FOOTBALL LEAGUE TROPHY: Fry slams ‘pathetic’ Premier League

Barry Fry is not happy with the Premier League.
Barry Fry is not happy with the Premier League.

Peterborough United director of football Barry Fry has blamed the Premier League for turning the Football League Trophy into a farce.

The competition will involve 64 teams next season with the 48 League One and two clubs joined by clubs from the Premier League and the Championship with category one acadamies.

The Football League released a list of clubs invited to take part last week, but already Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Spurs and Chelsea have declined the offer.

Fry said: “We have egg on our faces. The competition has become a bit of a farce.

“The Premier League approached the Football League about entering their clubs. Chief executive Richard Scudamore out £1 million of prize money into it. so I would have thought he would already have sat down with his 20 Premier League clubs and confirmed their availability.

“The Football League clubs voted to spice up the early rounds of the competition. Those early rounds have been useless for us in the past. We were promised one game at a Premier League stadium and we believed that would have appealed to our fans and players. They would have loved a game at White Hart Lane for instance.

“I have heard the big clubs don’t want to play a single extra game at their first-team stadium. If that’s true it’s pathetic.

“As things stand the competition will go ahead, but I imagine some extra Championship clubs will now be invited.”

The competition is due to start at the end of August with 64 teams split into 16 groups of four with the top two qualifying for the knockout stages.

The final will be staged at Wembley.