And now for something new.. or what is old is new again?

Introduction

One of the advantages of joining the EFL is the opportunity to compete in two more cup competitions that were not available outside of the EFL.  Gone is the opportunity of competing for the FA Trophy (involving teams in the 5th to 8th tier of the football league system) having been replaced on Wrexham’s schedule by 1) The EFL Cup (a.k.a. the Carabao Cup for sponsorship reasons and the League Cup for historical reasons) and 2) the EFL Trophy (a.k.a the Papa Johns Trophy or the Pizza Cup).

Wrexham and the EFL Cup

The last time Wrexham took part in the EFL Cup was in the season before relegation to the National League (2007-2008) and Wrexham’s best finish has been the quarterfinal having occurred on two occasions:

1) In 1960/61, in the inaugural EFL Cup, Wrexham lost 3-0 to Premier League squad, and ultimate champions, Aston Villa; and
2) In 1977/78, Wrexham lost 3-1 to Premier League squad, and ultimate runner-ups, Liverpool.

EFL Cup Basics

The EFL Cup involves all 92 teams from the Premier League to League 2 (20 teams from the Premier League and 24 teams from each of the remaining three divisions).  Wrexham will be one of 70 clubs to join in the first round.  Those 70 clubs being comprised of all teams from League 1 and League 2 and 22 Championship clubs, with the 18th and 19th placing teams in the Premier League getting a pass to the second round. 

The second round adds 15 clubs (the 2 remaining clubs in the Championship and the 13 teams that are not competing in European competitions) with the 35 winners from the first round.  The third round adds the remaining 7 teams competing in European competitions with the 25 winners from the second round.

The competitors and the location of the game are drawn randomly for each round.  For reasons unknown, the English have decided to name a match in a cup competition a cup tie.  In any event, “ties” in the EFL Cup, outside of the semi-finals, are single-match affairs where there are no ties.  Unlike the FA Cup where the match is replayed at the other competing team’s stadium, a cup tie in the EFL Cup that ends in a tie is settled by penalty kicks.

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The Rewards

The prize money – a comparatively insignificant £100,000 to the winner (and just £10,000 more than what a fourth round winner receives in the FA Cup.  £50,000 to the loser (being essentially the same amount combined for a 1st and 2nd round winner in the FA Cup).  With each participant receiving 45% of the ticket sales for any match – irrespective of where the game is played and television revenue, the amount and distribution being a secret.

What can you expect, a far less prestigious version of the FA Cup.  With the FA Cup offering more than just money through qualification for European competitions and a commonly-understood significant decline in television revenue, the EFL Cup is a far-less desired prize.  It’s also why Premier League teams often use the competition to give younger players an opportunity for game time.  The consequence… another name assigned to the competition – the Mickey Mouse Cup.

Ultimately, a prize no one desires at the start of the season but winners will celebrate all the same.

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