The new Greek football structure
After a long delay, the new Greek football structure will officially be implemented next season with three professional categories, the Super League, Super League 2, and the Football League. AGONAsport takes a closer look.
As reported on AGONAsport, the new Greek football structure will officially take place starting the 2019/20 season. There will be three professional leagues, including:
The Super League (first tier) with 14 teams
The Super League 2 (second tier) with 12 teams
The Football League (third tier) with 14 teams
Currently, the Super League is the first division and the Football League is the second division. The Gamma Ethniki is classified as the Greek third division.
AGONAsport breaks down everything you need to know about the new structure of Greek football.
Super League (First Division) with 14 teams will include:
Top 12 teams from the 2018/19 Super League
The winner of the 2018/19 Football League
The winner of the 2018/19 promotion playoff between the Super League’s 13th placed team and the Football League’s second placed team
Super League 2 (Second Division) with 12 teams will include:
The last three ranked teams (14th-16th) from the 2018/19 Super League
The loser of the 2018/19 promotion playoff between the Super League’s 13th placed team and the Football League’s second placed team
The eight teams ranked 3rd-10th in the 2018/19 Football League
Football League (Third Division) with 14 teams will include:
The two teams ranked 11th and 12th in the 2018/19 Football League
The eight group winner from the 2018/19 Gamma Ethniki
The four winners from the group runner-up playoffs in the Gamma Ethniki.
It is worth noting a few injustices with the transition to the new system
The four teams ranked 13th-16th in the 2018/19 Football League will be demoted two divisions, rather than one, to the Greek fourth tier likely to be named the Gamma Ethniki. With the current standings these teams would be Aittitos Spata (removed from the Football League), Sparti, Aiginiakos, and Irodotos.
The teams ranked 11th and 12th place in the 2018/19 Football League will essentially be demoted one division from the second tier to the third tier (Football League) for the 2019/2020 season.
The 12 teams that gain ‘promotion’ from the 2018/19 Gamma Ethniki to the 2019/20 Football League (eight group winners and four runner-up playoff winners) will remain in the third tier of Greek football and in reality, will not truly gain promotion.
With the new structure and current league standings, the three leagues would be made up of the following teams:
Super League (14 teams)
PAS Giannina or Platanias
*Have secured a place in the Super League for the 2019/20 season
Super League 2 (12 teams)
PAS Giannina or Platanias
*Have secured a place in the Super League 2 for the 2019/20 season
Football League (14 teams)
Plus four teams from the Gamma Ethniki group runner-up playoffs (Nestos Chrysoupolis, Triglias, Thesprotos, Niki Volou, Ionikos, Diagoras Rodou, Aiolikos, Kalamata).
*Have secured a place in the Football League for the 2019/20 season
Teams set to enjoy drastic pay increase from TV deals
As promised by Deputy Minister of Sport Giorgos Vasiliadis, the restructuring of Greek football will see clubs benefit with a drastic increase in TV deals. The teams in the 2018/19 Football League currently receive 50,000 euros a year from TV deals and with the changes, these clubs in the newly formed Super League 2 (the new second tier) will each receive 800,000 euros the first year and 1 million euros the second year in a two-year closed contract. That is 16 times the amount these teams currently receive.
According to gazzetta.gr, the Super League 2 will have an annual TV budget of 12 million euros, thus 24 million euros over the two-year contract. The clubs in the newly formed Football League (third tier) will receive the current amount of 50,000 euros per year, a whopping amount when referring to the Greek third division. This financial support will hopefully stop the common theme of clubs going bankrupt after being relegated, which has been seen far too often in recent years.
ERT, who is owned by the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation and is the state broadcaster of Greece, will provide these contracts and will hold the TV rights to the leagues.
The new Super League 2 will mostly consists of teams in the current Football League, and as a result, the Football League will head and organize this competition as opposed to the Super League. Although this is not official, it is likely scenario.
More developments expected
Although the restructure is now in place, many more developments are expected in the coming weeks mainly regarding the format of the three leagues. The 14-team Super League for example, will only have 26 rounds as opposed to 30 rounds, which will not be accepted by the league’s main broadcasters Nova and ERT. A few proposals are on the table to schedule more games in the season, including post season playoffs (championships group and relegation group) or adding a third round of games to the league season. These details will be decided on once the season comes to an end.