The League Cup could be played without the top seven next season.
According to The Times, a fixture pile-up for teams involved in European competition could mean the Carabao Cup is played without the Premier League’s seven best teams next term.
It was confirmed this week that the Champions League and Europa League schedules will run well into August, meaning involved teams won’t be able to play League Cup ties as things stand, and the EFL are said to be considering what that means for their competition.
The report suggests decisions are yet to be made, but there is a real possibility the top seven could be left out of the next edition of the competition.
That could mean Burnley, who are 10th in the table but have a chance of securing a top seven finish and a European place – would not be included in next season’s competition.
On the flip side, it could open a realistic avenue for a cup run for the Clarets if they were to be included but the leading lights absent.
Under Sean Dyche Burnley have a poor record in the cup competitions and were knocked out in the second round by League One Sunderland in this season’s League Cup.
The alternative could be to do away with the competition for a season, but it would likely cause further financial damage to lower league clubs who already face uncertain times.
Another idea floated is to allow teams to play youth sides – as Liverpool did against Everton this season when their busy schedule clashed with the League Cup.
Though, that could mean the integrity of the competition is compromised.
The report suggests the EFL fear the current circumstances could give top clubs an excuse to pull out of the League Cup – which has been running since 1960 – for good.
But they are determined to find a solution, even it means temporary changes.
English leagues are likely to begin more than a month late next season, and that is likely to result in fixture congestion beyond anything seen before.
The EFL fear the League Cup could become a victim of that circumstance, but they are determined for the competition not to slip away, as equivalent competitions have France and other countries.