Saturday, 30 May 2015

The farce that is the SPFL playoffs

In the English Championship, three teams get promoted; the winners of the league, the runners-up, and the winner of a four-team playoff.

That four-team playoff sees third versus sixth and fourth playing fifth. Both of these ties are over two legs, but the winners play each other in a playoff final at Wembley, and the winner of that finds themselves in the promised land of the English Premiership.

No team here plays more than three matches.

Now we turn our attention to the Scottish Championship playoffs, and the elephant in the room regarding these matches.

Instead of second playing fifth and third playing fourth, leading to a final at Hampden, these playoffs are instead weighted heavily in favour of the second bottom team in the Scottish Premiership, who will play the final against the victor of all of the Championship playoffs.

In other words, if you finish third or fourth, you have six matches to get through, including matches against teams much fresher than you are, especially the finalist, in order to gain promotion.

I can understand the SPFL wanting to make promotion and relegation a little more exciting, but what on earth moved them to make such a completely disproportionate ‘seeding’ system?

Why are the second bottom team in the SPL even involved in these playoffs? In the English Premiership, if you finish in the bottom three, there is no escape plan, no route to save yourself from relegation; and the top three in the division below go up, pure and simple, with the third place having been decided by that aforementioned playoff route.

Yet, in Scotland, we have a bizarre mini-‘tournament’ (which is anything but) of some teams playing many more matches than the other. There appears no logic in having the second bottom SPL side play only two matches as part of the final while third or fourth in the Championship have to play six.

Why Scotland did not just copy the English model given they already pinched the league names is something of a mystery. A four-team playoff from second to fifth, and the winner joins Hearts in the Premiership while there is no safety net for the side finishing second bottom of the top tier.

Many may argue about sour grapes being in abundance here, given this is a Rangers blog, and maybe they are right to an extent, especially if the Ibrox men do indeed fail on Sunday, but the advantage is clearly with the fresher teams, and the playing field simply is not even remotely even with this current system.

Rangers are apparently absolutely dead on their feet and completely exhausted, and while some might say that is punishment for not being good enough to win the league, nevertheless it does not alter that the present format is completely skewed.

I support the playoffs, they are an inventive way to spice things up; but the format requires alteration to make it fairer for all teams trying to win promotion and to give second bottom in the SPL no escape plan at all.


  1. I don't like excuses because no one other than we Rangers fan's no we have had no help from anyone so we must be strong and just make sure we rub their noses in it. WATP

  2. if we done it the way the English done it we would be out so stop acting like a tim watp and no surrender

  3. Unfortunately its the clubs themselves that agreed to this format so we cant really moan about it now because it hasnt gone well for us this season. If Ally had walked away earlier we wouldnt have been in this mess in the first place. Hopefully league reconstruction will be railroaded through to allow us into the SPFL. The authorities have bent the rules a number of times already over past few years to help us get into SPFL so i think they should do so again. It will benefit everyone in Scottish football, and probably European football after a year or two if The Mighty Glasgow Rangers are at the top where they belong. We Are The People. Surrender No. We do not do walking away. The big hoose must stay open. Rest easy fellow bears and bearettes, the Lion King will lead us back to the promised land. Take of the brouges and put on your hiking boots....we will be climbing to the top of scottish football once again.

  4. It is a disgrace we are not being given more help to get back to where we belong. WATP

  5. I dont think we would be having this conversation if we were 3-1 up against Motherwell, so yes, it does sound like sour grapes. Albeit, it is within the realms of possibility to still get promoted,, I don't hold much hope after that poor display and effort at Ibrox. I think tomorrow we will be exposed at the back trying too hard,, If motherwell score first,, game over,,, Drop Clark and Murdoch,, add black and boyd,,, not popular,,but players who can handle the pressure,, Thanks Ally,, Third in the first division!!,,, Not McCalls fault, he has done well for the shite he inherited,,but still isnt Rangers answer in the long term,,,, I will hope and pray tomorrow,, but dont have much faith,, i sincerely hope im proved wrong,,,,

  6. We knew the play off rules at the start of the season,win the game tomorrow Bears.

  7. We knew the play off rules at the start of the season,win the tie tomorrow Bears.

  8. Can we not use the power of veto to force reconstruction of the league so we can into the SPFL ? If not, why not ?? Rules are there to be broken and so we should be able to break those rules that are stopping us going up. Its all big business these days and so because of we are the biggest club then we are the biggest ? So we should be in the top league even if we dont deserve to be ? Maybe replace whatever club has least money and lowest crowds, that would be fairest ? I'm not giving up hope of going up by winning on the park, we can still do it. As The Monkees famously sang in their classic hit "I'm a believer" WATP

    1. Fuck off ya prick . Your either a tim or an arse with no dignity whatsoever . Dont associate yourself with the Glasgow Rangers .

  9. No excuses! the Rangers family will take it on the chin. We are not good enough at present. Look forward to a new era at our club. Be assured, those Rangers doubters out there know that its only a matter of time until we resume dominance.

  10. Every gers fan without a ticket should still gather outside fir park & create an atmosphere like never before as the players will respond.after all it's every bit as important as Manchester.

  11. If we had finished above Hibs rather than 3rd place it would have been two less games

  12. If we get promotion today brilliant if not spl chairman raging the Blue Pound will not be subsidising their club's you reap what you sow. WATP

  13. wow these comments are incredible. where we belong.... biggest everything..... change the rules and promote us because we are RANGERS ......... Motherwell deserved to be relegated for being duff but the teams voted the rules in so there can be no bitching cos the wee boys stole yer baw !
    #deluded #defeated #deservedfailure


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