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What if the Premier League Had a Playoff for the Final Champions League Spot?

Posted on by tomasblog
320px uefa champions league logo 2svg What if the Premier League Had a Playoff for the Final Champions League Spot?

Congratulations to Manchester City

Let me start by saying I love the current Premier League format. A 38-game schedule where every game matters, from yesterday’s Manchester City versus Tottenham match and all the way back to when the season kicked off on August 14, I have been watching with great interest.

Growing up in North America, I am used to the post-season playoff season. While playoffs in all major sports can be magical and have produced some of my most cherished sports memories, I can count on my hand the number of regular season ice hockey games I watched this season (the sport closest to my heart) due to the insignificance of the regular season. On the other hand, rarely has a weekend gone by this year where I have not watched multiple Premiership games. There are many reasons for this, but most of all this is due to the fact that there are essentially 3 different competitions in the Premier League:

  1. Title race
  2. Champions League race
  3. Relegation battle

All teams are involved in one of these competitions throughout the season (and this year, some teams have been involved in more than one of these). The value of this for a league is incredible, the fact that I would be almost as interested on how the lower level teams are doing as I am with the elite teams means that I watch more football and spend more time learning about all the teams in the League.

That being said, for the first time all year, I am left wondering in these last two weeks what certain teams have left to play for in the league. More specifically, what the mid-table teams, such as Everton, Bolton, Stoke, Fulham, Newcastle, etc., will be looking to accomplish in the next 3 games as European qualification is no longer possible and relegation has been avoided.  Which is why I am interested in the following:

What if places 4-7 had a playoff for the final Champions League spot? Here are the pros and cons:

The pros:

  1. More teams could reasonably have a chance at Champions league glory. For example: In the last 3 years alone, 10 teams would have had a chance at making the Champions League: The Big 6, Everton, Aston Villa, Fulham, Blackburn
  2. Games at the end of the season would become VERY important for mid-table clubs as 7th place is no stretch for many teams
  3. Playoff games, while non-traditional, would provide great excitement that non-elite clubs rarely get unless they make an unexpected cup run

The Cons:

  1. Devalues the season. Man City have been consistent throughout the season, as opposed to Tottenham who have been great and awful at times, and should be rewarded.
  2. Play-offs do not belong in football, and with the FA Cup, mid-level clubs have another major competition that they should make a priority.

My biggest problem is with devaluing the achievements of clubs finishing fourth. Manchester City have been far more consistent this season than Tottenham and really deserved that Champions league spot over them and Liverpool, just as Tottenham deserved theirs last year. That being said, I do feel bad for teams such as Everton and Aston Villa who have had great teams on low budgets for years but have failed to crack the big-spending top 4 (with Everton in ’05 being the exception) and that is going to be even harder with the emergence of Manchester City as another big-spender.

Does anyone else have a solution to my lack of enthusiasm for the remaining mid-table games this season?

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60 Responses to What if the Premier League Had a Playoff for the Final Champions League Spot?

  1. Earl Reed says:

    As an American, I think the intrigue would be interesting. You also forgot another Pro, which would be an additional importance of finishing third.

    As far as qualifiers for this playoff, it should be 4th through 7th, with non-qualified Cup Winners (but no lower division teams) bumping out 7th and 6th if necessary. The unsuccessful participants would be slated for the Europa League, in the order of the table.

    Yes it diminishes 4th place, but 4th already carries a disadvantage of having to play a qualification round to get to Group Stage. So it’s not like it’s an automatic free ride to the big paydays.

  2. bOx says:

    Hard to say. I’m all for giving as many teams a fair shake but a playoff system just wouldn’t never fly in the BPL. I personally wouldn’t mind a system similar to how the Eredivisie handles their spots for 4-7. I think it could add excitement and make the end of the season less of a formality.

  3. Sean says:

    I am just going to post a slightly altered response to the one I wrote in the “Why the Premier League Should Have One Final Match” posting to a person that made the same suggestion:

    Sides outside of the top four already have something to play for, Europa League qualification. Four of the last five years the Premier League has sent three sides to the Europa League/UEFA Cup. Only one of those years did one of those sides finish outside of the top seven (West Ham finished 9th in the 2005-2006 season).

