Today's draw of seeded Charlton Athletic, saw the Addicks get a home draw with League 2 Club Oxford United, scheduled at some point on the week commencing 5th August. Normally a Tuesday night matches are one leg only (apart from the semi-finals) with penalties after extra time, so less need for complicated away goal calculations, etc. which is a shame because it made it far more interesting. The draw included a regional seeding process that sees teams divided according to final league positions into seeds and non seeds, in an effort to streamline the process.
Now sponsored by a credit company, following recent trends, this represents another notch in the often colourful branding of the competition which many don't take very seriously - once known as Milk, and after a famous beer, and fizzy drink brand. The new name possibly suggests the competition is only London based, or named after a radio station. Still perhaps thats better than a beverage?
In a tale of two Cities, part fan owned holders Swansea City, hammered Phil Parkinson's Bradford City in a dramatic final this year 5-0 after none of the 'big boys' reserve teams' unusually made the final.
Charlton's record in the competition has not been especially good with low attendances to match. Some put this down to the nature of the competition and glamour of the opposition; combined with the absence of some of the first 11 in the early rounds for many teams in the top tiers, which more often than not has produced a sharp exit for Charlton.
Perhaps the best thing you can say about the experience in recent years for Addicks is it affords a look at a new obscure grounds for clubs we don't normally play - but less so since our recent dabble in the Third Division.
It will be interesting to see how the management at CAFC tackle attendance issues now and in future, with the topic being aired in Fan's Forum earlier this year. Not an easy one though for sure as league success is always key. Although with revenue tightening due to Financial Fair Play rules coming in perhaps more emphasis will be put on getting bums on seats from now on. However one could equally argue however there is even more need to blood youngsters in these competitions for similar reasons.
This and other fixtures (as well as club events and fan meetings) are now available via our Fan's Diary feature, after a ruling from the European court decided that fixtures could not be subject to copyright and thereby chargeable. This is a landmark ruling for fan sites everywhere identified by our researchers - previously a club had to designate an official fanzine in what some might suggest was a ludicrous attempt to carve up rights and further commercialise every aspect of our game, somehow justified as wanting to protect intellectual property using copyright.
So as well as straight bananas and human rights law we can now thank Europe for the chance to offer fans a full calendar of of events that CAFC fans are likely to be interest in, and all to your device at a single click, just once. See our Diary page for more details.