Why The Club Championship Sucks

There’s been a lot of talk recently about promotion, relegation and the club championship. Admittedly most of the talk has come from us and our dislike of the system to determine what league a club competes in.

So… what is the Club Championship?

For those that don’t know it’s the system that determines the clubs place on the table taking into account results from 18s, 20s and 1st grade.

1st grade is awarded 4x their competition points as club championship points, 2os are awarded 2x their points and 18s are point for point.

For example if on a weekend 1st grade wins, 20s draws and 18s wins the club would be awarded 17 out of a possible 21 points.

A pretty confusing system right? It means that for the supporters of a team, not only do you need to keep up with the 1st grade results but also the 20s and 18s results.

So obviously our first problem with the system is that it is confusing for supporters to keep up with.

Our next problem with it is the pressure it puts on kids 20 years and younger (16 year olds in 18s) to keep the team up a grade. For example Sydney FC is coming last in the NPL 1 1st grade competition however due to the strength of their junior players they will compete in the competition again next season whilst Bonnyrigg who are 8 points ahead will be relegated as their 18s and 20s haven’t won enough games.

An argument often cried about is that without the Championship, clubs wouldn’t focus on youth development.

Luckily we have a counter to that. NSW is one of the very few competitions that use the CC to determine promotion and relegation. Victoria has had no problems developing their players and in some cases they have actually done a much better job at it.

Yes, we do need to ensure that we develop our youth players properly, and one incentive that really needs to be implemented by the FFA is removing the $7k cap on transfer payments.

The third problem that we see with the current system, is that teams could end up stacking their U20s side with players to ensure they win to pick up 6 points if they know they don’t have a chance to win 1st grade. This means that supporters of the club possibly may not see the strongest side compete in 1st grade, which is just wrong.

For us promotion and relegation should only be decided by the table standing of the 1st grade side.

 

Let’s take a look at how promotion/relegation would be currently if we didn’t use the club championship.

NPL 1

Bonnyrigg will be relegated and compete in NPL 2 for the 2019 season. However if we went off of 1st grade standings, Sydney FC would be relegated instead.

NPL 2

Central Coast Mariners are on top of the NPL 2 CC with Mt Druitt Town Rangers right behind them. If it were based on standings, Rangers would be 1 point away from promotion and St George would be in 2nd place with Mariners out of contention

Parramatta are looking at setting up shop in NPL 3 next season with Rams and Spartans almost at safety. However, Parramatta are 12th on the table with both Rams and Spartans 3 points behind them.

NPL 3

St George City are leading the way in both the CC and 1st grade table. Gladesville Ryde and Hawkesbury are sitting 2nd and 3rd in both as well.

Fraser Park and Western NSW Mariners are currently in a relegation battle with 13 points separating the 2 clubs. On the table WNSW Mariners has a 6 point advantage over Fraser Park with a game in hand.

State League

In state League, Central Coast United and Bankstown United are neck and neck on points, only separated by total goals scored. However, Central Coast holds a 1 point advantage over the Bankstown side in the 1st grade standings.

 

What are your thoughts on the Club Championship? Is it time for us to scrap the whole system or is there still value in it?

Leave a comment with your thoughts below or on Facebook.

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