A blog by Patrick Crozier

« Queen raises fears over EU constitution | Main | Who says Germany's in recession? »

October 19, 2003

3 points for a win

Readers of a certain age will remember the bad old days when a game of football offered the winners only a miserly 2 points. How much better it must be now that it 3 points for a win? How many more games now see a result where once they would have only seen a dreary old draw? How many more goals scored in front of an audience of millions since the changeover in 1981-2?

How many indeed? Here's a table:

English top division
  Uh oh, that isn't right.


If I remember rightly, this was one of Jimmy Hill's bright ideas. His argument was that the points increase would give teams a greater incentive to try and win games, rather than settle for a draw, overlooking the counterargument that it would also give teams a greater incentive not to lose games. As predicted by the likes of me, it would make no practical difference. Indeed, you could have five points for a win, and one for a draw, and it wouldn't have made any significant difference. County cricket uses a far more ludicrously complicated points formula, when a straight two for a win, one for a draw system would still have the same teams winning, the same teams losing. And it would be a lot easier to follow, too.
If it ain't broke don't fix it!

Posted by Peter Briffa on October 21, 2003

For fully 50% of Premiership Clubs talk of making it into Europe is plain wishful thinking. The first objective must be to secure another season in the top flight. It's business, after all.

This objective boils down to hitting the much vaunted 40-points haul as soon as possible (even though it didn't save West Ham in 2002-3). Broadly that means means winning eight games and drawing as many of the rest as you lose. The wins are sought most urgently in strategically important games against other sides in a similar position. As for the rest the emphasis on survival IS an emphasis on grinding out a point a match.

Posted by Guessedworker on October 22, 2003