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Tottenham and Manchester City to join Checkatrade Trophy

Tottenham and Manchester City are two of the new invited clubs who will take part in next season's Checkatrade Trophy.

Premier League champions Chelsea will also enter an Under-21 side, as they did last season.

Other top Premier League side, Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool have turned down the chance to participate.

The competition will again feature 16 Under-21 teams from clubs with Category A academies, in addition to the 48 League One and League Two clubs. Last season was the first time it was played under the new format.

The final saw Coventry beat Oxford in front of almost 75,000 at Wembley but prior to that the competition had been heavily criticised due clubs recording record low crowds, restrictive rules for the League One and Two teams, and the absence of most of England's major clubs.

Tournament regulations were tweaked in the summer, allowing greater flexibility in selection and fixture dates.

This has encouraged City and Tottenham to enter, in addition to Newcastle and Fulham, who are new entrants from last season.

Prize money has been increased to £3m per season, with the winner getting £100,000.

Tottenham head of player development, John McDermott, said: "We know the Checkatrade Trophy will provide a massive challenge for us and we look forward to testing ourselves."

The full list of invited under-21 sides is as follows with the new clubs in blue

  • Brighton & Hove Albion
  • Chelsea
  • Everton
  • Fulham
  • Leicester City
  • Manchester City
  • Middle­sbrough
  • Newcastle United
  • Reading
  • Southampton
  • Stoke City
  • Sunderland
  • Swansea City
  • Tottenham Hotspur
  • West Bromich Albion
  • West Ham United
 
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