Friday afternoon question: Should domestic cups be scrapped?

November 14, 2008

Real Madrid were knocked out of the King’s Cup by third-tier Real Union this week and Chelsea lost to second division Burnley in the Carling Cup, but which sides were really celebrating?

Chelsea would much rather concentrate on the Premier League while Real need to focus on the Champions League after two defeats.

In Italy, the Coppa Italia is fast becoming one of the biggest jokes in football. The last 16, the first round where the big clubs enter, has been spread across a two-month period for various strange reasons.

Wednesday’s game between Udinese and Reggina was played in mid-afternoon and from the television pictures I could not see a single fan in the stadium. There were probably a few die-hards behind the camera but they saw one of the most error-ridden games in history.

The Cup is realistically the only trophy Udinese and Reggina can win this season and yet even they played reserve sides. 

Top players were also rested in the other domestic cups this week, which surely diminishes the achievements of the smallers sides who cause ‘upsets’ and don’t gain as much revenue as they used to now that most competitions are no longer over two legs. 

Joe in his blog was very positive about the Carling Cup, and Arsenal’s youth side do play some wonderful stuff, but how many of that team will ever make it in the Premier League given that Arsenal’s first team is so young anyway?

The fact England has two cups has always baffled me. The FA Cup dwarves the Carling Cup and yet it too has suffered a credibility crisis in recent seasons. 

If we were to scrap all of Europe’s other domestic cups, my colleague Kevin has come up with the wonderful idea of keeping the world famous FA Cup and each year inviting different European powerhouses to play in it like Real and Barca or Milan and Juve.

So how about it, has the time come to bite the bullet and axe domestic cups which very few people care about?

PHOTO: Burnley players run in celebration as they defeat Chelsea in a penalty shoot-out in their Carling Cup match at Stamford Bridge, Nov. 12. REUTERS/Kieran Doherty

5 comments

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Thanks, Mark. And yes, I think keeping the FA Cup but spicing it up with invitation teams would be fantastic.
I know it’ll upset traditionalists, and it will never really happen, but the FA Cup with Real Madrid and Barcelona one year, Bayern Munich and Hoffenheim the next, would be great fun.

Posted by Kevin Fylan | Report as abusive

Cups in Spain and Italy seem to be pretty pointless anyway. I don’t know about others. At least Barcelona said they wanted to win the Copa del Rey but Italy seems to be worse still.

Posted by nikel | Report as abusive

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I agree with you, Mark. Carling Cup is Worth Nothing Cup nowadays. No big club in England care about it any more. And the Cup picture is quite the same in Bulgaria – the uninspired fixtures list is growing year after year… FA Cup is a different world, that’s for sure.

Posted by angel | Report as abusive

I think we could lose the Carling Cup, not even sure what it’s about?

There’s always talk about the congestion of the fixture list, espcially at Christmas! And then you get talk about how tired the players are towards the end of the season.

Yes dropping the Carling Cup could mean that more time and attention could be given in other areas of football, particularly to the clubs not in the big 4!

Cups aren’t pointless; not everyone is a Man U., or Madrid fan.
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