Why football managers prefer to downplay EFL Cup as a priority

5) Low Prize amount

Compared to the prize money on offer by winning the FA Cup is far too low in the League Cup. While the winners of FA Cup receive a staggering 2 million Euros, the winners of League Cup win a mere 100,000 Euros. In an inflated transfer market, even some of the potential stars in the youth academy cannot be bought for 100,000 Euros, for example, a certain 17-year old Jordan Sancho was sold to Dortmund for 170,000 Euros. As such, the clubs are reluctant to go all in for the midweek ties and thus prefer to fight in Premier league, which alone guarantees huge chunks thanks to the TV deals. 

4) Level of the games

The business end of the league cup does offer some feisty ties; nevertheless, the opening rounds of the Cup are cumbersome to watch. The lower league sides do get a chance to host some of the top talents at their home only to be outplayed for the next ninety minutes. Sure, every once in a while a lower league side does spring a surprise; however, the chances are rare. For the top clubs in the Premier League, it is a walk in the park. Chelsea destroyed Nottingham Forest 5-1, whereas, Manchester United easily strolled past Burton Albion at Old Trafford. The quality of those games were understandably poor, despite the likes of Chelsea virtually fielding their second team.

3) Big teams have a lot on their plate already

This is one of the main reasons behind managers’ preference to field a second string side in the Carabao Cup. The top six of the Premier league all fielded their ‘B-team’ in the third round and in all fairness, they cannot be criticised for it. The clubs have a busy September, having to play nearly eight games in the space of 21 days. And with the level of competition already too high in the Premier League, the players understandably get tired forcing the managers to rest them. The likes of Azpilicueta, who has played in all of Chelsea’s games so far, was given a day off so were Salah, Firmino for Liverpool. Mauricio Pochettino summed up the debate by claiming that the top clubs aim for winning the Premier League and Champions League rather than winning the FA Cup or the League Cup.

2) Empty seats

The fixtures list prematurely gives the fans an idea of what would be the outcome of the round. As such, the fans too prefer to take a day off rather than watching their team play. As said earlier, the rounds are a source of joy for the fans of lower league sides only, as they too get a chance to visit the grandest stadiums such as Anfield or Old Trafford. For instance, Nottingham Forest’s fans were overjoyed when their side scored a goal, despite being 5-0 down. This, in essence, proves the lack of competition. Therefore the empty seats have a direct impact on the revenue generated from ticket sales, which prompts the advertisers to resist investing in the League cup ties.

1) Lack of Respect

The competition does not have the same recognition as the likes of Premier league have. When Manchester United won the league cup last season, they were mocked by rival fans on celebrating the victory of ‘Mickey-Mouse cup’. In addition to it, the victories in these cups do not, by any means, guarantee a legendary status. For example, Wigan despite winning the 2012-13 FA Cup have nowhere near the size of the fanbase of Leicester City, who won the premier league two seasons ago.