Saturday, August 16, 2008

Four options await the Ekstraklasa

The Polish Ekstraklasa should have started a fortnight ago, but thanks to on-going corruption investigations, not a single game has been played.

This will change shortly, as on Wednesday the two clubs still in limbo (Korona Kielce and Zaglebie Lubin) will find out what league they will be playing in for the 2008/09 season.

There are four possible outcomes for Poland’s top league from the Tribunal meetings that will occur on Wednesday.

The first option is that both Korona Kielce and Zaglebie Lubin will be cleared of any wrong doings in the corruption scandal that has rocked Polish soccer this year.

Both teams, which are currently listed as second league teams but have not played any such matches, will be brought back up to the Ekstraklasa and play in the top-flight.

This seems to be the most probable outcome when looking at popular opinions throughout the country.

The only problem with this is that two second division clubs, Piast Gliwice and Arka Gdynia, have already been promised and guaranteed spots in the top-flight.

If Korona and Zaglebie are reinstated into the Ekstraklasa, the league would increase from 16 teams to 18 teams, something that would cost the league approximately 20 million zloty (6.25 million Euros).

The second option is that both teams stay down in the second division. This would mean that all schedules stay the same, there are 16 teams in the Ekstraklasa, and that these last two weeks of postponing the season were unnecessary.

Option three is that one team is sent up, and the other kept down, creating 17 teams in Poland’s top two division (each club would have a bi-week in the schedule).

The final option is that there is no decision and that the start of the league is once again postponed to a later date, resulting in another weekend without top-flight football in Poland.

Question is whether the individuals in-charge realize that the domestic league’s reputation has taken a severe hit in recent months and that further postponement would only hurt that reputation even more.