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Interesting League Formats in FMM17

League football – you know the drill. Three go up, three go down, one champion, and sometimes there are playoffs. I won’t insult your intelligence. But what if I told you it doesn’t have to be that way? What if I told you there are leagues out there that steer away from the norm? Come with me as we explore these exciting other leagues.


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Scottish Premier League

We start this tour in the SPL, which is a pretty standard league with a few twists. The 12 team league still has one winner, who qualifies for the Champions League, and the teams in second and third qualify for the Europa League. However, with the league being on the small side, instead of each team playing everyone four times, the league actually splits. After all sides have played 33 games, the top six then play each other once again, with the bottom six doing likewise – allowing teams struggling at the foot of the table to get a leg up by playing the teams around them.

At the end of the season, the bottom team is relegated, with the second-bottom team playing the second-placed team from the Scottish Championship in a playoff.

The Northern Ireland Premier Division also follows a very similar format.



Belgian First Division B

And here we come across our first properly unique league in the game. The Belgian league system underwent an overhaul in 2016, and the First Division B was created. The 8 teams in the league play each other twice, with a league winner declared, and then they repeat the exercise. The winners of the two ‘mini-leagues’ then play each other for overall first place, with the teams finishing 2nd-4th joining the teams in the First Division A in a Europa League playoff. The four remaining teams then play each other in an overall relegation playoff.

Got it? No? Why not give it a go?



League of Ireland Premier Division

12 teams play each other home and away in this summer league, with one winner who qualifies for the Champions League qualifiers, and 2nd- and 3rd-placed finishers who qualify for the Europa League qualifiers. So far, so standard.


The 2017 season is seeing a shakeup. One team will be promoted from the first division and three teams relegated. After this, 10 teams will contest each decision. It may be a one-season wonder, but it could be fun to play in a division where 25% of the teams will drop out at the end of the season.



Turkish League 2

The Turkish second division is a fun little league. Or rather, it isn’t. Because it’s more like two leagues.

The third tier of the Turkish league pyramid has 36 teams and is split into two groups, red and white. Each group plays like a standard league, with the winner going up automatically and the bottom three teams being relegated – however the playoffs are where it gets fun. The second to fifth placed teams play their corresponding team from the other group, with the four winners then completing the playoff sequence to find the final team to get promoted. What I love most about this league is that you could play a season as one team, then pick another and have an entirely different experience.

On balance, I think my favourite is the Belgian First Division B. It’s just so different from the norm, and there are plenty of twists and turns to be had. What’s your favourite?

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It's a shame it isn't in the game but Denmark's is pretty crazy as well - 14 teams,split is 6/8 but even if you're a bottom 8 club you could get lucky and get to Europe

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