Why The Carabao Cup Is Much Better Than The FA Cup

The Carabao Cup and the FA Cup are two of the most prestigious cup competitions in English football, but which one is better? This article will compare and contrast the two trophies, highlighting their differences and advantages.


Carabao Cup

History and Format

The FA Cup is the oldest football competition in the world, established in 1871. It has a rich heritage and tradition, encompassing a wide array of teams, ranging from the top tiers to the lower divisions. The competition’s open draw and lack of seeding system create opportunities for giant-killing upsets, making it an exciting and unpredictable tournament. The FA Cup has seen legendary moments, with clubs from various levels competing against each other, leading to unforgettable underdog victories and Cinderella stories.

The Carabao Cup, formerly known as the League Cup, has a relatively shorter history, commencing in the 1960–61 season. Initially conceived to boost attendance figures, the Carabao Cup is exclusive to the 92 teams from the top four leagues in English football. Unlike the FA Cup, the Carabao Cup follows a seeded draw, ensuring that top Premier League teams are kept apart in the early rounds. While it lacks the historical significance of the FA Cup, the Carabao Cup remains a valuable opportunity for clubs to secure silverware and for young players to gain valuable experience.

Prize Money and Prestige

The FA Cup offers much more prize money than the Carabao Cup – £2 million for the winners, compared to just £100,000 for winning the EFL Cup. The winner of the FA Cup also secures a coveted spot in the UEFA Europa League for the following season, adding further incentive for teams to compete.

The Carabao Cup also offers some prize money – £250,000 for each team that reaches at least one final. However, this is far less than what other European competitions pay their winners. For example, last season’s Europa League winner Villarreal received €6 million (£5.3 million), while last season’s Champions League winner Chelsea received €15 million (£12.8 million).

In terms of prestige, both cups have their own appeal. The FA Cup is widely regarded as one of England’s national treasures and a symbol of its passion and spirit. It attracts millions of viewers every year and generates huge media coverage. The Carabao Cup is also respected by many fans and pundits as a respectable competition that showcases some of England’s best players.

Teams Participating

The FA Cup features a much larger number of teams than the Carabao Cup – 416 teams enter in each round. This includes teams from all levels of English football – from non-league clubs to Premier League giants. The FA Cup also allows lower-league teams to challenge higher-league teams by using regional divisions as qualifiers. This creates more diversity and unpredictability in each round.

The Carabao Cup features only 92 teams from each round – all four Premier League clubs enter in each round except for non-league clubs. This means that there are fewer chances for lower-league teams to make an impact or cause an upset. However, this also means that there are fewer games to play and less congestion on TV schedules.


Both cups have their own merits and drawbacks. Some fans may prefer one over another based on their personal preferences or loyalties. However, it is undeniable that both cups are important parts of English football culture and provide entertainment and excitement for millions of fans around the world.

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