The Football League Paper - - FA CUP QUARTER-FINALS - By Ben Baker

LEAGUE One and Two clubs could be joined in the Johnstone’s Paint Tro­phy by Pre­mier League ‘B’ teams next sea­son.

With the fi­nal be­tween Bris­tol City and Wal­sall just two weeks away, the Foot­ball League has re­vealed that is ex­plor­ing a re­vamp of the com­pe­ti­tion.

The pro­posed new for­mat would see 16 groups of four teams, in­clud­ing one Pre­mier League U21 side in each, with a knock­out stage to fol­low and Wem­b­ley fi­nal to play for.

A Foot­ball League state­ment read:“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.”

The com­pe­ti­tion be­gan as the As­so­ciate Mem­bers’ Cup in 1983-84 and Con­fer­ence clubs took part in the past.

The FA had pre­vi­ously dis­cussed plans to in­clude ‘B’ teams in a ‘League Three’ in or­der to boost the English game’s tal­ent pool.

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