EFL chairman Parry admits changes to European football could threaten League Cup
New EFL chairman Rick Parry is “watching intently” to see whether proposals to overhaul European club competition would threaten the League Cup.
The format of continental football could be set for major changes from 2024, with reports surfacing on Friday that the European Club Association had devised a new 32-team division for the Champions League.
It was reported that each club would play 10 matches against 10 different opponents with the top-eight sides qualifying for the round of 16.
A more congested fixture list would obviously place even greater pressure on the scheduling of the League Cup, with the quarter-finals of this season’s competition being played this week.
Parry admits it is something his organisation is monitoring closely.
“It clearly is a concern and is something that we are mindful of,” he said.
“I think we are unique in having a League Cup now, the French have done away with theirs, and obviously now with UEFA’s third-tier competition and the potential (Champions League) changes on the horizon – who knows what they will be – we are obviously watching intently and with great care to see what they may be and what impact they might have.”
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp described the proposed Champions League revamp as “absolute b*******”, citing the difficulties the Reds were having to fulfil fixtures even with the current schedule.
He has travelled with the senior squad to Qatar for the Club World Cup while a youth side will take on Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night.
Former Liverpool chief executive Parry felt the “sensible” decision had been taken.
“I think we have actually come up with a very pragmatic solution that first and foremost worked for Liverpool, it was sensible to say ‘you have a major problem here, what’s going to be the right solution for you?’ rather than a bureaucratic ‘this is the rule’,” he said.
“The one thing I learned from being at Liverpool is you play your fixtures as soon as possible, you never push them back.
“Having been at Anfield to watch the game against Arsenal with the Liverpool kids which was one of the greatest nights of football entertainment I have had for many years then I don’t think they are weakening the integrity of the competition unduly, I think it was a sensible solution and making the best of bad circumstances.”
Parry poured cold water on the idea of taking Carabao Cup games overseas in the future.
“It’s not something we have discussed, personally it’s something I’m dead against,” he said.
“I was always never in favour of the 39th Premier League game, I just didn’t get it, it’s an English competition to be played in England in my opinion.”