Premiership's Most Coveted Award: The Fourth Spot

Saura BhattacharjeeAnalyst IFebruary 20, 2010

Well last week saw a rather absurd and unrealistic idea regarding the English Premier League. It was announced that a fourth place playoff system will be introduced to decide the last candidate who gets the ticket for Champions League. Although it was just a proposal, but the way it got criticised from all footballing quarters, I am sure the proposal will take a few more years to gain ground.

In the last two or three years the Iron curtain of the "Top Four" has been breached. Although Chelsea and Manchester United have not been affected,their other rivals Arsenal and Liverpool (the present season) have been hit hard.

The takeover of mediocre clubs by wealthy owners has seen lots of money flowing into these clubs.This has resulted in highly valued and talented players signing for these clubs with astronomical wages. With such signings the mid-table clubs have become a deadly force overnight who are threatening the big clubs(Man U, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Liverpool) for their spots in the top of the table.

One such casualty this season has been Liverpool, who have been out of funds and luck. They have been defeated earlier these season by Tottenham, Aston Villa (although they have won the return legs), and were held to a draw by Man City.

But the rise of the average clubs have been brought about by heavy financing and borrowings. In their search of Champions League glory they have been taking debts far above their means. These increases their risk of liquidity in the future if they fail to qualify for Champions League.

A limit on the spending of clubs should be enforced. FIFA should place limit on the clubs borrowing power. These will ensure that no team goes above its means to buy good players for seeking that coveted fourth spot.

The prize money for the Europa League should be increased so that the clubs are attracted to play those leagues also and that will diffuse this mad rush for seeking Champions League honours.