    If you instituted a playoff system clubs would just be encouraged to rest their key players for the last few games of the season in order to have them ready for the playoffs or jockey for favourable match-ups (like they do in North American sports).

    The last five seasons, not including this one, the 4th place side in the Premier League has finished an average of 6.6 points ahead of the 5th place side. This season Manchester City is currently 7 points ahead of Liverpool.

    Consequently, one of two things negative things can happen as a result. One, the club in 4th will rest their players creating a series of meaningless games that people will have to pay to watch and might pose serious ramifications on the standings for other sides. Two, and even more worrying in my mind, a situation might arise where a side in 4th will be close enough to 3rd that they will push on until the final match of the season while a 7th place side will have their playoff qualification wrapped up and be afforded the opportunity to sit their players giving them an unwarranted advantage come playoff time.

    Players play enough games already with league matches, cup, matches, European competitions and international matches. Why make players play an additional two games at the end of the season for the privilege of playing an additional two games at the beginning of the season to qualify for the Champions League? Granted they are paid fantastic sums of money, but surely even they need a rest.

    Moreover, thanks to the way the Premier League divides up prize money, even sides not fighting for Europa League places still have something to play for. As of last season the Premier League champion got £16 million in prize money and each club below the Premier League winner received £800 000 less than the club above them.

  4. Lars says:

    What happens if England were to lose one of its CL spots?

    Also, the 7th place team in the Prem certainly do not deserve the CL and the money that comes with it.

  5. Keith says:

    You do risk devaluing the reg. season, but I like the idea, as far as giving every game a reason as the season ends.

    What I’m really hoping for is a way to make the Europa mean more. Maybe teams 5, 6, 7 play a home/away round robin and 2 qualify for the Europa. 2 more home games are a financial incentive for the owners.

    But in order for the Europa to mean something I think it should carry Champions League qualifying spots.

    If there were some way to have the Europa tournament final 8 qualify for the Champions League qualification round the following year, a lot more teams would be intent on making Europe and doing well.

    • Patrico says:

      Your last point is a good idea for Europa, and I had not heard that proposed before. At a minimum, it would be great if Europa semi-finalists (if not the final 8) would make the CL qualification round the following year.

      Since there will be some overlap with league qualifiers, that would only add a handful of teams to the CL pool each year, but it would make Europa a lot more interesting.

  6. Andy says:

    What a horrible American outlook on sport: “Well your method works, but having a playoff at the end makes it more exciting and gives lesser teams a chance”

    Well the lesser teams are “lesser” for a reason, and the simple reason is they don’t play well enough over the whole season and so they don’t get the rewards. There are no Pros to having mediocre sides compete in top level competitions like the CL. All that would happen is that they wouldn’t proceed any further than the initial stages because they’re just not up the the standards of the other European top teams. I am guessing this suggestion is part of the current school of thought that wants to make sure that everyone feels good about themselves and that we should never have losers, only competitors.

    Just because “it is done this way in America” doesn’t make it better. It will never happen in the EPL – Thank God

    • Sean says:

      Just to add to your point, many of the teams that finish outside of the Champions League qualification spots already have an advantage because the super majority of the time the same handful of clubs play in the Champions League year after year meaning they play more games.

      Granted, those clubs might have deeper sides but, they are not immune to injuries.

      If the clubs that cannot qualify for the Champions League cannot maintain the level of play that sides that play more games than they do, why do they deserve to have things even more tilted in their favour?

      • Tyler says:

        Yeah, I think this is an awesome idea. Let alone does it make the last few games for these teams even more important that are stuck in the mid-table, but it also gives these “lesser” teams more money. Most of the reasons as to why these teams aren’t competing with the Big 4 is because of funds and getting a team like Newcastle United, who was actually competing near the top of the table at one point this season if you remember, more funds to improve their teams which would help even out the league. This is an easy fix to the salary cap debate because you don’t need one if more funds are flowing to the teams that aren’t considered the elite.

