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Is it time to change the Premier League format?

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I'd like to start by stating, I'm completely in favour of a league format and I hate cheap and convoluted competition structures. Who remembers the former Argentine approach to relegation, your results over 3 seasons determined whether you got relegated to protect the bigger teams. I digress.

My question is this, is it acceptable to say nowadays "Well, they've made 40 points, they're safe, have nothing to play for and are all but on the beach" after a team has taken an absolute battering? Do we believe its right fans pay absurd money for tickets only to see their team 'not turn up'? For starters it's completely unprofessional and makes a mockery of their profession ... but more than that and I reiterate my former point, fans are paying for a product and being short changed.  

If you're a Watford, West Brom or Stoke fan, what was your motivation for attending the last 5-10 games of the season. Watford in particular were nothing short of pathetic and an embarrassment to their fans. What could the league do to mitigate this shite? Play-offs? Mini-leagues? Massive incentives and draconian penalties? I don't know. But personally I feel the Premier League and the clubs have a responsibility to the fans, the consumers of their product, to take a good hard look at themselves. 

Thoughts?

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Reduce the TV money. In every league across the world teams will fight to finish that 1 or 2 places higher for that extra couple of mil. Or, clubs will fight tooth and nail for Europa league qualification. In the prem when you get 100 million pounds for appearing on the fucking tele, before a single ticket is sold or sponsorship deal is signed what the fuck do you care about the 10 mil you might get for making the round of 32 in europe, or the few mill you get for finishing 10th rather than 13th?

 

Also leads to shite like Andy Carroll and pedo bear and a 30 year old peter crouch being bought and sold for dumb money. Clubs should need to be savvy.

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Tanksie's hit the nail on the head. Unfortunately though without the issue being looked at globally this will never be the solution. No point making those changes in just one competition when others are just carrying on as usual.

Batard has raised a really important point though. Some of those results in yesterday's games were just a joke.

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To a certain extent, could you argue the lack of motivation when it comes to that stage of the season in any league in the world? Prize money or not, when you’re mathematically safe, of course the motivation slips (or vice versa, already-relegated teams sometimes play better with the huge pressure lifted). 

Playing as devil’s advocate, I guess one way to perhaps give mid-table teams something to play for would be to dish out byes to, say, those that finish 8th - 12th, for the early rounds of League Cup? 

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7 minutes ago, tarzanontoast said:

Playing as devil’s advocate, I guess one way to perhaps give mid-table teams something to play for would be to dish out byes to, say, those that finish 8th - 12th, for the early rounds of League Cup? 

As much as I see how that could liven things up I don't want to see teams now getting rewarded for mediocrity.

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I wouldn't change anything, it's all down to the managers and general management at them clubs, if you can continue with the likes of Pulis and Hughes you'll get average results. Too many clubs in and around the middle of the table with not good enough management (and last season I include us in that list) and these are some of the richest clubs in world football.  Looking at the current bottom 10 I'd say only Leicester have something about them, although I do like Bilic at West Ham. The rest are very mediocre at best, need to stop with the small time mentalities.

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15 minutes ago, tarzanontoast said:

To a certain extent, could you argue the lack of motivation when it comes to that stage of the season in any league in the world? Prize money or not, when you’re mathematically safe, of course the motivation slips (or vice versa, already-relegated teams sometimes play better with the huge pressure lifted). 

Playing as devil’s advocate, I guess one way to perhaps give mid-table teams something to play for would be to dish out byes to, say, those that finish 8th - 12th, for the early rounds of League Cup? 

 

We lost 4-3 away to Dortmund on the last day. If Freiburg and Koln lost we would get into the Europa league play off spot AND get an extra couple of mil for finishing 6th rather than 8th. Only 2 late very dodgy penalty decisions stopped us from walking out 3-2 winners. Unlikely as it was we went in tooth and nail for 3pts, because we had something to play for. No matter how slight.

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20 minutes ago, Large said:

As much as I see how that could liven things up I don't want to see teams now getting rewarded for mediocrity.

I agree. But the simple fact is that the TV money isn’t going away any time soon. I think something needs to be done, but I fear greed will win.  

I suppose there’s also the impact of an international tournament occurring every other summer. Some players might not want to risk getting injured, and only play at 75%.

On the other hand, this can sometimes motivate players to push 110% to sneak their way into their country’s squad. During the off-summers (odd numbers, 2013, 2015, 2017, etc), there are no Euros or World Cups and thus no motivation. At least, I’d like to think this might be the case. It often seems like playing for your country these days (at least, England players) feels more like a chore than an honour!

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Excellent thread with some very good thought out points and suggestions. Good read.

With that said, I wouldnt want to see any change to the league system.

Those who have called out Watford's performances of late are 1000% correct ~ Disgrace

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It seems like an English league bad habit of mediocre plodder type managers that simply aim to exist in the premier league.

It's more of a cultural thing than a financial thing i.m.o.

All you can do is hope the fans protest and the owners get rid of managers that lack that ambition. 

