IUSPORT INTERVIEW SPORTIA LAW 2013 – THE REAL SPORT ARBITRATION EXPERIENCE.

Interview - Sportia Law Iusport 2013

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INTERVIEW-SPORTIA-LAW-2013

Website: www.therealarbitrationexperience.com

BURSTING UP A SPORTING COMPETITION: THE CASE OF THE SPANISH PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE´S SECOND DIVISION 2010-2011

A few days away from the second leg of the Final of Spain´s Professional Football Second Division, Liga Adelante, between Granada C.F. and Elche, C.F., it´s interesting to see how a modification on the league´s competition system has burst up this season´s final weeks of the tournament, and even more, the earning of the third and last spot to be part of Spain´s worldwide acclaimed First Division: Liga BBVA.

What changed in Liga Adelante that made it have such a success, from a sporting and economic perspective? Why were the last few weeks of competition marked by better-than-average public attendance from home crowds in almost all the match dates, high television audience and passionate sports media reviews?

Here is what happened: Spain´s Professional Football League approved a modification of the competition system, which established that out of the 22 teams that made up Liga Adelante, 3 would advance to First Division, but only the first 2 would advance directly. The third sport would be fought between the pending four teams with best point average at the end of the tournament, not taken in consideration “branch clubs” that are part of such League as is Barcelona B football club. In this regard, Barcelona B ended third in the League, Elche was fourth, Granada fifth, Celta de Vigo sixth and Valladolid seventh.

Both knock-out playoffs series, Elche v. Valladolid and Granada v. Celta de Vigo ended up being true “gladiator battles” on a football pitch. Intensity, packed stadiums, controversy, missed penalties, golden opportunities missed by the losing squads and memorable comebacks.

In retrospective, with few weeks remaining for the league´s finale, most of the clubs had something to play for, the upper part of the qualifying table fought for promotion spots, while the lower part of the table fought to secure their spots in Second Division. In a few words, Spanish Football´s Second Division had excitement until the very end. A true sound judgment by the league´s organizer, and a good example of how a sporting competition can change its dull ways and turn into a “Cinderella competition”, favoring football dearest components: spectacle and good old top notch sporting competitiveness.