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How do you solve a problem like the league cup?

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How do you solve a problem like the league cup?

Post by Villa_Dan on Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:37 am

I had a quick look over the attendances from last night and all are poor. Some poorer than others, some better. Some bolstered by strong away followings, some hurt by small ones.

So why? What can be done to kick the old Milk Cup up the arse?

Villa-Boro: 11197 (total capacity: 42682)
B'mouth-Brighton: 10372 (total capacity: 11360)
Bristol-Stoke: 13826 (total capacity: 27000)
Burnley-Leeds: 11799 (total capacity: 21401)
Palace-Huddersfield: 6607 (total capacity: 25456)
Leicester-L'pool: 31609 (total capacity: 32312)
West Ham-Bolton: 35806 (total capacity: 60000)
Wolves-Bristol: 12740 (total capacity: 31700)
Reading-Swansea: 8729 (total capacity: 24160)
Spurs-Barnsley: 23826 (total capacity: 90000)

So apart from the Bournemouth and Leicester games there were some fucking ridiculous attendances. And not all can be blamed on the teams being shite (Spurs aren't exactly poor, Wolves are 2nd in the league etc) so can anything be done?

I have had the idea of a new cup competition for the Premier League clubs and stop them taking part in the league cup? So the clubs from the championship down would compete for the league cup and the Premier league clubs can compete in a smaller cup competition for another trophy. It would reduce the number of games over all for the clubs putting less pressure on them, would give the FA another Wembley final to bleed the fans over, and would give some clubs a shot at playing at Wembley.
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Re: How do you solve a problem like the league cup?

Post by deadbuzzardalive on Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:14 am

Excluding Premier league clubs from the league cup, would probably kill it off as an attraction, as it would just make it feel like the EFL Trophy, which I don't think would help attendances at all, as a lot of fans would probably see winning such a trophy as embarrassing more than anything else.

I think the only way to solve the League Cup is for teams to start taking it seriously again. I always hope Villa can do well in it, just for the fact that it's one of the major honours in domestic football, and it would be nice for us to win something again.

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Re: How do you solve a problem like the league cup?

Post by Villa_Dan on Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:19 am

But how do you make teams take it seriously?

Personally I've long wanted the FA Cup winners to get the 4th champions league spot to make that trophy as prestigious as it should be (look at how the Europa League has become worth winning since they put the winner into the CL) but you can't really do that with the Milk Cup
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Re: How do you solve a problem like the league cup?

Post by Joppe84 on Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:47 am

Increase prize money would solve a lot.

But from my own point of view I'd find it interesting the second we weren't complete dog shit at football. If we played well, scored goals and served up some entertaining stuff, I'd gladly watch us in hail and snow against Rushden & Diamonds if needs be.
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Re: How do you solve a problem like the league cup?

Post by deadbuzzardalive on Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:57 am

It's just another aspect of football, ruined by money I think; teams below the top six in the premier and championship clubs would rather concentrate on survival or promotion, as those two objectives both have the cash incentive that the League cup doesn't have.

So unless money is somehow poured into it, I'm not sure if it will improve in terms of how it's perceived in general. From a Villa perspective, I think it will become more attractive once we're back in the Prem and looking good, as it will be seen once again as our most realistic chance of getting back on the trophy trail.

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Re: How do you solve a problem like the league cup?

Post by De Kuip on Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:07 am

Personally I'd get rid of the competitive altogether. It's an anachronism in the modern game, much as it pains me to say it, especially given the good times it's brought us down the years. But football has moved on - for the top teams even winning it is a bit meh, given the glittering prizes associated with the champions league - a league not a knock out comp. So therefore takes a lot of time and effort. But for me the really telling issue is this: When even average championship clubs (that's us, sorry but it is) don't prioritise it, then it's a dead dog.
The only way I could see it ever being of any value again was if it was only open to EFL clubs and winning it got you last play off place in the championship. It would have to be home and away fixtures to make it fairer, and if a l1/l2 team won it they still get a place in the championship play off.
No way would that ever happen, mainly due to the potential loss of a play off berth in the championship. If a team is already in the top 6 of the championship won the cup, then the place is considered theirs anyway I.e. no extension to further teams.
Ok so maybe the above is a bit bonkers, but my underlying point is that for me, nothing will ever make Prem teams care enough other than to give their squad game time, so it has to mean something huge to EFL clubs and maybe last place in the championship play offs would do that.
I look forward to seeing some league 2 side in the Championship play offs if they won the EFL Cup!
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Re: How do you solve a problem like the league cup?

Post by Villa_Dan on Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:11 am

Saying attendances will improve when we are in the Prem and playing better isn't true either. I've been to league cup games when we were up there and no one turns up until it reaches the QF stage
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Re: How do you solve a problem like the league cup?

Post by De Kuip on Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:16 am

Yep, hence my suggestion to not have it as a prem comp. Who cares if winning it gets a lip curl from the Prem club supporters, if it buys you a ticket to the play off lottery, suddenly it becomes a comp with a vast prize, without actually having to pump money into the comp itself.
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Re: How do you solve a problem like the league cup?

Post by deadbuzzardalive on Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:28 am

If we were doing well and playing good football, the attendances at league cup matches would improve, they'd still be low compared to league games, but they'd be closer to 20,000 rather than the 11,000, we saw last night.

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Re: How do you solve a problem like the league cup?

Post by AstonThriller on Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:06 am

Perhaps allow the winner to get a Europa League spot instead of the team who finishes sixth? Teams in that middle tier who want to progress such as Southampton, Stoke etc would then have to take it seriously.
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Re: How do you solve a problem like the league cup?

