Football League announce new cup sponsor
Under the agreement, which could run for five seasons, the competition will officially be titled the Checkatrade Trophy. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, although event organiser the English Football League confirmed the partnership was a record for the tournament.
The deal coincides with a major revamp of the competition. From 2016-17 onwards, the EFL Trophy will feature Category 1-ranked academy teams from 10 top-tier Premier League clubs and six second-tier Championship sides alongside all League One and Two clubs. The tournament has traditionally only been contested by third-tier League One and fourth-tier League Two sides.
The competition, as has been the case in previous years, will be split into a northern and southern section. The tournament is made up of 16 groups of four, with each group featuring one Premier League or Championship academy team. The top two teams from each group will progress to the knockout stages.
EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey said: “Like ourselves, Checkatrade recognise the huge potential in this competition and through their generous support and the changes we have made to the format, we are in a position to be able deliver additional prize money that makes participating in the Checkatrade Trophy an even more attractive prospect for our clubs.”
Barnsley is the reigning champion but will not defend its title this season following promotion from League One to the Championship. It is not one of the six Championship clubs to have entered its academy team.