THE SKY Blues have revealed that they voted in favour of changes to the English Football League Trophy competition, highlighting improved much-needed revenue as one of three reasons behind their decision.
Football League clubs in both League One and Two were asked to vote either for or against changes to the competition which will include 64 teasm next season.
The one season trial, begining for the 2016/17 campaign, will see 64 teams from both leagues go head-to-head and they will be joined by 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.
A statement from the club read: “The club’s decision to support the League’s proposal (strictly for one season only) was carefully considered and not taken lightly, with three main reasons for the vote in favour.
“The new format is a pilot project designed to rejuvenate the competition. All clubs agreed on the need for a fresh approach to the competition (which is currently unsponsored) and the vast majority of clubs voted in favour of changing the competition format.
“Many clubs, Coventry City included, expressed concern over the low attendances at League Trophy matches in recent years and the need to find ways in which to boost interest.
“The new EFL Trophy format is a one-year pilot project that will be reviewed at next year’s annual EFL meeting. The competition format will be under constant consultation with all clubs throughout the one-year trial period.
“In fact, all EFL clubs are currently providing input into the finer details of the competition format – that is, before the 2016/17 Trophy gets underway.
“The change to the new format will provide significantly increased revenue from central funding, match-day receipts, and TV and prize money (which will be doubled for next season). The financial potential offered by the new competition format was something the club had to consider seriously and could ill afford to lose out on.”