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West Brom get top academy status for next season

Albion have been granted category one academy status for next season – with the club confident that will be extended to the traditional three years.

West Brom
West Brom

The Premier League has tightened its regulations when it comes to youth set-ups, with Birmingham recently seeing their academy downgraded to category two.

Burnley are also expected to be downgraded.

Albion’s academy, which was audited earlier this year, has been category one ever since the inception of the Elite Player Performance Plan in 2012.

Following previous audits, the club has always been granted a licence that has awarded category one status for three years.

But the Express & Star understands the audit that took place earlier this year granted the Baggies category one status for next season.

It then listed some recommendations the Baggies will have to make if they want to keep that status for the 2023/24 season and beyond.

It is understood those actions will be actioned by Albion quickly – with the Baggies confident they will be granted a three-year licence at the next audit.

Category one status means a club is among the 24 highest-ranked academies in the country.

It allows clubs to recruit players from further afield. It also ensures under 21, 18 and 16 sides compete in the Premier League of their respective age groups.

Clubs with category one status also get more compensation if an academy player leaves.

Historically, Sunderland are the only club to have found themselves in a similar position to Albion.

Back in 2018 they were given a licence for one year and told to make improvements to retain their category one status – which they did.

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