Sometimes things are changed in football and it improves the game.
For the life of me I can not see how introducing a play-off format to qualify for the Champions League could work.
There are problems with the idea already.
Is it fair that after 38 games in the campaign you finish fourth, only to then have to play a side who finished not only three places below you in the table, but a side who could have finished the season with 15 points less than you?
If you lose what is the point of trying over 38 games anyway? Towards the end of the season you are so clear of that 7th and final qualifying place that you don't need to even need to make the effort for the last few games.
You could field a reserve side and whilst that is happening you could influence the table because your side know that they have already qualified for that play-off place. What do they care about the table now? You have nothing to play for.
How can that be fair?
Also, with no disrespect meant in anyway, what if a club like Stoke City came 7th and then won the play-off?
Would it be a breath of fresh air? Yes, I hear the football purists say.
What the purists do not think about is that Stoke then have to play a qualifying round of fixtures in August. Like we did against Celtic this season.
What if Stoke were knocked out at this stage? It is more than likely. If this continued year-in, year-out, then England would lost the point quota that we have earned over the years and eventually we would lose that 4th qualifying place so it would then only be a top three finish that would get you into the Champions League.
Then what happens?
People will say that the so-called 'top-four' are protected. Well if it wasn't for the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea, England wouldn't have four places for the Champions League.
There is always the chance that the 'top-four' monopoly could be spilt this season. At least if that happens you still feel that the likes of Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa could at least compete, reaching the group stages.
And they would have earned that chance too. Finishing fourth in this league, with its quality, is no mean feat.
But a side finishing 7th. It could be anyone.
Keep it Goonerish.............