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Last Updated: Friday, 25 April, 2003, 10:03 GMT 11:03 UK
Preposterous play-offs
BY Ben Dirs
BBC Sport

Have the League's new plans reduced the game to a lottery?
The play-offs: nothing more than a lottery?

The Football League has agreed to extend the Division One play-off tournament from next season.

All sides will now play each other home and away during the regular season, with the top 24 sides taking part in a two-legged, round-robin tournament in May.

Tickets will be extremely expensive, although the League insists the plan is not merely a money-making scheme.

The bottom eight teams at the end of the tournament will then play each other home and away, with the bottom two teams contesting a four-match relegation series at Yeovil Town's old sloping pitch in June.

In the event of a draw, the two sides will play nearest the bullseye, with the losing side dropping into an eight match Super Series with the top 15 teams in Division Two.

All members of the winning team will also receive a speedboat and a radio controlled car.

The victors (likely to have finished mid-table at the end of the regular season) will take their place in the Premier League and be whipped by all and sundry the following season

The top 16 sides at the end of the initial tournament will then take part in another tournament in July.

As with the original tournament, all achievements over the previous 10 months will count for nothing.

Over the course of a fortnight, players will compete in a range of traditional events, from keepy-uppy to kicking the ball through the mouths of cardboard clowns.

The top eight sides at the end of the week will then take part in an all-in wrestle-off, with the last two teams surviving contesting a 92-match play-off series taking in every ground in the Football League.

In the event of a draw after 8,310 minutes, both sides will race each other in a yard of ale relay.

The victors (likely to have finished mid-table at the end of the regular season) will take their place in the Premier League and be whipped by all and sundry the following season.




SEE ALSO
League reveals major changes
24 Apr 03  |  Football

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