For years Julio Grondona looked to have one of his pet projects approved for years now. There have been roadblocks and moments of illumination that came about. Well this time around, none of those factors were in play and the AFA board contributed to his capricious nature and caved in to his wish of expanding the playing field to 30 teams starting in February 2015. Grondona did receive enough support to get what many in Argentina consider as yet another foolish move in the wrong direction.
The new 30-team format will see the previous short seasons go into history. Starting February there will be a season that will be played until December. The first round will consist of 29 round-robin rounds as well as a week where there will be derbies played in one round. The schedule will then be played once more with the derby. This will mean you will get to see four Superclásicos in one year, for example.
How Will This Work?
For starters, the three teams that will go down will go down for only six months, in theory. The Nacional B will play an abridged tournament where there are two groups of 11 and the top five teams in these groups earn promotion to the top flight. This is the scenario that Argentinos Juniors faces right now.
There is also the caveat that creeps up where a team from that earns promotion right now from the third division, the Primera B Metropolitana, could also end up in the top flight depending on how they do in the upcoming short season. This also goes for the teams that are playing in the Argentino A (fourth division) and earning promotion to the third, they could also make the two-tier jump in the span of six months.
One thing that will remain is the promotion and relegation end based on average. There was a great deal of speculation about this completely being removed, but that is only temporary. The final semester of 2014 will have no risk of relegation for any squad in Argentine football.
There are still details that need ironed out in regards to scheduling for international tournaments, FIFA dates as well as Copa Argentina. Then there is the talk that this format still needs to be looked at in regards to how the television revenue will be distributed as well.
This circus, better known as Argentine football, is also going through a major revamp at the same time there is an election year in that country. So this will be a major talking point in the elections as Futbol Para Todos is major guzzler of public tax money.
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