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By ESPN Staff

Elite Performance Plan launched

Football League chairman Greg Clarke hailed English football's new Elite Player Performance Plan as "a major step forward'' after the organisation's member clubs approved the proposals.

The plans were passed by a margin of 46 to 22 at Thursday's meeting of the Football League clubs at Walsall's Banks's Stadium, with three no-shows and one abstention. The new system will increase the amount of coaching contact time for players in the country's top academies, those granted category one status.

Payments to clubs for youth development will increase but the regulations also include the abolition of the transfer tribunal system, to be replaced by a fixed level of compensation - leading to fears that lower-league teams will lose their top young talent to bigger clubs on the cheap.

Clarke told Sky Sports News: "We had a vote and it was strongly supported - the national game is behind developing better talent for the national side. There's two aspects to it, there's the Elite Player Performance Plan which is pretty uncontentious really, a lot of good work done by a lot of people.

"Then there's the compensation plan, which determines how much large clubs pay smaller clubs for youth talent at different ages, and it's important clubs knew what they were signing up for and that each club had to decide whether they would be better or worse off financially under the new scheme.''

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