England Euro2020 line-up

The report also points to UEFA analysis that indicates "investment in professional football youth development in the Premier League is the most extensive in Europe, with budget per club averaging £5.4million."

Also in this series

Part 1: Download the EY Report (PDF; Size: 7.8MB)
Part 2: Economic benefits of Premier League confirmed by report
Part 3: 'League's role important at local and global levels'
Part 4: Sunak: League's contribution to economy is fantastic
Part 5: Investing in communities and the wider game
Part 6: League investment supporting football pyramid
Part 7: Providing a helping hand during the pandemic
Part 8: Premier League success being felt across the UK
Part 9: Burnham: League has massive benefits for North West
Part 10: How West Ham contribute to local economy
Part 12: Producing the next generation of coaching talent
Part 13: League's global support boosting UK appeal
Part 14: Egypt symbolises growth of Premier League

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