Date:Wednesday May 16 2012
It's that time of year again when, up until the 1980's league football would have been done and dusted with players and managers alike packing their cases and going on holiday.
Since 1987 more games were introduced which meant that teams who finished in fourth to seventh places in the league still had a chance of going up - which meant a bit more money in the coffers for the clubs involved. The revenue earned between the play-off semi finals and the final itself is a massive boost to the teams involved (and, of course, to the sponsors of the league). Unfortunately, of course, for the teams not involved, it means very little.
But, are the play-offs fair? If four teams are going up out of a league, shouldn't it be the four who finish at the top? Have the play-offs made football more attractive? Well, yes, I think it probably has.
Until the last couple of games of the season, Rotherham United still had a chance of getting in the play-offs this season, which gave the fans something to think about and probably saw a few more turn out to watch than would have done had we not had a chance.
The Millers have been involved three times in the play-offs - in 1988, 1999 and we got to the final in 2010.
I also think its brought Football League football to people who probably wouldn't bother watching otherwise - I know someone who regularly watches a Premiership team and has nothing at all to do with the Football League that is until it comes to the play-offs.
On the other hand I do sometimes wonder if it's not just another way to get the fans hard earned cash out of them! It's extra games to play for, extra travelling, extra merchandise to buy if you get to the final. But let's not forget what a great day out we had at the New Wembley two years ago - would I have missed it? Not on your Nellie! Even though we lost, the occasion was one for the memory banks.
Whatever you think of the play-offs you can't deny that there is always the excitement, the hopes, the disappointment, the heart-break and that possibility of getting yourself into a higher league. And it's very difficult to argue that they haven't been successful.
What do you think of the play-offs?
Come and tell us, here, on Vital Rotherham
Date:Wednesday May 16 2012
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