Date: 17th June 2016 at 10:53am
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Earlier in the week it emerged that Wanderers voted against U21 clubs appearing in the Football League Trophy.

Last Friday’s vote at the Football League clubs at the AGM/probable holiday in Portugal signalled big changes to next season’s competition. League One and Two clubs will now be joined by U21 sides from top academies, playing in a regionalised group stage before knockout football.

It’s a development that had gone down with football fans as well as punch in the knackers, with some even calling to boycott the Trophy in protest.

It does seem unlikely that playing a game away at Accrington or Grimsby when you were 19 will help you become suddenly a world class player that will help England will tournaments.

And as Bolton secretary Simon Marland said earlier in the week, Under 21 teams simply don’t pull crowds.

“We played against City in the Manchester Senior Cup final, with something at stake, and they had a new signing making his debut and one or two big names but it was watched by 750 people,’ Marland told the Bolton News.

“At Leyland (where most Wanderers development games are played) we offer season-ticket holders free entry to games but the average is about 120, so my worry is that people are just not going to want to pay to see the games.’

While most of us would love to see Bolton win the whole thing at Wembley, does anybody else want to see two U21 sides contest the final, amongst a paltry crowd, blowing this concept up in the Football League’s faces?

In any case, for once Bolton Wanderers have made the right decision and for once, I’m proud of them.

 

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