So the countdown to this years Carling Cup Final enters the final week of tension as Tottenham fans nervously await Sundays final, whilst Manchester United’s supporters will be as calm as anything. This year though, Carling have decided to give up 32 minutes of digital perimeter board advertising to allow supporters to create their own banners to be displayed. 

I doubt Carling couldn’t find sponsors for the boards in the time they’ve given up to allow the fans banners to be displayed, the game is shown live in several countries, so anyone wanting to reach the football fans of three continents can do so a lot cheaper than sponsoring the Champions League or F.A. Cup final. It’s been developing as a more fan orientated final over the last few years, with scarfs, wands and flags being given away before the game.

The 32 minutes will be split into two 16 minute busts and fans are allowed to send a design in through Carlings website to be in for a chance of having their banner displayed throughout the game. The 100 banners that are deemed the best will be displayed. I think this is a fantastic idea and really allows fans a chance to be more involved in the course of the game. One banner will even be displayed in the dressing rooms for both teams before, giving added kudos for any fan wanting to send a message to their beloved players.

Whilst the League Cup final is classed as secondary to the F.A.Cup Final, it certainly gives us a far better game than any recent F.A. Cup Final has delivered in the last few years. The atmosphere seems more raucous, the fans seem more involved, the fireworks and celebrations seem a little less restrained and it seems to be the final that rewards the fan more than the F.A. Cup does.  There always seems to be too much riding on the F.A. Cup and teams seem to be wanting not to lose it more than actually trying to win it these days.  With this also being the last League Cup Final solely on Sky Sports in the UK, no doubt they’ll be hoping it matches the last 3 or 4 years too before coverage becomes shared with the BBC next season. The League Cup Final tends to give us a more open and attacking game and I hope we’ll be rewarded with another cracking match.

Whilst I appreciate the lack of interest from some of the bigger clubs, it still pulls in decent crowds as it allows some fans an opportunity to watch their team when they may be unable to attend league fixtures. Most clubs charge considerable less in the early rounds and promote themselves as fan friendly events more than just football matches.

It’s the kind of thing more clubs should do, especially on non televised games. Gone are the days of quickly scrolling messages in small graphics being displayed on a scoreboard in a far flung corner of the ground. Why not give up a digital board on each border to personalise the game even more for fans. Or do as Carling are and have a special period on all the boards displaying messages for fixed moments in the match.

To try and get your own banner shown on worldwide TV, use the link below:


Question is, just how many marriage proposals will be screened around the world?