Coca-Cola is engaging in brinkmanship with the League Cup over renewing its 6m sponsorship of the Coca-Cola Cup. It still has not signed a deal, only a month before the League competition starts and seven months after announcing its intention to do so.
Last year, European football’s governing body UEFA removed the UEFA cup status of the competition because the Premier League has refused to bring down the number of clubs in the league from 20 to 18. So Coca-Cola Cup winners no longer gain an automatic place in Europe the following season.
A number of Premiership clubs have voiced concerns about the worth of playing in a competition that has no European prize at the end of it. It is understood that this is the cause of the delay – if too few clubs enter the competition then Coke is likely to question its involvement.
A Coca-Cola spokesman admits: “We have not signed a contract yet. But we are committed to the competition, and the fans, and to football. We are currently discussing details.”