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23 minutes ago, Harry said:

It seems like an English league bad habit of mediocre plodder type managers that simply aim to exist in the premier league.

It's more of a cultural thing than a financial thing i.m.o.

All you can do is hope the fans protest and the owners get rid of managers that lack that ambition. 

I see a lot of people are calling out managers such as Pullis and Hughes as been plodders that are happy once they are safe but what about managers such as Koeman? I know people will think I'm just having a go because it's Everton but come on, their performances since securing 7th have been appalling and it's been widely accepted by their fans as well (season ticket holder on here has been saying "we are on the beeeeaaaacccchhh") after each of the pitiful performances for weeks. Take yesterday for instance! Playing a 10 men Arsenal for over an hour and they lost 3-1 and itbcould have been 6. 

So no, I'm not buying that it's the managers who are 'plodders', I'm going to say it's the players with pathetically weak mentalities that is the problem or players that simply can't be arsed anymore once their season targets have been achieved. 

How do we fix it? Fuck knows, but it's certainly not by cutting down a clubs money. Maybe stop buying mentally weak and half arsed players?

Or am I wrong and Pullis, Hughes and Koeman are actually 'plodders'?

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Leave it as it is, hopefully a bit of competition from those below means that all the major places like the title, Europe, relegation go to the final days. 

Like us for example and following on from above, we gave up when 7th was done because we weren't good enough over the season to challenge for 6th and 5th. Likewise, those below weren't good enough to challenge us for 7th. We put away those below us so we didn't need to worry in the final few weeks, if they were better then we'd have something to play for. 

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29 minutes ago, HK85 said:

Leave it as it is, hopefully a bit of competition from those below means that all the major places like the title, Europe, relegation go to the final days. 

Like us for example and following on from above, we gave up when 7th was done because we weren't good enough over the season to challenge for 6th and 5th. Likewise, those below weren't good enough to challenge us for 7th. We put away those below us so we didn't need to worry in the final few weeks, if they were better then we'd have something to play for. 

I agree with this.

The TV money being spread around more is probably a good thing for the league tbh. Our league is entertaining as fuck now because it's fairly unpredictable. When there was less money going around, it was far more predictable. And when there was even less money around we went a long time with the same 2 title winners.

It's obviously no level playing field, and our top teams aren't as ridiculously stacked as their European counterparts... but I like that our league seems to be getting more competitive and unpredictable.

The shite managers and general complacency are a part of the coaching here and won't change until the culture changes imo.

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30 minutes ago, HK85 said:

Leave it as it is, hopefully a bit of competition from those below means that all the major places like the title, Europe, relegation go to the final days. 

Like us for example and following on from above, we gave up when 7th was done because we weren't good enough over the season to challenge for 6th and 5th. Likewise, those below weren't good enough to challenge us for 7th. We put away those below us so we didn't need to worry in the final few weeks, if they were better then we'd have something to play for. 

This exactly highlights the problem that Batard has raised, and is something I've been discussing quite a lot recently with colleagues. Unfortunately gone are the days when people played and were involved in football for the love of football. The mentality of clubs but more importantly players is generally poor. You state that there was nothing to play for once mathematically all was sorted, but there should still be pride, integrity, professionalism. The fact that too few players show this in these situations further makes the overall point.

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5 hours ago, Large said:

As much as I see how that could liven things up I don't want to see teams now getting rewarded for mediocrity.

West Ham themselves are being rewarded for a mediocre season. I'm sure you'll be more accustomed to the figures than myself but for me they were no better than Stoke and Southampton.

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18 minutes ago, Large said:

This exactly highlights the problem that Batard has raised, and is something I've been discussing quite a lot recently with colleagues. Unfortunately gone are the days when people played and were involved in football for the love of football. The mentality of clubs but more importantly players is generally poor. You state that there was nothing to play for once mathematically all was sorted, but there should still be pride, integrity, professionalism. The fact that too few players show this in these situations further makes the overall point.

Which is why so many people pine for youth players in these games. Unless some of the senior players have been told by the manager they are fighting for their futures they have nothing to prove. At least with the kids they want to make an impression and have a go. 

So how do you go about restoring 'pride, integrity, professionalism'? 

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2 hours ago, Cure said:

West Ham themselves are being rewarded for a mediocre season. I'm sure you'll be more accustomed to the figures than myself but for me they were no better than Stoke and Southampton.

I don't see what that has to do with the issue or my point, but I do somewhat agree with you as the money being received by ALL clubs in the Premier League is ridiculous. Sunderland alone have received about £100m, for finishing bottom. Regarding who is better than who well we can only go on the table at the end of the season. So over the campaign I agree with you about Southampton and disagree about Stoke.

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2 hours ago, HK85 said:

So how do you go about restoring 'pride, integrity, professionalism'? 

