In a sure sign of the times, French league football (LFP) has announced that the French League Cup competition is no more.
The tournament had been in existence since 1995 but just this week the league has voted to no longer run the domestic league cup tournament.
The cup competition, based on the English League Cup format, included all league clubs from Ligues 1 & 2.
The winner of each season’s French League Cup competition always qualified for the following season’s Europa League. Now, that spot will go to an extra team in the Ligue 1 standings.
Strasbourg are the current League Cup holders while giants Paris Saint Germain were the record holders, winning it 8 times in the competition’s 24-year history.
In an official statement, the LFP said:
“This decision allows us to reduce the season schedule which gives players more time to recover and will give an extra European spot, via the Ligue 1 standings for the 2020-2021 season.
“Depending on the market, the LFP reserves the right to relaunch the competition at a later date.”
This means that from next season, of the ‘big five’ leagues in Europe (Germany, Italy, Spain, England, France), only England will have a League Cup competition.
The LFP had actually failed to sell the broadcasting rights for the League Cup for the 2020-2024 period. This indicator will have played a huge part in the LFP’s decision to cancel due to a perceived lack of interest from sports channels and, in turn, the general public.
How long before English football follows suit? Will the Premier League and English Football League (EFL) opt to remove the League Cup from the domestic football calendar in the near future? Or does English football’s third-most important trophy hold more importance to football fans here than it’s equivalent competitions did in the other big five leagues throughout Europe?
For now, the League Cup is safe. But it may be near the end of its run.