I feel reluctant to even give this poxy trophy the slightest whiff of publicity but given the decision of the Supporters Club (BRSC) to cancel its coach to Wycombe Wanderers this Tuesday night for Bristol Rovers “clash” in the Checkatrade Trophy, I cannot help myself. BRFC said at the outset that if they could not attract 25 paying customers they would not be running a coach service. Well, they couldn’t and that’s a very good thing for football.

The Checkatrade Trophy has existed under a number of names and until recently represented an opportunity for third and fourth tier clubs to reach Wembley in the final and at the same time make a few bob. It was all going so well until the English Football League (EFL) decided to allow the Under 23 sides from certain Premier League and Championship clubs to compete. Supporters were broadly content with the original format but what do they matter? The EFL went ahead with their crass changes and know we have a worthless, meaningless hybrid of a tournament and supporters should now express their views on what has happened by not going to games.

It is true that supporters have very little power in football these days, even, as we now discover, in the lower leagues. If the powers-that-be want to do something, they just do it. “Just give it a chance,” the EFL said a year ago and some people did. I didn’t because I thought the idea was wrong and totally barmy from the start. Crowds were generally poor and the clubs from the top two divisions laughably fielded overage and plenty of average players in the new format which was ostensibly to allow younger players to get decent competitive football. But wait a minute: should a competition exist, at least in part, as just an opportunity to play games against hard-nosed professionals? No, of course not. A tournament for third and fourth tier clubs should exist solely for third and fourth tier clubs and no one else.

We will not convince the EFL to scrap their stupid tournament by attending Checkatrade matches, even if we somehow stumble our way to Wembley. Starting from Tuesday, Gasheads, and supporters of all other participating clubs, should boycott all games. If BRSC has cancelled its supporters coach, then others should not fill the gap. If hardly anyone goes, how will it look to the EFL and its sponsor Checkatrade, particularly the latter who are throwing money at a wholly discredited and unwanted competition?

I wish BRSC would give a stronger lead than merely cancelling a coach, but I suppose it’s a start. When it comes to supporters groups at the Rovers, Gasheads are not known to be collectivists because all independent groups have soon tanked and been wound up, together with the classic Rovers belief that “something will turn up” if things need to be done or other things go wrong. Fair enough, but the current make-up of the Checkatrade Trophy is a joke and the only way we can stop the EFL having a laugh at our expense is to not attend matches. Pay to go and you are only encouraging them.