If proof was ever needed that Premiership clubs do not need the Carling Cup it was clearly provided this week…and I’m not talking about the disgraceful scenes at Upton Park.
Premiership and Champions League contenders have treated it as a distraction for many years…and with good reason. It has now gone even further leaving the future of the competition under a question mark.
When a club like Wigan, a club which is hardly expected to win any silverware of any kind, fields a virtual reserve side against Championship club Blackpool, a strong signal has surely been sent.
This cup has been steadily devalued for one year after another, it has now reached a stage where not only major changes need to be seriously considered, they must also be acted upon.
Premier League clubs should either be given the option to not compete in it or better still, exclude them all and leave the Carling Cup to be only competed for by Football League clubs.
Premier League clubs have far bigger fish to fry. Challenging for the Premiership, a Champions League place, Europa Cup qualification, the FA Cup or even avoiding relegation. The Carling Cup is way, way down the list of priorities.
So why make a joke of it? Let it really mean something for clubs who will be jubilant to win it. When the competition commenced in 1961 it was only open to Football League clubs, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with going back to the original concept.