Special feature: Betsson Super League 2
The Betsson Super League 2 championship or, for the more traditional fans of Greek football, the second division, kicks off this weekend (6-7.11) – as long as there are no last-minute surprises of course in what has been a painful wait of several consultations, upheavals and court decisions.
The teams are ready to step out onto the pitch in a competitive season that offers to be special, as it comes with several innovations. In fact, the new fixture draw, after the unexpected postponement of the start of the championship on 31.10, «revealed » a derby. PAOK B play the first away match in their short history in Athens, facing Olympiacos B. The match – at the time of writing at least – was scheduled for a 15.00 kick-off on Saturday 06.11.
This year, the league will have a completely different format, that of two groups of 17 teams, as the Football League, following its dissolution, merges with the Super League 2. This means that there is an overabundance of teams in the category (34 in total), with but the prospect in the near future and until the 2024-25 season, to be gradually reduced to 18 and for all to join in one group. According to the plan, the Super League 2 championship in the 2022-2023 season will consist of 30 teams, in the 2023-24 season 22 teams and in the 2024-25 season 18 teams.
Another important innovation in this year’s championship is the participation of the second teams of four major clubs (PAOK, Olympiacos, Panathinaikos and AEK).
The kick-off dates may have been defined, but the court adventures of some teams are not expected to be cleared up soon … The most recent of the many upheavals of this new league is the judicial justification of the 31 players (over 25 years old), whose cards were originally revoked, but will eventually be eligible to participate. The specific players are at Aigaleo, Asteras Vlachioti, Kallithea, Apollon Pontou, Olympiacos Volou and Panserraikos.
New arrivals, such as Zakynthos and Kavala, are going through their own personal «Golgotha», as they were vindicated by the Arbitration Court for their participation in the championship, just hours before the previously scheduled cross – a fact that caused the postponement, as well as the new draw – however they filed a new appeal against the Transfer Quality Committee. The reason is none other than to convert the cards of their footballers from amateur to professional. Anyway, of course all of them had asked for the postponement of their Matchday 1 fixtures.
Conduct and regulations
The championship will be held in one phase, i.e. in the regular season, during which 34 matches will be played in each group, in two rounds of 17 matches each. There are no play offs and no play outs. On every Matchday weekend, one team will have a rest day.
Two teams have the potential to advance to Super League 1. At the end of the season, the champions of the two groups will compete in two-legged qualifying matches. The winning team wins promotion. The losing team will play two matches against the team that will take the penultimate place in the Super League 1. The winner of these matches will play in Super League 1 (2022-23), while the loser remains in the Super League 2. It should be noted that away goals do not apply to these qualifying matches. Therefore, if in the two matches an equal total number of goals is scored by both teams after the end of the second match, they will go to extra time and then penalties.
In the third division, eight teams will be relegated, i.e. the last four from each group.
Also, in the event of a tie between two or more teams, it is worth mentioning that the best goal difference and the most points in the games between them will be taken into account, as well as the best overall goal difference and the best overall attack and defense in the league. In that order.
As for teams im group B, they have no right of promotion and are not relegated. In addition, all the players of the first teams have the right to participate in the B teams, as long as the total of 11 does not exceed 5 players over 25 years old.
Finally, to mention that in order to have a balance in both groups regarding the participation of the B teams, Olympiacos was placed in the northern group this year, after a draw. In the 2022-23 season, Panathinaikos B will move into the north division and in the 2023-24 season, AEK B.
And so, the B team championship is set to kick-off after five postponements. No matter if the TV rights have not yet been finalized! Let’s hope that everything will finally go smoothly and we will enjoy a creative season of football with spectacle and emotions.
The two groups in detail:
AEL, Almopos Arideas, Anagennisi Karditsa, Apollon Larissa, Apollon Pontou, Veria, Iraklis / Triglia, Thesprotos, Kavala, Niki Volou, Xanthi, Olympiacos Volou, Olympiacos B, Panserraikos, PAOK B, Pierikos,
AEK B, Aigaleo, Asteras Vlachioti, Diagoras, Episkopi, Ergotelis, Herodotus, Zakynthos, Kalamata, Kallithea, Karaiskakis, Kifissia, Levadiakos, OF Ierapetra, Panathinaikos B, Rhodes, Chania
Matchday 1 fixtures
Olympiacos B- PAOK B
Panserraikos – Olympiacos Volou
Triglia (Iraklis) – Victory of Volos
Veria – Almopos Arideas
Apollon Pontou – Kavala
Renaissance of Karditsa – Thesprotos
Pierikos – Xanthi
Day off: AEL
Kallithea – Zakynthos
Aigaleo – Chania
Herodotus – Diagoras
Levadiakos – Asteras Vlachioti
Rhodes – Ergotelis
Diocese – Karaiskakis
Kifissia – Panathinaikos V.
AEK B – Kalamata
Rest day: OFI Ierapetra