So tonight sees us play our first game this season in the controversial Checkatrade Trophy, a trophy which has fond memories as a Saddlers fan.
22nd March 2015 will be forever remembered as the day we finally played at Wembley Stadium after 127 years of trying. Ok the match and atmosphere put a dampener on the event but as a kid watching your team at Wembley is all you ever dream about growing up.
However, Mr Harvey and his pals at the EFL have ruined a tournament that was once the pinnacle for smaller clubs. We now find ourselves facing youngsters from Category A academies trying to impress to force their way into the first teams of their parent clubs.
Let’s be honest no matter what the EFL or FA try to implement into the game it will never see improvement in our youngsters, not when the Premier League continues to splash over £1bn in the transfer window.
Look at Chelsea for example. Ruben Loftus-Cheek was pivotal to England reaching the World Cup and although he only played a few minutes in our run to the semi finals it was clear that he has a very bright future. However this summer Chelsea changed management and signed a central midfielder for £57m and loaned a midfielder from Real Madrid – Loftus Cheek has once again fallen down the pecking order.
Now the failure to identify the real cause of England youngsters not being given a chance in the Premier League is more dangerous to the future of our game and that is where Mr Harvey and the EFL come into it.
They sold their soles to the Premier League to allow these ludicrous plans to evolve in a once great competition.
I’m writing this as Burton Albion have confirmed that tonight’s Checkatrade Trophy game will cost adults £16 to attend. Clubs will be rightly criticised but when less than 2,000 people will attend they have to try and get income from these games in order to compete. 2,000 at £16 is perfectly viable if you are the owner of a club however as a fan we are being ripped off.
The EFL sold their souls to the Premier League and loyal supporters that follow their smaller clubs week in/week out are being made to pay ridiculous prices.
I can’t wait for the Premier League to collapse. Only then will the clubs and fans at the lower end of the spectrum begin to be given a real chance to compete and only then will our English youngsters be given the chance to impress for their parent clubs.
Forget the EFL and their stupid hashtag for this competition – #EveryGameMatters – about time they realised #EveryLeagueMatters.