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Should the Play-Offs be scrapped?

Sparrow

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There's been quite a lot of discussion about this in the NLP recently.

For a club like Woking, who realistically aren't going to win the league, the play-offs give us a doable target.

The argument against is that the team in 2nd deserve to go up rather than a side who may have finished 10 points below them.

Thoughts?
 

localhero

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There's been quite a lot of discussion about this in the NLP recently.

For a club like Woking, who realistically aren't going to win the league, the play-offs give us a doable target.

The argument against is that the team in 2nd deserve to go up rather than a side who may have finished 10 points below them.

Thoughts?

No. It may not seem fair that a team who picked up 10 points less go up but them's are the rules! The season would be far duller for mid table teams who could effectively see their season over and done with by January.
 

Cardsfan

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The obvious solution is to change it to 3 up/3 down, and that way the team in 2nd go up anyway. From 3rd downwards it would then be difficult to claim a right to go up directly.

The play-offs add entertainment and excitement and open the league up to a far greater amount of teams, and typically result in the higher placed teams going up. And when they don't, you've just got to hold your hand up if you've been outplayed on the day.
 

1884 Belmont

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Definitely not. Especially in this league with only 1 automatic promotion place (and presumably 2 if they were scrapped). As you say, not many sides win league titles or will be able to win league titles, so what do they do or play for if there are no play offs? A side in 9th in March would look at 1st/2nd place and think "no chance". They would be safe from relegation but have nothing else to play for (unless they were in a cup). But a side in 9th could look at 5th and say "it's still on" most of the time and it gives sides and fans something to push for.
I've been an advocate for 3 up/3 down for a couple of years anyway, but I would actually be interested in not scrapping the playoffs, but extending them! :-
1st and 2nd up automatically.
3rd-10th qualify for the Playoff quarter finals> Winners go to semi finals> Winners go to Wembley. > Winners promoted.
 

treborCUFC

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I don't think the playoffs should be scrapped but think there's definitely a call for 2 automatic spots the last couple of years. This season with Barnet and Bristol battling for top spot for most of the season, and last season with us and Luton sharing first and second for the majority of the season, it'd be criminal if either of us didn't go up! The only problem is coming from the other direction, it'd mean more 'big' clubs dropping out of the league and being replaced by hobby clubs.
 

rudebwoyben

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In my view there should be two automatic spots and then either the following:
Have a play-off for the third spot on the same basis as now or have a play-off system similar to that in Scotland where the a team from the higher league is involved and plays the winner of the three entrants from the league below with the highest placed team only having to play one tie.
 

TheWednesday

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Scrapping the play offs would make the league so boring for 80% of the league, it makes the league far more exciting and brings a lot of money into it.
 

Van Der Graaf

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No. Bring in a system like every other country where top (say 2) get promoted then 3rd place play 3rd bottom of the league above.

Or do whatever the hell the Belgians do. No one gets it, but more football.
 

Cardsfan

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Yeah, I think the system like the one in Scotland would work quite well, although it should be different because there they do 4th v 3rd, Winner plays 2nd, then Winner plays 2nd bottom in the league below, which is very unfair on the team in 3rd and gives a big advantage to the team in the division above - a simple play-off system would be a lot fairer.

So, if it was in place this season...

Barnet and Bristol Rovers promoted automatically.

Hartlepool v Forest Green
Grimsby v Eastleigh

Winner plays in the Final, winner gets promoted (or stays up.)
 

Habbinalan

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After losing twice at Wembley having finished 2nd, I still say keep the play-offs.

I'd also support 3 up 3 down. If it was necessary to get this change, I'd support 3rd bottom in L2 entering the play-offs against 3, 4 & 5.

I'd also move the final from Wembley but that's for another day.
 

rudebwoyben

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Well, holding the final at Wembley worked pretty well this year in my opinion. If the argument against holding it at Wembley is because the crowd has been low for many of the play-off finals then that's an argument against holding the FA Trophy and Vase finals at Wembley as well.
 

