EFL Clubs have agreed, at their 2016 summer conference, to pilot a new format for the EFL Trophy as part of their ongoing commitment to creating more and better home grown players.
Central to the competition will be the introduction of a new group stage format with 16 regional groups of four teams. The top two teams will progress to the knockout stages of the competition with the final staged at Wembley Stadium in April 2017.
Full details for 2016/17’s competition will be finalised within the next 14 days.
Also at their 2016 Summer Conference, EFL clubs approved proposals aimed at tackling the under-representation of coaches and managers from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.
The new measures, which will take immediate effect, include the introduction of mandatory new recruitment practices for coaching positions in Academy football and a Voluntary Recruitment Code in first team football, which will be piloted by at least 10 clubs during 2016/17.
Having given 'in principle' support to the introduction of positive action measures aimed at promoting diversity in coaching positions 12 months ago, clubs have now formally endorsed a set of proposals finalised during the 2015/16 season by a working party of clubs, led by their departing Chairman, Greg Clarke.
Also at their 2016 Summer Conference, EFL clubs have discussed the Whole Game Solution proposals put forward recently by the EFL Board.
EFL Chief Executive, Shaun Harvey said: "I would like to commend clubs for engaging in an open-minded and thought provoking discussion of these important matters.
"As outlined at outset, any decisions can only be made by clubs themselves and it was therefore essential that they had the opportunity to hear more about the thinking that has underpinned the Board's approach and were able to debate all the relevant issues.
"Clubs have asked for more information, further consultation and the opportunity to discuss additional matters at subsequent meetings during 2016/17.
“In parallel, we will develop discussions with the FA and Premier League alongside other stakeholders across football, as we look to find what is best for the English game."
The final decision in respect to these proposals will need to be taken by clubs in June 2017.