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Liverpool Set Wage Caps For Academy Products

Liverpool has followed the examples of Tottenham and Southampton by enforcing a wage cap of £40,000-per-year on 17-year-old youth professionals according to a report by the Telegraph

The policy aims to combat the "too much, too young" culture in the Premier League that has seen financial incentives for youth products rise to ridiculous proportions. 

It is an issue that seems to be brought up everytime England fail on the international stage, and this year has proven to be no exception. 

England National Team

Another disappointing display from England has pushed the youth policy back into the spotlight. Photo: @Vivafootcalcio | Twitter

After England's embarrassing exit to Iceland at Euro 2016, pundit and Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher wrote a scathing column for the Daily Mail, in which he accused England's players of being "soft." 

"I call them the Academy Generation because they have come through in an era when footballers have never had more time being coached. At this point I want to make it clear I am not pointing the finger at academy coaches, as others will do."

"But they get ferried to football schools, they work on immaculate pitches, play in pristine training gear every day and everything is done to ensure all they have to do is focus on football. We think we are making them men but actually we are creating babies." 

"Life has been too easy. They have been pampered from a young age, had money thrown at them and, when things have gone wrong, they have been told it is never their fault. Some 12- and 13-year-olds have agents now. Why?"

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Academy Director Alex Inglethorpe certainly seem to agree with Carragher. As well as wage caps, Liverpool are also supporting players in playing as much football as they can outside academies. 

The endgame is to establish a youth culture that prioritizes sporting motivations over financial ones, and gives Academy products a clear perspective and path to the first team. 


Alex Inglethorpe and Jurgen Klopp oversee an Academy session. Photo: @LFCBoston | Twitter

Of course, Klopp is no stranger to developing youth, as he was instrumental in developing the careers of Marco Reus, Mario Gotze, Robert Lewandowski and many others at Borussia Dortmund. Liverpool fans will certainly be encouraged to see him bring that same attitude to Merseyside. 


It is an attitude that should be spread across the whole of the Premier League. For a better example of the need for policies such as this, look no further than Chelsea. 

Earlier this year, Chelsea was criticized heavily due to the lack of youth products in their squad. They have 38 players out on loan this season, and while they boast a considerable wealth of talent at youth level (Chelsea are current UEFA Youth League champions and have won the FA Youth Cup five out of the last seven seasons), these players barely get a glimpse into the first team. 

The spotlight on Chelsea reached fever pitch when news broke that 18-year-old striker Dominic Solanke demanded a £50,000-a-week contract with first-team guarantees, despite having only made one senior appearance. It was believed that Solanke did not see a similar path at Chelsea that Harry Kane had received at Tottenham. 

Around the same time, a promising Portugal youth international named Domingos Quina departed Chelsea for West Ham in order to get more opportunities. 

It is not hard to see why players get discouraged in such a system, especially when you look at the likes of Nathaniel Chalobah and Lucas Piazon.  

Nathaniel Chalobah

Nathaniel Chalobah has had to wait six years for his Chelsea debut. Photo: @MichyImpossible | Twitter

Chalobah was forced to go out on loan six times before making his Chelsea debut, playing almost 100 matches for other teams. Similarly, the once highly sought after Lucas Piazon has had to go on loan five times, something he recently expressed his displeasure at. Even Ruben Loftus-Cheek has been unable to secure a starting berth, despite impressing upon his breakthrough to the first team. 

Chelsea is certainly not the only club to be guilty of this, but they serve as a good example of the kind of culture that Liverpool are striving to distance themselves from. 

Whether it will be a success in the face of the increasingly financial-driven Premier League remains to be seen but it is certainly an attitude to be encouraged. 

Follow me on Twitter @J_Hansen_89 

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