Appalled parents of some of the region's young football talents are demanding answers after Barrow AFC allegedly reneged on promises for their development.

The Bluebirds had planned an under-18 academy to be established for next season, including nine scholarships in association with Furness Academy, to continue the young players' education.

Parents and youngsters were aware that the scholarships were to be awarded on the condition that Barrow stayed in League Two, which they did narrowly achieve.

However, young players have now been left in limbo as it has been revealed the academy will now be 'deferred', meaning that young players who had accepted Barrow offers, turning down other clubs, are now left with no academy for the coming season.

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One parent, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: "Our main issues are the awful, late timing of this decision as the kids have GCSEs starting Monday, the way it's been communicated, conflicting reasons being given by academy staff and board, and just that we're asking for an honest explanation from the board face to face.

"All we want is answers.

"They're doing their GCSEs next week and considering Barrow AFC are promoting mental health awareness, it's pretty disgusting to be doing this kind of thing. 

"All the other League Two clubs have academies. That's what they've been striving for. 

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"They haven't told us why they're not doing it, as far as I'm aware, people have been told by text message or e-mail - this all comes at a time when the club claim to be trying to engage more with the community.

"It's not the EFL or funding being pulled, it's a board of directors decision, but we don't know why. 

"What's the point of building up these kids that have been working really hard behind the scenes for 12 months, playing matches around the north west, to be then just told it's not happening."

One comment from a fans' forum said: "Lads have had verbal offers - a carrot dangled in front of them, kids who have turned other academies away as they thought Barrow's was the best set up and a few local lads have been offered. 

"Now to be told the week before they start GCSEs that it's not happening, what an absolute disgrace from Barrow AFC.

"Talk about messing with kids' heads some of these lads are in ruins now.

A Barrow AFC spokesman said the club was unable to comment at this time.