OFFICIAL: Superleague Format Will Change Next Season
In today's Superleague Board of Directors meeting, major formatting changes were passed, with some changes set to take place next season and others starting the 2018-2019 season.
It was a historic day in the Greek Superleague as the league's format was reconstructed with hopes of bringing more interest in the Greek First Division. Three major changes were made including:
- Starting the 2018-2019 season, the number of teams in the league will be reduced from 16 to 14 teams.
- Starting the 2017-2018 season, the league champion will be decided via the playoffs rather than the regular season.
- Starting the 2017-2018 season, the relegated teams will be decided via a playout system.
Reduction of Teams: The Greek Superleague will continue to have 16 teams next season, however starting the 2018-2019 season, the league will be reduced to 14 teams. This change was passed after 13 out of the 16 teams voted for the switch. Larissa, Levadiakos, and Panetolikos all voted against the new proposal.
Champion via the Playoff route: Starting next season the playoffs will no longer consist of the teams ending 2nd-5th in the regular season, but instead with the teams ending 1st-6th. The points earned in the regular season will be transferred into the playoffs and the team that finishes first at the conclusion of the playoffs will be the Superleague champion. Additionally, the European places for the Champions League and Europa League will be decided via the playoffs.
Relegation via Playouts: The official playout system will be implemented starting the 2018-2019 season, however next season a different format will be used in order to decrease the league from 16 teams to 14 teams. Next season, the 15th and 16th placed teams from the Superleague will be automatically relegated to the Football League while the Football League champion will be promoted to the Superleague. The 13th and 14th placed teams from next year's Superleague will play in a 3-team mini league playout, along with the second placed team from the Football League. Only the top team after the conclusion of the mini league will remain in the Superleague for the 2018-2019 season.
This format will bring the number of teams in the league to a total of 14. For 2018-2019, the relegation playouts will consist of the teams ranked 7th-14th in the regular season (playoffs will have teams ranked 1st-6th). The points from the regular season will be transferred to the playouts and the bottom placed team (14th) at the conclusion of the playouts will be relegated to the Football League while the Football League champion will be promoted to the Superleague. At the conclusion of the playouts, the 13th place team from the Superleague will play a two-legged tie with the second placed team from the Football League for a final place the in Superleague.