    • Michael says:

      It is not just an “American” outlook on sports. All of the lower leagues in England have a 3-6 or 4-7 playoff to award the final promotion spot.

      As far as progressing past the initial stages, look at the 5 teams that could finish 4-7th, Arsenal, Man City, Liverpool, Tottenham, and Everton. I would hardly say that these are “lesser teams”. You might argue that Everton is a step below the other 4. But Arsenal, Man City, Liverpool and Tottenham can all certainly progress in the tournament.

      • Sean says:

        There are problems comparing lower league football structure with the top division:

        1. Lower leagues have more clubs and less to play for. The Championship, League One and League Two all have 24 clubs and only three promotion slots. The Premier League has 20 clubs in addition to Champions League and Europa League qualification slots.

        2. Lower league clubs do not have the same demands put on their players. Players in the top division have to deal with European fixtures and playing internationals which tax them to a greater extent than players in the lower divisions because of the higher quality competition and the travel involved.

        • Michael says:

          My point wasn’t to compare the premier league and lower leagues. It was to say that the playoff idea suggested comes from England’s own leagues, not the American style playoff systems.

          But since you pointed out some problems with a comparison, here is my take on your two points.
          1. Yes the lower leagues have less spots to compete for but why should that make a difference in having the playoff format? If you support the format the lower leagues currently have, then that sort of playoff system would make more sense to determine CL qualification than for league promotion. The CL competition after all has knock-out qualifying and final rounds where the promoted league teams need to be able to compete for an entire season. If you don’t like the lower league format then you wouldn’t like this suggestion either.

          2. Lower league clubs might not have European competitions as do 7 of their premier league counterparts, but they do play 8 more games in the regular season and are still involved in FA and Carling cup competitions. Furthermore not every player in the premier league plays for their international team.
          But we are also only talking about a maximum of 2 added games. This would be like progressing one more round in one of the European cup competitions or domestic cup if it involved a replay.

      • AVFC1071 says:

        You just dont have a clue…..

  7. Darryl Quested says:

    Whoever ends up fourth deserves is, I’m a spurs fan and to be honest if they had play offs this year and we managed to win it then I’d hold my hands up and say we don’t deserve it.

    The season is long enough and whoever has the most consistent team will end up in the Champions League, Man City deserve it this year..simple.

  8. Wilson says:

    One of the problems the playoff system might have is that if mid-table teams get into the CL and don’t do well then ther EPL could lose a place in the CL and end up with only 3.

    What I would like to see happen is the winner of the Europa League get an automatic place in the CL the following season. They would be involved in the CL playoff round before the draw. That would give teams in the EL more of an incentive to do well in that competition as well as raise the profile of it. Right now very few people care about the EL.

    • harold says:

      Shouldn’t the winners of the Europa get the opportunity to defend their trophy the following season? Giving the winners passage into the Champions League the following season only serves to further devalue the Europa League competition

      • bradjmoore48 says:

        If the Europa League Champion gets a spot in the Playoff Round of the CL, and either loses in the play-off round, or comes in 3rd in the group stage, they go back down to Europa League anyway, so it doesn’t devalue it. Plus, honestly, who wants to be “defending Europa League champion?” Winning Europa League would then effectively be the $5M (roughly) prize of champion PLUS potentially $30M for making the champions league, so winning the EL would not be peanuts any longer.

  9. eplnfl says:

    I care less about tradition. The EPL misses out on THE BIG Game and the build up to it. When it comes down to it think of the money $$$$$$$ it would bring in.

    • Sean says:

      The big game? This proposal would not see the EPL title decided.

      Moreover, how would the money be different from the game Spurs played last night against Manchester City? Granted, even if City lost they still could have gotten fourth but, the ramifications for a positive Spurs result were pretty close to what a playoff final would decide.

    • Andy says:

      “I care less about tradition” And this statement (if made seriously) sums it all up.

