In a bid to revive flagging interest, the Superleague Greece board of directors met in Athens mid-week and voted to implement three major competition changes including the following:
– A reduction of the number of teams in the Greek Superleague from 16 to 14.
– A play-off series at the end of the home and away season to determine the league champion.
– A play-out series at the end of the home and away season to decide the relegated teams.
The play-off and play-out competition formats will be introduced next season whilst the reduction in the number of Superleague clubs will come into effect in season 2018-19.
It will be the second reduction in team numbers in the Superleague in four years. Two seasons ago, in 2014-15, the league was reduced from 18 to 16 teams.
The existing competition format involves an end of season play-off series involving the second to fifth-placed teams to determine which teams qualify along with the champions for European competitions.
The new play-off format will be expanded to include the first-placed team at the end of the regular season, with the winner of the play-offs crowned league champion and the other places determining European qualification.
Conversely, from season 2018-19, the seventh to 14th placed teams at the end of the regular season will enter a play-out series to determine 13th and 14th places.
The 14th spot is the automatic relegation spot whilst the 13th team goes into a two-legged tie with the runners up of the second-tier comp, the Football League, with the winner gaining a place in the Superleague in the following season.
Introduced in season 2005, Superleague Greece has been monopolised by Olympiakos which has won 11 of the 12 titles in the competition’s existence.