Commentary

After Trump Tower and the Donald, Football League takes cup draw to Bangkok

Soccer is an international sport with interest none bigger than in English soccer. The EPL's financial clout is due in large part to its success in selling itself in foreign markets, to the tune of $2 billion a year under the terms of the new television agreements reached for the 2016-19 cycle.

Even the Football League Cup -- the weakest of the three competitions in which English clubs compete -- commands a fee: $7.5 million a year for three years for naming rights under the terms of the new agreement.

After the Milk Cup. Littlewoods Cup, Rumbelows Cup, Coca Cola Cup, Worthington’s Cup, Carling Cup and Capital One Cup, the English League Cup has been rebranded the Carabao Cup after its new sponsor, a Thai energy drink.

The first-round draw for the 2017-18 tournament will be held on Friday in Bangkok, raising some concerns about why the English Football League has to go halfway around the world to conduct a draw.

"The newly named Carabao Cup offers a significant opportunity for the Thai brand to engage with football fans via its association with one of the biggest football competitions in the country,"  the English Football League explained in a statement, "and Carabao plans to bring this partnership to life at every opportunity for customers and consumers."

Frenchman Emmanuel Petit, the former Arsenal and Chelsea midfielder, will be the celebrity on hand to conduct the draw with Football League chief executive Shaun Harvey and Brian Davidson, the British ambassador to Thailand.

There's precedence for organizing the draw overseas. In 1991, the Football League held the the quarterfinal draw of the Rumbelows Cup (named after a since-defunct electronics retailer) at New York's Trump Tower.


Ian St. John and Jimmy Greaves, hosts of ITV's "Saint and Greavsie" show, were in New York for the 1994 World Cup qualifying draw at Madison Square Garden's Felt Forum, and they decided to conduct the draw from the lobby of the Trump Tower, completed in 1983 and world-famous by 1991.

It turned out that Donald Trump's secretary at the time was English and recognized St. John and Greaves and asked them if they wanted Trump to take part. Sure enough, Donald Dent, the English League's secretary, Graves and Trump sat around a conference table as the Donald drew the away teams, and Greavsie did the honors for the home teams.

The big match-up: Leeds United vs. Manchester United. What did Trump think of it? “That’s a biggy," he said. "That sounds like the type of game I want to go to."

Asked about his interest in soccer, Trump, who played soccer at military school in the early 1960s, said, "I love it. It's a great game" before adding, "“It’ll be interesting to see how it catches on in the United States." He followed soccer enough to point out to the ITV crew that the USA had just won the first Women's World Cup.

Greaves thanked Trump for his hospitality by presenting him with a Saint and Greavsie mug. Knowing then the value of stroking Trump's ego, Greaves added, “President [George H.W.] Bush or Frank Sinatra haven’t got one of those."

1 comment about "After Trump Tower and the Donald, Football League takes cup draw to Bangkok".
  1. Nick Daverese, June 13, 2017 at 4:21 p.m.

    So mention trump is that supposed get us to read this? He has no idea what the game is about. He probably wanted to promote the trump stretch limo. He sold his name to the first over sized limo. The company was the Dillinger limo company. The guy who invented that limo. Was a life long thief his nick name was Dillinger because he would rob anything he could get his hands on. The company was owned by The Chin Giganti. A well know mafia boss. He walked around in a rob to make the FBI think he was nuts. He was also linked to a mafia capo Fat Tony Salerno an Italian Harlem guy. I lived around the corner from him. He was my father's age. He owned the cement business that any one building in Manhattan if you wanted to build here had to buy from in the 1980s. Trump never actually did business with them. Tony was in jail during the 80s. So trump had no connection with either of them. I wanted to make your none interesting post more interesting :)

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