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Arsenal Decline EFL Trophy Invitation - More Expected to Follow

Arsenal have joined Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur in turning down the English Football League's invitation to take part in this season's controversial EFL Trophy competition, as the EFL now consider inviting teams who either don't have a 'Category One' academy, or are not in the Premier League, into the competition.
Arsenal have joined Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur in turning down the English Football League's invitation to take part in this season's controversial EFL Trophy competition, as the EFL now consider inviting teams who either don't have a 'Category One' academy, or are not in the Premier League, into the competition.

The new-look tournament which replaces the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, which The Saddlers reached the final of in 2014/15, was expected to see sixteen Category One Academy sides take part, however, The Gunners, United and Spurs have all decided that they will instead focus their attention on the Academy League and the U21 Premier League International Cup.

The sixteen clubs with Category One Academies invited to play were: Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, Leicester City, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Middlesbrough, Newcastle United, Southampton, Stoke City, Sunderland, Swansea City, Tottenham Hotspur, West Bromwich Albion and West Ham United.

However with three major sides already out of the competition, it is now being speculated that recently relegated Aston Villa and Norwich City could be offered positions as the EFL seek to fill the now vacant positions.

It is understood that while Everton, Stoke City and West Ham United have already confirmed their participation, clubs such as Liverpool and Manchester City are set to reject the proposals, leaving the competition in something of a sorry state regardless of who is parachuted in.
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