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Portsmouth Fans To Stage Walkout Against Reading In EFL Trophy

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Supporters of the South Coast club aren't happy about the changes to the competition's format.

Portsmouth v AFC Bournemouth - The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images

The reaction to the revamped EFL Trophy (formerly the Johnstone's Paint Trophy) has been incredibly negative from League One and Two clubs, and Portsmouth supporters group SOS Pompey has announced that they plan to walk out of tournament's matches shortly after kick-off in protest at the competition's new format.

The Portsmouth board voted against the proposals to introduce Category One academies into the tournament, but there were more clubs in favour of the changes.

Of course Reading were one of the 16 invited clubs and were drawn in a group with Portsmouth last week, as well as Bristol Rovers and Yeovil Town. That means we could well see a mass exit of fans from the home end of Fratton Park when the Royals travel there in the week commencing 3rd October.

SOS Pompey were played a major role in Portsmouth becoming community owned in 2013, and have now reformed to protest about the EFL Trophy's new format. Last week, member Bob Beech told Portsmouth News:

"We have a duty to get involved against this ridiculous competition. Across the country this seems to be that straw.

"I find it hilarious Pompey could be fined £5,000 for putting out the same standard of side that Reading could play against us.*

"It also makes a mockery of it that clubs like Reading, with all respect to them, are making up the numbers."

*League One and Two clubs have to put out full-strength sides or risk be fined. Category One academies however, can put out any side they want with at least six Under 21s in.

A meeting has since taken place, and Beech told BBC Radio Solent:

"We thought if fans boycotted the games completely, the club would suffer financially through no fault of their own. We voted through unanimously at our own meeting to walk out shortly after kick-off."

However, the aforementioned meeting was attended by just seven people, so how much of an impact it will have remains to be seen. According to the group's Twitter account though there are a "couple of phone calls to make today to get the wheels in motion".

What do you make the proposed protest Reading fans? And are the frustrations of League One and Two clubs understandable? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.