Why the English Championship playoff is the best sporting event (and more lucrative than you think)


Don’t you just love it when the title is decided while one team is sitting in a conference room and the other is 51 points behind first place losing a match?

if you a Manchester City fans, employees or family members, so you do. But for everyone else, a potential classic Premier League title race quickly ended as nothing armory Capitalized after Easter. The same goes for the top-four chase that once involved upwards of six teams, but suddenly everything was decided before the season was over. man United And newcastle Spot sealed in time. So too did the relegation battle, involving almost half the league but now just three sides (everton, Leeds And Leicester) and there is a two digit difference between 17th and 18th southampton already down.

, Live stream: Coventry City v Luton Town, Sat. 5/27, 11:40AM ET, ESPN+

Every professional sporting event is trying to find a balance between identifying the best team and generating the most excitement. American sports are inclined towards the latter, followed by an abbreviated cup competition to determine the champion with a longer regular season to determine seeding.

An analysis by Michael Lopez, now senior director of football data and analytics at the National Football League, found that the best team advances to a best-of-seven NBA series about 80% of the time. On the other end of the fairness spectrum, you’ve got baseball: a 162-game regular season and then a playoff series that as often as the NBA’s playoffs will need to be best-75 to identify the best team.

Both of those leagues struggle with devaluation of the regular season, although this is not a problem of the Premier League. The structure of a typical European domestic league is about as fair as it gets: everyone plays the same schedule, and whoever comes out with the most overall points is the winner. Week 2 matters just as much as Week 32, but when one team is much better than the other — which is inevitable given the disparate spending power in these leagues — you often get a situation we call this. Will see on Sunday, where the final games of the season are also the least important.

Thankfully, this weekend will also be the finale of soccer’s — and perhaps one of the most well-designed — contests in all of sports: the championship playoffs.

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