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Rangnick suggests scrapping League Cup to ease fixture congestion

London (AFP) – Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick has suggested abolishing the League Cup in a bid to ease fixture congestion in English football.

The schedule, traditionally at its busiest over the Christmas and New Year period, has come under severe strain from the impact of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, with several Premier League clubs hit by Covid-19 outbreaks and several Boxing Day (December 26) matches postponed.

United have been out of action since December 11 due to their own virus problems and have seen league games against Brentford and Brighton postponed.

They are set to return to action at Newcastle on Monday, with Rangnick saying Friday: “It is a big tradition in England to play on Boxing Day or the 27th, even on the 30th or the 2nd of January.

“I think we should stick to and respect this tradition, but there might be two other issues that have been discussed in the past.”

He added: “England is the only country in the top five leagues in Europe that plays two cup competitions.

“In France they abolished the second one a year or two ago, so we are the only country who plays two cup competitions.

“This is something we could once again speak about and discuss.

“I know the League Cup is still kept for the third and fourth division teams to improve the financial situations of those clubs. But if we speak about a tight calendar and having to play too many games, this is something to discuss.”

Rangnick welcomed the move announced Monday to scrap FA Cup third and fourth round replays.

Ties will now be played to a conclusion at the first attempt, with extra time and penalties if required.

But the Football Association, which scrapped replays for the whole of last season’s competition, intends to restore them for the 2022/23 edition.

When it came to abolishing FA Cup replays, Rangnick said: “This is a good idea. In cup competitions in other countries you play extra time and penalties. You have replays, those are topics you could speak about.”

United’s squad were reduced to eight fit outfield players and three goalkeepers before the Covid-19 outbreak that forced their Carrington training ground to be closed for four days.

But Rangnick defended United’s vaccination record by saying: “We also need to make sure we have most of the players vaccinated. I know we have a high record of vaccinated players in our club.”

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  1. Jesus

    December 26, 2021 at 3:05 pm

    The League Cup is important to EFL clubs because they receive money from match revenues. Getting rid of it would mean the EFL clubs would miss out on much-needed money. The Premier League clubs won’t miss the revenue, but the lower league clubs would. Playing a single semi-final match at a neutral site would help alleviate fixture congestion.

  2. Christopher Ernest WATSON

    December 26, 2021 at 9:35 am

    This geezer has only been in England for ten minutes and he is already barking orders and telling everyone in English football what to do. Blimey.

  3. Daniel

    December 25, 2021 at 6:54 pm

    I HATE when managers bitch about fixture congestion. Stop. You have big squads where you can play extra matches. If you don’t want to play put out a all bench team. I hated it when Ferguson would bitch. I hate it now.

  4. Brendan

    December 25, 2021 at 3:59 pm

    The League Cup should be revitalised to give it more importance . The Quarter-Finals should be played right after the UEFA competitions group stages conclude in early December .instead of Premier league games played mid-week this season . The Semi-Finals should be played on the week-end before Christmas at Wembley one on the Saturday the other on Sunday just like the FA Cup semis are in April .Instead of having 2 legged games on a cold night in January .Could help the fixture congestion a little .

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