Navigating Academy Football
Signing for an academy is an exciting opportunity, but it’s also an introduction to the highly competitive, complex nature of football. The PFA is not affiliated with leagues, clubs or governing bodies, so we can provide accurate, free, impartial information and advice about the academy system and what it entails for young players and their families.
We operate a free, confidential service where you can get advice about:
- Premier League and English Football League youth-development rules
- academy registrations, inductions and contractual offers
- Football Association and FIFA regulations
- scholarship offers
- end-of-season procedures and requesting release
- compensation, time and distance rules and regulations
- player development, including coaching and education rules
- player welfare
Yes. Many parents speak to us without sharing details, but we must stress that anything we discuss is in the strictest confidence and will never be shared with clubs or anyone else, unless a safeguarding disclosure is made.
We offer a range of support for young players to help them navigate academy life and prepare for a career in professional football. All young players and their families can check out the PFA Safety Net and academy players who have been offered scholarship terms can also access the PFA’s online Introduction Course through their club.