5 Ways To Make The Carling Cup FunBy: Rob | September 23rd, 2008
So its the Carling Cup tonight. Yes, we know. Its the poor relation of the FA Cup. In fact it is just the FA Cup without the non-league beating Prem side aspect to it. And not as nice a trophy (what is that odd three handled thing?). But some teams do care about it. For example, try telling Swansea or Cardiff fans that it means nothing tonight. Or when a smaller side knocks out a Prem giant, try telling them.
But for the rest of us, how could we make this seemingly inferior competition more interesting? Well I have five ideas to improve the tournament. So here you go, after the jump.
1. Make it and Anglo-Scottish cup. What better way to set it apart from the League Cup than to invite the Scottish teams to play as well? They could get rid of thier league cup, and just make it the one tournament. It’d add an extra spice, I reckon, and we’d see some different teams here.
2. Divide the early rounds by area Tonights most interesting game is the all-Wales derby between Cardiff and Swansea. Why not take the whole thing a step forward and divide all the early rounds by locality. Not only would ensure some interest as they would all be local derbies, but it’d give some smaller teams to be guarenteed at least one good gate reciept a season from playing thier local, bigger rivals. I’m thinking, 8 group stages based on geography, winner goes into the Quarter-Finals. Easy. It’d also get rid of the obnoxious two leg system which small teams hate because it gives them less chance of an upset, and big teams hate because it means two extra fixtures.
3. Put a Champions League place on it. Yeah I know what you’re going to say, the Champions League is devalued enough already. Yep, it is. But If you are going to give Four Champions League places away, you might as well give them to some kind of Champions. Top Two from the Prem, then the two Cup winners. People will say “oh no, now you might see Middlesborogh in the Champions League” but a) that’d be fantastic fun, b) The Big Four would play out of thier skins because they wouldn’t be guarenteed a Champions League spot in the League.
4. Put them on ITV or something. One of the many reasons most of the country has lost interest in the Carling Cup is because it’s always on Sky. At least with the FA Cup (before this season) there was a few games on BBC. But the Carling Cup has been on Sky for years and years. So put them on free-to-air TV and more people will watch. Simple.
5. Stop the thing having an identity crisis. You can tell what generation someone is by what they call the Carling Cup. In unguarded moments I’ll call it the Coca-Cola Cup because that’s what I remember it as. My grandad talks about Birmingham City’s win in the ‘Old League Cup’, my mum meanwhile still calls it the Milk Cup. Someone younger than me might call it the Worthington Cup. Someone slightly older than me might call it the Littlewoods Cup. Honestly! The FA Cup changes sponser, but it doesn’t change its name! Just pick a name, and leave it be.