Football Academy Contracts – Five Things You Need To Know

Football Academy Contracts – Five Things You Need To Know

If your child is serious about football – and has the skill – the football academy system might well beckon. If you are approached by a scout or registered, it’s undoubtedly a fantastic opportunity. After all, academies offer everything from top-notch training to high quality education. But remember –it’s a two-way street.

In the excitement of registering, it is easy to forget that you – on behalf of your child – will be entering a legal contract with obligations, responsibilities and potential restrictions on who your child plays with in the future. Reports appear regularly of disputes between youth players, their parents and club. So independent advice is essential before entering a contract.

Here are 5 things to consider about academy contracts:

  1. Scouts and intermediaries – If you are approached by a scout, ensure he is registered with the relevant club. If you are dealing with an intermediary check he is registered with the FA. Representation contracts with intermediaries can only be entered if the player is under 16. If he is under 18 the parent or guardian must sign the agreement.
  2. Academy registration – There are three stages in the academy system: Foundation, Youth Development and Professional Development. At each stage you should ensure you know what the legal position should your child wish to move from the academy or if the academy wishes to release your child
  3. Expenses – Youth players do not get paid in their early years with an academy. But you should check to see if travel or other expenses will be covered. You and your child are making a big commitment that will take up a lot of time and energy.
  4. Academy environment – The percentage of young academy players who forge a successful professional playing career is extremely low. You should investigate what the academy is offering in terms of education and welfare support to ensure your child will be as well-equipped as possible to make a life outside football if that becomes necessary.
  5. Scholarships (Apprenticeships) – Your child can be offered a scholarship at any time after 1st January in the year of his 14th birthday. This is a big commitment on both sides – it involves a two-year contract between club and player with a full-time football development and education programme. But at this point you should be clear on the following:
  • How will the apprenticeship be extended?
  • What happens if the club wishes to release your child?
  • On release, will there be help seeking another club or finding other opportunities?
  • In what circumstances can your child ask to leave a club that wishes to keep him on? The amount of compensation that may be payable by the releasing club to the new club can sometimes restrict the player’s freedom of movement at a crucial stage in his development as a player.

At Winston Brown & Co. we offer specialist legal advice on these and other issues surrounding youth football academy contracts. To get in touch, call us on 020 8858 5996 or contact us online.



  1. Felicia Idugboe
    October 9, 2017

    Hello, my friend’s son is eager to come and play in the UK, he is only in his teens how do I register him? Thanks Felicia

  2. shafici
    February 23, 2018

    i am player please help me

  3. George olaka
    April 28, 2018

    Am a football player of age 18years and am through with my highscohool. For qny club inneed of a ”midfielder” please contact me.?? my#-0742426795

  4. MR Brian Leech
    May 11, 2018

    My Son has spent 2 x Seasons at a local cat 3 Academy. Under 10’s and 11’s. He would like to leave as h as ambition and potential to succeed. He is very respected at the club and they are not willing to release him on a YD7 form. They would only release with YD10 form. I have offered to pay the club the compensation due to them for the 2 x Seasons, in exchange for YD7 release form. They have said, the compensation has to be paid by another professional club, if he is offered and signs for. I am concerned that another club may be put off if fee is payable. I am offering the full amount due, £6k. The same as any professional club would be expected to pay. They have no more to gain in compensation if he leaves now and doesn’t play for them again. Is it possible for me to buy the contract ?

  5. Joshua ferris
    May 16, 2018

    can I ask you a question I’m can I get I’m under 16 team in football academy

    • Joshua ferris
      May 16, 2018

      can I ask you a question can I get under 16 team in football academy

  6. Uchendu Emmanuel
    May 22, 2018

    Good evening sir,
    My name is Uchendu Emmanuel am from Nigeria in IMO state. I was on on 25 feb, 2000.I’m highly sure football is my dream. I wish to agree any terms and condition in the football academy.
    This Is my number 09037610969.I will be greatful to be there. I will be expecting a feed back text. God bless you.

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