Details of the new reform from the FNL: The second league, as in Spain and Germany, will partially return the “spring-autumn”
The FNL is preparing a reform of the pyramid of Russian football – it will change so that in one of the parts there will be a “spring-autumn” system!
You know the current alignment: there is the RPL, the First League (18 teams) and the Second (72 teams, four regional groups). And everyone plays strictly from summer to spring.
Now the system will change:
• RPL • First League (still 18 teams) • Second League is divided into two levels. On the first level: elite, 20 teams, a special format of groups • On the second level – regional division, more than 60 teams, easier licensing and – a revolution – the “spring-autumn” system.
How will it work? How can one division live according to “spring-autumn”, and the next – according to “autumn-spring”? Sports.ru studied the reform project and figured it out.
What is the essence of the reform?
• In fact, in professional football there will be not three levels, but four.
• 20 teams will get into the elite part of the Second League: 4 relegated from the First League and the most successful among those who did not move up the division. Attention to the picture:
• The remaining teams of the Second League will be moved to a lower level – they will continue to play in regional groups, only now the season will be held according to the “spring-autumn” system, which the vast majority of teams have wanted for a very long time.
• In order to connect the “spring-autumn” and “autumn-spring” in different levels, the Second League will move to a unique hybrid format. In the course of the season, two stages will be played in the third division: autumn (first) and spring (second).
At the end of the autumn stage, the two worst teams (19th and 20th places) are relegated, they are replaced by the best teams of the fourth division – they will just end the spring-autumn season. In the spring, the teams will also be cut off – through the joints for the right to remain in the Second League. The two worst teams of the spring and the 17th-18th places of the autumn stage will get there. Thus, the fourth division plays according to the “spring-autumn”, and the third division works as a hybrid, which accepts newcomers in the fall, and itself sends clubs to promotion to the First League in May.
• The division of professional football into actually four levels, where the last one has many regional groups – the European standard. In Germany, the pyramid of divisions is as follows: 18 teams in the tower, 18 in the second Bundesliga, then 20 teams and another 5 groups of 18-21 teams. France has three leagues of 20 clubs and four groups of 18 below.
• The RFU accurately studied the experience of Spain, where until 2021 everything was the same as it is now in Russia: Primera and Segunda are integral leagues, and Segunda B is divided into four groups of 20 teams. Two years ago, the Spaniards rebuilt: Segunda B was reduced to 40 teams (2 groups of 20), and the rest were sent to the fourth division.
Separate stages in autumn and spring, division of the league into two levels. How to figure it out?
Let’s as simply as possible analyze how the third division will be arranged.
• 20 teams are divided into two subgroups – “gold” and “silver”. Recall: the best from the old Second League and those who were relegated from the First League will get into the “golden” one.
• The championship will be held in two stages – autumn and spring, in order to synchronize the “spring-autumn” at the bottom and “autumn-spring” at the top.
• Gold teams play only gold teams, silver teams only play silver teams. The format is traditional: each with each at home and away, in total – 18 rounds in the fall and spring.
• Based on the results of the autumn stage, teams are exchanged: you can fall from Gold to Silver and vice versa. The top four Silver teams advance to Gold, while the bottom four teams from the Gold subgroup (from 7th to 10th) are relegated to Silver. The same thing happens at the end of spring – this is how the composition of participants for the new season is formed.
• The two winners of the spring stage will advance directly to the First League. There will also be a joint: the third place of the spring will play with the winner of the fall (if he is not in the top two of the spring).
• Two teams will be relegated directly to the fourth division – the worst in the “silver” group at the end of the autumn. Two more relegated clubs will be determined in the joints: 7th and 8th places of the “silver” group according to the results of autumn against 9th and 10th places in spring.
For ease of understanding – visualization of places:
What is the meaning of the division into autumn and spring?
A clear increase in intrigue.
Teams in the Gold will fight all autumn for the right to stay at the top and keep the chances for the First League, and everyone has something to lose (7th-10th places fall into the Silver). The teams in the Silver are also extremely motivated: you can have a good few months, move up to the Gold, and even reach the First League in the spring.
In summary: at every stage of the season, everyone has something to lose and something to gain.
What is the motivation for change? Why not leave it as is?
In the current format, the Second League, to put it mildly, is not the most promising tournament.
• Clubs that move from League Two to League One are simply not competitive. Of the nine such teams over the past two years, five ended up in the relegation zone, and one more was disbanded. Last but not least, this may be due to the extremely heterogeneous level of play in the Second League itself – after the reduction, the passenger teams will fall off, there will be more struggle.