Blues to operate as Category 2 Academy
Birmingham City will operate as a Category 2 Academy for the upcoming 2022/23 season.
This follows an audit conducted by the Professional Game Academy Audit Company [PGAAC] in February and will see Blues, after a campaign of football in the Premier League’s development competitions, continue their association with the Professional Development League (PDL).
It was within this structure that the Club’s Under-23s side was crowned national champions at the end of 2020/21, with the Under-18s being runners-up in their equivalent competition.
After such successes, it was confirmed last May, as per licencing protocol, that a provisional one-year licence had been initially granted, with the aforementioned audit designed to determine whether that Club would retain its top-tier status at the end of this initial period.
Blues representatives met with auditors to discuss their subsequent findings and contest issues relating to non-compliance. However, the Professional Game Board (PGB) confirmed the decision to grant the Club category 2 status earlier today.
As a result, the Club has been in communication with parents and guardians, remaining open to discussing any issues or concerns relating to the status of the Academy.
Furthermore, whilst we are disappointed with the results of the audit and the decision of the PGAAC, we acknowledge the many challenges associated with operating a Category 1 academy and that costs have been significantly higher than anticipated. This has presented a sizable obstacle when attempting to meet the required Category 1 conditions.
As a Club, we pride ourselves on the clear pathway that exists from our Academy to our First Team and remains committed to producing players capable of competing for places in the Senior Squad.
The number of academy graduates who made First Team appearances in the 2021/22 campaign was more than any season in the past decade.
We recently operated a thriving Category 2 Academy and will prepare our teams for an equally successful future, striving for excellence, and will work hard over the coming months to address the factors that informed the PGB’s decision.
The decision is due to be ratified by the PGB at their next meeting on Tuesday 24 May.
The club will be making no further comment at this time.