- Revamped competition will include promotion and relegation
- Matches to be broadcast live on Sky Sports and BT Sport
- Chelsea open their title defence at home to Manchester City
—- The 2014/15 Barclays U21 Premier League season fixtures were announced today. An exciting new format for the competition that sees promotion and relegation introduced will broadcast live on Sky Sports and BT Sport.
The opening matches of the new campaign feature last season’s Barclays U21 Premier League winners Chelsea vs Manchester City and Manchester United vs Norwich City – both Friday night matches on 15 August. One to look out for in second round is Liverpool vs Manchester United which will take place at Anfield at 19.00 on Friday 22 August.
Premier League Director of Youth, Ged Roddy, said:
“The enhancements to the Barclays U21 Premier League will undoubtedly improve the competition and provide high level playing opportunities for young players that better prepare them for Premier League football.
“Players who want to succeed at the highest levels of the game need experience of playing in stadia in front of crowds, in front of live broadcast cameras and in environments that test them in a variety of different ways.
“The clubs have been hugely supportive and recognise the importance of this part of a player’s development in terms of progressing to first team level.
“Everyone wants to see more and better home-grown players at the highest levels of the game.”
The Barclays U21 Premier League consists of the 24 best U21 teams in the country and has been split in two divisions of 12 clubs.
There will be promotion and relegation between the two divisions, with two clubs promoted and two clubs relegated at the end of the season, which will inject more competitiveness into the latter stages of the competition.
Fans will have the opportunity to see their club’s future stars like never before with more matches taking place at clubs’ main stadia and up to 20 matches broadcast live on Sky Sports and BT Sport.
One match per round will be broadcast live with Sky Sports planning to broadcast on the opening round, BT Sport on the second round and the broadcasters alternating thereafter.
The broadcast selections for the opening round of the season will be made and announced in the coming days.
The Premier League will work with title sponsor Barclays to create the look and feel of a Barclays Premier League match for the Barclays U21 Premier League. This will include the player handshake, perimeter advertising, interview backdrops and Get On With The Game branding.
The full fixture list for the Barclays U21 Premier League can be viewed via the following link:http://www.premierleague.com/en-gb/news/news/2014-15/jul/barclays-under-21-premier-league-2014-15-fixtures-released.html
Notes to Editors
The Barclays U21 Premier League Divisions (1 and 2) for the 2014/15 Season:
Barclays U21 Premier League – Division 1
West Ham United
Barclays U21 Premier League – Division 2
Brighton & Hove Albion
West Bromwich Albion
Player numbers for 2013/14 Barclays U21 Premier League
- 618 British players played in the Barclays U21 Premier League in 2013/14
- 93% of all Premier League Academy players are British
- 87% of all 16-18 year olds at Premier League clubs are British