Carabao fix the draw but not the glitch

The draw for the Carabao Cup quarter final descended into farce and chaos yesterday as the organizers bungled the most simple task in football – pulling 8 numbered balls out of a hat.

Well at least that’s how we used to do it. Not Carabao. Having already had draws in Thailand, China at 4am, experienced issues including drawing the same team twice and confusing the home and away teams 4 separate times with the help of John Salako, Carabao and the EFL decided that this draw would take place live on twitter.


Well, we can come back to that.

What I was envisaging was at 4pm logging on to twitter and being presented with a link that some one had pre-shared to a video of people (hopefully not John Salako) undertaking a draw live for all to see. Novel, if unnecessary.

What happened? 4pm nothing. 4:10 nothing 4:15, 4:30, 4:40 and so on… What did happen though were some announcements. 4 to be exact. My favourite – ‘…..a twitter engineer continues to work on the problem’ A twitter engineer!! What is one of those?

The draw took place at 5:45 pm? Or did it….? Fans and neutral onlookers were provided with a pre-recorded video of the draw, and the torment was over. What time did the pre-recording take place? Nobody knows. Phil Tufnell and Matt Dawson charged with the important part – football affiliation zero. A draw for the next series of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ amateur/professional pairings I’d suggest would be a better place for them to be.

Back to the question of why?

For why, you need to look back at the whole pie and ask yourself how? How can drawing numbers be so difficult?

Here is how I would do it?

But How have the EFL and Carabao managed to mess up so many things in just a few draws?

After the fiasco had ended Carabao issued this tweeted statement “……apologies for technical difficulties…..blah blah blah”

I divert your attention to the previous photograph, nothing needs to be technical, unless…

Here is the result of that draw that no one saw happen:

Chelsea vs Bournemouth

Arsenal vs West Ham

Leicester vs Manchester City

Bristol City vs Manchester United.

The biggest 4 teams in the draw avoided each other, which for the number cruncher’s had just a 23% chance of happening. What has a great chance of happening now is the virtual certainty that there will be 2 big sides in the Final.

That technical glitch has proved to be very convenient in that bad press is better than no press, and Carabao were dominating the trends on social media yesterday afternoon. The good press will be covered at a packed Wembley with two huge teams and Carabao billboards all around the parameters. At least there won’t have to be a draw for the Final, but I wouldn’t rule out both teams being assigned the same dressing room with rival fans sitting on each others laps!

So why? Marketing, coverage, exposure and ….fix? You decide. But the only thing we’re certain wasn’t fixed are the ‘technical’ problems that plague these draws.

How? The over complication of a process to get a desired result?

Maybe next year we can go back to basics. Yellow balls of paper and a glass. If so, I’d certainly drink to that.


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