5 Reasons For Playoff Reform
So you join us after Wolfsburg have just escaped the drop from the Bundesliga for the second season in a row after defeating Holstein Kiel 4-1 on aggregate. Bringing up the question of whether there should be a change to the playoff format in the Bundesliga. In this article, we talk about 5 reasons why it should change.
In my honest opinion, the Bundesliga is very financially rewarding for sides in the league. So this means that they have lots more resources available at their disposal when compared to the 3rd placed 2. Bundesliga side. Which is why the pre season is so important during a promotion as it allows the team to get up to the level required to survive. S0 a Bundesliga side coming up against a second division side means that the odds are heavily forced in the Bundesliga sides favour. Meaning that no matter who finishes 3rd in the league, they’re going to be fighting an uphill battle straight from the off.
Huge Let Off For 16th
Now with just 6 wins all season. That makes Wolfsburg the second lowest in win count during the season bettering only FC Köln. Now 6 wins in a 34 game season definitely is not good enough for them and that’s why they’ve finished in 16th position but as seen in the past with Hamburg who have also been poor for a while they have built a reputation in the last few years of finishing in 16th position and then getting out of relegation that way. So for me, it is a huge let off for clubs who have been poor for a while but haven’t been relegated to the second tier yet. Something that has recently happened to Hamburg now they’ve been relegated this season.
Now in the last 10 years the 2. Bundesliga side has been promoted just twice. Below you’ll find the aggregate scores of the Bundesliga relegation playoff for the last 10 years with the Bundesliga side appearing on the left.
2008/09 – Energie Cottbus 0-5 FC Nürnberg
2009/10 – FC Nürnberg 3-0 FC Augsburg
2010/11 – Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-1 VFL Bochum
2011/12 – Hertha BSC 3-4 Fortuna Düsseldorf
2012/13 – Hoffenheim 5-2 1. FC Kaiserslautern
2013/14 – Hamburger SV 1-1 Greuther Fürth (Hamburg win on away goals)
2014/15 – Hamburger SV 3-2 Karlsruher SC
2015/16 – Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 1. FC Nürnberg
2016/17 – Wolfsburg 2-0 Eintracht Braunschweig
2017/18 – Wolfsburg 4-1 Holstein Kiel
So as you can see there has been a huge tilt in the favour towards the Bundesliga side. Which by all means that the Bundesliga side is better and the better side should obviously be in the top division. But when the Bundesliga sides have more resources it’s always going to be a struggle for the 2. Bundesliga side. So maybe it is time to shake things up so that we don’t have this bias towards the 16th place side.
Make It Like The English Format
In order to make the play off system more competitive for 2. Bundesliga sides then the system would have to transform to be like the English system. Now I’m not a huge fan of the English Premier League. My huge dislike to it is why I love the Bundesliga so much. But for example, say if we gave the play off places to 3rd-6th in the second division then we would have a playoff featuring Holstein Kiel, Arminia Bielefeld, Jahn Regensburg, VFL Bochum. Now would any of these sides be good enough for the Bundesliga? It’s unlikely right now without huge amounts of investment this summer. Which would have meant Wolfsburg have been automatically relegated.
Gives More Opportunity To Lesser Known Sides
Now if Holstein Kiel had been promoted this season to the Bundesliga. It would have such a big impact not only on the club but their fans and the local economy. Before this year, if you weren’t a huge fan of the Bundesliga it’s rare that you would have heard of Holstein Kiel. So maybe it would benefit the Bundesliga not only to keep the traditional Bundesliga sides on their toes. But also to give more opportunities for success for 2. Bundesliga sides who would usually find it hard to make it to the top. The magic of the playoffs is so exciting for football too and you have to assume that introducing a new style of playoff would drive viewers to the Bundesliga games as people will want to take an early look at the teams who may be promoted to the top tier in the following season.