Jupiler Pro League – Waiting for the Playoffs

By | December 17, 2012

Genk players congratulate each other as they feel they have made it to the playoffs

The current crazy playoff system in the Jupiler Pro League means that the top six play off in mini-league, with a starting point of half the points they gained in the classic season. It was introduced to keep the excitement going to the end of the season and to hopefully increase gate receipts for the bigger clubs.
A look at the current table shows the problems that can arise. After two-thirds of the season, the top six are already drawing away from the pack. That means that they just have to keep up the same pace and then they will see the gap with the top club – Anderlecht – halved.
Anderlecht are currently on 46 points, with unfancied Zulte Waregem second on 40. Then there is a bunch of four clubs some way off the pace: Standard, Club Brugge and Genk have 35, while faltering Lokeren have 34. In seventh place, it’s Kortrijk on 28 points.
With Lucas Biglia hoping for a move in January and with Dieumerci Mbokani wishing for the same thing and going to the CAF championships in February, Anderlecht may yet struggle. Their current 11 point lead will be cut to five or six as the playoffs start. Add to that the fact that Standard and Club Brugge have benefited from their respective changes of coach and it’s still possible that the championship could have an exciting finish. That said, it’s no way to run a professional league.

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