D3D4 Rotherham United Correspondent Ian Bradley explain the personal dilemma he has faced when it comes to the Checkatrade Trophy..
I remain totally opposed to the continued involvement of EPL & Championship clubs sending their “development squads” to compete in this competition which was conceived in order that L1 & L2 clubs have their own knockout cup tournament & the chance of a little Wembley glory in April and thus creating a bit of a welcome distraction from Bread & Butter league games.
In fact in my correspondents profile I stated that my finest day in my time supporting the Millers was April 14th 2006 when MY team won at Wembley in what was then the Autowindscreens Shield. I digress. My dilemma is having to sit at home (as I did when we played Man City U23)essentially boycotting the game in protest when my club, the team I have followed for more years than I care to remember, is playing a home game. I felt awful, really awful. It might sound pathetic but I couldn’t even engage in conversation with my family, I was quiet, sulky & generally not very nice.
At our game with Oldham last Saturday I got in to a conversation with one of our club directors who kindly addressed my concerns. He stated that whilst the competition is far from ideal, the club had little choice but to vote for the competitions continuation in its present guise due to the increased prize money the EFL (or should I say EPL) provides & he remains confident that the ENTIRE football pyramid in England would not allow “development squads” into the EFL/National League or indeed anywhere else in our pyramid. This news was like music to my ears as my primary concern has always been that this competition is akin to a back door to allow the EPL giants to whack their youth teams into divisions 3 and 4 at the expense of the smaller clubs, essentially destroying more than a hundred years of sacrosanct history!
I warmly thanked our director for addressing my concerns & buoyed by his comments I decided to purchase a ticket for our home October tie with Chesterfield.
I’d like to read fans of other clubs views on the subject.