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Cambridge Liberal Democrats

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Julian Huppert MP

Howarth tackles government over cash for young footballers

May 13, 2009 2:18 PM

David HowarthCambridge United has found young football stars for the top league clubs - yet it gets no funding for its youth development scheme.

This injustice has infuriated Cambridge MP David Howarth who plans to raise the issue with the government.

He is angry that the club, which has provided players to West Ham, Manchester United, Leicester City and Everton, does not qualify for cash help for its youth scheme because it is not in the football league.

"This is an absolutely ridiculous situation," said Mr Howarth. "Clearly, there are talented young players coming through this scheme and yet the club does not qualify for any funding.

"This scheme should be treated as an entirely separate entity from the football club. It should be eligible for funding in its own right because of its obvious success."

On Sunday Cambridge United will play Torquay and a win would put the club back in the football league, resulting in £180,000 a year in funding for the youth development scheme.

But Mr Howarth added: "It is utter nonsense that the scheme's funding should hinge on this match. If the U's win, the youth development scheme gets the money, if not it continues to struggle to be self-financing.

"Surely we owe our talented young players more security than this?"