Stop mollycoddling the players. The way clubs treat players is outrageous. It's not enough that they are ridiculously well rewarded, they also get Player Liasion Managers who do everything for them. From paying bills, running dry cleaning, having their boots cleaned, their cars cleaned, etc. It's a nonsense. This for me goes a long way to the attitude of a lot of professional footballers now. They live in a completely diferent world, a little professional football bubble, and the clubs create that environment. Then the clubs moan about the attitudes of the players, how they are just all the money, etc. This isn't just at the very top either. I've been involved in both professional and grass roots football, and even at the bottom rung of the pyramid clubs are having to pay players. I'm digressing a bit now from the main point, but I do believe that this is having a huge influence on the attitudes of today's clubs, players and staff.

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Reduce the TV money and up the league finishing prize money.

I'd have been livid with yesterday if that was the case though. We had a wrongly disallowed goal quite late on at 1-1 that's actually cost us 3 places and £5mil+ in prize money.

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7 hours ago, Harry said:

It seems like an English league bad habit of mediocre plodder type managers that simply aim to exist in the premier league.

It's more of a cultural thing than a financial thing i.m.o.

All you can do is hope the fans protest and the owners get rid of managers that lack that ambition. 

Never going to happen while people wank over Premier League survival as if it's some mega achievement. I just cannot possibly celebrate being better than Hull, Middlesbrough and Sunderland. That's not an achievement.

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The solution is to do away with points and have a ladder system, like in boxing where you challenge the title winner and if you win you get the title. You wouldn't be allowed to play anyone who wasn't within 2 places of you on the ladder. If you lose to someone below you they take your place. There would be no season it would go on forever.

 

:clown:

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No need to change anything.

I can see what Batard means about teams having nothing to play for at certain points but it's just part and parcel of a league format and is the same in any league in any sport.

The positives and the excitement of the PL outweighs the negative of a few teams having nothing to play for.

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I’ve had a chance to think about this and at the end of the day, I count myself extremely fortunate to be a  supporter and follower of the English Premier League. We’re moaning about perhaps one or two games out of 38 where some clubs know their fate and take their foot off the gas, so to speak. Yeah, that happens, and yeah, the modern players are mercenaries more than ever, but for the other 36 games we’re treated to marvellous football, some of the best players in the world, fantastic competition and teams with serious strength in depth, and surprise results each weekend, to boot. 

Compare to the Bundesliga (it’s been a Bayern snooze-fest for a while now), La Liga (a 3-team league that bully the other 17), FRICKIN’ SCOTLAND (no comment required)…  I’m sure I’ll get abuse and since I’m English, I’m somewhat biased, but I wouldn’t trade the drama the English Premier League offers, in its current state. On the whole I’ve enjoyed this season, even if it was never going to live up to Leicester’s triumph last year, and while yeah, some teams might have already been on the beach in gameweek 37/38, at least we saw a lot of goals. 

(However, Watford in particular, as mentioned earlier in this discussion… I think they’ve been playing like a bag of old tripe for a while now, anyway, regardless of their mathematical safety. My prediction for relegation, next season. I reckon they’ll continue their dismal form into the new season and their new manager will have a tricky job on his hands there. They’ve got a lot of dross on their books.) 

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2 hours ago, Toony said:

No need to change anything.

I can see what Batard means about teams having nothing to play for at certain points but it's just part and parcel of a league format and is the same in any league in any sport.

The positives and the excitement of the PL outweighs the negative of a few teams having nothing to play for.

In short, what Toony said!

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If you believe that teams striving for safety, teams "being on the beach" from February or March onwards and teams not 'turning up' for games at the back end of the season is a problem in the Premier League alone, you are very mistaken. 

I doubt there are many, if any, leagues in the United Kingdom, right down the footballing pyramid, where there isn't a team striving for safety in that division and where sides don't 'down tools' for the last few games of the season when they have met their season objectives. 

Conversly, I read somewhere that a win for either West Ham United or Stoke City on the final day, I can't remember which one, meant that the club earnt an extra £2m for their final league position due to moving up the table one place. I know that it will be hard to motivate a side for a game to aim to finish 11th, however, I imagine that players bonuses will be related to where the club finishes so I'm sure that was enough motivation for some. So, I don't think that too many were on the beach on the final day. 

 

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3 hours ago, Smiley Culture said:

If you believe that teams striving for safety, teams "being on the beach" from February or March onwards and teams not 'turning up' for games at the back end of the season is a problem in the Premier League alone, you are very mistaken. 

I doubt there are many, if any, leagues in the United Kingdom, right down the footballing pyramid, where there isn't a team striving for safety in that division and where sides don't 'down tools' for the last few games of the season when they have met their season objectives. 

Conversly, I read somewhere that a win for either West Ham United or Stoke City on the final day, I can't remember which one, meant that the club earnt an extra £2m for their final league position due to moving up the table one place. I know that it will be hard to motivate a side for a game to aim to finish 11th, however, I imagine that players bonuses will be related to where the club finishes so I'm sure that was enough motivation for some. So, I don't think that too many were on the beach on the final day. 

 

had we beaten Bournemouth, and gone up 3 places, it would have meant we get £5.7m more in prize money. 

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