Premier League money may have ruined the Johnstone’s Paints Trophy competition and caused serious concerns about the future competitiveness of the Football League.
It has been confirmed that Premier League academy teams will be allowed to play in the Johnstone’s Paints Trophy next season after plans were approved at the English Football League’s annual general meeting in Portugal.
It is understood that 16 of the 21 existing category one academies – most 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 Premier League is also understood to have provided £1m to create a total prize fund of £1.95m, with bonuses awarded for each win.
OVF is strongly opposed to the move and is concerned that this move could eventually allow the competitiveness of the Football League to be watered down if the Premier League continue to seemingly run the game purely for their own benefit.
Our piece on the Football League Trophy…
It may have been known by its sponsors’ names over the years – the Sherpa Van Trophy, the Autoglass Trophy and currently the Johnstones’ Paint Trophy but perhaps it’s worth remembering that the official name of the tournament is the Football League Trophy.
It therefore seems bizarre that Football League clubs should even countenance the idea of allowing Premier League “B” sides into the competition