League One and League Two clubs have supported proposals to allow the continued involvement of 16 invited sides in the Checkatrade Trophy for the 2017/18 and 2018/19 seasons.
An EFL statement confirmed the result of the vote, revealing that 66.6% of clubs who voted did so for Option One - 'Retaining the current format with amendments' and as a result, the format – with some key amendments - will be retained for seasons 2017/18 and 2018/19.
Chairman Kelvin Thomas confirmed that now the decision has been taken, the club will support the competition.
"Whilst we didn’t vote for this particular outcome, as I said prior to the vote, now that it has been completed we will support the competition in the decided format," he said.
"The good news is that I think there have been changes from last year so that some of the issues have been addressed and we will use it to benefit the club as best we can."
The EFL statement has confirmed that some of the key format changes include:
• EFL team selection criteria amended to allow increased flexibility for League One and League Two clubs. Clubs can now name four qualifying outfield players from ten and a qualifying player is now any player who has made 40 or more first team appearances in their career or are on loan from a Premier League or Category One Academy club.
• An increase in the total competition fund to £3 million.
• Each group will continue to contain one invited under 21 team with the remainder made up of EFL clubs from either League One or League Two. Groups will be formed to minimise overall travel time for EFL clubs and fans.
• Invited under 21 teams will play their group games away from home;
• Regionalisation until the Quarter-Final stage (improved from Round Two in 2016/17) to minimise overall travel time for clubs and fans;
• Flexibility of fixture dates to allow teams to schedule games outside of international weeks.
The identity of the sixteen invited clubs will be announced by the EFL in June, with the group stage drawn in July.