In an official statement, Newcastle have explained their reasons for turning down EFL Trophy invitation.

The new format included a number of clubs being invited from the top two divisions, with their Under 21 teams (plus a number of over age players allowed) competing with Leagues One and Two teams.

The big attraction of the competition always appeared to be the chance of a big day out at Wembley for the finalists.

Barnsley winning it last year backed by tens of thousands of fans, with Newcastle’s Ivan Toney picking up a winners medal as a sub in that Wembley final whilst on loan.

Having two Premier League Under 21 teams in the final would just make a farce of it and be of no use to anyone.

Newcastle United official statement:

Newcastle United can confirm it has declined an invitation to take part in the 2016/17 EFL Trophy.

The Club was initially informed by the Premier League that it was not going to be invited to compete in the restructured competition.

Accordingly, the Club started to make plans with regard to the development squad for the coming season. These plans included the intention to loan out some of the players who are currently part of the under-23 squad, rather than allowing them to compete in the Premier League 2.

Changes to the loan system, which come into effect this season, mean all loans must now be completed on a window-to-window basis, with emergency and youth loans no longer permissible. These regulations are a contributory factor to the Club’s decision.

Though Newcastle United did subsequently receive an invite to compete in the EFL Trophy, the Club feels their younger players would be better served by going out on loan and gaining experience over an extended period in a first team environment.

Although Newcastle United supports the principle of the competition’s new format, participating in the EFL Trophy is not something the Club wishes to do this season.’