Football League clubs are being asked to consider the possibility of Premier League Under 21 sides joining the Football League Trophy as early as next season.
Plans would see sixteen groups of four battle it out for a place in the knockout stages – with one team in each group coming from category one listed academy sides.
Lets be honest if the Football League sells its soul to the English Premier League once more we might as well rip up the 125 year history and not bother. The idea is ridiculous.
Lets just envisage the possibility of this happening….a group consisting of Hull Under 21’s, Walsall, Carlisle and Tranmere – played on a Tuesday night in winter. I for one wouldn’t attend any of the above fixtures and I doubt any Hull fans would neither. If they think that attendances are low for the Football League Trophy at present, then you can look to reserve attendances to see the kind of gate these games would attract.
How would this benefit Football League sides financially? It wouldn’t.
Not to mention the fact that all of the Premier League youth talent will be kept by their parent clubs to participate in this tournament rather than league experience with a League 1/2 side.
The guy who came up with this idea is Greg Dyke. This is the same man that was a chairman at Brentford who until last season had spent the majority of their time in League’s 1 and 2.
The Football League released the following statement ”Clubs have been asked to consider the concept of permitting 16 U21 teams from clubs with category one academies to participate in The Football League Trophy.
‘The competition would feature 16 groups of four teams with one U21 team in each group, before a knockout stage leading to a final at Wembley Stadium.
‘Given the previous concerns of the League and its clubs about Premier League B teams playing in the pyramid, any final proposal would also be accompanied by a change to the League’s Articles of Association that would protect the current 72 club constitution, save for any changes to promotion/relegation that clubs wished to make.
‘Therefore, having provided them with this comfort, clubs willingly debated the potential commercial, financial and player development benefits of having U21 teams in this competition from 2015/16.
‘No formal proposals were tabled and no formal vote taken.
‘Instead, League One and Two clubs were asked to indicate whether they were content to see The Football League progress the matter, which would include discussions with the Premier League and Football Association, so that clubs can consider a full proposal at a future point.
‘Therefore, as yet, no club has voted in favour or against the idea of having U21 teams in The Football League Trophy, they have only indicated whether they wish to consider the matter further.
‘Ultimately any changes to this competition will only happen with the support of League One and Two clubs.’
I for one would be extremely disappointed if Walsall back the idea considering this is the first time in our history that we have reached Wembley Stadium and there are a few other clubs that will look to The Football League Trophy to sample the same history for their club.
FA – GO HOME YOUR DRUNK!