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Playing with the Play-Offs

By: Graham Howes
Date: 08/03/2003

THE Football league chairmen are to vote on proposed changes to the play-off system. If agreed, there could be six places up for grabs.

It has been widely thought in the game that the current system is unfair to clubs just missing out from an automatic berth. The new system if league chairmen endorse it could actually be in force by 2003-4 campaign.

The radical new system proposed by Crystal Palace chief executive Phil Alexander involves the teams finishing in fifth and eighth, and the sides completing the campaign in sixth and seventh, playing each other in quarter-finals for the right to face the third and fourth-placed sides in semi-finals.

The higher-placed clubs would be at home in the one-off games - replacing the current two-legged system.

This would then be followed by a final between the winners for the right to be promoted. Obviously the new system would be incorporated throughout the league.

Alexander commented "It has always concerned me that teams who just miss out on promotion get no real advantage,".

"This proposal would also give teams whose play-off place is probably secure the incentive to finish as high as possible, rather than consolidate their position until May."

Other benefits are more clubs are going to be involved with something to play for towards the end of season. Finally what are the thoughts Of Town Fans to the new proposals, do you agree with Alexander? I think this is a good idea and any idea to prolong clubs interest in a season is good for the game.

One thing, which may deter clubs, is the amount of increased fixtures to implement the new play off system. With the prospect of some clubs needing to play 4 games compared to the current 3 game systems for everyone.

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