Nansan

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No is the simple answer. The play offs give those who know they cant compete for the title a chance for promotion. The final should stay at Wembley as seeing your team play at home of football can't be beaten.
 

RobS

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Na.

On a recent Podcast (might have been Non-League Show, might have been Football Weekly?) someone suggested that in the event of a draw after extra time, the highest placed team progresses - I think that I like that idea because penalties does seem far too cruel and arbitrary a way to settle promotion/relegation. But other than that, keep them, it makes football much more competitive and interesting!
 

Sparrow

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Three up - three down is the way to go. Means we get a chance to flush out useless non-league rubbish like York and Accrington from the Football League too.
 

yellow

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No. Bring in a system like every other country where top (say 2) get promoted then 3rd place play 3rd bottom of the league above.

Or do whatever the hell the Belgians do. No one gets it, but more football.

I was going to say I wouldn't be against what they do on the continent. Each country seems to do it differently though so I wouldn't know where to start.

EDIT: Or they should re-elect all clubs that have primarily been FL clubs and then bring back re-election to stop proper tin potters like Crawley and Fleetwood getting in.
 

Gashead

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I support 3 up, 3 down with the play-offs as they are. There's no real reason why it can't be done, I think the argument that clubs wouldn't be able to financially compete is no longer valid, a lot of ex-FL clubs down here. If the likes of Woking or Braintree (finished 6th in 13/14 didn't they?) could use this new play-off system to get promoted, then fair enough, give them a shot at the FL.
 

Gashead

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Well, holding the final at Wembley worked pretty well this year in my opinion. If the argument against holding it at Wembley is because the crowd has been low for many of the play-off finals then that's an argument against holding the FA Trophy and Vase finals at Wembley as well.

It's also an argument against the League One and Two play-off finals, based on the last few years.
 

DarkSithLord

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Na.

On a recent Podcast (might have been Non-League Show, might have been Football Weekly?) someone suggested that in the event of a draw after extra time, the highest placed team progresses - I think that I like that idea because penalties does seem far too cruel and arbitrary a way to settle promotion/relegation. But other than that, keep them, it makes football much more competitive and interesting!
Welcome Rob!

Absolutely not!

I am a bid advocate of three up three down too myself.

I agree with the above that it enables the mid table sides something to still play for in the latter stages of the season.
 

treborCUFC

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The playoff final should be held at a smaller ground, and somewhere that would be equidistant from both clubs. Somewhere like Villa Park, or the The Kingpower (ugh). Big enough for most clubs in the conference (and League 2 for that matter), small enough to generate a better atmosphere than a 2/3rds empty Wembley. And more chance of an even split of fans if it's more central. Whilst the thought of a Wembley final is good, the main objective should be winning promotion.
 

George Reilly's Hairpiece

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Keep the play-offs but weight it more to favour the teams that finish in the higher places. I'd go as far as to put the 2nd place team straight to the final to await a winner from matches involving the other three.
 

JE93

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Playoffs need to be kept, as others have said it keeps the league interesting for a long list of teams who otherwise would have nothing to play for from January.
Also completely agree with the 3 up 3 down principle. Makes both leagues even more competitive, surely the parachute payments negate too much risk for the teams who may yo-yo a little.

One thing i also think needs to be reformed is the way teams are rewarded in terms of the revenue they make from playoffs. Not sure if it is the same in the conference but during Darlo's recent playoff wins over Spennymoor and Bamber Bridge, of the gate receipts, the Evo-Stik league took 35%, leaving the two teams to split the remaining 65% equally. While in the conf national you get two legged semi finals so for these games this issue isn't as much. But I'm sure the final is split in a similar way. To me this % seems high. The two teams reaching the final should be rewarded, one will gain promotion (and the financial bonuses that birngs), but the other should be rewarded by having a large pay out which will benefit them the following season, I realise teams do make lots of money from their playoffs, but 35% being taken out of the pot seems a little unfair to me. Not sure what other people think about this
 

localhero

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Yeah, I think the system like the one in Scotland would work quite well, although it should be different because there they do 4th v 3rd, Winner plays 2nd, then Winner plays 2nd bottom in the league below, which is very unfair on the team in 3rd and gives a big advantage to the team in the division above - a simple play-off system would be a lot fairer.

