Cliché of the week: “Relegation six-pointer”

Daniel Bingham wishes the media would stop trying to make Burnley vs Palace seem important

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Photo: Wikimedia Commons

There are no words uttered more after the 30th week of the season than ‘relegation six-pointer’.

You can often find commentators and pundits alike abusing this phrase to describe any game between sides in the bottom half.

Matches such as Burnley vs Crystal Palace probably aren’t going to pull in crowds of people, but if that is the only one that the BBC can get Radio 5Live coverage of, they have to do everything imaginable to get listeners.

At the end of the day a game between 13th and 15th isn’t really part of a scrap at the bottom of the table. A relegation six-pointer needs to seriously jeopardise either team should they lose.

Simply put, we need to get pundits to curtail their use of this phrase just because both teams aren’t mathematically safe, else it can be used for a huge number of fixtures.

Teams don’t have their fate sealed until very late on: it even took Sunderland until 34 matches to be relegated with certainty, despite their dreadful season.

If we keep on using this phrase to hype average games, we will only detract from the enormity of other games; or alternatively ‘and when everyone’s super, no-one will be’. (Syndrome et al, 2004).

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