EFL Trophy: Portsmouth supporters group plan competition walkout

Fratton Park
Portsmouth are set to face Reading under-21s and Bristol Rovers at Fratton Park in the EFL Trophy

A Portsmouth supporters group says they plan to walk out of EFL Trophy matches shortly after kick-off in protest at the competition's new format.

Sixteen Category One Academies, including many from Premier League clubs, have been included this season.

Portsmouth's board voted against the EFL's proposal in the summer.

"Once the games kick off, we'll all walk out to show our contempt for this decision," Bob Beech from group SOS Pompey told BBC Radio Solent.

"We thought if fans boycotted the games completely, the club would suffer financially through no fault of their own.

"We voted through unanimously at our own meeting to walk out shortly after kick-off."

Traditionally a competition for just League One and League Two clubs and previously known as the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, the tournament has been expanded to 64 teams.

Portsmouth have been drawn in a group alongside Reading under-21s, Bristol Rovers and Yeovil.

SOS Pompey's opposition to the EFL Trophy has been echoed by other clubs since the new format was confirmed.

Cambridge United chief executive Jez George said the changes may not have gone ahead had EFL clubs known some Premier League sides would reject the invitation to play.

Six clubs, including Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham, declined the chance to enter under-21 sides.

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