FanDuel - WFBC

February 15, 2010

The Playoff for Fourth?: It was revealed today that the English Premier League is considering introducing a playoff for the last Champions League position from England to break the hegemony of the Big Four (Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Arsenal) on the Champions League spots. Teams that would have been eligible for the last spot in 2008-09 were Aston Villa, Everton, and Fulham (who would have joined Arsenal in the playoff).

posted by boredom_08 to soccer at 01:59 AM - 8 comments

Personally, I like the idea. Mainly because Derby are never going to finish fourth in my lifetime.

More meaningful games at the end of the season = bigger crowds, more TV revenue.

posted by owlhouse at 03:25 AM on February 15

Yeah, more games, that's what football needs in Britain. More games (see Mitchell and Webb). I don't like it (my lawn! Get off it! etc.), but then I've never liked the system where a team that finishes potentially so far behind another team in the league then gets a higher final position based on a one-off shoot-out. I can see the revenue benefits, but it just defeats the purpose of the league system in the first place.

Having said that, as a Liverpool fan, if they wanted to bring it in for this year only, that might make me sleep better.

posted by JJ at 05:50 AM on February 15

This does seem rather convoluted - a playoff of four teams for the right to enter the qualifying rounds for the right to enter the group stage which will ultimately determine the participants in the final (read: interesting) stages of the European Cup. Sheesh

Also, this could backfire on the Premier League, supposing weaker teams like Fulham enter the Champions League and then fail badly, which would in turn damage England's coefficient ranking - affecting the number of places they are awarded in the Champions League.

posted by geneparmesan at 01:13 PM on February 15

I think this is consistent (or close) with the rest of English football where the top 2 automatically advance, and the next 4 play for the 3rd spot.

I like this idea.

posted by scully at 01:29 PM on February 15

They'd have to rename the Champions League though. I'll concede that geneparmesan's scenario is more likely, but what if Fulham (as the theoretical 7th placed team) WON the "Champions League" having finished 7th domestically the previous season? It's already daft enough that the team finishing fourth - quite often nowhere near the leaders in terms of points - can go on to be crowned champion of champions when it wasn't a champion in the first place.

Champignons League.

posted by JJ at 02:04 PM on February 15

I was kind of thinking along the same lines as terrapin on this one. As the rest of the league system in England goes, so should the Premier League go?

Of course, as a Spurs fan (and a not-Big Four fan), I would love this, given that we'd have had a shot at Champions League football two (potentially three) of the past five years.

posted by boredom_08 at 02:22 PM on February 15

This does seem rather convoluted - a playoff of four teams for the right to enter the qualifying rounds for the right to enter the group stage which will ultimately determine the participants in the final (read: interesting) stages of the European Cup. Sheesh

A bit like the Inter Toto Cup, then? Now THAT was convoluted.

but what if Fulham (as the theoretical 7th placed team) WON the "Champions League" having finished 7th domestically the previous season?

There's an even weirder current scenario. The team that finishes 92nd could, by virtue of winning the League Cup, be in Europe the following season (i.e. the UEFA Cup). European football in the Blue Square Conference?

Of course in the really old days, before the League of Wales was formed, non-league clubs often got into the Cup Winners Cup through winning the Welsh Cup.

Great clip, JJ. Although it needs more Sky Sports 'swooshing' and should be twice as loud.

posted by owlhouse at 03:27 PM on February 15

"Thousands and thousands of hours of football, each more climactic than the last. Constant, dizzying, 24-hour, year-long, endless football, every kick of it massively mattering to someone presumably...."

He can be too smart for his own good sometimes that David Mitchell, but when he hits my funny bone, he hits it just right.

posted by JJ at 10:21 AM on February 16

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