Leyton Orient will keep their ‘finger on the pulse’ regarding what next for successful academy reveals Martin Ling
PUBLISHED: 13:30 21 May 2018
Simon O'Connor Photography
The director of football at O’s has insisted no decision over the academy has been made, but the club will see what happens over the next year
Martin Ling has insisted no decision over Leyton Orient’s academy has taken place, but has explained the changes which will affect the club from the summer of 2019 should they remain in the National League.
The O’s youth set-up has produced a number of players over the past couple of years and several still remain part of Justin Edinburgh’s first-team squad.
After relegation from League Two in 2017, Orient will now lose 50 per cent of their funding this summer and 100 per cent of it at the end of the 2018/19 campaign if they have not achieved promotion from the National League.
But the director of football discussed how the biggest issue is the fact O’s could lose their Elite Player Performance Plan status next summer which will mean they receive no compensation when their under-16s are signed by other clubs,
Ling said: “We lose 50 per cent of our funding this summer and we lose 100 per cent of our funding next summer, so we will get no funding at all for the academy and the biggest thing I can say about it is we need to keep our finger on the pulse.
“We need to see what happens over the next year and people need to be aware of how it works.
“We have products across the road at the Score Centre and at the moment we have the protection of EPPP, but EPPP favours the big boys anyway so they can come and cherry pick your players.
“In a year’s time we won’t even have the protection of EPPP, so funding isn’t the main issue.
“Next summer we will have no funding, but also no protection and so boys at the Score Centre can train with us and then walk out and people can just come and take them.
“I am not saying we are going to close the academy or anything like that, but we have got to be aware of what is happening.
“It is like having a car showroom across the road. Last summer if someone wanted the car they had to pay 100 per cent for it, this summer they still need to pay 100 per cent for it, but the summer after that, in 2019, the car is worth nothing because someone can just come in and walk away with it.
“Clubs are finding all different ways to do it and we will be actively looking for the right way forward with the club’s academy and unfortunately it is something all clubs in non-league football have a problem with.
“Some clubs have shut their academy in the league because they don’t feel EPPP is a big enough protection, so we haven’t made any decisions, but we are actively aware there are some decisions to be made.”
What might take a decision out of Ling’s hands would be if Orient were to win back their place in the Football League at the end of next season and therefore regain their EPPP status, but as of now, nothing regarding the academy will change.