Clanachan Not Keen To Add Playoffs To Canadian Premier League
With Cavalry FC taking both the spring and fall seasons in the first year of the Canadian Premier League – and Forge FC finishing second behind them throughout both seasons – the first year of CPL action has largely felt like a two-horse race. Third-placed York9 FC finished some 14 points behind its Hamilton-based rivals, prompting some fans to decree that there needs to be more for clubs to play for than just the top spot of the league itself.
To that end, the idea of having the second-placed team play the third-placed team in a playoff for the Canadian Premier League finals has been tossed around. While York9 FC gaffer Jim Brennan admitted it would have been nice to have such a playoff structure, it’s not something that league commissioner David Clanachan is keen to implement in the Canadian Premier League.
Speaking with OneSoccer analyst Asa Rehman on Unscripted, he revealed that while the subject hasn’t been discussed in detail, league officials aren’t eager to change the competition format:
Interesting idea. We haven’t gone into very much discussion around it, but I can tell you that the prevailing thought is no. We’ve got a long season. We’ve got a lot of things in between, whether it be CONCACAF, whether it be Canadian Championship, and we’ve got those shoulder months where it gets awful cold in October in this country and certainly earlier in the spring you never know what card you’re going to be dealt.David Clanachan
Of course, that isn’t to say that Clanachan is against scheduling adjustments to help ease the pains of wintry Canadian weather in general: he says that an adjustment to the 2020 CPL schedule is needed, which may mean an earlier start and possibly less midweek games, which have statistically hurt attendance.
Whatever changes do come, however, it looks like the structure of the two-legged CPL Finals won’t be one of them: the league seems firm on having the spring season winner face the fall season winner, and if one team wins both like Cavalry FC did this year, then they’ll simply face the team with the second-most accumulative points.
We like what we’re doing. We’ve been following, more or less, the European or FIFA model, I’d like to say. Don’t really want to get into the playoffs. We actually think the teams that actually run along and do well throughout the year, the cream should rise to the top, and they should be the ones that are in it to the last.David Clanachan
The first leg of the inaugural CPL Finals is set to take place this October 26 at Tim Hortons Field. The match will air live on CBC Sports with a simultaneous stream on OneSoccer, who will provide both pre-and-post match programming.
The second leg will take place at Spruce Meadows on November 2, dipping into the cold ‘shoulder months’ that Clanachan was talking about. The match will stream live on OneSoccer, with CBC Sports later airing the game on a tape delay. This Friday, the league is expected to unveil the Canadian Premier League trophy ahead of the two-legged title bout.
While Clanachan had previously stated he’d be happy with at least one expansion team in 2020, it’s looking like the likes of Saskatoon and Montreal won’t arrive until at least 2021. In the meantime, the league commissioner says fans can expect a heightened level of play next season as many domestic players enter their second year as professional athletes.
Source: OneSoccer (via Twitter)