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EFL chief Rick Parry speaks on potential demise of the League Cup

EFL chief Rick Parry speaks on the potential demise of the League Cup (aka Carabao Cup) depending further expansion of the Champions League.

In an interview, he said that the change, which will see each team in the Champions League group stage play ten games rather than six, will no doubt lead to changes with the English football tournament which was founded in 1960.

Parry also spoke of the importance and integrity of the competition, saying it’s worth about ‘£100million of clubs’ TV revenue’ – something that would be lost if it was got rid of because of more fixtures added to the schedule for those who qualify for Europe.

Parry, who is also the former chief executive of Liverpool, said: ‘In terms of the impact on midweek fixtures, fA Cup and Carabao Cup, in true UEFA fashion we’ve still got the same number of match dates.

‘Only eight games, but spread across ten dates, so that really doesn’t help us. Of course it’s going to have an impact on the Carabao Cup. It’s pointless to pretend that it won’t.

‘To suggest that we will carry on without any form of change is unrealistic. Equally, to say this is now the demise of the League Cup is too far in the other direction at this stage. Could it be an outcome? Yes, of course it could.

‘Frankly, we have to maybe face up to the unpalatable, but it’s extraordinarily valuable to the EFL. It’s pretty much half of our media revenues and so you are talking about £100 million worth of our clubs’ TV revenue. It’s a very valuable part of the mix.’

Liverpool and Chelsea – two teams who usually play in Champions League – played each other in this year’s Carabao Cup final, but their involvement in it for the future could be impacted as a result of their European participation.

Parry said: ‘This year we’ve had a breathtaking final with a competition taken extremely seriously by two of Europe’s biggest clubs, which was brilliant from our point of view. But we also know that Uefa doesn’t like League Cups. We are now unique.’

The 67-year-old, a former chief executive of Liverpool and original CEO of the Premier League, also stated the competition’s future is involved with negotiations the EFL and the Premier League need to have over financial distribution.

It’s said the English Football League wants £250million a year from the Premier League, though the parties have not come to terms on any agreement.

Changes to the Champions League format have been approved from the start of the 2024-25 season, with the group stages expanded to 36 teams from 32.

Each club will compete in a minimum of ten games against ten different opponents, which means more midweek dates before Christmas and no doubt more moaning from managers – though it will be anger towards English competitions rather than European. There has to be some sort of solution. Some say axe the Carabao Cup, others say have those who compete in Europe should not play in the competition, least then majority of Prem and EFL clubs don’t miss out on the money the cup generates, whilst there is still a chance to compete for a major trophy, plus those who play in Europe will have a reduced schedule and still compete in three competitions, same as any team in English football.

Those playing in Europe normally start their Carabao Cup campaigns in the third round of the tournament – which took place between September the 21st and 22nd in the season just finished.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said in 2020 that the League Cup should be scrapped to avoid congestion.

He said: ‘The League Cup is off in France already. Only England remains.

‘I think that everybody knows that it would be better for everyone if that were not played any more.’

How many more European competitions do we need? At one point this season, we saw seven clubs look to book a European place. Nearly half of the Premier League. But then we saw talks of clubs only qualifying for Champions League based on performance/history within Europe. Plus we see teams yo-yoing between the Premier League and Championship year after year. When does it stop? When does it become more fairer for majority of English clubs.

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Or maybe instead of getting rid of English football tradition to suit the big clubs, there is a different solution, possibly the one we just mentioned, that is a win win for everyone involved.

Our leagues are like no other in the world, the passion, the support, the history, the money.

You can’t just get rid of the League Cup because the fixture schedule at those six or so clubs compete in Europe while the other 85 or so clubs miss out on vital income that can benefit them in so many different ways.

Rich get richer, more greedy, and they showed that when wanting to join the European Super League regardless of how they would be judged and the lack of respect shown on English football as a whole.

Few years back we saw Liverpool field a very weak team against Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup because they favoured playing in the UEFA Super Cup instead.

EFL chief Rick Parry speaks on potential demise of the League Cup

Fans reacted as EFL chief Rick Parry speaks on the potential demise of the League Cup…

@gs11yon: Just don’t let the Clubs playing in Europe compete. A domestic competition with no route to Europe.

@tomwillian4: Can someone answer me this, why don’t the sponsor of the league cup massively up the prize money & the interest from all clubs will be a lot higher? Seems like an easy fix & if the company sponsoring the cup has enough money to do so, they surely have enough to up the prize pot?

@Josephbrowne2: Play it with teams that haven’t qualified for Europe and give it a European spot still,guaranteeing a team that didn’t qualify for Europe the season before a place 🤷🏻

@daryl_aka_pilko: Totally agree. Winner gets europa conference spot instead of 7th place in the league.

@jordandavies09: Try telling fans of Middlesbrough, Birmingham and Swansea that the League Cup doesn’t matter btw. Must be protected. Let the UCL teams withdraw or play reserves if they want.

@eugeneward1978: The EFL Cup should be for EFL teams. Winner gets promoted

@MarkJwalker: How about the Champions league teams don’t get entered into the competition? Just because they can’t play because they are in Europe, it shouldn’t mean that all 92 clubs are excluded from a competition

@john_nufc42: Coming from a man who wanted the ESL. Rick it’ll never happen not a chance

@MattyRobbo24: The same Rick Parry who wanted to support the breakaway? Same Rick parry who holds private talks with the big 6? Same Rick Parry who seems more interested in keeping the premier league happy than his employers the football league? SHOCK

@andrewhewitt1: Rick Parry doing the Premier League’s work for them again. Present the idea as a threat, normalise it and then implement it. He’s already tried to get rid of the League Cup once before with his Project Big Picture proposals.

@JoeStephenson96: British Cup now… if it’s good enough for David Moyes it’s good enough for me, get it done

@NCSL1892: This is the bloke who supported the #CARTEL & #ESL where part of their terms were that the League Cup would be abolished. So what’s he “warning” clubs about & how will they make up the revenue for smaller clubs who depend on it? #BigSix #UEFA

@JakeBland44: Any team who’s in Europe doesn’t participate that year, keep a conference league spot for the winners, sorted

@rjb_1998: Get rid of the premier league teams from it, sorted

@mellonista2022: He was happy to go along with Big Picture though, the hypocritical rat

@RealBenRuss: league cup should only be for efl teams imo

@Calvey94: This is why anyone saying to get of the league Cup is wrong. It forms a huge part of the income for the EFL and without it all it does is widen the between the gap between the Premier League and the EFL. These teams leave the competition and the income is slashed a lot

@TThrostle: Simple solution, have the League Cup be only for teams who haven’t qualified for a European Competition! Would make it a lot more competitive, and give more teams a realistic shot at proper silverware!

@Rob4481587: Perfect time to make a British League Cup, just leave the teams in Europe out.

@RichDPike89: Said this would happen when Champions League was expanded. Elite clubs to blame here, using the Super League breakaway threats to force UEFA to alter the UCL format to benefit them (when its not necessary, these clubs are already crazy wealthy and dont need anymore money)

@SeanMcCaughey2: Rick Parry still involved in football. Same guy who told the EFL teams to be happy what premier league team were willing to give them and shut up. All Liverpool led

@KieranMaguire: Is this the same Rick Parry who was championing Project Big Picture, which involved the abolition of the League Cup…and cutting the 92 clubs down to 90?

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