# Tiebreakers to decide league position in football (soccer)?

In the English Premier League, the league standing is decided using total points scored over the season, then goal difference, then goals scored - in that order.

1. What happens if two (or more) teams are tied in all three stats? Are teams then ranked on the results between them?

2. What other methods exist to rank teams (other than the one I mentioned and points averages, like they use in Argentina)?

## 2 Answers

1) According to the Premier League Handbook, the two teams are tied if the positions are irrelevant (i.e. no relegation or cup qualification is affected):

C.7: Subject to Rule C.17, if any two or more Clubs have scored the same number of points, have the same goal difference and have scored the same number of goals in League Matches in that Season; they shall be deemed to occupy the same position in the table.

In listed tables for this case, the tied teams are typically listed in alphabetical order.

If the positions are significant, the teams play off for the position:

C.14: If at the end of the Season either the League Champions or the Clubs to be relegated or the question of qualification for other competitions cannot be determined because two or more Clubs are equal on points, goal difference and goals scored, the Clubs concerned shall play off one or more deciding League Matches on neutral grounds, the format, timing and venue of which shall be determined by the Board.

2) Another regularly-used system (e.g. in European cup competition) is results between the teams that are tied on points (as you mentioned in part 1). e.g. In a league with Team A, Team B Team C and Team D, if Teams A B and C have the same number of points, a hypothetical league involving only fixtures between the tied teams is used to establish the relative ranking of those teams.

• For the hypothetical league of two tied teams, what happens when both have won their home games 1-0 against each other? Nov 9, 2012 at 16:26
• That would depend on the competition. For instance, Euro 2012 used results between tied teams to break ties. After that, it was all results (similar to the "normal" system). If they were STILL tied, they used the nation's UEFA coefficient (i.e. ranking), then conduct (i.e. fewest sendings off/bookings) and finally drawing of lots. eurosoccerweb.com/uefa-euro-cup-2012-tiebreaker-rules Nov 9, 2012 at 16:30

Italy used to use a playoff for league winners, european spots, relegation if two teams were level on points for the same position. This was before the 05/06 season, since then they have used head to head records to decide league standings between teams on level points.