Details of the schedule for this season’s re-vamped Football League Trophy have been published and greeted with a chorus of disapproval from fans’ groups.
This summer, the Football League controversially allowed Premier League Academy sides to take part in the Football League Trophy (in the process making a mockery of its title). Thankfully, Port Vale chairman Norman Smurthwaite voted against the proposal which OVF is also wholly opposed to.
After sustained criticism from Football League supporters, there has been no official confirmation of how the competition will be run or when a draw will take place. Now, pressure group Against League 3 have released alleged leaked plans of how the competition will work.
What are the plans?
Against League 3 says the plans are:
- The initial stages will consist of 16 groups of four teams which will be regionalised, while each group will feature an invited club and at least one team from League One and Two.
- The invited club will play one game at home and this will be at the first team ground of the chosen team. Each team meanwhile will play each other once either home or away.
- In the group stages, clubs will be awarded three points for a win and one point for a draw. In the event of a drawn game however, a penalty shootout will be held with the victors gaining an extra point.
- The top two placed teams in the group will progress to the knockout rounds.
- Round Two will remain regionalised with the group winners at home against a second placed team from another group.
- Round Three (16 teams) and Round Four (8 teams) will be free draws.
- If any game is level after 90 minutes, the result will be determined by penalties.
- All semi-final clashes will be knock-out games and played at the stadium of the team drawn first.
- The final meanwhile will be played at Wembley Stadium in April 2017.
What has been the reaction?
What can you do?
Sign-up to boycott the Football League Trophy competition this season through this link
Use the hash tag #BTeamBoycott on Twitter
Follow developments and news at the Against League 3 website