Keeping things competitive: Relegation

If you are used to American sports, then the idea of promotion and relegation can be a little bit foreign to you. It is all about keeping the leagues around the world competitive. In American sports, if you do poorly, you are awarded a pick in the draft to become better in the next season. This is the reason that teams “tank” in order to get a better pick. Tanking is losing games on purpose so that you can get a high draft pick. It ultimately defeats the purpose of sport, and keeps the entire league from being competitive. In most global soccer leagues it is the exact opposite case, if you do poorly, you get knocked down to the league below you. This keeps the entire league competitive and balanced. It is also generally more exciting, because the top teams can lose to the bottom teams on any given match day. We will use the English Premier League as an example. The bottom 3 teams go down automatically based on how many points they have received from wins, losses, and draws. In some other leagues, bottom teams from the first division have a playoff against the top teams in the lower league. Once relegated to the division below the race is back on to get to the Promised land- the first division.

Big Money Moves: Promotion

Keeping the English Premier League as our example, 3 teams from the lower league (the English Championship) will be promoted to the Premier League. The first two teams at the top of the table are automatically promoted. The 3rd place through 6th place will have a playoff to fill the final spot. hey play the final at Wembley stadium (England’s national team stadium). The winner will make at least £135 million in the first season after promotion and an additional £130 million the following season if that team avoids relegation in the following season. This kind of money can buy players, improve stadiums, and make other improvements in order to try to stay in the top flight of English soccer. Some teams earn promotion and have a difficult time staying up. Some clubs earn promotion and then drop down to the league below them, then bounce right up. Teams like Fulham and Norwich city are yo-yo clubs because they bounce back and forth between divisions. Being able to make it into the Premier League is such a big money winner because of its broadcasting rights. The Premier League is available to watch in almost every country in the world because of these exuberant broadcasting rights.The ridiculous sum of money that the league gets from those rights trickles down to the 92 professional teams.

Promotion and Relegation in the States

The USL in the United States are considering promotion and relegation between their divisions in a an attempt to become the top league in the USA. The current top league, Major League Soccer still uses the draft model. It is kind of funny because soccer is much older than the American sports that the MLS gets their model from.

What are your thoughts on promotion/ relegation? Would it be possible to incorporate it into other sports? Hit the comment section and let us know your thoughts!