EFL reveals changes to Checkatrade Trophy
The much-maligned Checkatrade Trophy will be tweaked for the forthcoming season.
After being given a reboot last season, two-thirds of clubs in League 1 and League 2 voted to keep the group-stage format, including U21 teams from 16 invited Premier League and Championship clubs. However, there will be amendments made to the competition.
The key changes include a bigger prize money pot, regionalisation until the quarter final stage, and alterations to team selection to allow Football League clubs greater freedoms in who they are allowed to pick for the games. U21 sides will also play their games away from home.
The changes come as a result of poor attendances and a general detain for the trophy as a result of the alterations made, seemingly favouring the academy sides.
EFL Chief Executive Shaun Harvey has welcomed the support of the competition.
He said: “The history of the EFL Trophy is one of new ideas and innovation, but at its heart has always been the belief that this is an opportunity for League 1 and League 2 clubs to taste cup success. I am therefore delighted to see the backing the Checkatrade Trophy has received from our clubs for the next two seasons, following a full and comprehensive review of this year’s pilot format.
“We wanted to ensure that League 1 and League 2 clubs had the opportunity to make the key decisions regarding where we take the competition in 2017/18 and beyond and I believe we have reached a revised format that benefits all parties.
“EFL clubs will have greater flexibility with regard to team selection, while still maintaining the principle that this is a first team competition for our clubs that will support the development and progression of young players. The competition will also provide significant financial rewards for all EFL Clubs, which increases with success.”