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Checkatrade Trophy Meeting

13 April 2017

Clubs to vote on Checkatrade Trophy format

Shrewsbury Town will be given the chance to vote on the future of the Checkatrade Trophy after a meeting at Walsall Football Club on Tuesday.

Shrewsbury Town’s Chief Executive Brian Caldwell was in attendance as issues over this season’s competition were raised.

The competition saw Premier League and Championship Academy teams enter for the first time and Brian believes there was a misconception over their role in the tournament.

“It was quite an interesting review meeting at Walsall”, Brian told ShrewsWeb.

“A lot of the clubs had given feedback prior to the meeting on how the competition had worked this season and there was a lot of open and frank discussion about it.

“I think part of the problem the competition’s had this season was the misconception that by including Academy teams from the Premier League and Championship we were opening the door for ‘B’ teams and it was very clear from all the clubs at the meeting yesterday that there was no appetite to do that.

“The point of the competition and including these academy teams was about the good of the game in England and trying to encourage young English players from these academies to get competitive football matches against League One and Two teams and I think that’s been lost in the whole thing.”

Town brought up the issues of regionalisation and the use of first team players in their feedback to the EFL and Brian is pleased that other options are being discussed.

“There was a lot of discussion about various things”, said Brian.

“The regionalisation obviously affected us really badly last year and we have made that point clear at a number of meetings about how it didn’t work for us.

“They are looking at a few options and they are going to give all clubs a chance to vote by the 9th of May.

“They are going to package some options going forward. One is to retain the academy teams in it, which is financially far more helpful for all clubs because the Premier League are going to put money into it.

“They are also looking at the number of first team players that need to play in the game by relaxing some of the rules on that and making it only four first team players, including loanees.

“That was something that Paul brought up in the feedback to the EFL, that the first team rule was a bit onerous and difficult when you play so many games and pick up injuries at the weekend.

“But, hopefully the fact that they have listened to a lot of the feedback, it will be interesting when the vote comes out and all the packages come to the table.”

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