Playoff and playout format discussed for new Super League
Possible format options were discussed on Wednesday regarding the new Super League competition, which will consist of 14 teams starting next season.
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With the restructuring of Greece’s football leagues, the Greek top flight will consist of 14 teams next season as opposed to the current 16. To compensate for the decrease in teams, three clubs were relegated from this year’s Super League (Apollon Smyrnis, Levadiakos, PAS Giannina), while only one team was promoted from the Football League (Volos NFC). The Super League’s 13th placed team (OFI) and the Football League’s runner-up (Platanias) will compete in a promotion/relegation playoff for the final spot in next season’s Super League.
Although it is know that 14 teams will compete in the league, the exact format for the new season is yet to be known. A special committee has been put in place to construct different format proposals and these ideas will be brought to a Super League Board of Directors meeting in late May for a final vote and approval.
Playoff/Playout Format Proposed
According to Live Sport, this committee met on Wednesday where different format ideas were discussed. One idea included the revival of the Super League playoffs. From 2007 until 2017, the highly criticized Super League playoffs consisted of teams ranked 2nd-5th from the ‘regular season’ and these four clubs competed in a mini-group stage. Each team played in home and away fixtures with the final standings deciding which teams qualified for the UEFA Champions and Europa League competitions for the following season.
However, a much improved playoff system was proposed on Wednesday, which included three separate groups - a Championship group, Europa League group, and playout group.
The top four teams from the regular season would compete in the Championships group, where the champion will be decided, while a second playoff group with consist of the teams ranked 5th-8th in the league standings. These four teams will fight for fifth place and qualification to the Europa League qualifying rounds.
A playout group will also be included where teams ranked 9th-13th will fight to avoid relegation. The league’s last placed team (14th) will be automatically relegated to the Super League 2.
In each group, each club will play in home and away fixtures, totaling an additional six games at the end of the season.
With this format, all teams (except the last placed team) will play 32 matches in a season (26 regular season, six postseason), helping clubs with increased tickets sales and TV broadcasting revenue.
This is one of many formats being discussed with more developments expected in the coming days and weeks.
Thursday’s Super League Board of Directors Meeting
A Super League Board of Directors meeting took place on Thursday where the 2018/19 standings were validated with only PAS Giannina voting against the validation. The Epirotes are opposed to the restructuring of Greece’s leagues and are expected to take their case to the sporting courts. PAS Giannina were relegated to the Super League 2 after this season’s 14th place finish.
Once the Football League standings are also validated, the draw for the promotion/relegation playoff between OFI and Platanias will take place.
Other matters discussed in Thursday’s meeting included a unanimous decision to maintain stadiums’ playing grounds with specific specifications. How this will be managed will be discussed in the upcoming meetings.