Could A MLS Playoff Work in the Premiership?

MLS Cup trophy shot (Gunnoe) Web

As time goes on sport seems to become more and more commercialised and money orientated. Players are moving to clubs for more money, better opportunity to win trophies and an attempt to play for their country.

The MLS (Major League Soccer) have a league/cup format which is similar to the NBA. Finishing at the top of the MLS entitles you to winning the Supporters Shield, but the ultimate prize is the MLS cup were the top team, 5 teams from each conference play against each other in a bid to become the MLS cup holders. Essentially having two title winners in one season.

In the Premiership history there has only been five different champions out of a total of 42 teams who have competed in the league since 1992. Is it fair that only five teams have won the Premiership? As each year passes a financial gap continues to grow between the top teams and those fighting for relegation, thus building a further divide between the bottom and the top.

The gap between 4th and 10th last season was an astonishing 30 points! Arsenal who finished 4th just ended their 9 year wait for silverware, whereas Newcastle in 10th last won major silverware in 1955 (unless you want to count the UEFA Intertoto Cup). Is this fair? Arsenal will continue to build and have the tools to make themselves into potential league champions, Newcastle however, will have less ambitious targets because of their financial reach and ability to attract the top players.

There is an argument to say that there is the FA Cup and League Cup for teams to win, but the idea of earning a another chance to win a league title through your league position, could create more competition within the league the “right way”. If a team is able to win more silverware through going into a competition where they may only have to face three teams to win a trophy, then they would appear as a successful team and likely be able to attract better players.

It could also make the billionaires ‘ruining the game’ less apparent. Teams such as Chelsea and Man City have become power houses because of billionaire owners, but could this been avoided if they had a better chance of winning silverware, attracting better players and becoming lucrative and successful via other channels?

It is food for thought and could possibly work, but it would probably depend on the success of the MLS globally.


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