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EFL forced to make changes to the Carabao Cup from the 2024/25 season

The EFL after being forced to make changes to the Carabao Cup from the 2024/25 season, to ease fixture congestion, as per The Telegraph.

The league organisation are to implement a new “seeding mechanism” to the Carabao Cup, as a way ease the fixture pile-up because of the extended format of the Champions League (with 36 teams playing in a league phase rather than a group stage, see more on that HERE).

Rankings are reportedly being implemented to prevent those sides playing in the Champions League do not face sides playing in the Europa League, while third-round Carabao Cup matches will now be spread out over a two-week period to reduce congestion.

Dan Critchlow (@afcDW) tweets: The actual article seems to suggest the only seeding will be keeping the CL teams apart from the EL teams in the 3rd round. Makes sense. They wouldn’t be able to fit in the game in either week if Arsenal drew Spurs, for example. Arsenal play CL week 1, Spurs play EL week 2. But no reason Arsenal couldn’t play City/Liverpool/Villa in the third round, and as it stands none of the other rounds need to be seeded.

Phil Blundell (@PhilBlundell) says: “Arsenal and City can still play each other, they just can’t play Chelsea or United. Who can play each other. The Champions League and Europa League first match day is in different weeks, so if a Chelsea or United played a CL team the first available time to play the game would be the 4th round of the League Cup.”

The EFL are keeping its options open for the Carabao Cup fifth round, but this depends on if there will be any clashes with European competition.

The Europa Conference League will be an issue for the third round of the domestic competition as its group stages begin at a later time.

Fixture congestion expected in the 2024/25 season has led to clubs warning that they would have to play younger players in the Carabao Cup.

The expansion of European club competitions and the Club World Cup that triggered the axing of cup replays resulted in a clash with match-weeks earmarked for the third round of the EFL Cup.

We’ve already seen replays for the FA Cup from the first round onwards controversially scrapped.

The failure of Premier League clubs to deliver on their long-awaited new £900m football support system, is the reason behind the EFL refusing to scrap two-legged semi-finals in its own cup competition, putting further pressure on the calendar especially for those competing in Europe.

Many fans will recall how Liverpool played in the Club World Cup a few years back, choosing to send a first team for their semi-final with Monterrey, which clashed with their Carabao Cup quarter-final at Aston Villa, and meant that the Reds had to field their youngest-ever starting line-up in 5-0 defeat to Villa, which was managed by under-23 boss Neil Critchley, currently manager at Blackpool.

He said at the time: “Try telling those players it was a bad evening for them. My overwhelming feeling was one of immense pride. This was decided by the club as the best solution. We are the beneficiaries of the success of the first team and we could not have done much more.”

Criteria for the new seeding system is yet to be announced by the EFL, but Pep Guardiola was one of a few managers who complained in recent months about the pressures of the schedules they faced, particularly in the week commencing September 16th and 23rd.

“Next season, when we play in the Champions League, hopefully we will qualify, it is the same week as the Carabao Cup,” he said. “How are we going to play? Will we play EDS [development squad] in the Carabao Cup?

“After next season, we go to the Club World Cup. We are incredibly happy, a lot of money, incredibly prestigious. But how many days do I give off to the players? It’s unsustainable.”

Should fixtures continue to clash, we could see more forced to do what Liverpool did five seasons ago, and play their reserve or youth in cup matches.

This is what fans are saying with the EFL reportedly being forced to make changes to the Carabao Cup from the 2024/25 season to ease fixture congestion…

@MyStickyTruth: It’s absolutely laughable how stupid an idea this is. Too many games? Make it easier for the big clubs to go deeper in competitions but pitching them against much inferior opposition.

@ole_was_right: Fucking hate this. Cup competition relies on randomness to be fun. A league 2 team can build momentum/form/confidence from getting “winnable” draws in cup competitions. This system would hugely limit that; and putting the biggest teams against the smallest, also lessens the likelihood of those smaller clubs getting the financial benefit of participating in later rounds.

@Jayfuz: awful awful awful awful awful awful awful awful awful awful awful awful. The whole fun of this is to see a low down team banter off a higher up side, & income keeps the teams with smaller revenues ALIVE! awful awful awful awful awful awful awful awful awful awful awful awful

People might moan at this but it’s smart
Helps big clubs rest players
Helps lower league teams play more big teams

@NUFCLC: Why? What an utter disgrace – match fixing

@IanG1878: Actually should seed them so they play each other early on. That way half the Sly Six are gone quickly, and they can stop whining about what a hard life they have.

@ChrisPage_Boz: So basically just a way for them to get the final they want 🤷🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️ Football in this country is becoming a joke.

@potterlytics: Genuinely at this point what is the point in the competition if you’re going to engineer it so specifically? There is absolutely no need for this change at all, just tinkering for the sake of it.

@bullens288: What is the definition of a big club, Richard masters mentioned them once

@LGAmbrose: Because it’s not already difficult or unlikely enough for other clubs to win trophies? Absolutely horrible idea

@scottjwillis: This is a good idea IMO. The league cup is a spot to experiment and seeding works well in basically every other tournament structure to create fun outcomes and match ups.

@scottjwillis: Seeding is good actually. Make the whole bracket known in advance and you can people can start dreaming about the potential route to the final. Fun Cinderella stories blowing up brackets. It’s the league cup, let’s have fun with it.

@KScreaton: Wtf is this man. What a load of shite if this happens.

@TomSleeman11: Interesting that FA Cup replays are being binned off to prevent more games, but now the Carabao Cup is literally going to give the Big Six more games to enable their progress in the competition.

@BlueVirtuous: Meanwhile FIFA are considering letting ‘big clubs’ travel overseas to play each other for a league fixture! ➡️➡️➡️➡️➡️➡️➡️🗑️

@manxpie86: What’s the fucking point of a cup competition then! Absolute joke whoever passed this through

@ZakJMUFC: It’s getting to a point where you may aswell not play in these cups if you’re not in the Premier league, or the big 6. Magic of the cup is falling rapidly

@EvertonArentWe: Another shambolic decision in this drawn out death of the game.

@Ankaman616: Another change to the domestic cups because the “League Phase” of the UCL/Europa/CL competitions are going to be so disruptive and weird.

@MichaelZdenek: On the latest episode of “things nobody wants or asked for”…

@JakeWFox: Finally some protection for the elite sides, phew!! EFL sides should be focused on selling us academy prospects, not cup runs

@james11237380: Just take anyone in Europe out of the competition but award the conference league to the winner. Then you’ll get new teams winning things and clubs with a realistic shot at Europe every season

@BucksTalesAdge: Why not do it the other way around so a division 1 side may get a shot at Europe 🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️

@ThatChris1209: I love how much they mess around with the League Cup, almost as if it’s a fundamentally pointless competition and needs abolishing

@BlueboysEFC1878: How sad that they have to manipulate the system!

@mill47938423: What a joke. Lower league clubs should pull out.

@ScottCTomo88: Another change to benefit higher ups and take away ‘magic of the cup’ moments. Shite

@davidgilland90: That’s fucking shite.

@jamescallen1: That is absolutely grim

@Jackalbion96: Lower League away days GET IN

@mrford42: Fuck me. VAR was only the beginning. The sport is slowly being fixed before our very eyes!

@Noberts1878: Footy is so close to just being completely finished in this country

Ffs stop messing with stuff.
Another boring competition

@KieronPearce: Anyone in Europe should be made to sit out the competition or play the under 23s

@jhackett__: Another awful decision. Just another way to make sure the ‘big six’ all make it to at least the quarter-finals. Let them all play each other at the first opportunity instead, make it interesting.

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