Simplicity or stupidity?

Huddersfield Town story posted by Andy Dixon on 24/03/2003
With Huddersfield Town rock bottom of the second division with seven games remaining and three points adrift of safety, a radical change is needed.Simplicity or stupidity?

If you thought that I was going to suggest sacking the manager, the board or some of the players, then you would be wrong.

My proposal is much more ground breaking and would change the structure of English football forever. However, the FA would have to be brave enough to use either of the following two suggestions to revitalise the beautiful game.

Excitement is key to contemporary football and interest would be assured if there wasn't a strict number of points awarded for a win or draw. The standard three points for a win and one point for a draw would be applied for the first fixture, but following fixtures would have added importance as team's would have a chance to earn more points.

With 24 (or 20) teams in a division, there could be a system where points are earned fairly. The fact that a team like Bolton Wanderers could beat Manchester United one week and lose to West Bromwich Albion the next, or in the case of Town, beat Cardiff but lose to Cheltenham means that it does not really matter who you beat as the awarded points are exactly the same.

In a democratic society, this is questionably fair. Arguably it is a greater achievement to beat Cardiff, than Cheltenham, therefore there should be a greater reward. Consequently, in a league of 24, if the team placed 24th beat the team placed 1st, they should get 24 points, while if it was the opposite result, the 1st placed team would have earned 1 point (because they beat the worst team). If the teams drew then the potential points possible would be halved, therefore the 1st placed team would get half a point, while the 24th placed team would earn 12 points.

As this method would mean that teams played for a different number of points at each fixture, the season would be extremely exciting from start to finish and no team would be assured of anything. Increased excitement would improve revenues as local teams would gain more local support because the innovative system adds a cutting edge to games which might not be attractive fixtures (e.g. Huddersfield Town vs Plymouth Argyle; lowest league home attendance).

If this was to fail, the alternative would be a 92 team division. This would mean that every team played every other team other a period of four calendar seasons with each win gaining three points and a draw gaining one.

At the start of each season, registered players and managers would be drafted in the order of the previous season's final standings. For example, if Arsenal won the league, they would be awarded with first choice, if Liverpool were runners up, they would have second pick and so on.

Players' wages would be paid by the PFA, who would gain 65% of every club's gate receipts, while the managers would earn 5% of the gate receipts, therefore giving managers a greater incentive for getting good results.

Overall fairness would be paramount as every team would play every other team so there would be no arguments over who are the best and who are the worst.

These suggestions, if instated this summer, would alter English football forever and may be a barrier to the inevitable reality of Huddersfield Town plummeting into the depths of division three.


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