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CHECKATRADE TROPHY: Have your say in our Checkatrade Trophy survey

13 March 2017

Checkatrade Trophy survey gives fans a chance to have their say

Carlisle United fans are being given an opportunity to voice their opinion on this season's Checkatrade Trophy competition format ahead of an EFL review to be held in April this year.

Chief Executive Nigel Clibbens sets out below what the Club, in conjunction with CUOSC, is seeking to achieve with this survey:

As a Club, we supported a short-term trial for the 2016/17 season and we remained open-minded to the possibility that the changes made could improve the competition.

Now, having had the experience of a season in the current format, we feel it is right and proper that it is reviewed – as we said it would be.

Over the coming weeks clubs and the EFL will be reviewing the format used for the Checkatrade Trophy competition this season.

We are working closely with CUOSC, and also through our own club channels, to gain as much fan feedback as possible ahead of the review.

We have prepared a short survey to give our supporters the chance to let us know what they think about this competition. The survey is also available in paper format at the Blues Store and at the Main Ticket Office, should you wish to fill it in by hand.

Click HERE to complete the online survey. The closing date is 24 March 2017. 

In order to get a fully representative view we want as many supporters as possible to participate as possible – this is your chance to express your opinion about this competition. We will publish the results when they have been collated.

The survey questions cover areas where we know the competition came under scrutiny - U23 teams, over-age players, regionalisation, group games and stay-away fans – all of which need to be tackled head on.  At the same time we need to look forward to consider how we can improve the competition format. 

There has been a lot of debate and opinion this season, particularly on social media and in the media during the competition, so we look forward to receiving a lot of feedback via this survey.

The results will be shared and will be relayed to the EFL, and other League One and League Two clubs, at the 11 April 2017 meeting which has been called to review the competition.

We hope you will take this opportunity to make a positive difference.

Click HERE to complete the online survey. The closing date is 24 March 2017.

Jim Mitchell, Carlisle United Official Supporters Club board member and director on the Club’s operating board said: "CUOSC is pleased to be working with the Club on the survey. Hopefully we will see a high number of fans take part in and we will get a good deal of useful feedback from our members and the wider fanbase.

“Hopefully this will assist the decision-makers in re-shaping the competition for the benefit of clubs like Carlisle United and its supporters.”

Click HERE to complete the online survey. The closing date is 24 March 2017.

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Looking back

In June last year I outlined the Club’s position on the 2016/17 Checkatrade Trophy competition. Click HERE to read the article again.
 
The Club thought long and carefully about its position as it was a competition in which we had enjoyed a lot of success.

With so many changes implemented, it must not be taken lightly from our perspective. We all want to see a thriving Trophy that excites fans, and makes them want to watch the games, and we must do all we can to make that happen. The changes promised new money for clubs, a new format and new teams.

I said at that time there was no certainty to its success either way. For there to be any long-term changes the trial clearly needed to prove to be a success for everyone.

We were clear it remained to be seen whether or not the changes would make it better, but the introduction of new teams and group stages could both enhance the competition and attract new fans - we would see in due course.

At the same time we made it crystal clear from our point of view the changes should not be interpreted in any way whatsoever as opening the door to Premier League teams participation in other EFL competitions – this has since gone off the agenda.

We said we would adopt an open-minded but cautious view, rather than just saying ‘no thanks’. We don’t feel this approach was unreasonable because it was always our intention to review the situation ahead of discussions on how the competition will look next year.

I reiterated that message back in July. We hoped to see the competition thrive and we were looking forward to participating in it. Click HERE to read the article released when the format was confirmed.  

As I say, having now had the experience of seeing the competition in operation for a season, it is now right and proper that it is reviewed. Some headline information covering the EFL Trophy over the last five years and 2016/17 is provided below.

The EFL is compiling further information for clubs to see the facts from a league and competition perspective, but it’s important that we consider things from our own Club and supporter point of view. We all have the opportunity to participate and put comments and ideas into the process to decide what to do next year. 

This is the opportunity to call for the changes and make your voice heard in a positive way and, therefore, I hope as many fans as possible take part.

Click HERE to complete the online survey. The closing date is 24 March 2017.

Nigel Clibbens

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Some facts and figures

Our recent history in this competition in terms of attendance and income* is detailed below.

In 2015/16 we were knocked out in round one [Port Vale away] in a game attended by 2,571 (199 United fans). That game earned the club £4,000 income* from the competition that year. 

In 2014/15 a 3-1 away win at Accrington was witnessed by 818 (282 United fans) before we were knocked out by Tranmere in round two in front of 2,094 fans. The two games earned us £4,000 income* and £5,000 prize money that year. 

Going back to 2013/14, after a first round bye, a penalty shoot-out win at Morecambe had a gate of 2,297 (858 United fans) and was followed by a second round exit at Fleetwood in front of 2,246 (493 United fans). Those two games earned the Club £7,000 and £5,000 prize money. 

The last home tie in the Trophy before this season was back in September 2012, with a penalty shoot-out defeat to Preston seen by 3,471 fans (3,095 United fans). This earned the club £7,000 income* for 2012/13. 

In 2011/12 we saw another round one knock-out, this time at Accrington, in front of 1,069 fans, which earned the club £400 income* that season.

Over the past five years that is a total of seven games with all but one away from home, and three exits after just one game.

The six away games were seen by a total of 11,000 fans, at 1,800 average gate, including approximately 450 United fans per match.  They earned us £15,000 income* in total at an average of £2,500 income* per game. The single home game earned us £6,700 income*. 

Overall in those five seasons the Club earned £32,000 in total income* from the EFL Trophy, with £22,000 from games and £10,000 prize money. That’s just over £6,000 a season with three games every two years.

Click HERE to complete the online survey. The closing date is 24 March 2017.

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2016/17 Competition

The current format guaranteed us three group games, with at least one at home. We won all three fixtures (two home and one away) at £10,000 prize money per win, before being knocked out in a home game against Mansfield. The average gate for the four games was 1,266 with an average of 68 away fans.

The away win at Oldham was watched by 1,897 (189 United fans). Our gate share after match costs was £0. 

At home the three games were watched by a total of 3,800 people with an average attendance of 1,266. We had 112 away fans in total. More fans watched the game against the Blackburn U23 side than watched the second round tie against Mansfield, when a win was worth £20,000.

The four EFL Trophy competition games this season earned income* of £4,000 and prize money of £30,000 - making £34,000 in total. This meant we earned more from the EFL Trophy this season than in the all previous five years combined. 

For comparison, we earned £10,000 income* from the EFL League Cup this season, after beating League One side Port Vale at home and taking Championship side Derby County to penalties at Pride Park.

*Income comprises our share of ticket revenue after match costs, such as stewarding and policing, away travel costs and other costs of staging the game. It excludes prize money.

Click HERE to complete the online survey. The closing date is 24 March 2017.

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