League One and League Two clubs will vote next month on whether to revise the format of the Checkatrade Trophy or scrap it entirely.
The options, which also include reverting the competition to English Football League clubs only, were spelled out by EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey at a meeting of the 48 clubs on Tuesday, with his preference clearly being a continuation of this season's 64-team competition involving 16 category one academy sides.
The new format has dramatically divided opinions within the game, as many fans have boycotted the matches because of fears this is a Trojan horse to introduce Premier League B teams into the league pyramid - an idea suggested by former Football Association chairman Greg Dyke in 2014.
Harvey, however, has denied this and did so again at the meeting at Walsall's Banks's Stadium, where he suggested relaxing the rules on the number of changes the EFL sides can make to their teams, keeping the competition regional until the quarter-final stage and adding more money to the prize fund.
In a press release, Harvey said: "We committed at the outset of this season's competition to conduct a full and comprehensive review of the competition and, importantly, give our clubs the ability to ensure they make the key decisions regarding where we take the competition in 2017/18 and beyond.
"After asking clubs in advance for some initial thoughts on the competition, today was the next stage of the process and I'm delighted we were able to have such a full and frank exchange of views that will now assist the executive in refining a final proposal that our clubs will now vote on."