PPG proven no substitute for finishing Premier League season

Date: Monday 15th June 2020 at 6:50 am
Written by: | Comments (0)

Premier League tables with 9 games left have differed to final tables every season in the last decade, affecting 3 titles and 5 relegations.

Exclusive analysis by Zapsportz shows that final Premier League tables over the last 10 seasons have produced 3 different champions compared to tables after 29 games.

The 3 teams relegated have changed 5 times by 38 games being completed, leading to at least 1 different club being relegated in half of the campaigns and 2 in 2011.

Points Per Game (PPG) was long mooted as a mathematical way to decide final league places if this season could not be completed with 9 games left, after the campaign was paused in March due to the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic.

The stark evidence from Zapsportz shows however that PPG would most likely have led to false outcomes this season, if the campaign had been curtailed after 29 games.

As the Premier League resumes this week, Zapsportz’s analysis reveals that PPG would have been no substitute to completing the remaining 9 sets of matches.

UEFA asked in April for all domestic leagues to conclude with sporting merit and integrity, but guesswork or estimation would have paid scant regard to how form and random factors change at this infamous business end of the season.

PPG gives no consideration for late-season runs, which almost always impact final league placings, often in most unexpected ways. Countless relegations and promotions in football history would simply not have happened under PPG.

West Bromwich Albion were bottom of the Premier League at Christmas in 2004 and on the morning of the last day of the season, but they were safe by the final whistle.

Leicester City were bottom of the Premier League after 29 games in 2014-15. They won 7 of their last 9 games to stay up against the odds, finishing 14th. PPG would have relegated them. The following season they won the Premier League.

Zapsportz has compared final tables across the last decade to placings with 9 games to go. It shows the folly of thinking this season could have been decided by average points in the remaining games.

2009-2010

Same top 4, different order, different champions; European places changed; same bottom 3 went down.

29 games:
1 Man Utd, 2 Chelsea, 3 Arsenal, 4 Tottenham/5 Liverpool, 6 Man City/18 Burnley, 19 Hull City, 20 Portsmouth

38 games:
1 Chelsea, 2 Man Utd, 3 Arsenal, 4 Tottenham/5 Man City, 6 Aston Villa/18 Burnley, 19 Hull City, 20 Portsmouth

2010-2011

Same top 4, different order; same European places; 2 different teams went down.

29 games:
1 Man Utd, 2 Arsenal, 3 Man City, 4 Chelsea/5 Tottenham, 6 Liverpool/18 West Ham, 19 Wolves, 20 Wigan

38 games:
1 Man Utd, 2 Chelsea, 3 Man City, 4 Arsenal/5 Tottenham, 6 Liverpool/18 Birmingham City, 19 Blackpool, 20 West Ham

2011-2012

Same top 4, different order, different champions; European places switched; 1 different team went down.

29 games:
1 Man Utd, 2 Man City, 3 Arsenal, 4 Tottenham/5 Chelsea, 6 Newcastle/18 Bolton, 19 Wigan, 20 Wolves

38 games:
1 Man City, 2 Man Utd, 3 Arsenal, 4 Tottenham/5 Newcastle, 6 Chelsea/18 Bolton, 19 Blackburn, 20 Wolves

2012-2013

Top 4 changed; European places changed; bottom 3 unchanged.

29 games:
1 Man Utd, 2 Man City, 3 Chelsea, 4 Tottenham/5 Arsenal, 6 Everton/18 Wigan, 19 Reading, 20 QPR

38 games:
1 Man Utd, 2 Man City, 3 Chelsea, 4 Arsenal/5 Tottenham, 6 Everton/ 18 Wigan, 19 Reading, 20 QPR

2013-2014

Same top 4, different order, different champions; European places changed; 1 different team went down.

29 games:
1 Chelsea, 2 Liverpool, 3 Arsenal, 4 Man City/5 Tottenham, 6 Man Utd/ 18 Cardiff, 19 Sunderland, 20 Fulham

38 games:
1 Man City, 2 Liverpool, 3 Chelsea, 4 Arsenal/5 Everton, 6 Tottenham/18 Norwich, 19 Fulham, 20 Cardiff

2014-2015

Top 4 unchanged; European places changed; 1 different team went down – Leicester’s great escape.

29 games:
1 Chelsea, 2 Man City, 3 Arsenal, 4 Man Utd/5 Liverpool, 6 Southampton/18 Burnley, 19 QPR, 20 Leicester

38 games:
1 Chelsea, 2 Man City, 3 Arsenal, 4 Man Utd/5 Tottenham, 6 Liverpool/18 Hull, 19 Burnley, 20 QPR

2015-2016

Same top 4, different order; European places changed; same bottom 3, different order.

29 games:
1 Leicester, 2 Tottenham, 3 Arsenal, 4 Man City/5 West Ham, Man Utd/18 Norwich, 19 Newcastle, 20 Aston Villa

38 games:
1 Leicester, 2 Arsenal, 3 Tottenham, 4 Man City/5 Man Utd, 6 Southampton/18 Newcastle, 19 Norwich, 20 Aston Villa

2016-2017

Same top 4, different order; European places switched; same bottom 3.

29 games:
1 Chelsea, 2 Tottenham, 3 Liverpool, 4 Man City/5 Man Utd, 6 Arsenal/18 Hull, 19 Middlesbrough, 20 Sunderland

38 games:
1 Chelsea, 2 Tottenham, 3 Man City, 4 Liverpool/5 Arsenal, 6 Man Utd/18 Hull, 19 Middlesbrough, 20 Sunderland

2017-2018

Same top 4, different order; same European places; 1 different team went down.

29 games:
1 Man City, 2 Man Utd, 3 Liverpool, 4 Tottenham/5 Chelsea, 6 Arsenal/18 Palace, 19 Stoke, 20 West Brom

38 games:
1 Man City, 2 Man Utd, 3 Tottenham, 4 Liverpool/5 Chelsea, 6 Arsenal/18 Swansea, 19 Stoke, 20 West Brom

2018-2019

Top 4 changed; European places changed; bottom 3 unchanged.

29 games:
1 Man City, 2 Liverpool, 3 Tottenham, 4 Man Utd/5 Arsenal, 6 Chelsea/18 Cardiff, 19 Fulham, 20 Huddersfield

38 games:
1 Man City, 2 Liverpool, 3 Chelsea, 4 Tottenham/5 Arsenal, 6 Man Utd 18 Cardiff, 19 Fulham, 20 Huddersfield

Resuming the Premier League now gives clubs the chance to complete their matches to a conclusion that retains the best possible sporting integrity available.

The livelihood of players and the basic existence of clubs in League One and below remain at stake however, with their seasons succumbing to PPG.

Much can change and often does. Who can say what the final places would’ve been, where Sunderland missed the chance to claim a late League One play-off berth and Stevenage finished bottom of League Two by 3 points but with a game in hand.

PPG killed lower-league clubs’ chances to make a late dash to pull off success or avoid failure. A bitter pill will continue to be swallowed by many this week, while the Premier League’s sporting integrity get its chance to return.


Your Comment

*