Rise of a new market in England: Premier League 2


Rise of a new market in England: Premier League 2

Premier League 2 keeps going to be a showcase for new star candidates with its changing format this season.

by Emre Sarıkuş

Not many people remember Brentford star Sergi Canos playing for Liverpool U21 and U23. The way of FC Copenhagen goalkeeper Kamil Grabara, who drew attention with his saves in the Champions League, passed through Liverpool U23 team just like Canos.

Invaluable today, Seko Fofana was in Manchester City’s U23 team in 2016; Atalanta’s Jeremie Boga was also a Chelsea U23 player. Even Pedro Goncalves, who shined in Sporting CP, was at Wolverhampton U21 until 3 years ago.

Premier League 2 has created its market. With its renewed format and new star candidates, it is the center of attention in the UK but still unthought-of market for Europeans. One reason may be that the best players are already on their way to the Premier League, while others are potential players for championship teams.

The last two seasons were won by Manchester City but this season they are in a race with Palace Arsenal, Everton, Liverpool, and Fulham. The league has some notable youngsters like 2004 born striker of WBA Reyes Cleary who scored 9 goals in 5 games.

Manchester City sold goalie Gavin Bazunu, Romeo Lavia, and Juan Larios to Southampton total fee of 33 million euros. And Chelsea signed midfielder Cesare Casadei for 15 million euros from Inter while Everton seal United’s James Garner deal for 10 million euros.

The league is formed of two divisions, with 14 teams in Division 1 and 11 teams in Division 2, with promotion and relegation. So, how are these teams selected?

Premier League 2 – Division 1 winners

2021/22 Manchester City
2020/21 Manchester City
2019/20 Chelsea
2018/19 Everton
2017/18 Arsenal
2016/17 Everton
2015/16 Manchester United
2014/15 Manchester United
2013/14 Chelsea
2012/13 Manchester United

Premier League 2 – Division 2 winners

2021/22 Fulham
2020/21 Leeds United
2019/20 West Ham United
2018/19 Wolverhampton Wanderers
2017/18 Blackburn Rovers
2016/17 Swansea City
2015/16 Derby County
2014/15 Middlesbrough

The 25 clubs who compete each applied for “Category One” status in the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP). There are 18 clubs from the Premier League, 6 from the Championship, and 1 from League One.

Premier League consider The Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) as a long-term strategy to develop more and better homegrown players. “Academies are independently audited and given a Category status of 1 to 4, with 1 being the most elite. Up to 10 different factors will be considered in the grading, including productivity rates; training facilities; coaching, education and welfare provisions.”

The league has been called for U23s since the 2016/17 season, but from this season the league became an under-21 competition with 515 players with 135 of them foreigners.

The League format explained as below:

All players born after 1 January 2001 are eligible to play in the 2022/23 season. The format is as follows:

  • There are 14 teams in Division 1 and 11 in Division 2, with every club playing each other once at home and once away
  • In Division 1, the team who finish first are champions
  • The bottom two teams in Division 1 are relegated to Division 2
  • In Division 2, the league winners get automatic promotion to Division 1
  • Teams ranked second to fifth go into a promotion playoff. Second plays fifth at home while the third-placed team host fourth in the semi-finals, both at the club’s main stadiums. The final takes place at the home ground of the team who finished highest in the league
  • All playoff matches are one-off ties, decided by extra-time and then penalties if the match is level after 120 minutes
  • There is no relegation from Division 2
  • Each team can field a goalkeeper over the age limit and up to five “over-age” outfield players in every match

Manchester United’s Head of Academy Nick Cox believes that the reclassification of the Premier League 2 from Under-23s to Under-21s is a logical decision: “If you look across the Under-23s league, at all of the teams that have been entered in recent seasons, the average age is around 19 to 20… It’ll just remind people that these are really young boys playing in that competition.”

Some notable players of top 7 teams of first tier:

Crystal Palace: John-Kymani Gordon (striker), left-back Tayo Adaramola (left back)

Manchester City:  Adedire Mebude (right winger), Oscar Bobb (right winger) and Carlos Borges (left winger) Finley Burns (centre back)

Arsenal: Amario Cozier-Duberry (left winger), Marquinhos (right winger), Charles Sagoe Junior (left winger)

Everton: Thomas Cannon (striker), Isaac Price (central midfielder)

Fulham: Luke Harris (central midfielder), Kristian Sekulerac (central midfielder), Ollie O’Neill (winger)

Liverpool: Layton Stewart (striker) and Oakley Cannonier (striker), Luke Chambers (left back)

Chelsea: Omari Hutchinson (central midfielder), Cesare Casadei (central midfielder), Lewis Hall (central midfielder)

Our new lecturer is Rodrigo Picchioni who is the Head of Analytics at Atletico Mineiro. We trust for many reasons that Rodrigo will give a proper lecture into how the department of data/analytics needs to be structured and make an impact for the club on and off the pitch.

Rodrigo Picchioni headed a newly created analytics department at Atletico from 2021 on, they demonstrated their commitment to becoming a standard bearer in the region in the intelligent use of data to make better decisions. Prior to Atletico, Rodrigo worked as Director of Football Assistant at Red Bull Bragantino and in coaching roles in different countries.

Aloys is the technical director of elite youth teams of the Netherlands FA as the key part of the football development department. He shapes the certification of the youth training programs, and he contributes to the guidance and assessment of the KNVB coaches. Aloys gives lectures in KNVB’s academy directors educational programs.

Gianpaolo is one of top level legal experts in the intl sports business. He has vast experience in advising all range of sports stakeholders. He lectures in FIFA Diploma in Football Law, in UEFA Football Law Program and in Sports Management at the Uni. of St.Gallen. Previously, he headed the Players’ Status Department of FIFA.

Mads is a writer and a football consultant, with experience as a coach and sporting director, and recently worked for Al-Jazira, the UAE champion as well as at clubs such as Brondby, at Guangzhou FC as head of recruitment, Shanghai SIPG as technical director. Mads recently published the book ‘How hard can it be?’.