Date: 14th August 2012 at 6:57pm
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This evening it has emerged that Watford will apply to downgrade their academy from Category 1 status to Category 3. Watford did have one of the best and most unique academy setups in the country using the Harefield Academy as a joint school and football academy.

With the new EPPP [Elite Player Performance Plan] system coming into practice soon all clubs have had to battle to re grade their academies and move them in line with the new FA standards. Watford last season confirmed they were sure to be awarded Category 2 status and had hoped to be given the top Category 1 status, however now the club decision has been to move down and apply for Category 3.

In an interview on the Watford Observer website technical director Gianluca Nani said the management will continue to back the Hornets Academy. He stated ‘Nothing will divert us from this focus, (improving the academy), but as a business we are choosing to pursue goals within sensible investment parameters’.