Post by De Kuip on Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:17 am

I wonder what attendance at VP equates to break even?

For example does anything below 15k attendance make a loss on the day?
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Re: How do you solve a problem like the league cup?

Post by achilles on Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:55 am

De Kuip wrote:Personally I'd get rid of the competitive altogether. It's an anachronism in the modern game, much as it pains me to say it, especially given the good times it's brought us down the years. But football has moved on - for the top teams even winning it is a bit meh, given the glittering prizes associated with the champions league - a league not a knock out comp. So therefore takes a lot of time and effort. But for me the really telling issue is this: When even average championship clubs (that's us, sorry but it is) don't prioritise it, then it's a dead dog.
The only way I could see it ever being of any value again was if it was only open to EFL clubs and winning it got you last play off place in the championship. It would have to be home and away fixtures to make it fairer, and if a l1/l2 team won it they still get a place in the championship play off.
No way would that ever happen, mainly due to the potential loss of a play off berth in the championship. If a team is already in the top 6 of the championship won the cup, then the place is considered theirs anyway I.e. no extension to further teams.
Ok so maybe the above is a bit bonkers, but my underlying point is that for me, nothing will ever make Prem teams care enough other than to give their squad game time, so it has to mean something huge to EFL clubs and maybe last place in the championship play offs would do that.
I look forward to seeing some league 2 side in the Championship play offs if they won the EFL Cup!

I like that idea but instead of taking the last play-off place create an additional place, making 5 teams and then put them in a league and they all play each other with the top placed going up?
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Re: How do you solve a problem like the league cup?

Post by De Kuip on Wed Sep 20, 2017 2:14 pm

Yeah that could work. I'd also reduce the championship by 4 teams to allow time at the end of the season for the play off league to run.
I'm getting carried away now!
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Re: How do you solve a problem like the league cup?

Post by ember on Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:56 pm

Call me a traditionalist, stick in the mud, stuck in the past or whatever, but it's not been the same since they decided it was going to become the Milk Cup.

It became akin to the Johnstone's Paints Trophy and Leyland Daf cup at that point.

I mean, who the fuck wants to win a cup named after a moose/reindeer thing?
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Re: How do you solve a problem like the league cup?

Post by ember on Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:56 pm

Call me a traditionalist, stick in the mud, stuck in the past or whatever, but it's not been the same since they decided it was going to become the Milk Cup.

It became akin to the Johnstone's Paints Trophy and Leyland Daf cup at that point.

I mean, who the fuck wants to win a cup named after a moose/reindeer thing?
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Re: How do you solve a problem like the league cup?

Post by VillaBill on Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:23 pm

Is it a shame but a sign of the times unfortunately, ask any fan what their best memories in football were & im sure most of them would say it was a cup game , the only exclusions are probably Arsenal when Michael Thomas won the league with the last kick of the game in '89 (I think) and City with their Aguero moment a few years back.
Football should be about days out at finals and lifting a trophy, unfortunately it's now about staying or getting to the prem.
Until the bubble bursts , this is the way it's gonna be.
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Re: How do you solve a problem like the league cup?

Post by achilles on Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:05 pm

VillaBill wrote:Is it a shame but a sign of the times unfortunately, ask any fan what their best memories in football were & im sure most of them would say it was a cup game , the only exclusions are probably Arsenal when Michael Thomas won the league with the last kick of the game in '89 (I think) and City with their Aguero moment a few years back.
Football should be about days out at finals and lifting a trophy, unfortunately it's now about staying or getting to the prem.
Until the bubble bursts , this is the way it's gonna be.

Very true but also very, very sad!
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Re: How do you solve a problem like the league cup?

Post by Boldfinger on Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:55 pm

I think this cup has run its course.
The FA cup should have a place in the champions league for the winner - Europa league for the runner up and all teams should be entered from the first round.
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Re: How do you solve a problem like the league cup?

Post by Dazzle on Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:00 pm

VillaBill wrote:Is it a shame but a sign of the times unfortunately, ask any fan what their best memories in football were & im sure most of them would say it was a cup game , the only exclusions are probably Arsenal when Michael Thomas won the league with the last kick of the game in '89 (I think) and City with their Aguero moment a few years back.
Football should be about days out at finals and lifting a trophy, unfortunately it's now about staying or getting to the prem.
Until the bubble bursts , this is the way it's gonna be.

I can't wait for the Premier League bubble to burst, it's long overdue and when it does we might all be able to regain some pride and purpose in English football again. The money men have ripped the soul out of the game.
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Re: How do you solve a problem like the league cup?

Post by Trotters on Thu Sep 21, 2017 3:59 am

Thank you, Doug Ellis. 😂
I honestly think it's now "Too big to fail". It won't burst, but it might slowly deflate.

I like DK's idea: winner gets an automatic play off spot. It's the only way I can see of keeping clubs motivated.
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Re: How do you solve a problem like the league cup?

Post by Dazzle on Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:31 am

It's this constant appeasing of the premier league, the constant moaning about playing too many games and prioritising Champions League (if you're top 4) or your premier league status (anyone else below top 4). The premier league clubs play 38 matches and cup games, if they want to play less matches then cut the size of the premier league to 18 clubs, or 16. I don't hear anyone speaking up about the 46 league matches and cup games that everyone else has to contend with? All roads lead to the money attached with the premier league, its since the introduction of that league that all else has been sacrificed. It's entire purpose is to generate as much money as possible for people who care fuck all for the integrity or passion of the game.
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