Is this the fairest way to decide the outcome of the Championship season?
03 May 2020 10:36 pm, by YorkshireSquare
There still appears to be a desire to try to finish the Championship season, even if that is behind closed doors. But as time goes on and the logistics get more difficult and the costs higher the possibility seems ever more unlikely. If the league couldn't be restarted, then the fairest way of working out the table may not be based on current points but could it be worked out in a fairer way?
To do this you could take results of teams that have played each other twice and half the outcome and have those results go hand in hand with the results from matches where the teams played each other only once. For example Leeds played West Brom twice and Leeds won one and drew one. As such for the Leeds v West Brom result Leeds would get 2 points (the 4 points for the win and draw but halved as if it was just 1 match) and West Brom would get 1/2 point (a draw and loss totalling 1 point but halved).
This would seem the fairest way so teams couldn't moan about one team having played more of the easy games and another team playing harder games. If a team had played 'easier games' then they would expect to have won both of them but would now only get 3 points instead of the 6 if they had won them both. If a team had lost, they wouldn’t get any points as we could expect them to lose the return fixture too.
This enables a table to be produced from the results of 23 matches with the results as fair as possible. Half the points from the matches where teams played each other twice and full points when teams had only played once - okay it can be argued that a team might have ended the season with a great run or a team might have gone into freefall but that would just be guessing at results not using actual results as fairly as possible. You then double the outcome from the 23 matches, essentially mirroring results for the remaining matches, to get the final Championship table.
Perhaps slightly alarmingly out of the 14 matches where Leeds had played a team twice our results were the same 7 times (such as beating Huddersfield twice, drawing twice with Preston etc) but worse 6 times (drawing then losing to Forest, beating then drawing with WBA etc) and only better on 1 occasion when we beat Millwall after losing to them first time around.
As a result this system would see West Brom win the league with 91 points and Leeds would be in 2nd with 85. Interestingly the 4 teams currently in the play-off positions all stayed in exactly the same position (Fulham on 79 points, Brentford and Forest on 77 and Preston on 74). 7th place was a significant 6 points behind which would for me make it fair if the play-offs were played based on the current teams. The only change of any real significance (apart from Leeds finishing 2nd instead of top) was that Wigan would be relegated whereas Charlton would if the league had finished after 37 matches.
If the EFL were cancelled it would seem fair to base promotion on the current table. More worrying though is why we did so poorly second time round against teams. Perhaps it is just a bit of an anomaly as we would have expected to get better results against the likes of Charlton, Swansea and Fulham as we lost to all 3 of them. We also had draws with Cardiff and Derby where we should have won both games so may have fared better in those reverse fixtures too and would be hopeful of replicating our wins over Barnsley, Blackburn, Luton and Stoke so it may well have been that we'd have suffered no more worse results from our remaining fixtures.
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