Portsmouth's fixtures for the 2016/2017 Football League Trophy have been confirmed and if Pompey fans were already planning a boycott of this pitiful competition, the unattractive fixtures have made that task even easier.
There rightly have been talks of boycotting the "EFL Trophy" this season after the people in charge decided to introduce academy sides into what admittedly was a dying competition. It was good to see some of England's biggest clubs throw a spanner in the works and refuse to participate in the competition, unfortunately other clubs have fewer morals.
Still, with ten Premier League clubs dropping out of something they never agreed to in the first place, it meant that Championship academies had to be included in the competition to make up the numbers and it just so happens that Pompey have been drawn in a group with Reading reserves.
Although they are billed as an "academy" side, they will be allowed to field a number of senior players whilst Pompey will be fined £5,000 (again) if the authorities determine that Paul Cook has not played his strongest side. So much for the rules applying to everyone, eh?
Of course, anyone with a brain can see what the Football League are up to. This "trial" is nothing but a precursor to the notion of Premier League B teams being introduced into the English football league system, a move that will put smaller football clubs in this country to the sword and totally devalue the competition.
Therefore, as fans of a club who voted against the changes in the first place, we must take a stand and boycott this competition. Any kind of success that this new format has that the fools on the Football League board see will simply persuade them to take this awful idea further.
Thankfully, the draw has made the boycott a lot easier than it could have been if a trip to Stamford Bridge or the Olympic Stadium in the offing. Instead, either side of a home match against Reading reserves, there is a trip to Yeovil and a Fratton Park fixture against Bristol Rovers on offer.
Pompey fans already have little interest in what is a minor competition created so that smaller clubs have a chance of winning silverware and these three fixtures are as unattractive as Susan Boyle and Caitlyn Jenner's bastard child. It'll be hilarious to see just how few supporters turn up for the match against Reading reserves.
Hopefully fans of other clubs will follow suit and this ludicrous idea will be put to bed next season. Better yet, the idea is frowned upon so much that it kills the competition completely and rids Pompey of these meaningless fixtures and this meaningless competition.