Under-18 Premier League explained

Arsenal U18s in action against Blackburn U18s

Manchester City were the 2015/16 winners but Chelsea and Arsenal lead title race in final stage of fifth season

The Under-18 Premier League replaced the Premier Academy League at the start of the 2012/13 season with the aim to enhance youth development and help transition players between the Academy and First Team.

Fulham were champions in the competition’s first season, beating Reading 3-0 in the final at Craven Cottage. Everton won the 2013/14 title, defeating Manchester City in the final at Goodison Park.

Middlesbrough were crowned 2014/15 champions after winning five of their seven final phase matches in Group 1, and Man City only dropped two points in the final stage as they won the competition in 2015/16.

The 2016/17 competition is in its final stage, with Chelsea topping the group after five matches and Arsenal two points adrift with a match in hand. 

The 2016/17 U18 Premier League will take place under the following criteria:

  • In total, 24 clubs compete, with each of the clubs having applied for Category One status. There are nine clubs from the Premier League and 15 from the Championship.
  • The 24 clubs are split into two regional groups, the North Group and the South Group.
  • Clubs will play each opposing team in their regional group twice, home and away.
  • For the final stage, all the teams will be separated into three groups.
  • The top four teams from each region go into Group 1 in the final stage. Group 2 will consist of the teams placed fifth to eighth from the north and south. The bottom four clubs from each region go into Group 3.
  • In the final stage, clubs will play each opposing team in their own group once.
  • The winners of Group 1 will become the Under-18 Premier League champions.

Age requirement:

  • Clubs are not allowed to field any outfield players outside the Under-18 age category. However, the goalkeeper is permitted to come from the Under-19 age category.
2015/16 U18 Premier League: Manchester City
Man City won the competition in its fourth season, in 2015/16

The 12 clubs in the North Group of the Under-18 Premier League are:
Blackburn Rovers, Derby County, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Middlesbrough, Newcastle United, Sunderland, Stoke City, West Bromwich Albion, Wolverhampton Wanderers

The 12 clubs in the South Group of the Under-18 Premier League are:
Arsenal, Aston Villa, Brighton & Hove Albion, Chelsea, Fulham, Leicester City, Norwich City, Reading, Southampton, Swansea City, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United

Past Under-18 Premier League winners

2015/16: Manchester City
2014/15: Middlesbrough
2013/14: Everton
2012/13: Fulham