Controversial new ruling to be trialled by the Football League

  • Controversial new ruling to be trialled by the Football League

Controversial new ruling to be trialled by the Football League

Given the Football League deems it "acceptable" to allow Premier League clubs to field their "academies" in OUR competition there shouldn't be much argument against us being permitted to do so too!

It is understood that 16 of the 21 existing category' one academies - a lot of them belonging to top-flight teams - will be invited to join a 64-team competition which will start with 16 groups of four before becoming a straight knockout with a final at Wembley.

The 2016/17 season will bring about a newly re-branded competition the English Football League Trophy, and with the new title comes a chance to shine for those under-21 players at England's top sides.

In the one-season trial, there will be 64 teams split into 16 regional groups of four.

The top two teams will progress to the knockout stages of the competition with the final staged at Wembley Stadium in April 2017.

The competition, formerly known as the Johnstone's Paints Trophy, will also receive a £1m prize money boost from the Premier League - almost doubling its total fund.

"The possibility of being drawn away to a category one Premier League academy/under-21 side at a Premier League venue would provide both crucial player experience and an event for fans to enjoy".

Derby County's under-21 side with their league winners trophy
Derby County's under-21 side with their league winners trophy

Seven Football League clubs are said to have voted against the proposals to change the EFL Trophy next season, with six of those clubs making public statements about how and why they chose to reject them.

Each team will play each other once in the group stage, with the academy team getting just one home game.

Colchester feels the changes can freshen the competition up and believe it is something that can be a positive. The FA has already cut quarterfinal replays in the FA Cup and the Premier League continues to explore ways to introduce a winter break.

Proposals to increase the number of teams competing at Premier League and Football League level from 92 to 100 in time for the 2019-20 season were discussed in Portugal last week.

"There are no financial benefits for lower league clubs and that worries me because if it's going to be a burden financially, that burden eventually gets passed on to fans and there's very little enthusiasm for the competition anyway".

The Football League Trophy is effectively dead now isn't it.

The Football League will then have to receive from club details of the recruitment process, including the number of applications from black and ethnic minority candidates and how many of these were subsequently interviewed.