By Kieran Maguire

28th Aug, 2022 | 2:30pm

Kieran Maguire: £119m-a-year deal at risk as Sunderland receive EFL warning

Sunderland could be putting their own finances at risk by fielding weakened teams in the League Cup.

That is the view of finance guru Kieran Maguire, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the future of the divisive competition.

The Daily Mail reported last Friday (19 August) that the EFL warned its clubs that the future of the competition will be in doubt if they continue to field second-string sides.

Only two Championship team, Bristol City and Blackburn Rovers, remains in the competition after two rounds.

Sunderland made 11 changes from their previous league match ahead of their 2-0 League Cup defeat to Sheffield Wednesday earlier this month (10 August).

Maguire explained how the abolition of the League Cup could have a knock-on effect on Championship clubs’ finances.

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“The EFL TV deal is £119m per year,” he told Football Insider’s Adam Williams.

“The League Cup is estimated to contribute a quarter or even a third of that, according to various sources. You would only actually find out exactly how much it is worth when it is abandoned.

“This will only help the clubs in the Premier League who want the League Cup to be abolished. They will ask why they should take it seriously themselves if EFL clubs aren’t going to.

“They could be earning more lucrative money doing other things. It would free up more space for more Champions League matches, for example. The big clubs would ideally like to have 12 group stage matches.

“The abolition of the League Cup would also free up a Europa League spot.

“This could be part of the Premier League’s new deal for football. It would allow them to give more money in terms of solidarity payments.

“The big clubs aren’t going to miss the League Cup because prize money is insignificant and fans don’t really get interested until the latter rounds. This is a bargaining chip at present.”

In other news, Sunderland in advanced talks to beat Celtic to Edouard Michut signing.