Premier League 2 is here.
On Wednesday the Premier League announced that its U-21 league will be renamed as “Premier League 2” for the upcoming 2016-17 season.
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With the league rebranding for the new campaign — there will be no lead sponsor, plus a new logo and color scheme will be present — the decision is one that has been rumored for quite some time.
The Premier League released the following statement on PL 2:
Premier League 2 is a new competition that replaces the Under-21 Premier League from 2016/17, with a greater focus on a level of play in terms of technicality, physicality and intensity to bring players as close to first-team experience as possible.
The age limit for players has risen from Under-21 to Under-23.
The league will take on the same format of two tiers, Division 1 and Division 2, with 12 teams in each, and the factor of promotion and relegation.
The 24 clubs who compete each applied for ‘Category One’ status in the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP). There are 15 clubs from the Premier League and nine clubs from the Championship.
The setup for the new league can be found below with at least three games per season played at the first team stadium of each club, plus a goalkeeper and up to three outfield players over the age of 23 permitted to play in each game.
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Whoever finishes top of Division 1 will be the champions, while two teams will be relegated to Division 2. The champ of Division 2 will be promoted, as well the team who wins the playoffs between the teams who finish second to fifth in Division 2. No teams will be relegated from Division 2.
Premier League 2, 2016-17
Teams in Division 1
Arsenal, Chelsea, Derby County, Everton, Leicester City, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Reading, Southampton, Sunderland, Tottenham Hotspur
Teams in Division 2
Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Brighton & Hove Albion, Fulham, Middlesbrough, Newcastle United, Norwich City, Swansea City, Stoke City, West Bromwich Albion, West Ham United, Wolverhampton Wanderers