Vassiliadis proposes to introduce major reforms to Super League
Deputy Greek Minister of Culture and Sports George Vassiliadis is preparing a completely new format for the Super League, proposing to have 20 teams competing in the 2018/2019 season.
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In order to reconstruct the Super League and solve the problem of television contracts, Vassiliadis has come up with a reform plan for the top flight of Greek football, but it involves breaking the rules. Instead of waiting for the 2019/2020 season, the politician wants to introduce the changes ahead of the upcoming 2018/2019 campaign, something which is against the law because of the short time frame. However, there is a loophole, as a new legislation can be created by the government to allow the proposed changes to go ahead immediately.
At the moment, 16 teams participate in the Super League, but Vassiliadis wants to increase that number to 20 for the 2018/2019 campaign:
The 20 teams will be spread out among four pots of five for the Super League draw;
In the draw, the 20 clubs will be separated into two groups of 10 for the regular season;
When the regular season ends, the top five teams of both groups will come together to compete for the championship and European places;
The bottom five teams of the two groups will play against each other to stave off relegation;
Interestingly, following the completion of the 2018/2019 season, the amount of Super League participants will receive a huge cut from 20 to 12!
If the plan is formally approved, AOK Kerkyra and Platanias will remain in the Super League, joined by OFI, Aris, Panachaiki and AO Chania Kissamikos.
According to information from the media, Vassiliadis has already received the green light from Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and is set on turning his ambitious plan into a reality, creating a new legislation in the country’s law at the same time.
On Wednesday, Vassiliadis held a meeting with representatives of Atromitos Athens and Panetolikos, two of the six Super League teams without a broadcasting contract for next season. Assuming the mentioned changes to the championship are kicked into action, the television rights of these six clubs will be transferred to ERT from Nova. This plan would enable each Super League club to receive at least 2.5 million euros a year in television deals.
Panathinaikos, Aris, Lamia and Apollon Smyrnis are the four other Super League clubs not possessing a broadcasting contract.
A SECOND OPTION
In an interesting twist, there is another option which Vassiliadis might be weighing up. Just like in the 2017/2018 season, 16 teams will compete in the 2018/2019 campaign, but six will be relegated and two promoted from the Football League. Whatever happens, it’s practically certain that the Super League participant list will be reduced to 12 after next season.