It’s that time of year when the footie season is grinding to a halt and we can look forward to cricket (and Euro 2004), but there are still the play-offs to “enjoy.”
Today it was West Ham versus Crystal Palace for that final place in the Premiership. What a poor match it was, both sides bottling the occasion and only a stumbled/scuffed goal by Neil Shipperley deciding it.
But much as I want more footie, I’m totally underwhelmed by the play-offs. They were introduced when the FA wanted to switch the number of teams in the English leagues, bottom of D1 versus the first three of D2. Fair enough.
Now they do it for the sake of it. The top two in each division go up automatically, while nos. 3 to 6 join the lottery. In Crystal Palace’s case, the team that finished sixth, a full six points behind Sunderland, is the team grabbing the Â£30 million prize of the premiership, which to me is incredibly unfair.
If it is such a good idea, why don’t the Premiership use it to decide who gets the fourth spot in the Champions League, a fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh place play-off?