Stevenage FC Chairman, Phil Wallace has spoken about the clubs decision to cast a vote in favour of retaining the current Checkatrade Trophy format with amendments.
EFL clubs were asked to vote on the future direction of the competition and were offered the following options:
1. Retaining the current format with amendments
2. Reverting to a 48-team knock-out competition
3. Abandoning the Checkatrade Trophy altogether
Chairman Phil Wallace explained why the decision was made.
“Our position on the competition has been consistent. Fundamentally, we are members of the EFL and we will play whatever matches or formats we are asked to play in.
“After much thought, we believe that the current format ticks a lot of boxes for Stevenage FC and is in the best interests of the club.
“We want to play competitive games instead of training ground friendlies to blood our younger players and there is a reasonable chance of us getting to Wembley.
“Some of the rules last season weren’t equitable and they have been changed which is important.
“Playing criteria has expanded and importantly for a club of our size, the increased and guaranteed prize money now offered is vital to us.
“Prior to our decision I took into account the views of our supporters in an open fans forum. The subject of discussion was advertised in advance and we spent a reasonable amount of time debating the merits of it, for and against.
“It is important to have open, live debates to understand people’s views. In the end there was little opposition to keeping the current format, based on the points raised above.
“Most present that evening understood that if it benefits the club from a playing perspective and helps to keep us solvent, then it makes sense.
“Based on that feedback and our own views, we voted to keep the current Checkatrade Trophy, provided that certain criteria are met.”