The controversial EFL Trophy finally has a new sponsor – three months into the season.

The competition will now be known as the Bristol Street Motors Trophy after the automotive company agreed a three-year deal.

The business are the eventual successors to pizza firm Papa John's, whose sponsorship of the trophy ended at the end of last season.

Bristol Street Motors are the fourth title sponsor in the space of seven years since the competition controversially invited Premier League Under-21 teams to take part in what was previously a standalone lower-league cup.

Their predecessors were Checkatrade, and Papa John's.

In a statement announcing the deal, the EFL highlighted players who have made their professional debuts in the competition, such as England stars Declan Rice and Bukayo Saka.

The league also said the overall prize fund of £3m will "increase over the next two years", whilst it also said "more than 300,000 fans watched the competition throughout last season – a year on year increase of more than 50,000".

It did not, though, refer to consistently low crowds in early rounds and boycotts by a number of supporters over the top-flight's involvement.

Twelve of Carlisle United's 17 all-time lowest Brunton Park attendances have come in the Trophy since 2016's change of format, including six three-figure crowds.

News and Star: Bolton are the competition's holders, winning the trophy at Wembley last season when it was sponsored by Papa John'sBolton are the competition's holders, winning the trophy at Wembley last season when it was sponsored by Papa John's (Image: PA)

EFL chief executive Trevor Birch said: “We are delighted to welcome Bristol Street Motors as title sponsor of the EFL Trophy in a partnership that sees further investment into League One and Two clubs over the duration of the deal."

His counterpart at Bristol Street Motors, Robert Forrester, added: “We are hugely excited to be named as title sponsor of the EFL Trophy and look forward to engaging with clubs and fans over the next three years to make the competition bigger and better than ever before.” 

The competition's new branding will be in place before the next round of games.

Carlisle host Harrogate Town in their final group game on Tuesday, November 14, needing to win to stand any chance of progressing from the group stage after defeats to Accrington Stanley and Nottingham Forest Under-21s.