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Should Premier League teams stop playing in the Carling Cup?



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Every year, the Premier League plays on when major leagues across Europe pack it in for a winter break. We’ve talked about the need (or lack thereof) of a winter break in the Premier League before, with medical opinion supporting the case for a short break in December and January.

There are two arguments raised against the winter break – one, the players are already paid so much so they have no right to complain (can the underpaid players go on strike then?) and two, there are just too many games to fit into an already tight schedule for a winter break to be feasible.

While the wages debate is a separate issue (and the case of “high wages = must play all year long” is thrown in everywhere whether relevant or not), a legitimate case can be made for reducing the number of matches teams play over the course of a season. There are several ways we can do that (reducing teams, scraping the Carling Cup altogether), but scraping replays and pulling Premier League teams out of the Carling Cup are probably the easiest to manage.

Reducing replays is a no-brainer – it would immediately cut down on the number of pointless extra games teams have to play, but what if Premier League teams were not in the Carling Cup?


  • Fewer matches per season – allows teams to juggle fixtures around and squeeze in a break of at least 2 weeks (more likely 3).
  • Raises the value of the FA Cup.
  • Increase the value of the Carling Cup for the Football League and gives them a great chance for winning titles every season.
  • Less risk of injury near the end of the season.


  • Many fringe players would not get games at the club as a result – especially goalkeepers.
  • It would force people to change, something footballing authorities are loathe to do.
  • Less chances of Premier League teams winning a cup (FA Cup automatically gets more attention from the top 4, the rest don’t get a shot at the Carling Cup).

What do you think? Have your say in the poll below.

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Ahmed Bilal created Sportslens in 2006. He is a business consultant and entrepreneur who helps businesses identify and overcome their biggest challenges. He’s also the founder of Football Media, an online advertising agency that specialises in sports and male audience targeting, with a monthly reach of 100m+ sports fans in the UK and US. He’s also the previous owner of Soccerlens.com – a sports news site that reaches 3m+ readers / month.