FUTURE OF TROPHY TO BE DECIDED IN MAY VOTE
ALL the options will be on the table when League One and Two clubs vote on the future of the Checkatrade Trophy in May.
The club’s met last Tuesday to discuss the competition, which was revamped for the current season with 16 invited academy teams on a one-season trial.
Low attendances blighted the tournament, won by Coventry City two weeks ago, as fans turned their back on it, while some clubs were unhappy about the restrictions on who could feature for them.
Now there is a possibility the Checkatrade Trophy could continue next term with a revised format including 16 invited teams, return to being just for League One and Two teams or be scrapped altogether.
EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey said: “I’m delighted we were able to have such a full and frank exchange of views that will now assist the executive in refining a final proposal that our clubs will vote on.”
At the meeting Harvey presented a number of options and possibilities for the clubs to consider.
These included a significant increase in prize money, regionalisation until the quarter-final stage to minimise travel for clubs and fans, and flexibility of fixture dates to allow teams to schedule games outside of international weeks.
In addition, there were suggested alterations to the contentious fullstrength team policy by improving the eligibility criteria for EFL teams.
Goalkeepers will not count towards the fullstrength quota and only four qualifying outfield players will need to be named on team sheets.
A qualifying outfield player would be considered as any player who meets the same full strength criteria as 2016/17, is on loan from a Premier League or Category One club or has made 40 first team appearances (if this criteria had been applied in 2016/17 only two fines would have been levied).
THE dates for the 2016/17 Sky Bet playoff semi-finals have been announced.
The Championship semi-final first legs will take place on Saturday, May 13 (5.30pm) and Sunday, May 14 (noon) with the return fixtures taking place on Tuesday, May 16 and Wednesday, May 17 (both 7.45pm).
The final will be held at Wembley on Monday, May 29 (3pm) to determine which team secures a place in the Premier League.
The League One semi-final first legs both take place on Thursday, May 4 (7.45pm) with the returns on Sunday, May 7 (6.30pm). The final is at Wembley on Saturday, May 20 (3pm).
The League Two semi-final first legs are scheduled for Sunday, May 14 (6.30pm) with the second legs on Thursday, May 18 (7.45pm). The Wembley final is on Sunday, May 28 (3pm).
GLORY: Coventry won the Checkatrade Trophy