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EFL chief says League Cup not under threat amid Champions League reforms

EFL chief says League Cup not under threat amid Champions League reforms
Rick Parry, the EFL Chief Executive (left) in the stands during a 2019 match between Carlisle United and Crewe Alexandra. (File photo: Action Images/Paul Burrows)

English Football League Chairman Rick Parry said the League Cup is not under threat amid potential scheduling issues due to the Champions League's looming expansion, though he added that he believes the competition format needs changes.

European soccer's governing body UEFA last year made changes to its top continental club competition, approving a new format from the 2024-25 season with the group stages expanded to 36 teams from 32.

Instead of the current six matches, each team will compete in a minimum of 10 games against 10 different opponents, leading to a requirement of more midweek dates before Christmas, which could affect the League Cup programme.

"We are realistic. We clearly know 2024 is coming. UEFA doesn't really like League Cups. We are pretty much unique now in terms of major leagues," Parry told the BBC ahead of this week's talks on the reforms.

English teams compete for both the FA Cup and the League Cup every season, but the scheduling and format of the latter has come in for criticism, especially with two-legged semi-finals adding to a congested calendar.

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

"I don't think the future of the competition is under threat," Parry said.

"But it's whether we look at the time-tabling of it. Whether, for example, we have to consider single leg semi-finals. Whether we have to look at the teams that clubs in Europe field.

"If discussions around the future of the EFL Cup are part of the broader discussion around redistribution and governance, so be it. But they can't take place in isolation. They have to be part of the total package."

Source: Reuters/gr

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