One talking point on the forums this week was promotion and relegation and, surprise surprise, the relegated side was the most disgruntled.
I must admit, I find most of the best threads on the official SIG forums by scrolling down and middle-clicking on all the ones that have been locked, are hopelessly misspelt or contain a lot of stars and/or capital letters. My apologies to those of you who write in full sentences and can remain civil, but I probably never read your threads.
Anyway, this one was locked so I opened. Essentially the OP was miffed that he was relegated despite teams above him breaching the league’s AI rights limit. He argued that since he had a low AI% and many of those above him had 100%, they should be removed from the division (which they were), but he should remain in his current tier. He was further narked to find that the team ranked just one place above him actually gained promotion to the higher tier!
While donning a crown of thorns and nailing himself to a tree, wattybm tried to take his FA orgs and mods to task for such a ridiculous ruling and argued Pontius Tebbutt should change the relegation/promotion criteria, lest he and others like him be condemned to the underworld that is League One.
The FA Org document is pretty clear. At the start of each season the federation will declare how many teams will be promoted and how many will be relegated. In this case there were 20 sides in the Championship and five were to be relegated. So, finish in the bottom five and it’s good night Vienna, so to speak.
With the relegation places decided, those places must be relegated. However, only those bottom teams will be removed. So, if some leave the game world or step over the AI limit, nobody above the relegation zone will take their place. If you don’t finish in the bottom five therefore you cannot be relegated unless you breach some other league rules (usually AI%).
However – anyone who leaves the league above needs to be replaced. So, once relegation has gone through and the numbers of inactive and AI% teams have been totted up, teams need to be promoted from the division below.
So, say 5 teams are relegated, 2 teams are demoted for AI and 1 leaves to join another fed. The division below needs to promote 8 teams. So the best 8 eligible teams from below are sent up (i.e. the top 8 who satisfy the AI criteria).
Unfortunately for watty boy, the Barabas who finished 14th satisfied Tebbut’s minions and went up.
Is this fair? I say yes. Without enforced relegation it is very difficult to ensure teams flow between the two tiers. Teams could perennially finish bottom and conceivably never get relegated. Furthermore, you know what you have to do to stay up during the season – if you can’t do that then you’ve failed and can’t really complain. Similarly, though unexpected the lad who finished 14th is one of the top eligible sides in the federation and deserves his chance in the Premier division. If he’s the 20th best side and there are 20 teams in the Premier, he deserves to be there. Or, should the Prem be reduced to 6 teams?
My advice is to save yourself some nails and wood and accept the relegation. And next year, try to be the highest of the eligible teams and get yourself promoted back to “where you belong”.
|Written By Gareth Millward
"Millie" is a long-standing member of the FM community and a co-founder of Gameworld One.Com. As part of FM-Britain, he was a contributor to TT&F and involved with the new tactical interface in FM2010.