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CLUB STATEMENT: The Checkatrade Trophy

13 May 2017

John Fenty, club director, is seething at the suggestion that the club has been described as being instrumental in bringing about changes to the Checkatrade Trophy. 

He said "The fact is Grimsby Town FC complained bitterly and made several representations on different fronts. These were at formal meetings and twice in writing. 

"Our issue had been about how decisions made by the clubs collectively were then changed without reference back to the clubs. We are also concerned that the EFL has done nothing at all to get the fans on board. 

"The main concern expressed by fans is that the inclusion of Category 1 Academy clubs is the thin edge of the wedge leading to Premier League B teams being admitted into the League. This will not happen. For a team to be so admitted needs 90% of clubs in the League to vote in favour.  This means that it only needs 8 Clubs to block such a move. We have spoken to many clubs at EFL meetings and when we have played them and not one club we have spoken to has been in favour. Grimsby Town F C would never vote for this. We hope therefore that this puts this suggestion to bed once and for all.

"Why the EFL has not reiterated this to appease fans concerns leaves me baffled.

"The options finally put to clubs left little choice on how to vote. 

"All clubs naturally want to play competitive football, and to be able to give those players that aren't in the first team, plus the young pros, an opportunity to play. So, cancelling the competition wasn't an acceptable option.

"The rules have been changed to enable EFL teams to play more young players and those who are not regular members of the first team. In addition, the invited Category 1 teams will be restricted to at least six under 21 players and not under 23 players as last season.

"It's not an acceptable option either to have a localised regional element with just League 1&2 clubs without guaranteed funds as there would very likely be costs well in excess of the gate receipts.

"So, we've been left with no choice but to go along with the same format as last season, albeit with amendments.

"It cannot be said that Grimsby Town FC have been instrumental in making changes to the competition as it is blatantly untrue, a point which will be taken up with the EFL vigorously."

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