Leeds fans react as club academy to be upgraded to category one status

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According to an exclusive report from Phil Hay of The Athletic, Leeds United’s academy is set to be granted category one status by the Premier League.

Over the years, some of the finest young talents have represented the senior side from the academy. The likes of Kalvin Phillips, who is closing in on his 200th appearance for the Yorkshire club, is a product of the club’s academy. He is now arguably one of the best defensive midfielders in the Championship.


Since Marcelo Bielsa’s arrival at the Yorkshire club, the Argentine has regularly used players from the under-23 squad, handing senior debuts to no fewer than 13 academy players.

Hay claims that once Leeds achieve the category one status, the club’s youth-development scheme will join the top tier of English academies for the first time after passing an audit under the Premier League’s Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP).

Bielsa has played a major role in it. Under his guidance, Leeds have made upgrades on their Thorp Arch training ground in Wetherby.

The present set-up was reassessed by Premier League auditors after the turn of the year and it left them impressed.

Leeds spend around £4 million on their academy each year. As a result of their new status, they will receive an increased central revenue for youth development.

The club’s under-23s are expected to compete in Premier League Two next season. It also opens the door for Leeds to apply to enter the Leasing.com Trophy and could allow their youngsters to compete in European competitions too.

Many Leeds fans have taken to Twitter to express their reactions. Here are some of the selected tweets: