THE League Cup is set to lose the top seven Premier League clubs next season as fixture congestion reaches “critical levels”.
The dates for two rounds of next term’s Champions League and Europa League are likely to clash with the competition.
The EFL is weighing up all its options and is yet to make a final decision – but it seems almost certain that the top clubs will be ruled out of the Cup in order to compete on the European stage.
The EFL will seek financial compensation as part of a £250 million rescue package from the top-flight.
A more extreme option would be to axe the Carabao Cup altogether for next season, but this would hit many EFL clubs hard in the pocket.
A third option would be for the clubs playing in Europe to fall back on their fresher faced players to field a youth squad – as Liverpool did against Aston Villa in December.
However critics believe this option would belittle the integrity of the 60-year-old competition.
The EFL has expressed concerns that big Prem sides may use this moment to jump at the chance to pull out of the competition permanently if they are playing in Europe.
The backlog of fixtures in the wake of the coronavirus crisis is said to have reached “critical levels” and is only likely to get worse next term with the delayed start of the top-flight.
As previously reported by the Mail, some Premier League chiefs have already held private discussions surrounding the future of the League Cup, deeming it “an unnecessary distraction”.
Manchester City have won four of the last five editions of the competition, most recently defeating Aston Villa 2-1 at Wembley Stadium back in March.