How should a league’s champion be decided? For the most part leagues decide the champion based on who has the most points by the end of the season. Though, a select few such as Liga Mx and MLS decide their champion based on the winner of a tournament with the top teams at the end of the season. With some of the top leagues in the world deciding such an important thing in vastly different ways the question, “Which system is better?” had to be asked.
The more popular system being to have the top team at the end of the season automatically get the title does make sure the most deserving team wins the title. However, is this the best for the fans? Nothing brings fans together more than a cinderella story or a title coming down to a penalty shoot-out. These types of endings are often only possible with a tournament system. Though fans of the number one team will often feel robbed when/if their team loses this type of tournament, as despite how dominant they could of been the whole season they still might not win.
For instance, by the end of the Premier League, Chelsea was 7 points ahead of second place Tottenham. This meant that by the last match-day the title was already decided. After a whole seasons worth of build-up we are left with a match-day that is largely pointless. This is not always the case, as some leagues still come down to the very last match. A good example is La Liga, Real Madrid beat Barcelona to the race for first by a mere 3 points. If Real Madrid had lost the last game, and Barcelona had won then the tables would of been turned giving the title to Barcelona. This was due to the fact that Barcelona was ahead in tie-breakers. When a league ends like this the deserving team wins, and we are treated to a very interesting ending. While this is ideal, there is also a chance that like The Premier League the ending is seemingly meaningless.
With a tournament, we are given an extra 30 or so games that all have a lot of meaning. It’s win or go home, so there will be no games that don’t matter for a team. Though this can be problematic, because if you just play two, or even in some cases 1 bad match, then you could be eliminated. This is often why these Cinderella stories occur as the better team chokes, and the less star filled roster takes advantage. While, this does create a great story-line, it doesn’t aid in the best team lifting the title.
In the end, I have to conclude that having the team at the top of the table claim the title is the best method. While we may have times like this year’s Premier League where we end with less important games, it only provides more of a reason why Chelsea shouldn’t of had to go through a tournament to claim what they earned throughout the season. In other words, I think the majority of the leagues got this one right.
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