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CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE CLOSES
13/May/2010 20:53:54

Stags COE closes due to lack of funding
Saturday 8th May 2010

http://www.teamtalk.com/news/1849/6140680/Stags-COE-closes-due-to-lack-of-funding?

As Mansfield Town Football Club face their third season outside the Football League they also lose their parachute payment for their youth development scheme.

As a result, their Centre of Excellence has been closed.

This is the issue that the PFF has been campaigning for and it has now happened to one of our partner clubs.

Whilst Luton will still receive their parachute payment for the 2010/11 season, Wrexham next year now join Cambridge, Rushden & Diamonds, York and Oxford in running a Centre of Excellence with no funding or protection.

The situation has been highlighted further on the PFF online petition by Thomas Alais, who, up until its closure, was part of Mansfield's Centre of Excellence. Thomas wrote "I was goalkeeper with Mansfield Town's U10s until tonight when we found out the Centre was closing.

"Thank you very much. I hope people in charge of the Premier League read this - your greed is killing smaller clubs."

The rules need to change now before more schemes close down and hundreds of children lose their chance to pursue a career in professional football.

It is ludicrous that the future of a nine year old is dictated by where the first team play. If Mansfield continues to run a scheme that meets the relevant criteria, it would be no different to what he is getting now, just because the first team plays outside the Football League.

Thomas is potentially 10 year away from playing in the first team, but due to the lack of funding his opportunity is being snatched away from him.

The campaign might be too late to help Mansfield, but we are urging the relevant authorities to review these rules as a matter of urgency before another successful club follows suit.

http://www.protectfootballsfuture.co.uk

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