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EFL and Man City slammed as Grimsby issue statement on Papa John’s Trophy match

The EFL and Man City have been slammed by fans as Grimsby Town issue a statement on an upcoming Papa John’s Trophy match with the B Team.

The original fixture – plus another group game against Derby County – have had to be re-arranged due to the Man City EDS’ participation in the UEFA Youth League.

Brian Barry-Murphy’s side will now take an Under-21 side to face Grimsby Town at Blundell Park on Tuesday the 8th of November, with a 19:30 kick-off.

The new date falls on a day that Grimsby were set to play Crewe Alexandra in League Two with a 7:45pm kick off. So now Grimsby have had no choice but to move that league encounter to another time to make way for the Papa John’s Trophy fixture. Of course, this hasn’t gone down well with fans.


Our Papa John’s Trophy game against Manchester City U21s has been rescheduled to Tuesday 8th November, (19:30 kick-off).

Manchester City Under 21s have had a significant number of International call-ups over the last week, which resulted in the recent postponement of their Papa John’s Trophy fixture vs. Derby County.

As a result, in order for the Cityzens to fulfil their Papa John’s Trophy Group Stage fixtures, they will now travel to Derby County on Tuesday 18th October, which has led to our fixture having to be moved to accommodate this.

This means that our rearranged League fixture vs. Crewe Alexandra scheduled for the same date will now be moved to an alternative date which we will announce in due course. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Thanks, as always, for your magnificent support this season.


@MarinersTrust wrote: “The Trust, like the majority of the #GTFC fanbase, are extremely disappointed to see our league fixture with Crewe Alexandra overridden by a Papa John’s fixture against Man City U21’s, because they couldn’t find the players to fulfill a fixture on another date.

“We will be contacting the EFL to establish why and how this has come about.”

Carlisle News and Star reporter @joncolman said: “Because Manchester actual City don’t have enough young players to fulfil a pizza trophy game 🤔, a L2 club’s league programme gets mucked about. Wonder if they’d allow PL fixtures to be moved like this…”

Think Fan Engagement said: “Even if this is what the competition rules dictate this, it just seems totally wrong. For fans particularly. Looks like a so-called ‘big’ club getting special favours.”

Fans also gave their reaction with the EFL and Man City slammed as Grimsby issue a statement on the Papa John’s Trophy match…

@BakesyJ: What a joke this is, just proving the point that noone likes/wants this competition or u21 teams in there

@The_Fenners: It does have Trophy in the name. Of course it takes precedence over league games. 🙈 They can’t just let us forget the non-league nightmare can they 🤬 #GTFC

@RyanCollins1987:This is an utter shambles!! #bteamboycott

@ChrisLukeJones: Ah right. Sound then

@billy_tuff: Papa John’s bollocks over the league 🤮🤮

@KaneBethell: Disgrace that, make them play bare bones of the academy or forfeit the game. If it was the EFL club in their position without players they would be fined

@newton90: Slippery slope this. Absolute shambles that this has happened!

@RtSimwon: This is a disgrace, Papa Smurf cup games should *never* take precedence over a league fixture. The fact that it’s against a PL U23 side just rubs salt in 🤬 @EFL, you’re a disgrace! 🤡

@ChrisParkerNo6: How many players Under 23 do City have on their books? Guess around 60 between the ages of 16-23? Can’t field a side then forfeit the game

@NathRowden: Utterly farcical this.

@nige_el_morte: Not a good precedent this. Tails wagging the dog.

@HodgyGTFC: I know this isn’t the clubs fault whatsoever but cancelling a league game to accommodate a Prem sides youth team is utter shite.

@Byronb_86: Give the win to Grimsby any fan of any club entering their U21 side in this cup should be ashamed of their club anyway. I know I am

@jonathanhaggart: This is ridiculous. City have about 1 million professionals and should be able to field a side in the tie despite call ups.

@MikeyMcMahon: What a load of bollocks this is, moving a league game to accommodate City’s u21’s? Play it down Cheapside and send Ben Davies with a second team… this is a total piss take! One that of course will be out of #gtfc hands.

@FredNeedham8: Things like this doesn’t do the competition which is HIGHLY boycotted any favours at all, bring the paint trophy back already 👍🏻

@DN35GTFC: What a load of shit. Premier kids team being given precedent over an actual league game. If Man City don’t have enough players to fulfill their fixtures then they need to withdraw from the competition. Looking through their 1st, Academy and whatever else team they have 83 players

@M180_Transfers: So grateful we got to gaze upon the sacred Premier League trophy this weekend, and now we rightly reschedule our calendar for the benefit of our betters. This is what was dreamt of in the Wellington Arms 144 years ago

° Premier League club willingly enters side into competition.
° Said club can’t fulfil fixture due to international call-ups.
° Everyone else has to move things around to accommodate.
° Already rearranged League Two fixture gets bumped out the way.
Bollocks! @EFL @AgainstLeague3

@GyHistoryClub: Protest outside this game!

@realbazwhitt: Absolute Joke. So our league campaign comes behind a game with Man City U21.

@imnotreallyonit: Bullshit that a stupid pizza cup game gets priority over an important league game, what an absolute shambles

@newensgtfc: I’m guessing it’s a efl mandate that it has to be played above league, surely the club wouldn’t, but also another advert why these teams shouldn’t be in the competition

@rickcooper2703: Pull out of the cup and play the league fixture as planned. Nobody cares about this competition anyway. Take the fine and move on

@dshumphrey: How many u21 players have City loaned out this season and why couldn’t they recall some of them? Or forfeit the fixture

@Codofwark: Abysmal decision, if they can’t fulfil then they void… maybe need to decide what they want to honour? #NotoPrem2sides #killingthegame #EFL

@wrightyn1974: Absolute joke…

@SamMaloneee: Crewe game at home moved to an alternative date to make way for this shocking existence of a revamped cup competition 🙃

@Baz_GTFC: League games should always take priority

@kris4DTb: This is outrageous

@charlietabloid: This seems absurd.

@MarinerWise: Stupidity, why does this fixture take precedence over the league game.. Yet more politics and keeping certain factions sweet and football clubs just have to tow the line!

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