Newcastle United invited to join revamped Premier League without relegation
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The announcement involves the under-21s age group, with the Premier League deciding to revamp the competition structure for the age group. As things stand, Newcastle’s youngsters compete in Premier League 2, which is a relatively simple league system, while some of the teams compete in the Papa John’s Trophy each year, taking on League One and League Two sides.
As things stand, the Premier League 2 is split into two, with group one made up of the best teams, while group two is essentially the second division.
Newcastle’s youngsters finished eight out of 11 teams in group two last season, finishing 10 points behind the playoffs, which were won by Leeds United. But there is good news for the Magpies, with Premier League deciding to revamp the current system from this season.
In the new system, there will be one main division made up of 26 teams - made up of clubs with Category One academies, which includes Newcastle.
Interestingly, though, not all of the teams in the division will play each other home and away. That’s because the league will be split into five pots based on performance over the last three seasons, and they will then play one team from their own pot as well as three to five teams from each of the other pots both home and away.
That will add up to 20 games, and the league will then enter a single-match elimination playoff system, including the top 16 teams from the table. First will play 16th, second will play 15th and so on during the first round of the playoffs, with the highest-seeded team playing at home.
The fixtures are set to be announced next monday, and the teams involved are: Arsenal, Aston Villa, Blackburn, Brighton, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Derby, Everton, Fulham, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Middlesbrough, Newcastle, Norwich, Nottingham Forest, Reading, Southampton, Stoke, Sunderland, Tottenham, West Brom, West Ham and Wolves.
The Premier League have said in a statement: “The change came about after an extensive review of PDP competitions, which sought to enhance the transition of talented Academy players into senior football, and engaged various stakeholders, including football directors, Academy managers, first-team coaches and Academy players.
“The removal of relegation introduces positive jeopardy; it supports clubs making development-first decisions, and minimises the impact of relegation on future groups of U21 players.
“Also the experience of playoffs will open up to 16 teams rather than the four in Division 2 of previous seasons. The new format will also give teams a greater breadth of fixtures, playing 20 different opponents, compared with only 13 in Division 1 and only 10 in Division 2.
“The single division format also provides greater flexibility to add or decrease the number of fixtures in future seasons, dependent on the number of teams in the league, as well as access to additional development opportunities, including matches against senior teams and international opposition.”