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Initial Opposition to Format Change Revealed

12 June 2016

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Spireites chief executive Chris Turner has revealed that the club initially opposed plans to change the format of the Football League Trophy.

The competition, formerly known as the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, will now feature Premier League academy sides following a vote conducted at the EFL’s AGM in Portugal.

Turner, who represented the club at the AGM, said: “We did speak out against the proposed change at the regional meeting, prior to voting. 

“We are fully aware of the potential problems and obviously it makes it harder for EFL clubs to win the competition. It soon became obvious during the discussions, however, that more clubs were in favour of making the change.

“The Premier League supports the EFL massively and I think the feeling was that we should go with their suggestion for one season. There is some additional prize money from the Premiership, too.

“There will a new sponsor for the trophy and it is thought that bringing in the 16 clubs will create more interest in the competition as attendances were dropping.

"Now that the decision has been made, we all have to get behind the new format and try to make it a success.”

The one season trial for the forthcoming campaign will include 64 teams made up of EFL League One and Two clubs, plus an additional 16 category 1 Premier League academy/under-21 sides. 

Central to the competition will be the introduction of a new group stage format with 16 regional groups of four teams. The top two teams will progress to the knockout stages of the competition with the final staged at Wembley Stadium in April 2017.  

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