Our thoughts on the changes to the EFL Trophy

It is with regret that Great Western Reds have decided not to attend Swindon Town’s EFL Trophy matches in the 2016/17 season.

This is to be taken as an act of protest over the recent changes that will see Premier League 'B Teams' invited to participate in the competition.

We feel that the purpose of the EFL Trophy is to benefit the lower Football League teams, and therefore the inclusion of Premier League Academies goes against that, at the expense of teams like Swindon Town.

We believe this change to the EFL Trophy could be seen as the first steps towards the EFL creating a 'League 3' that would include Premier League and Championship Academies – which would be a huge blow to clubs like ours.

For more information about the proposed League 3 and why Premier League academies participating in the EFL Trophy could damage English Football, read more on www.againstleague3.co.uk.

As much as it pains us not to be there to cheer on the Town – especially since Oxford United are in our group – we see this as an important issue in lower-league football and must take big steps to make sure our voices are heard.

We hope that, like us, you will support the longevity of grass-roots football by boycotting the EFL Trophy matches this season.

Add your voice on Twitter using #AgainstLeague3#BTeamBoycott and following @AgainstLeague3.