Sutton have been drawn away to Championship side Cardiff City in the first round of the Carabao Cup. Manager Matt Gray, who described it as a 'great draw', spent a year on the books at Cardiff during his playing career, and last season they finished two places outside the championship play-offs. The tie is scheduled for the week of 9 August, the first midweek of the EFL season, with Cardiff's normal home night a Tuesday.
The draw came as The EFL and Carabao have today announced a further two-year extension to their partnership that will see the energy drinks brand remain Title Sponsor of the Carabao Cup until 2024.
The extension highlights the success of the partnership that began in 2017 and has helped Carabao
establish and grow their UK market whilst promoting the brand to the Cup's international audience.
As a Thai-based company, the partnership has also provided the EFL with a platform to develop the
competition's presence across the globe. Last season's Carabao Cup matches were broadcast in 181
territories with a cumulative global audience of 103.4million - a figure that has increased by 32% since
the 2019/20 season - demonstrating how the competition remains a popular fixture in the football
calendar both at home and abroad.
The Carabao Cup continues to form an important part of the English football landscape and through
sponsorship, broadcast and gate receipts provides vital income to EFL Clubs.
Domestically Carabao have connected directly to supporters of the 92 Clubs taking part in the
competition which has seen the brand's market share boosted.
On the pitch, the competition's opening rounds offer exciting midweek knockout football and the
season's first chance of silverware at a showpiece Wembley Final. Over the years the competition
has produced some of the most memorable moments in English football with Swindon Town, Stoke
City and Birmingham City all lifting the Cup throughout the decades. More recently Pep Guardiola's
Manchester City have become the competition's must successful club during Carabao's reign, with
four consecutive final victories to equal Liverpool's eight overall titles.
The EFL Cup is also well known for providing young players with some of their first opportunities in
senior football with England internationals Jude Bellingham and Dominic Calvert-Lewin making their
debuts in the competition and, Phil Foden scoring his first Manchester City goal against Oxford United
back in the 2018/19 Carabao Cup campaign.
EFL Chief Commercial Officer Ben Wright says: “We are incredibly pleased to extend the EFL's
partnership with Carabao, it is a title sponsorship that has been hugely successful for both parties and
highlights the strength of the competition both domestically and internationally. The competition offers
Carabao the unique opportunity to connect with millions of football supporters whilst helping us to
showcase the competition at home and on a global stage. I'd like to thank Carabao for their continued support of the competition, especially throughout the pandemic. We're looking forward to another action-packed season of Carabao Cup football with supporters back watching the action unfold.”
Speaking on the announcement, David Butcher, Managing Director of Carabao UK&I said: “As
we move into our fifth season of the Carabao Cup, we're absolutely delighted to have renewed our title
sponsorship for a further two years. The competition has been a fantastic asset for the brand, giving
us the opportunity to grow our customer base in the UK, at the same time raising awareness for
Carabao among football fans all over the world.
Our partnership with the competition has clearly had a positive effect on supporters, with football fans
now 1.6x more likely to purchase a can. Carabao is not like other energy drinks, at just 63 calories per
can and with 60% less sugar than major market rivals, the range represents a great-tasting option for
those looking for healthier alternatives that taste like a soft drink.
We very much look forward to continue growing our relationships with the 92 competing clubs, as well
as their supporters up and down the country until 2024. Finally, we cannot wait to see fans back on
the terraces for the beginning of this season's competition, or when it is safe to do so.”