Premiership Play-offs: Coming Soon?

by admin

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

As someone who watches Championship football every week I’ve been trying to think of a logical reason why we should not welcome a four-team play-off final into the Premiership.

The play-offs are what keeps hope alive for teams outside the top six, a chance to find some form in the second half of the season and climb the table, hoping for a taste of the big time.

This year in particular, any one of five teams are in with a shot of claiming the EPL title but what about the likes of Sunderland (6th), Blackburn (7th), Liverpool (11th) and Everton (13th)? What are they playing for other than mid-table mediocrity? If a team finishes Fourth then by rights they should have earned a shot at the title.

Together with a winter break (to prevent fixture congestion in March, April and May) employing a play-off system adds two, maybe three games to the end of a club’s season. That’s manageable for squads of 25 these days.

More club games would encourage Managers to use their players better during a season and hopefully stop players from suffering long-term injury by playing through the pain.

Injuries can wreck a club’s season, so doesn’t a four-team play-off system level the playing field?

Surely one of the most contentious issue every season is poor refereeing decisions which people say, over the course of a season, even themselves out. But what if a dodgy offside decision or a questionable booking costs you a point that could have made the difference at the end of the season?

Fans don’t really care too much about a club’s revenue (unless it affects the ticket price or the club’s location i.e. Spurs) but the additional revenue generated from a two-legged home and away semi-final, followed by a play-off final at Wembley (or a geographically less challenging location if both teams are in the North) can only be good for the balance sheet.

Football at the top level in England isn’t like the “old days”, how many 3pm kick-offs do you get on a Saturday now? This weekend, all four London clubs playing in the FA Cup Fourth Round have had their matches moved to a Sunday.

We’ve moved on from “two points for a win” and “Male-only officials” and now it’s time to wake up to the realistic prospect of the play-off model that works in the Championship, League One and League Two.

Why not?

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  • Mystical Mike

    bad idea, if you win the league you win the league. Simple as

  • Andy Watkins

    Totally agree. As a Palace and fellow Championship fan who has great experiences (and a few bad) of the play-offs, this is something I think the Premier League could learn from the FL. They have been an overwhelming success since they were introduced and adds so much excitement – not only the play-offs themselves, but right through the season as more often than not teams go into the final day of the season still with something to play for.

    Perhaps with the exception of this season, by this time in the season the Premier League is split into three different leagues. The top 6/7 fighting for Europe, the bottom 3 or 4 fighting for survival, and then a whole host of teams safe in mid table with nothing to play for and going through the motions. Bringing in the play-offs for Europe, for example, down to something like 8th place would add another twist to the league season.

    Really can’t see any reason why the PL would be against the idea. After all, think of the extra money they would make …

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