So, if it was in place this season...

Barnet and Bristol Rovers promoted automatically.

Hartlepool v Forest Green
Grimsby v Eastleigh

Winner plays in the Final, winner gets promoted (or stays up.)

I really don't like this one either, you need the change to keep things fresh, new teams, new grounds, different places for an awayday. If you end up with the same team staying in the league it'll get boring.
 
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Yeovil Town: 8th
Doncaster Rovers: 1st

Chester City: 20th
Shrewsbury Town: 21st

Barnet: 18th
Carlisle United: 1st

Accrington Stanley: 20th
Hereford United: 16th

Dagenham & Redbridge: 20th
Morecambe: 11th

Aldershot Town: 15th
Exeter City: 2nd

Burton Albion: 13th
Torquay United: 17th

Stevenage: 6th
Oxford United: 12th

Crawley Town: 3rd
AFC Wimbledon: 16th

Fleetwood Town: 13th
York City: 17th

Mansfield Town: 11th
Newport County: 14th

Luton Town: 8th
Cambridge United: 19th

Median: 13.5
Mean: 12.5

Since the Conference play offs were introduced, five teams have won consecutive promotions, none have been immediately relegated - nor would they if three teams got relegated.

In five of the twelve seasons the runner up finished in a higher position than the winner. (Sneaky feeling Bristol Rovers will add to that next season)

Discounting this Conference season just finished as we have no data on how they performed the next season, nine of the twelve teams that were promoted via the play offs were not the second best team in the league over a 46 game season, suggesting that if second spot was open to automatic promotion there would be no sudden whipping boy promoted.

Why then, is there not a system of three up three down? :dk:
 

Cardsfan

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I really don't like this one either, you need the change to keep things fresh, new teams, new grounds, different places for an awayday. If you end up with the same team staying in the league it'll get boring.
So you mean don't involve the 3rd-last team in the play-offs, involved the 6th placed team instead and have them relegated automatically? It would be preferable, obviously, but it's a method that would appear slightly more appealing to L2 Clubs who at the end of the day are the people that would have to show their support for any change to take place.
 

Gashead

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The playoff final should be held at a smaller ground, and somewhere that would be equidistant from both clubs. Somewhere like Villa Park, or the The Kingpower (ugh). Big enough for most clubs in the conference (and League 2 for that matter), small enough to generate a better atmosphere than a 2/3rds empty Wembley. And more chance of an even split of fans if it's more central. Whilst the thought of a Wembley final is good, the main objective should be winning promotion.

The trouble is, neither of those grounds would have been big enough for this year's. Unfortunately, these places need to be hired so far in advance that it would be hard to make decisions based on who the finalists are.

I say keep Wembley, because as I said earlier you'd have to scrap it as a venue for L2 (the 2013-14 play off final got less than every Conference one since 2005) and possibly even L1 then, which isn't fair on those that can take a decent amount and also the players, who may never get another chance to play there.
 

Cardsfan

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Yeovil Town: 8th
Doncaster Rovers: 1st

Chester City: 20th
Shrewsbury Town: 21st

Barnet: 18th
Carlisle United: 1st

Accrington Stanley: 20th
Hereford United: 16th

Dagenham & Redbridge: 20th
Morecambe: 11th

Aldershot Town: 15th
Exeter City: 2nd

Burton Albion: 13th
Torquay United: 17th

Stevenage: 6th
Oxford United: 12th

Crawley Town: 3rd
AFC Wimbledon: 16th

Fleetwood Town: 13th
York City: 17th

Mansfield Town: 11th
Newport County: 14th

Luton Town: 8th
Cambridge United: 19th

Median: 13.5
Mean: 12.5

Since the Conference play offs were introduced, five teams have won consecutive promotions, none have been immediately relegated - nor would they if three teams got relegated.

