Premier League to Introduce CL playoff – guess who objects?By: Rob | February 15th, 2010
The Premier League every now and then comes up with a brainwave , designed, basically to make a bit of money. Sometimes its an appalling unworkable idea, like Fixture 39. (more on that in a second). Most of the time its designed with the Big Four in mind, so that they can keep the rich, rich, so to speak.
The idea is to have a Championship/League One/League Two style playoff between fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh, (Currently: Liverpool, Manchester City, Spurs and Tom Hanks beloved Villa) to decide who gets the final Champions League spot and potential windfall money wise. Share the wealth a bit. As well as the secondary concern of adding a little bit more interest in the run in.
In terms of mixing up the Big Four, it is a little late (the big four have looked weaker than ever this year), but it is interesting that the Premier League would want a different four teams in the Champions League. The rise of the Big Four raised the profile of the Premier League to arguably the biggest league in the world, and those four teams success in the Champions League (all have made at least one final since their dominance over the Premier League began) that it seems odd that the PL would want to mix it up.
But obviously there is a PR man in there somewhere, who has been listening to endless bitching that the EPL was turning into the SPL, but with four teams dominating instead of two. While those criticisms already seem a little silly, its probably not that surprising that it is the big four that object the proposal.
Sort of surprised Liverpool are against it, by the way. They look to be heading for a finish outside the Top Four this season (Man City have two games in hand on them and the same points), so this would present an opportunity to keep the Big Four in tact against the odds.
What occurs to me though, is the sneaky feeling that Fixture 39 might be rearing its ugly head again. I can imagine that if the proposal was accepted by the clubs, The PL would take the chance to play the fixtures abroad, thus getting their ridiculous marketing idea out of the way, and making a bit of money for themselves. The FA however will presumably beg them to play the games at Wembley, which needs the money too.