It has been confirmed by the Football League that 16 Premier League sides will be allowed to field their reserve teams in the Football League Trophy next season (via Guardian).
The competition has previously been a straight knockout between teams from League One and League Two, but will be expanded and revamped.
There will now be a group stage – consisting of 16 regional groups of four teams – and then a knockout competition for the 32 sides that progress. Sides will only play each other once in the group phase, and the academy sides will only be given one home game.
The final will be held at Wembley, with the Premier League providing £1m of the £1.9m prize fund on offer.
The new format has not been unanimously loved by clubs in League One and League Two – but from a Liverpool perspective, it’s great that some of our brightest prospects will have another avenue of competitive football opened to them.
Barnsley are the current holders, while Bristol City are the most successful side with three titles.