Trophy Talk

ARGYLE begin their campaign in the Trophy at home to Bristol Rovers tonight and we have all the facts you need to know about this season’s Trophy.

The competition

  • com became the Official Title Sponsor of the EFL Trophy ahead of the 2019-20 season.
  • The competition has a history of promoting innovation and opportunity, having undergone several changes in format since its inception as the Associates Members Cup in 1983.
  • It became more recognisable to its current status when it became the Football League Trophy in 1992 and has since provided supporters of League One and League Two clubs with over 25 years’ worth of memories that can only come from being part of a Cup Final experience.
  • This is the fourth season of the competition in its current format. The most recent reformatting took place head of the 2016-17 season and further revisions were made ahead of last season, following consultation with League One and League Two Clubs.


  • Overall, attendances increased by 32% last season with more than 300,000 people attending matches. This compares to 193,803 in 2017-18 and 179,018 in 2016-17.
  • Over 85,000 fans attended the 2018/19 EFL Trophy Final between Sunderland and Portsmouth at Wembley Stadium.

Youth Development

  • The competition continues to provide opportunities for young players to develop at all Clubs.
  • During the 2018-19 season, over 2,200 players under the age of 21 appeared on team sheets across all 64 teams in the competition and approximately 60% of these players were English.
  • In addition, over 90% of the players named in the starting XI’s of the invited teams were under 21.
  • Debuts handed to players aged between 15 and 21 have risen by over 225% from 2015-16 to 2017-18.

Contribution to International team

  • The competition provides opportunities for the next generation at both EFL Clubs and invited U21 sides, benefitting the growth of English football.
  • Youngsters such as Sam McQueen at Southampton and Chelsea’s Callum Hudson Odoi made the step up from this competition to the Europa League in just two seasons.
  • The likes of Harry Maguire, Dele Alli and Jordan Pickford all featured in the EFL Trophy in their early careers.

Financial Benefits

  • The competition provides significant financial rewards for all EFL Clubs, which increases with success;
  • A total of £1.92 million (of the £3million) has been allocated in prize money for the Group Stage. The returns for Clubs are set at £10,000 for a win and £5,000 for a draw.
  • With the introduction of the £20,000 participation fee, every EFL Club has received prize money in the competition since its introduction in 2017/18.
  • Over the course of the 2018/19 season, the following sums were allocated:
    • League One Clubs earned - £1.54m
    • League Two Clubs earned - £1.04m
    • Invited Clubs - £325,000

Key dates

  • Group Stages - week commencing September 2, 2019
  • Group Stages - week commencing October 7, 2019
  • Group Stages - week commencing November 11, 2019
  • Round Two – week commencing December 2, 2019
  • Round Three – week commencing January 6, 2020
  • Quarter-Finals – week commencing January 20, 2020
  • Semi-Finals - week commencing February 17, 2020
  • com Trophy Final – Sunday, April 5, 2020