In five of the twelve seasons the runner up finished in a higher position than the winner. (Sneaky feeling Bristol Rovers will add to that next season)

Discounting this Conference season just finished as we have no data on how they performed the next season, nine of the twelve teams that were promoted via the play offs were not the second best team in the league over a 46 game season, suggesting that if second spot was open to automatic promotion there would be no sudden whipping boy promoted.

Why then, is there not a system of three up three down? :dk:
Because of the whole idea of turkeys voting for Christmas. I think there was a vote a few years back and it came out with something ridiculous like 20:2 against the proposal. One team in particular (It might have been Cambridge (correct me if I'm wrong) have come out against the idea having been reinstated into the FL, which is stupid for so many reasons. You'd like to think that decency would play a part in terms of having a fairer/more just system but with the money involved in football most teams would argue that it is madness for them to vote this in given that it will increase the likelihood of their relegation to Non-League (and the financial damage that this can cause.) But even then, it would increase their chances of returning to the league should they ever go down their anyway. In reality, it's unlikely to ever happen because clubs aren't going to vote for change that (they think) will do them harm.
 

Cardsfan

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The trouble is, neither of those grounds would have been big enough for this year's. Unfortunately, these places need to be hired so far in advance that it would be hard to make decisions based on who the finalists are.

I say keep Wembley, because as I said earlier you'd have to scrap it as a venue for L2 (the 2013-14 play off final got less than every Conference one since 2005) and possibly even L1 then, which isn't fair on those that can take a decent amount and also the players, who may never get another chance to play there.
There are a few issues -

1) Ticket prices - As far as I am aware, the obscene ticket pricing at the Conference PO Final was decided by Wembley (or heavily influenced by the cost it requires to hire it)

2) Location - Take the L2 Final from last year for example, Burton and Fleetwood both travelling hours in the same direction for a game that ended up in a tiny crowd. If the game had been held at, say, the Etihad, the crowd would have been significantly higher resulting in a better crowd/atmosphere and more money for the clubs

But....

1) The Prestige of Wembley - It arguably makes it a better occasion for both fans and players playing in the biggest stadium in the country and helps add to the importance of the game.

2) Planning - As you say, these things have to be booked months in advance and without knowing the teams involved until a few weeks before it's very difficult to arrange a stadium with a suitable location/capacity.

I don't actually know what I think about it if I'm honest :lol:
 

Gashead

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There are a few issues -

Ticket prices were pretty ridiculous to be honest, the Conference said that was down to lack of subsidies which makes no sense when you think about the amount of emphasis the FA looks to place on 'grassroots' and non-league football, yet they don't appear to help out with £40+ for a ticket for a Conference game. The neutral voucher system worked quite well, but the price for the finalists needs to be lower.

Location - yep, I agree, and for Burton/Fleetwood it's a big ask. But likewise, Wimbledon - Luton a few years back shows that it would be risky to pick a truly neutral venue based on geography of potential finalists, even though I know that they had no choice in 2012 due to Olympics. But it emphasises the idea that you could just as easily have two southern teams having to go to Old Trafford if it was picked months in advance.

I think the answer is to keep Wembley, really push the neutral sales in the case of sub 20k attendances. But, most importantly, look to push the pricing structure down, include concessions etc. which is vital for a decent crowd.
 

localhero

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So you mean don't involve the 3rd-last team in the play-offs, involved the 6th placed team instead and have them relegated automatically? It would be preferable, obviously, but it's a method that would appear slightly more appealing to L2 Clubs who at the end of the day are the people that would have to show their support for any change to take place.

Yep. IMO the Championship, League One, League Two and Conference should all be the same for promotion. Two up automatically, one up by the playoffs, with obviously three automatically relegated from the division above.
 

Luke Imp

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Agree r.e. same amount of promotion/relegation places throughout the leagues.

Despite us being shit at them, I think the PO's are a good thing. Keep the league interesting. I can understand the argument whereby a team who finish, say, 14 points below the highest placed PO team can get promoted.
 

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