The Premier League have proposed a plan to replace the Carling Cup by creating a pre-season ‘Premier League Cup’ to be played in different countries around the world, according to the Daily Mail.
The proposal, which would also bring an end to the Community Shield, sees the 20 top-flight clubs divided into five groups of four, each containing a top seed. They would then play in a mini-knockout, with the winners progressing to the quarter-finals. The five that go through will be joined by three Football League sides taking up the remaining three spots.
The new tournament would replace the Community Shield where the FA Cup winner plays the League champion to satisfy the Premier League clubs wish to make the league stronger as global brand.
The proposal is still in the early stages and is part of the alternate form of the 39th game. There are still no plans on how long it will run for; a two week period to fit in group matches may be too little. It will recieve backing from top clubs to concentrtate on European competitions by cutting down on the number of games played during the season. Clubs may also want their pre-seaon preparations.
Another drawback is that they will need the permission of the Football League to go ahead with their idea, which they are unlikely to back as they will argue it will not only widen the gap between the Championship and the Premier League but a home Carling Cup tie brings massive revenue to the football league sides.
A possible option would be to retain the Carling Cup in its current form but to also have the Premier League Cup in pre-season but one which will again bring in the argument of an excessive amount of matches. An ambitious plan which will require more time and thought and one which at the moment seems very unlikley.