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Blues shut youth academy

WYCOMBE Wanderers have taken the dramatic step of closing its successful youth department as it continues to try and cut costs.

Kadeem Harris

WYCOMBE Wanderers have taken the dramatic step of closing its successful youth department as it continues to try and cut costs.

The club, in the middle of a takeover from the Wycombe Wanderers Trust supporters group, has a proud history of developing young talent.

The likes of Blackpool's Matt Phillips, Wolves' Roger Johnson, Cardiff's Kadeem Harris (pictured) and Liverpool's Jordon Ibe have all come through the Adams Park youth ranks and earned Blues a tidy profit in recent years.

But that is now a thing of the past after the Centre of Excellence was shut down as the club attempts to balance the books.

The closure is being blamed on new Elite Player Performance Plan rules which will see Football League clubs limited in the transfer fees they can receive for young players.

“The long-term stability of the club is the number one priority and all resources are going towards ensuring the club is financially secure,” said a Wycombe statement today. “Both parties understand this is extremely disappointing news, but it was unavoidable in ensuring the club becomes sustainable.
“The club will do all in its power to assist in helping players find new teams, whilst they also reserve the opportunity to offer professional contracts to selected scholars.”

It means a host of budding young footballers at Wycombe will hope to be picked up by other clubs while the coaching staff are left to look for new jobs.

The news comes after it was announced goalkeeping coach Martin Brennan was leaving the club and physio Stuart Ayles and sports scientist Mick Quinn were both let go.

Wanderers also still remain under a transfer embargo after failing to file their accounts with boss Gary Waddock being left behind when it comes to rebuilding his squad for a season back in League Two and with their pre-season schedule starting in just five weeks.

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