Date:Friday February 19 2010
Champions League Play Off Place. The alternative solution!!!
The Premier League have cynically 'leaked' the idea of a play off for the last Champions League place. This is purely done to gauge the views of the fans on forums such as this, before announcing that an official review will be taking place (or not as in the case of the 39th game).
With the idea receiving mixed reviews I think we can say with reasonable certainty, that Richard Scudamore will be making some marketing mileage out of this in the next few days/weeks. We have been informed as part of this very shifty strategy, that it could become possible if 14 of the 20 clubs sign up for it.
The general consensus is that the top 4 want to keep the status quo and the remainder are either in favour of, or would like to see it debated.
However I would prefer to look at this option at the other end of the table. There is more money to be lost by getting relegated than there is to be made by getting into the ludicrously named Champions League. So as there is more at stake I think the option that should be debated is the bottom 2 clubs getting relegated and the next four playing a mini league play off to remain in the Premier League.
This means that a team could finish 15 points clear of relegation, but if this 15 points meant a club coming 15th, they could still get relegated. I wonder how many of those 14 in favour of a change to the CL qualification would be in favour of this alternative. I would suggest not many. I would say that the hypocritical owners/managers who want the CL change such as David Gold, Steve Bruce, Phil Brown, Owen Coyle should be careful what they wish for.
Unfortunately this whole play off debate is now in the open when it is obvious to those with a brain that the idea is ludicrous. Countries gain more European Points and can so enter more teams in European competition, the more successful the teams from that country are.
A team coming 7th, possibly 20 points behind the team coming 4th, has the potential to reduce the standing of England's entrants and possibly the reduction from 4 qualifiers to 3. This is simply because a team coming 7th isn't prepared for a CL campaign. However with the laughable Scudamore making decisions I wouldn't be surprised to see Play Offs for CL qualification with the winner of the play offs playing the winner of the FA Cup for the final CL Place. And the loser in the relegation mini league playing the winner of the Championship play offs for the final spot in the Premier League. Meaning a club could get relegated but still stay up and a club getting promoted but still staying in the Championship.
Clear as mud???
It is nothing about football. It is all about money. Very simply by using my formulae, 18 clubs still have something to play for this season. Even the last day of the season may be vital for possibly 14 or 15 clubs. Something to play for means more fans through the turnstiles and a more marketable product to take to the Global audience. It doesn't matter that it is wrong. In Scudamore's eyes it has the potential to make money.
So my proposal is simple. Clubs have to vote for play offs at the top and bottom of the league. They either vote in favour of both or they vote to keep it as it is. They can't vote for one option but not the other.
My guess is that there will not be 14 in favour of this.
With thanks to voiceoftheholte for that submission.
Whilst on the subject, we asked in our last poll, suggested by villa_de:
Champ League qualification:
Keep it as it is, top 4 qualify 35%
4th place to FA Cup winners 31%
3rd place to FA Cup, 4th to League Cup winners 20%
Top 3 + play off between 4th-7th 11%
Top 3 PL team + 4th between 4th and 5th 3%
Date:Friday February 19 2010
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