      Thankfully, tradition still counts in some parts of the world. Sorry, but you have no idea what it is like to follow your team year in, year out savoring the highs and lows of wins against big teams and losses against the smaller ones. All you are concerned about is one big fat ugly media-fest along the lines of the Superbowl (which inevitably turns out to be a poor game anyway).

      No thanks, I would rather follow my team through a full season and have their final standing based on their wins and losses over the season, not based on a single game at the end of the year where luck, injuries at the end of the year and one lucky goal or a bad decision by a ref or linesman would decide it.

      • Brendan says:

        But at the same time, if your team ISN”T United, Chelsea, Arsenal, City, Spurs, or Liverpool, what are you hoping for? The FA Cup? The Carling Cup?

        You have virtually no shot at anything in today’s Premiership. While you will say they aren’t deserving of it, they had no chance to begin with. Over the long 38-game season, the payrolls of the Big 4 (plus T’Ham & City) will rise to the top. Supporters of Everton, Villa, Birmingham City, etc. know that when they start the season, they have no chance in the league.

        I understand this is the foundation of a completely different argument (salary caps), but at least a playoff for the CL gives one or a few of these clubs a chance to make a run and shock the world.

        • Andy says:

          A couple of things. You say “what are you hoping for? The FA Cup? The Carling Cup?” as if winning either of those competitions is a bad thing. I would suggest that fans of any team that wins the FA Cup or even the Carling Cup are very pleased and would consider a trophy winning season to be a success (most Arsenal fans would probably agree to that if they were honest).

          Secondly, discussion of a salary cap in the EPL would be a much better one to have and be a much fairer way to even out the Premier League in one swift move. The chances of that happening though are close to zero.

        • Sean says:

          “But at the same time, if your team ISN”T United, Chelsea, Arsenal, City, Spurs, or Liverpool, what are you hoping for?”

          The NBA has had the same amount of league champions since 1984 that England has had (7).

          Due to the fact that in the NBA there is absolutely nothing to play for outside of winning the NBA title because there is no possibility to play in cup or international club competitions, just how have NBA fans been able to cope?

          • Brendan says:

            League title is probably the most egregious example. 1984 is a very arbitrary date to pick. If I change that to 1995 (arbitrary yes, but reflecting the more modern game), the number is 3 different champions. 3!

            NBA since 1995: 6
            NFL since 1995: 12
            MLB since 1995: 10
            La Liga: 5 (low, but still 2 more than the Premiership)

            The modern game is completely dictated by money. Teams outside the Top 6 do not stand a chance of even qualifying for Europe at this point. There’s also no current method of promoting parity. United, Chelsea, and Arsenal have their wallets fattened by big Champions League payouts. There isn’t a draft, so a lower team cannot acquire a player such as a Lebron James, Kevin Durant, or Peyton Manning that can turn a franchise around.

            This is the Premiership’s number one problem, in my opinion. A playoff for the final Champions League spot would provide a smaller club a chance at a big pay day they could reinvest in their squad to compete with the big boys.

          • Sean says:

            Brendan, I picked 1984 to demonstrate that the NBA, even with its sacred playoffs is not immune to domination by a small handful of teams.

            Many people bring up the “hope” card when actuality only a small handful of teams have a genuine chance at winning a title in the NBA yet nobody is clamouring for them to come up with a new way to determine a champion.

            Even if we use your 1995 start date, since there are only 20 clubs in the Premier League, 85% of Premier League clubs did not win a title. In the NBA, since there are 30 teams, 80% of the league did not win a title in the same time frame. That is hardly much of a difference especially factoring in that Premier League sides have to worry about relegation, player development and acquisition while teams in the NBA can just languish and hope for luck in the draft.

            If sides outside of the top six do not stand a chance to qualify for Europe, why has the Premier League over the last ten seasons not including this one sent sixteen different representatives to either the Champions League and/or the UEFA Cup/Europa League (Arsenal, Aston Villa, Blackburn, Bolton, Chelsea, Everton, Fulham, Ipswich, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Middlesbrough, Newcastle, Portsmouth and West Ham)?

