Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick has suggested that English football should scrap the Carabao Cup to ease the burden on players.
Concerns about player welfare have been heightened by a raft of Covid-19 postponements, which will mean fixture congestion – and an intensified workload – in the coming weeks.
“England is the only league in the top five leagues in Europe that plays two cup competitions. France abolished the other one I think a year or two ago,” said Rangnick.
“This is something we could maybe speak about and discuss. I know the Carabao Cup has been kept for the third and fourth division teams to recoup the financial situations of those clubs. I think if we talk about a tight calendar and playing too many games this is something we can discuss.
“The other issue – which has been changed in the last weeks – is in the FA Cup after a draw you have a replay. I think this is a good idea. In other countries you play extra-time and penalties and you never have that replay situation. Those might be issues that you can talk about.”
Manchester United exited the Carabao Cup in the third round against West Ham United in September, before Rangnick arrived at the club.
Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur are due to play in the Carabao Cup semi-finals after winning ties this week.
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson this week spoke out on his concerns about player welfare, especially during the Christmas period when teams play several games in quick succession.
“Football to us is everything and we want to be able to perform at the highest level every time we set foot on the pitch. And unfortunately, in this period it is difficult to do that,” said Henderson
“That has been like this for a few years now and it has been difficult but then, on top of that, you chuck in Covid and it becomes even harder and even worse.
“I am worried about player welfare and I don’t think anybody does take that seriously enough, especially in this period, when Covid is here.”