The Football League Paper - - NEWS -

AS AN avid Foot­ball League sup­porter for nearly 50 years (and hav­ing seen some 2,000 games), I feel well qual­i­fied to of­fer con­struc­tive com­ments on the League and their com­pe­ti­tions.

I’d like to talk about the Foot­ball League Tro­phy. My first ques­tion to the Fooball League is ‘Why did you not con­sult some of the 300,000-or-so sup­port­ers who at­tend FL matches each week?’

Here is what I would've said: 1. Scrap the FL Tro­phy al­to­gether (please read on .... ) 2. Make the Foot­ball League Cup for Foot­ball League teams only ie: do not in­clude any Premier League clubs – most of whom couldn't give a damn about the wel­fare of the rest of us any­way! 3. With 72 clubs in the Foot­ball League Cup, have the bot­tom 16 teams from last sea­son's League Two play a pre­lim­i­nary round in pre-sea­son. Knock­out. Penal­ties at 90 min­utes /ex­cite­ment/com­pet­i­tive – bet­ter than a friendly. (The An­glo Scot­tish / Tex­aco Cups were a pre-sea­son suc­cess in the 70s) 4. 1st Round has 64 teams – split north/south. Again penal­ties, this time af­ter ex­tra-time. 5. Down to 32, all in to­gether for the 2nd round – 16 matches.

In­stead, what the FL have done is made the FL Tro­phy even worse: 1. Hav­ing groups leads to mean­ing­less games. 2. Why have Premier League teams in the Foot­ball League Cup – and now the Tro­phy too?! 3. If you’d thought about this, you’d have had group games in pre-sea­son – like a friendly but com­pet­i­tive. 4. With so many mean­ing­less games, at­ten­dances will be aw­ful. Who is go­ing to dash home from work to rush off to say, Ori­ent v Steve­nage on a Tues­day night and pay for it know­ing the re­sult is likely to be mean­ing­less? 5. Most FL fans I've spo­ken to aren't in­ter­ested in watch­ing West Brom U21s (or any­body else’s). GRA­HAM GOODALL, Cheshunt

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