            “This is the Premiership’s number one problem, in my opinion. A playoff for the final Champions League spot would provide a smaller club a chance at a big pay day they could reinvest in their squad to compete with the big boys.”

            Sides only make real money in the Champions League if they advance to the knockout stages. The Champions League is made up of the best clubs in Europe. If a side is not even one of the best sides in its own country, why do you think that side will be able to compete against the best sides in Europe and not just bankrupt itself in a bid to do so a la Leeds? Everton made it to the Champions League on merit in 2005 and could not even progress to the group stage.

  10. VillaPark says:

    It’s funny that as these questions are being posed, we just saw the overall league title decided between the top two teams with three weeks to go, had the fourth spot decided between the the fourth and sixth placed teams with three games left, and we have another game this weekend between the fifth and sixth place teams that will probably determine the Europa League spot.

    I think most true “fans” of the sport realize the importance of most, if not all of their team’s games. There are so many subplots in almost every game remaining in the season that anyone who can’t find excitement in what’s going on has to be truly clueless.

    The only people who a playoff would cater too are casual fans anyways.

    • VillaPark says:

      I should add…in American sports, where a team places in the league, division, or whatever it’s called doesn’t matter as long as you make the playoffs, where things start over. While teams like Blackpool, Wolves, Blackburn, etc. have big games this weekend where they will fight as much as possible to finish something lie 16th or 17th in a 20 team league, the teams in America have normally given up by now and get rewarded with a better draft pick by actually finishing lower by the end of the year.

      • Brendan says:

        ” should add…in American sports, where a team places in the league, division, or whatever it’s called doesn’t matter as long as you make the playoffs, where things start over.”

        Not entirely true. You win your division, you have home field advantage, which in the NFL, is HUGE. In baseball, you can choose your schedule to maximize your pitching rotation in the first round. The NHL reseeds, meaning if there’s an upset, the higher seeded team always plays the lowest seeded team. Winning the regular season does have its advantages.

    • omakbob says:

      “The only people who a playoff would cater too are casual fans anyways.”

      Don’t forget the owners, who would stand to make a fair amount of money (this is why baseball changed their playoff format and why the NFL takes so many teams to the playoffs).

  11. Guy says:

    See Sean.

  12. Peter says:

    You forget that the mid-table teams are also playing for a spot in the UEFA Europa cup. While it’s not the Champions League, it’s still excellent football on the European stage, and is a fantastic source of revenue for the teams that do in fact qualify.

  13. Yohance says:

    America loves an underdog story where a team against all odds fights thier way to greatness…
    whereas the rest of the world rewards achievement!!!!
    America and their playoffs in sports have long allowed lesser teams to become champions…
    which is why they often suck at sports on a worldwide level because other countries believe in consistency as the key to excellence

    • Dave C says:

      which is why they often suck at sports on a worldwide level because other countries believe in consistency as the key to excellence
      The US may be a relative under-performer in soccer, but to say they suck at sports in general on a worldwide level is kind of crazy. Check out the Olympic medal tables.

      • Dakota says:

        Yes, I second this. US soccer on a worldwide level is not at its highest like others, but saying they suck at a worldwide level in everything is just nuts. Of course consistency is a key to excellence…and honestly, what’s wrong with a real good and true underdog succeeding story anyways?

      • Yohance says:

        Yeah… i guess i was a bit harsh…
        sometimes i forget that football isnt everything ;)

    • omakbob says:

      In the US, the “wildcard” teams rarely ever win a championship. It happens, and it makes a great story, but it doesn’t happen all that often.

      Just because the US does something, it doesn’t necessarily make it a bad thing.

  14. hpotter says:

    Anyone know which channel will show the CL Final on 5/28? FSC, FX or Fox?

  15. Evan says:

    By giving a 7th place team a CL spot, you risk them not performing as well as a 4th place club would, which would potentially make England lose a CL spot. Terrible idea in my opinion.

    • and says:

      Schalke, who were terrible in the BL this season, were a Semifinalist in the CL.

