Leeds United fans face a nervous five games until the end of their current campaign. They hold a one-point lead at the top of the Sky Bet Championship and are just three points clear of the playoff pack. There is a crunch game of Thursday against Stoke City to manoeuvre. However, off the pitch, the club has received welcome news about their Academy which has just been upgraded to Category 1 status.

This news had been mooted for a while but had been delayed due to the ramifications of the Covid-19 pandemic. Now that associated lockdown has been eased somewhat, there comes confirmation that the Whites have been awarded the top-level status that a Category 1 academy brings.

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Phil Hay, of The Athletic, broke the news yesterday of Leeds United being awarded this upgrade. It is an ugraded categorisation that brings them level in status with the likes of Liverpool and both Manchester outfits.

Hay outlines some of the benefits that having a Category 1 academy will bring the Whites. On this he wrote:

Leeds, who are believed to spend around £4 million on their academy each year, stand to receive an increase in central revenue for youth development as a result of their new evaluation and their under-23s are expected to compete in Premier League Two next season. Category One status also opens the door for Leeds to apply to enter the Leasing.com Trophy and could allow their youngsters to compete in European competitions too.”

The video announcement from Leeds United (above) was bound to garner a reaction from Leeds United fans, here’s what they had to say.

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Leeds United fans react to Category 1 upgrade news

Are Leeds United fans right to rejoice at Category 1 upgrade news?

Yes, definitely.

Adds to the image of the club.

No, not at all.

On the pitch that matters.