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Revamping the cup competitions

edited August 2022 in Football

Though I am very much "League first", I remember when the cups were magic. I know some still see them that way, but for me ever since 2000 when Man United did not enter the FA Cup, they have gradually been devalued, to the point where they are largely reserve competitions.

Here are my ideas to get them back on track, even a little.


1: Teams must start at least five players who played in the last league match, in every round.

2: Semis to revert to neutral venues, as to me it takes away from Wembley to have the semis there. There is also an argument to have the final travel round the country to alternate venues.

3: Winner goes into the qualifying round for the Champions League (obviously would need to be agreed with UEFA). This would focus the minds of those middling PL teams who eschew the cup for finishing 9th instead of 10th.


  1. Bin off the Papa Johns, combining the ideas and prize monies with the current competition,
  2. No PL Teams or U21 PL teams - EFL Cup is for the 72 EFL teams.
  3. Winner gets a spot in the Euro Conference League (at least).
  4. Teams must start at least five players who played in the last league match, in every round.
  5. Straight knock out like the FA Cup, with neutral venue single legged semis to mimic the format of the primary competition.
  6. Some Parachute Payment/Solidarity money diverted towards a substantial increase in round by round prize fund.




  • The winners of the Carabao already do qualify for the UECL, although that's pretty redundant as a top 4 side invariably wins it - so maybe pass that spot to the runners-up (if it's not another top 4 side)

  • And it already is straight knockout?

  • I was clarifying the #1 (combining ideas with Papa Johns) and just clarifying that it would not have group stages. Could have phrased it better! Also, doing away with the two legged semis in favour of more exciting neutral venue ties.

  • I did not even realize that - it just seems like Man City win it every year!

  • I've oddly been more invested (not enough to go to the games) in the cup ties this season with the excitement of knowing the development squad will be tested. As much as the 9 out of 11 changes we made and other sides naming completely different XIs may devalue the trophy I do find it interesting.

    But then I also enjoy the Berks and Bucks and probably take that more seriously than most

  • I can see the point in the FA Cup and Papa Johns. Hard to see the point of the League Cup. I’d bin that one.

  • I think it makes more sense as an EFL only competition with a significant carrot at the end. Knowing a team Championship or below would be in Europe every season would be very interesting.

  • We'd learn a thing or two about shithousery if we qualified for Europe. Bring on Red Star Belgrade v Wycombe!

  • The league cup is a huge source of income for EFL clubs.

  • Do you mean through sponsorship and tv deals as the prize money is relatively poor. I believe you get more in the League Trophy. Obviously the opportunity to draw a big club away in the League cup is a money spinning incentive but that comes around once in a blue moon

  • Agree with all of this, except:

    • giving a EURO conference place to League Cup winner. This is unrealistic, damaging to our future coefficients and just never going to happen,
    • forcing teams to play 5 players in the FA Cup. Your other proposals will likely have this impact naturally anyway, when Prem teams take their one big cup competition seriously.
  • Taking the Premier League teams out the EFL Cup is a complete non-starter I'm afraid. Sponsorship and TV revenues would decline without them. And as a fan the chance to reach the 2nd/3rd round and play at a PL team (as we did last year) is one of the few reasons to get excited about this competition.

  • UECL ? Not that I’m particularly interested !

  • Interested enough to ask ;)

    UEFA Europa Conference League, which most people just call the Conference League - but CL = Champions League. All very confusing.

  • Point 1 already does happen, but I don't understand how it affects the coefficient?

  • I think most of these have already been suggested, it's never going to be easy to square all the competing levels of interest. Clubs take what they need from competitions, wether that's a full tilt, hoping for a big draw or an easy route to later stages, nothing or playing youth teamers, and that changes based on needs at that specific moment. If we get a sniff of Wembley or then suddenly the lowest competition sounds great but if there's a big league game or the chance of promotion/ saving relegation it would get dropped, and the bigger clubs are the same with euro qualification.

    The PL have to bought their way into u-21 teams taking part in the EFL trophy and control any changes to the EFL cup too for the reasons above.

  • I vote Shev for president of the FA.

  • I quite like the league cup and maybe any revamp should just be clubs own thought process. For example if we had fielded our strongest side last night then could this have been a cup run to get excited about? A few more defeats in the league in the near future and we might be thinking the season is a write off already!

  • Leave it all as it is. It's all the messing around that has caused all the problems.

    We just happen to support a club who doesn't care about cup competition. It always looks worse from there.

  • I do not necessarily believe that it is about not taking it seriously. The problem with the League Cup starting so early is that clubs are still trying to get a foothold in the League and bedding in new players (if of course the checkbook has been opened at all). By the time the FA Cup comes around, you can perhaps play a stronger side depending on your league position. Imagine the wailing and gnashing of teeth had we played a 'first team' side against City, won but suffered a couple of knocks before the Charlton game. I reckon the plan was to give the fringe players a chance to shine and to be fair, in the first game they did, and we weren't that far off in this one. You cannot cut the PL out of the League Cup without reducing it to the Pizza Cup, when even ITV4 cannot really be bothered.

  • edited August 2022

    We already play too many league games, hardly surprising that managers take any opportunity they can to rest and rotate. If you want to make cups 'serious' again, overhaul the league pyramid (e.g. four EFL divisions of 20 teams).

  • I would like to see our development team entered in a league to enable the lads to have regular competitive games.

  • Bring back unlimited FA Cup replays, including finals

  • edited August 2022

  • In so doing you are cutting gate revenue by approximately 20% and demoting 13% of league clubs to non-league. Never be so presumptuous to think that we are to big to be one of the bottom 12 league clubs in Lg2 in the year this was implemented. No thanks.

    For it to be competitive, would need to be entering a nonleague competition demoting non league club to accomodate league clubs player development ambitions. Not that different in principle to Premier teams putting "B" teams into our league. No thanks.

  • @DevC No, you'd be promoting eight teams from non-League to the EFL (I think it's only a matter of time before the National League becomes 'League Three' anyway).

  • Ah sorry I misunderstood you. So five divisions (including the premier league).

    How would you compensate for the near 20% loss in gate revenue?

  • Nearer 15% than 20%

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