      • Yohance says:

        but they performed very well in their leage the year before
        i think they focused their all on CL and approached their domestic league a bit relaxed…..

  16. Malcolm says:

    Someone on a different post said something I agree with. In American sports, the reason for a playoff making sense is that teams are divided into divisions and that a team does not play each of the other teams in the league the same number of times. In fact in the NFL some teams don’t play other teams at all in a season. The leagues are further divided in two regions, east and west or NFC and AFC, etc.

    In the EPL every team plays the other teams the same number of times. This makes for a very level playing field and therefore negates a playoff type system. Also, if a playoff type system were instituted more teams would rest their players towards the end of the season and that would have an effect on the relegation sides as well. This season Man United has already announced that should they get the point they need to win the title this weekend or if Chelsea don’t win that they will put out a reserve team against Blackpool. I’m sure the other relegation-battling sides will cry foul. If you have aplayoff type system for the CL this will only increase the likelihood of the top teams putting out weakened sides for the last few games thus affecting the relegation battle.

    The only reason a playoff type system might be employed is to generate money. More games means more money.

  17. tonyspeed says:

    A team that sucks does not deserve to be in the CL so you can have your kicks.

  18. AVFC1071 says:

    Forget this stupid talk of playoffs its like the same article every few days in a different scenario. It would never work just let it go.

    Can we just talk about this statement for one second.

    “The Big 6, Everton, Aston Villa, Fulham, Blackburn.”

    Villa have for the last 3 seasons finished in the top 6, Went to Wembley twice in a Final and 2 Semi Finals and reached the Quater Finals and last 16 of the Europa League . Consecutively pushed for fourth over the last 3 years! missed out by a 4-8 points each time and we dont get included in the term ‘big six’ in England. Its stupid.

    Ok this season has been plagued by a manager walking out on the club, poor direction by a caretaker manager who i feel did his best, a frenchman intent on ruining the reputation of the club (i dont honestly believe this i just dont like him), a frenchman then being hospitilized, and then again poor direction by a caretaker manager who I feel is doing his best.

    The reality is at the moment our squad is one of the best in the league! Bent, Young, Gabby, Downing, Makoun, Petrov, Delph, Walker, Reo-Coker the list goes on. I hate not being recognised as a top six club.

    One off 6th – 8th place finishes I understand can happen but this level of consistencey deserves recognition.

  19. Terry says:

    No need for a playoff type system for the CL even though I’m a Liverpool fan and with the way we are playing right now we would be favorites to get the 4th spot. The season began in August and Liverpool were terrible then and deserve to be where they are now. The entire season should count and all games should count equally.

  20. tomasblog says:

    I actually agree with most of your arguments about the negatives of an increase in games, degrading the WHOLE season and problems with benching players. I was more looking for a way we can make the end of the season more meaningful for mid-table sides.

    Some of you argue that that is what the EL is for. However, only the 5th place team will get that now (Tottenham or Liverpool). Someone suggested do what they do in the Eredivisie (which is a playoff for the final European spots), however this does not overcome the issue of added games.

    In a sense I find it comforting that so many of you are opposed to this idea, as I think the PL is great how it is.

  21. Yespage says:

    It sounds intriguing, but wouldn’t it cheapen the Champion’s League to have a 7th place squad in it? The Champion’s League is just that, for Champions. I’d be more for a playoff for the Europa Cup, but that cheapens the season as well. The top teams are the top teams.

    • spark says:

      Good point. What if other Euro countries started using playoffs to decide their final CL spot. You’d potentially weaken the field of the Champions League. I’m American and I admit it took me a while to get used to sports leagues without playoff systems but now I’ve gotten used to it and don’t feel playoffs would add anything to an already wonderful product like the EPL.

      • Joe says:

        But you could make the argument that, as a knock-out tournament, Champions League success is more likely for a team that is able to win a winner-take-all type of situation. Don’t you think a team that proved their mettle in “playoff” situations (FA cup or battle for the last CL Spot) have proved themselves to have this useful CL skill more than a “consistent” team that finished an unspectacular fourth?

