Soccer goalposts move;In Brief
The English School's FA has effectively relinquished control over the game in favour of professional clubs for gifted eight to 16-year-olds. Players who sign on for professional clubs operating a licensed football academy need play only for clubs, not for school, county or district teams.
The FA has long been concerned about talented youngsters being "over-played" with conflicting loyalties to school and club. The charter, devised by Howard Wilkinson, the FA's technical director, recommends that they play a maximum 30 games a season at an academy. (Some now play more than 100 a season.) The helpline number is 01785 251142.