The League Cup is a £40million revenue stream for Football League clubs and Sunderland would be hit hard if it was scrapped.
That is according to finance guru and Football Insider columnist Kieran Maguire, speaking exclusively after EFL chairman Rick Parry voiced his concerns over the potential abolition of the competition amid mooted Champions League expansion.
Quoted in The Sun, the 66-year-old said: “The Uefa proposal poses a major threat to the League Cup, especially with regard to the teams in the Champions League – and it will have a massive effect on EFL revenues.
“We estimate we could lose one-third of the revenues we distribute to our clubs – which could pose a very real threat to the existence of those clubs.”
Maguire questioned Parry’s motives but acknowledged that the abolition of the League Cup would be financially disastrous for EFL clubs.
“It’s a big concern for Football League clubs like Sunderland,” he told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams.
“But it does seem strange that Rick Parry was quite happy to see the League Cup scrapped in terms of ‘Project Big Picture’ but now is arguing against it in terms of Champions League expansion.
“We’re talking £40m a year in terms of the EFL TV deal with Sky.
“If you add to that the threat of front-of-shirt advertising from gambling companies disappearing as well, which is worth another £40m to clubs in the EFL, then it’s bad news all round.”
Sunderland won the EFL Trophy last Sunday and are gunning for automatic promotion in League One.
The club has twice reached the final of the League Cup, most recently in 2014 when they were beaten 3-1 by Manchester City.