BEHIND THE DESK: Are finals series too important?
AS AUSTRALIAN sports get back into the flow of things, European football is reaching its peak over the closing rounds.
Here in the land down under, we all love a finals series. In fact, just about every one of our major sporting competitions is ultimately decided by finals.
I do love the excitement of knockout finals footy as players put it all on the line for ultimate glory. But is it fair?
After all, it rewards the efforts of teams that are in good form at the tail end of the season rather than those who have managed to hold out their place at the top over the duration of a whole season.
Sure we have minor premierships for that, but I don’t there is enough reward for finishing at the top after the regular season.
As a Liverpool fan, my beloved club have just sealed their first ever English Premier League title and first top flight English crown in 30 years.
This is dedication to the pure consistency shown over the past couple of years, losing just three games in the league over that period.
One downside is the fact that, even though other teams are still fighting to secure a spot high up the table, the season can turn into a dull affair when things are wrapped up a little too quickly. You just don’t get that with finals footy.
I have seen some interesting approaches taken by other competitions as a reaction to the belated start.
Capital Football in Canberra elected to go for a season in two halves, similar to the Argentinian league, splitting the top four and bottom four at the half way mark and then allowing them to play for a cup (top four) and plate (bottom four).
This means there will be something in it for each and every team.
I don’t think this would ever work in any of our top competitions in Australia, and I don’t think we would ever get rid of the finals.
What I would like to see is more reward for winning the minor premiership, perhaps a bigger bonus than the grand final.