ALL THE KEY INFO FOR THE COMING SEASON:
Invited clubs announced in June;
Group stage fixture draw in July;
First group stage matches to take place w/c August 28.
16 groups of four teams; Each group to contain one invited team;
Groups formed to minimise overall travel for EFL clubs and fans;
Invited under-21 teams to play all group games away;
Clubs will be awarded three points for a win, one point for a draw;
In the event of a drawn game after 90 minutes, a penalty shoot-out will be held with the victorious team gaining an extra point.
Two clubs qualify from each group.
Round two will remain regionalised with group winners at home against a second placed team from a different qualifying group;
Round three will remain regionalised;
Quarter-Finals will be drawn without geographical restriction (no regionalisation);
If scores are level after 90 minutes, all knock-out rounds will be decided by penalties except for the final, which will have extratime and then penalties. Competition Fund
Each EFL Club to receive a participation fee of £20,000 in addition to the following competition fund:
Group Stage £10k for a win and £5k for a draw;
Round Two = £20k for a win;
Round Three = £40k for a win;
Quarter-Final = £50k for a win; Runner-up = £50k; Winner = £100k.
COMPETITION STATS 16/17
1,529 players appeared in the competition;
381 were English and under the age of 21 (24.9%):
212 were English between the age of 21-23 (13.9%);
138 players from invited teams were English and under the age of 21 (9%).