The movement behind the EFL Trophy boycott, Against League 3, have this evening run a poll to ask fans opinions on further courses of action.
Despite some fans, including the 617, being adamant of a boycott, others are not so sure hurting the clubs they support is such a positive thing. Now AL3 are asking for opinions, and I ponder whether they are looking at alternatives courses of action.
They are also suggesting alternative courses of action, including boycotting just the games featuring under 23 sides. Whilst the integrity of the tournament can be questioned, I believe there are also answers needed as to how effective last season’s boycott was.
City received their group stage opponents today, or at least two of them. We’ve been drawn in with Mansfield Town and Notts County, two tasty looking local derbies that might not get bums on seats, but will still come with some spice. I’ll confess I don’t give a hoot what competition we beat Steve Evans in, I’m up for it anyway.
We have not found out our under 23 opponents, and it is that causing fans the most issues. Many see their introduction as a gateway to a ‘league three’ and the inclusion of B teams in the domestic structure. Bizarrely given the regionalisation of the draw for senior teams, we could end up with Everton or West Brom under 23’s at home. All the academy sides games are played away, minimalizing travel costs for smaller clubs.
Whilst AL3 look to be considering the best approach for the upcoming campaign, Danny Cowley was certain of his attitude towards the trophy this week. Speaking to Lincolnshire Live he said:
“We’re looking forward to entering it, personally, I see it as exciting. It will give us additional games and there is now more flexibility with regards to team selection. The opportunity to play against development squads from Premier League clubs will be good. It’s also good for the players in those development squads to play against senior players. So I think it works on every level.”
We know Danny likes to test his squads at every opportunity, so there is a benefit for the Imps in terms of development. The relaxation of the rules regarding squads is also a good thing, enabling smaller teams to blood youngsters and fringe players. Danny also saw a further benefit, the chance to play at Wembley.
“There’s an opportunity to play at Wembley, having been managers who have got a game away from Wembley on five occasions and never quite got there, it’s something we would like to achieve. So we’ll approach it with the same thought process that we do for every cup competition. Like last season, when the games come around and it’s a game we can win, we’ll be doing everything we can to win it.”
I will attend the one home game against either County or the Stags, but I will reserve judgement on the under 23 game. I don’t believe they should be in the competition, but I’m torn between supporting my side and fighting a cause I only half believe in. I don’t see the EFL Trophy as a gateway to a full restructure, I don’t see it as the looming shadow of evil it has been passed off as.
What I do see is a trophy that has been guided in the wrong direction, it should be a straight knock out between teams in League One and Two, with the number made up of clubs from the National League. The reason club chairman won’t vote for that is they’ll see it as a step towards three up, three down and as we know a turkey never votes for Christmas.