The future of the League Cup in England is under threat as a result of the new Champions League format that was confirmed this week by UEFA.
These reforms will see a new format for the competition introduced for the 2024/25 campaign, in which more teams will be part of the competition and more games will be played.
In addition to this, instead of teams being drawn into eight groups of four, as is the case now, all clubs are placed into one giant table based on points, and then goal difference, in a format known as the Swiss model.
This is happening because Europe’s biggest clubs have been pushing for it to increase revenue according to ESPN and more games equals more money, and the biggest clubs always take a larger slice of the broadcasting revenues.
Although this is good news for the biggest clubs in England, it is not for one of the country’s oldest competitions and the EFL.
While the group stage will only increase from six to eight matches those fixtures will be played across 10 weeks each autumn, with both the Europa League and Conference League being given an exclusive week of games, meaning that England’s European competitors may be unable to take part in the League Cup.
This is according to the Daily Mail, who report that this competition brings £80million-a-year to the EFL, thanks to their TV deal with Sky Sports, which coincidentally expires when the expanded Champions League begins in 2024.
Many have felt that the competition should have been scrapped a long time ago as the early stages of the competition are unnecessary games in a schedule that is overpacked at present.
England is the only country in Europe’s big five leagues that has two cup competitions after France scrapped their version of the League Cup in 2020.
EFL executives are exploring a number of options in order to save their 62-year-old competition, which includes permitting the big clubs to field development sides until the semi-final stage. There is still a long way to go with regard to this situation but at present, it looks like the competition is coming to an end.