It’s that time of year again when the fate of Premiership and Championship teams becomes clear in the Premiership play-offs.
They are no doubt welcomed by the majority of fans who follow the game given that league expansion in the top flight seems a non-starter. They add a bit of excitement and intrigue when other league outcomes are already confirmed.
But the suggestion that the current play-off system favours the Premiership side can and has been levelled at the SPFL by opposition supporters and managers.
The Premiership team only have to play the winner of third/fourth v second meaning – and has happened – that the third or fourth placed Championship outfit will have played an energy sapping four extra games at the end of a long hard season before having a crack against their seemingly fresher Premiership opposition. As was the case for Rangers when the played Motherwell two years ago.
Since the introduction of the play-offs in 2013-14, Championship side Hamilton have been promoted via the play-offs after Hibernian squandered a two-goal first-leg lead, while Rangers and Falkirk fell at the final hurdle against Motherwell and Kilmarnock in 2014-15 and 2015-16 respectively.
In the last two years the evidence suggested that the Championship club had ran out of steam as Motherwell and Killie steamrollered their way through to preserve their Premiership status.
A fairer way to do it would be for fourth to play 11th in the Premiership and second against third.
The winner of those ties go into the final to decide promotion relegation.
And why not have the final a one-legged affair at the national stadium and market it like they do in the Premier League in England? A final with two legs home and away subtracts from the significance of the occasion.