Hatters fined £15k by EFL over Checkatrade changes

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Luton Town have been fined £15,000 by the EFL for changes made in the Checkatrade Trophy this season.

The competition’s rules had stated that five of the starting 11 had to have started the previous or following game, or five of the starting 11 who have made the most starting appearances in League and domestic Cup competitions fixtures during the current season.

Hatters boss Nathan Jones made 11 changes for each match against Gillingham, West Brom U23s and Millwall, as a statement on the EFL website today said: “EFL clubs have today been notified of the fines issued for rule breaches in Round One of this season’s Checkatrade Trophy.

“All of the offences punished were due to a failure to meet competition rule 7.3 of fielding a full strength team in and during all matches. The EFL did take into account a number of mitigating factors and also considered transgressions that were not within the spirit of the rules.”

Both Luton and Portsmouth were hit with £15,000 fines, while Fleetwood will have to pay £5,000, with further £3,000 fines for Bradford City, Blackpool, Bristol Rovers, Milton Keynes Dons, Millwall, Charlton Athletic, Peterborough United, Sheffield United and Southend United.

The 12 clubs fined have the right to appeal to the EFL Board, while all the rules will remain in place for Luton’s next match at Swindon Town.

Prior to the decision, Jones had stated his disappointment if Luton were penalised, saying: “I think it would be naive or harsh to fine us.

“If they adhere to the rules then fine, but the thing is we’ve had a right go in this Trophy. We’ve treated it with the respect it deserves, and we’re enjoying and I think people who watch us are enjoying it.

“I think we are as a club, a credit to this Trophy. We could abuse it, no problem, I could make three changes in the first minute, so put that out.

“But we haven’t, we’ve had a right desire and I thought the other night was a credit to the Trophy.

“Our youngsters have been a credit. so I’d be very, very disappointed if any sanctions were imposed on us.”