Jupiler Pro League: Format of the competition at the centre of discussions again

Jupiler Pro League: Format of the competition at the centre of discussions again
Standard's players pictured during a training session ahead of the 2022-2023 season, of Belgian first division soccer team Standard de Liege, Wednesday 15 June 2022 in Liege. Credit: Belga / Virginie Lefour

This Friday, a general meeting of the Belgian Football Pro League will take place to discuss the proposal to reform the format of Belgium’s professional football competitions for the 2022-2023 season, Belga reports.

After two weeks of discussions, the time to make a decision has arrived. The CEO of the Association of Pro Clubs, Lorin Parys, has proposed a 16-team formula with up to three relegated and promoted while also eliminating the most controversial aspect of the league: halving points before the playoffs.

All teams would play at the end of the classic phase in this new proposal. The top six would play it out for the title, while the teams ranked 7-12 would potentially qualify for a European spot and the bottom four would be in the relegation zone. The last two of these rankings would be sent directly to the league below while the penultimate would face the winner of the D1B playoffs.

In D1B, the Second Division, the first two would be promoted directly while the clubs ranked in places 3 to 6 would compete for this place in a play-off. U23 teams could be promoted or relegated, as long as the first team is not already in the series.

To endorse this formula, a two-thirds majority is required from the 24 professional clubs. Some clubs believe that this format is especially favourable to tenors, especially since the abolition of multiple voting rights is no longer mentioned, as additional financial support for 1B.

Some of the K11 clubs are in favour of a competition with 18 clubs, without playoffs and with up to three relegated/promoted. The Pro League also values other points in its overall plan. Voted with the format, they will impose new rules on clubs.

They will have to present a positive cash flow within five years and invest part of their turnover in age categories and women’s football.

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