The EFL has rejected the idea of eliminating the two-legged format for the Carabao Cup semi-finals, citing an ongoing financial dispute with the Premier League.
The fixture schedule for the upcoming season has been officially out, and it includes the continuation of two-legged semi-final ties in the Carabao Cup.
The EFL is adamant about maintaining this format, as abandoning it would result in a considerable financial setback. The league is unwilling to make this concession without a more favorable financial package in place to offset the potential loss.
EFL releases a statement about a dispute with the Premier League
In a statement released by THE EFL, Trevor Birch said: “Whilst the fixture calendar remains a shared asset across the EFL, Premier League and Football Association, additional pressures from revamped European competitions means that scheduling across the season remains challenging and complex, so it requires a whole game response to find a solution.
“As it stands there is no agreement in place to make any changes to the Carabao Cup’s two-legged semi-final format, which continues to provide significant financial benefit to EFL Clubs.
“The League remains committed to a review of the calendar, but any significant changes cannot be made unilaterally, and would need to come with significant levels of compensation and be adopted as part of any new distribution deal with the Premier League and its Clubs.”
Premier League clubs had anticipated that the EFL would remove the two-legged semi-final, along with FA Cup replays in the third and fourth rounds, for the 2024-2025 season due to concerns about player burnout from fixture congestion.
However, the EFL’s official release of the fixture schedule indicates their refusal to abandon the two-legged format. But the final decision now lies with the FA, and it will have substantial implications for the financial landscape of the EFL.
The league insists on fair compensation to offset potential revenue loss from the elimination of the second semi-final.