Coming off of a season that saw the Serie A title go right down to the wire, the powers that be have approved a new model. This new model will change the landscape of the league dramatically, but not at all at the same time. As per reports by The Athletic, this will only kick in when two teams finish on the same points tally.
The Serie A title will be decided by a play-off from next season should the top two teams finish level on points — and not their head-to-head record or goal difference.https://t.co/t774KPnrGO
— The Athletic UK (@TheAthleticUK) June 29, 2022
The Serie A Title Could Now be Decided Via a Playoff
How Will the Serie A Title Race Change?
So, as previously mentioned, the Serie A title went down to the last day earlier this year. The two Milan teams were at the fore of interrupting Juventus’ dominance. Inter Milan did it the season prior and this time around it was Stefano Pioli’s side AC Milan side that prevailed.
It seems very unlikely that this initiative would ever come into play. Since the turn of the century, going back to the times when there were only 18 teams in the Italian top, not once has there been a tie for points at the top of the tree. The Serie A title will never have been decided this way in this period, over two decades so it could prove to be a futile change.
That being said, if this were to come into play, it would be hugely entertaining. As opposed to goal difference finalising the recipient of the title, a play-off match would ensue between the pair. If this were to end in a draw, the match would then go straight to penalties.
Where Else is This Implemented?
The official line from the Athletic is that “no other top European division currently uses a play-off, with other leagues relying on goal difference to separate teams level on points.” Besides that, playoffs are of course used in a more traditional sense elsewhere. They are at the heart of American sports, whether it be in the NBA or with MLS. Also, it is the lifeblood of the English Football League, making it even more enthralling.
Only once has the Serie A title been awarded following a play-off. Bologna beat Inter Milan 2-0 in 1964 in the Eternal City. This has all been approved by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) and will spring into action from next season onwards. Could we see a Milan derby next year to decide who lifts the title?