Manchester United decline offer to join U21s Barclays Premier League Cup

by Sam Peoples

Manchester United have declined the opportunity to take part in a new U21s cup competition set up by the Barclays Premier League.

Tottenham and Liverpool will also not take part in the competition but the likes of Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea will all be involved.

It was created in order to give the U21s more experience in competitive matches but United have decided not to sign up.

Premier League director of youth Ged Roddy feels that it will give youngsters the opportunity to gain some valuable big game experience.

“The introduction of an Under-21 cup creates another competitive opportunity for players up and down the country, which can enhance and support what we’re doing with the Barclays Under-21 Premier League,” said Roddy.

“Players who come through the academy system have been playing on training grounds since they were nine in some cases,” he said.

“One of the characteristics of that transition from the academy player to the professional player is the stadium experience, dealing with games that they need to win and dealing with, on occasions, a hostile environment that is created by a big crowd, and sometimes a very supportive environment.”

There has been no official word from United as to why they declined the opportunity to join the competition. It may have something to do with the U19s UEFA Champions League fixtures that have been added to an already busy schedule but other teams starting the new U19s competition including Chelsea and Manchester City will be involved in the tournament.

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