The Romanian Football Association has asked Hypercube to investigate how the Romanian cup competition can be made more exciting for the clubs and the public. The association would like the top clubs to take the cup tournament more seriously and for the tournament to have a higher match volume. This is subject to the condition that the playing calendar is not overloaded. There was also a desire to limit the travel time for the smaller clubs more.
Hypercube has proposed a new system that allows more high-level matches to be played, while still using the same calendar of games. The tournament starts ‘in the traditional way’ with some knock-out rounds between amateur clubs and lower-ranked clubs. In the first rounds, teams meet within their own regions.
This is followed by a group phase in which the eight best clubs of the highest level enter. Four groups are formed of four teams each. The two best-performing clubs from each group advance to the quarter-finals, followed by the semi-finals and final.
The advantage of this system is that every club plays at least 3 matches in the group stage, where normally a club would have been eliminated immediately after a lost knockout match. In addition, the strongest teams also play against each other in the group stage, which means that more competitive matches are on the program.
The idea has been received with great enthusiasm by the clubs of both the lower and the higher levels. The new format has been adopted and will be introduced from the 2022/23 season. In addition, the more exciting tournament has brought in a new sponsor and the proceeds have increased by as much as 50%.