Promotion and relegation has been scrapped in the PL2 under-21 competition following a vote of the shareholders during the Premier League’s AGM last weekend.

A season-long review of the competitiveness of the academy game recommended a switch to a Swiss-style format, which will be adopted in the Champions’ League from 2024-25, following concerns about the current set-up’s suitability for preparing young players for senior football. Whereas the PL2 is currently organised on a regional basis with promotion and relegation into the top tier, the new proposals will see all 25 category one academies field a team in the revamped competition.

All 25 sides will be seeded into five pots based on their historical success over the past three years. Each club will play 20 matches, playing everyone in their own pot plus four or five teams in the other pots on a home and away basis. The top sixteen sides over a 21-week schedule will then qualify for a knockout phase to decide the eventual winners.

The switch means that Fulham, who won promotion from the second tier last season just before the competition returned to under-21 from under-23, will be one of the last clubs to be promoted into the top flight. The PL2 fixtures will be published next month.

The 25 Category One academy sides who will take part in the PL2 are as follows:

Aston Villa
Blackburn Rovers
Brighton and Hove Albion
Crystal Palace
Derby County
Leeds United
Leicester City
Manchester City
Manchester United
Newcastle United
Norwich City
Nottingham Forest
Stoke City
Tottenham Hotspur
West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
Wolverhampton Wanderers