  22. Smokey Bacon says:

    Why are we debating this crap when we should be talking about the latest accusations against FIFA. Not long now before Blatter’s house of cards comes crashing down along with the truth behind the fiasco of the 2018 and 2022 “bid” process.

    For what its worth, I think the 4th champions league spot should go to the winner of the FA Cup. They are a champion after all, and the champions league is a hybrid league/cup competition. Why not have the winners of the domestic league cup competitions in the tournament? It would also give the FA Cup a lift that it needs after the shambles of this year’s scheduling league matches the same day as the final – as big a f*ck you to the tradition of the FA cup as there has ever been, or at least since Man Utd opted out.

    • The Gaffer says:

      I’m so disillusioned with FIFA and their continuous comedy of errors that I don’t think the latest accusations will dethrone Sepp Blatter or make any difference. I wish it would, but with FIFA it’s all promises (to change, to complete an investigation, to review the evidence, etc) but with very little follow-through. How Blatter and Jack Warner are still employed is a perfect example of how screwed up the whole situation is.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

    • David Callan says:

      What if, by some miracle, a non-league team wins the FA Cup. You want them representing England in the CL?

  23. Footballfool says:

    The only way that there should be a “Big Game” in the EPL is if the second place team beat the first place team in BOTH meetings. Then I would like to see a third game played. Winner take all. OR if both teams split the season series and the second place team finished within 3 points of the leader. THEN I would like to see a third game played for the league championship. In a way, you’d be playing play off games inside of the season’s schedule.

    I’m all for tradition however tradition is meant to be built upon. Experiment to improve a product as nothing is perfect. I just traded my horse & buggy in on something called a Chevy.

  24. Keith says:

    Wow I’ve been thinking this all year! What would be cool is if the team that finished 4th had to face the FA cup winner for the final CL spot. I think it’d be unfair fundamentally for a 5th, 6th or 7th place team to play in the CL instead of a team that finished 4th. However, 4th place and winning the FA cup is pretty equivalent and nobody can argue that a FA Cup winner is less worthy than a 4th place finisher.

    I don’t know how to solve the problem if the FA Cup winner is a team that is already in the CL or the 4th place. It seems unfair to me that the runners up get it like they do today. The team that lost in the semi-finals to the eventual champions also only lost 1 game to the future champion, it was just bad luck they matched up a round earlier. And sorry but nobody should get a spot in Europe because they lost the finals.

    However, this would solve the problem of the FA Cup and Carling Cup both sending a team to the Europa Cup. Currently the FA is seen as the more important and more valuable cup but both send teams to Europa so what is the real difference? Well now the FA winner has a chance at the Champions league.

  25. Mike says:

    Two things.
    First people say that it would be unfair to the 4th place team that a lower team may qualify over them for the CL if a playoff format is used. By the same token, Is it fair to the 6th and 7th place teams that will get knocked out of those spots because of a playoff competition (FA and Carling Cups)?

    The second point is that people are worried that a 5th, 6th or 7th place team will not perform as well as the 4th place team in the CL and that the Premier League could lose a champions league spot due to poor performance. Is no one worried about the fact that the 8th and 16th place teams are going to be playing in the Europa league next season? Keep in mind that the CL spots are determined by UEFA coefficients which include both CL and Europa league performance. Look at Italy who will lose one of the CL spots in large part due to their poor Europa league performance and Portugal who will gain a CL spot due to their awesome Europa league performance (Braga and Porto are in the final)

  26. David Callan says:

    Champions League should be contested by the best teams in Europe. That is what makes it the best club competition in the world (in my opinion). Countries should be represented by the champions of that country. I don’t even believe a 4th placed team should be allowed to enter the competition, since when has 4th place been considered a champion. Top 3 only and then expand the number of countries allowed to enter.

  27. dcudiplomat96 says:

    Well unless u win the title which is basically given based off total points, anything else is practically worthless consolation, hell can’t play the damn champions league until the following season, Europeans y’all funny.

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