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OPINION: Scrap/change the PSL Promotion Play-offs

Posted: 2 June 2014 Time: 11:51

After Polokwane City won the PSL Promotion Play-offs, questions the integrity of how promotion and relegation is decided.

The problem of stating that Polokwane City "won the Promotion Play-offs" is obvious. Boebie Solomons' side were not promoted, they just survived relegation.

After several years of complicated post-season play-offs that have determined which teams are promoted to the top division, is it not time to scrap them in favour of a standard top-two-go-up and bottom-two-go-down rule?

Then second, third and fourth in the NFD could enter play-offs for the second promoted team – like it is done between the English Championship and the Premier League in England.

The problem is not the concept of playing off against your closest rivals to earn promotion, but that the 15th-placed team in the South African Premiership (this year Polokwane City) still gets the chance to survive despite a poor season.

There is an argument that says if there were two relegation places in the top-flight, the fear of relegation would bring more negative 'parking the bus' tactics to our local game.

This is, however, arguable considering how many times Rise and Shine coach Boebie Solomons said openly that he would park the bus to get the results needed to avoid ending in 15th place. And it is not a problem anywhere else in the world, where football nations are far ahead of us in every respect.

Whatever reasons the PSL use to justify six more matches to determine one more place in the top division surely does not remove what everybody else can see – that these play-offs are unfair to NFD teams who work all season to earn a spot in the lucrative Absa Premiership, only to risk it all in one-off matches.

This year was not the first time Black Leopards have failed to achieve promotion from the second tier via the play-offs, and both times they ended with enough points to justify automatic promotion.

Particularly hard to accept was the end of the 2009/10 season when they ended with the most points out of the teams in both NFD streams (coastal and inland) but were still denied promotion after Mpumalanga Black Aces (15th in Prem) beat them on penalties in the play-offs after a 3-3 aggregate draw in a two-legged play-off final.

Is it fair that a team who have been poor in a league they are probably not good enough to play in gets a 'cup final' chance to deny a team that are probably too good for the league they currently play in?

Black Leopards, Milano United and Baroka FC all finished the 2013/14 First Division season on 50 points. On the face of it, they all deserved a shot at promotion. Why not have them contest the play-offs for the right to play in the Absa Premiership and join automatically promoted Chippa United?

Instead, only one team from the NFD has been promoted for next season. How will that motivate 2014/15's NFD teams?

READ: Leopards hit post four times as Polokwane scrape survival

Livefyre comments on this story...

The Phefeni Boy®™
posted: 2014-06-02 09:53:41

Mayisuswe lento yama Play-off...

Champ Msiznero
posted: 2014-06-02 09:56:18

Waist of time, 2 out 2 in

posted: 2014-06-02 10:00:38

PSL: 18 teams : 3 automatic relegation

Mvela: 2 automatic promotion - position 3,4,5,6 contest final promotion spot

Mgugudi Treble Addict
posted: 2014-06-02 10:07:02

This is a nonsensical arguement, Mark.

Dr. Khoza answered this question 2 weeks ago on SABC1. He argued that for 2-up-2-down option to be viable, the NFD must 1st be a stand alone league that is independent of the PSL.

He further argued that the reason why we have play-off is because it does not make sense to have 2 PSL teams going down without giving the other one a chance because they (PSL) are subsidising the NFD, therefore, giving a chance to a PSL team to retain its status is ethical under these circumstances.

posted: 2014-06-02 10:07:07

Scrap this nonsense already .

posted: 2014-06-02 10:07:17

Psl should have 18 teams and 1st 2 teams from 1st division should go automatically to psl and number 3 and 4 should play play off with number 16 from psl

Mriyo (Moving To Discows)
posted: 2014-06-02 10:07:17

this play off thing is just crap n shud scraped.

PSL shud increase the number of teams to 18 again,have 3 teams relegated,2 teams automatically promoted from NFD and the 3rd PSL spot b played for by other NFD teams only.

posted: 2014-06-02 10:09:07

That's True Mark, this playoffs are not fair for NFD teams, Polokwane City does not deserve our praise, they were simply poor during the 2013/2014 season.

posted: 2014-06-02 10:09:19

Mgugudi Treble Addict rubbish of an answer

posted: 2014-06-02 10:09:38

this whole system is too costly and waist of time 2 in 2 out approach will be easier option.

posted: 2014-06-02 10:09:51

2 in 2 out 14 plc shud playde play offs, ths myt mak de league more competitive takin in2 consideration dat 3 teams wll b in danger ths thn of 1 team bein automatically relegated doesnt do our football any good since the team 2nd buttom dat play de play-offs thy play a dvrnt type of football compared 2 wat thy dd thy whole season, thy mst go at once 2nd 4rm buttom..

Mgugudi Treble Addict
posted: 2014-06-02 10:10:10

It makes sense to have these play-offs because history has shown us that the NFD teams do not stay long in the PSL, they are always the candidates for relegation.

Can those who are against the play-offs tell me of a time where both NFD teams did not fight the relegation battle & the PSL teams got relegated?

posted: 2014-06-02 10:11:33

I fully agree with the writer above. The way NFD teams are treated is unfair

posted: 2014-06-02 10:11:42

The PSL should be viewes as bigger & better than NFD. Because of that, it's fair to argue that the play off's are unfair to NFD teams who campaign with less experienced players & on less funds against highly funded and more experienced yet failed PSL side. Letgo original, 2 Down and 2 up. We're not EPL Copycats. Period!

Mgugudi Treble Addict
posted: 2014-06-02 10:12:19

@ TICOmp,

Let us be factual.....

Have you ever heard of an organization that finances its competitors?

In lay man's terms, would it make sense for KC (your team) to sign Musona but let him play for Orlando Pirates?

GinoFeelo Balotelli
posted: 2014-06-02 10:13:06


I just hate it when a deserving team gets the dhort end of the stick...

PLK City doesnt deserve to play in the PSL....their bus-parking tactics are disgusting...I only love them when they pull em on Pirates***

posted: 2014-06-02 10:13:09

Keep the play offs but only have 1 game no 15 from psl should play no 2 from nfd and the winner gets to be in the psl  

Mgugudi Treble Addict
posted: 2014-06-02 10:14:46

@ Gino,

The same can be said of Leopards (that they don't deserve to play in the PSL). How many times have they been relegated & made mockery of themselves along the way?

2nd Star
posted: 2014-06-02 10:17:59

I think the notion that business arrangement take precedent over the game itself, the same game that created this business arrangement is coming second when the top hierarchy is taking the decisions is killing the game. The play-off system Khoza put it on record when Mlambo asked about it that this decision of play-off format its a business decision. He(Khoza) explained that due to PSL subsidising NFD(which is a stand alone from PSL) they(PSL) must give their teams first preference by giving them a second chance instead of old format of two-down and two-up. yes this arrangement make a business sense but at same time kills the game, "I", supporter of this game I'm not interested in how much money PSL or teams are making am interested in the game.     

GinoFeelo Balotelli
posted: 2014-06-02 10:18:24

Mgugudi Treble Addict 


But ke they have redeemed themselves sebadlala kangcono than before***

I am definite that they wud have survived 2014/15 drop...and FSS ne PLK City...baye ehlathini**

Sebantswempu labafana..they deserve a chance**

Like seriously...who wants to see abo-Jembula???

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