Thursday, October 29, 2015

Scottish Football : Premiership Split System & Promotion Play-Off

Assalammualaikum everyone!

So from last entry I have told about what and how Scotland run its football season that quite little bit different than most of the leagues in Europe. But over the seasons, Premiership Split System and Promotion Play-Off still presence a problems to everyone.

In this entry we will talk on how this two mechanism can be apply in our Liga with some adjustment.

1.0 Premiership Split System

This system is to avoid all 12 teams in Scottish top flight to play 44 games per season as they need to play 4 rounds. To make it 38 games same as other leagues, they will split 12 teams into 2 group which called as Championship group (Top 6) and Relegation Group (Bottom 6). Every time when the split come, everyone in Scotland will raise their voices to show their disagreement about this system. This is because the possibility of playing an unbalanced home and away matches against certain opposition. Back to pre-season when SPFL made an odd for each 12 team of where they will finish after 33 games, if any teams finished in a place in a place that not in the prediction they will face the possibility to play 3 home matches and 1 away match against some opponents and vice versa. For example, if Dundee United were predicted to finish 5th but the finish 7th after 33 games; the match between them and St. Johnstone who finished 8th which is in SPFL's  prediction so the matches between them will be unbalanced. It will not favor the United as they will play unbalance home and away games, their traveling cost will be risen if they need to play more away matches and of course the feeling, playing at home and away from your ground is different though..

2.0 Promotion Play-Off

In Scotland, 4 teams will participate the play-off in order to get one place to higher division. 3 teams from lower division (2nd-4th) and one team from higher division the finished 11th in a league. This play-offs have 3 phase with first one is quarter final between 3rd placed team against the 4th in lower division. They will play against each other in two-legged games. The winner will advance to semi-final and meet the 2nd placed team and play the match with same rules. The winner of semi-final will advance to promotion play-off finals against the team 11th placed in higher division and they will play in the same rule. Many of the people in Scotland feel discomfort with this kind of rules because for them the play-off must be in one-off match and should be done at national stadium. Micheal Gannon from Daily Record have said that " What the heck were they thinking in making the first leg the Thursday before the final and the second just 24 hours later?“ This is because the final for promotion play-off is during the Thursday, Scottish Cup final on Sunday and second leg of play-off is on Monday. This is because in past 10 years at least 3 of Championship teams were involved in promotion play-off final and Scottish Cup final in same time. They were Gretna (2006), Queen of The South (2008) and Ross County (2010). Gannon also questioned why they cannot have it on national stadium just like England done for so many years. He stated that the final might only between Watford and Burton Albion but the atmosphere is stunning. Finally the play-offs always overrun the players contract because most of the contract ends in end of May but the final always in June.

3.0 What if we use this both methods in our Liga?

For a short term. split system will benefit all teams as they will more matches and they can rotate the squad. But do not repeat the mistake by SPFL that the chart will not change after 33 games because it will effect the prize money. For the play-offs, the idea came when some of our fans wants to see 3 teams in Liga Perdana going up to Liga Super. So the play-offs will have 4 teams but no teams will get a "bye" but instead they will each other in mini league with round-robin format or all teams are qualify to semi finals and the play-offs starts there. That's my view, what say you?

4.0 Conclusion

Even their system not that perfect, but Scottish football system gives us an idea to make a better system as they offer us a quite good system for a small league. Thanks to all for read this, next stop we will jet to USA for a Major League Soccer. See ya!


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