Spanish football faces a very important change in its pyramid next season. A new professionalized category is created between the Second Division and the current Second B, which will change its name. It is the First RFEF, which will be followed by the Second RFEF and the Third RFEF. All these categories will have a series of patterns that will make them more competitive and tough. The number of descents per group will be very high.
Luis Rubiales discovered some of the novelties of the new RFEF competitions for assembly members. The First RFEF is one of the most news that was known after the last meetings between the clubs and the announcement of the configuration of the groups. The president wanted to clarify why he opted for an east-west model when separating the teams: “It is a reason for displacement. Although there were almost the same distances, the rail network is larger and more accessible from north to south, making it easier for teams to navigate if you split them up in an east-west format. “
The president also wanted to emphasize that the declines have increased to make them more competitive and out of necessity, since the previous campaign, interrupted by COVID, did not carry out any category loss for any club. “In other countries that did decide to go down to teams without finishing the season, they have had to reinstate them after the judges' ruling,” he said. Therefore, and With the aim of making the competitions tougher in favor of a greater spectacle, there will be five descents per group in all. In addition, he wanted to maintain another pattern for all divisions and it is the merit to finish first: tEveryone who ends up champion of their group will be promoted directly, without having to go through a playoff. “All the playoffs will be a one-off game and in a venue. We want excitement and in stadiums where there is a party. We want an atmosphere as close to a Copa del Rey final. Fewer games and more emotion,” added Rubiales.
Format of the First RFEF
It will be made up of 40 teams divided into two groups of 20 by geographical criteria (East-West). The competition will consist of two phases. The first will be in league format: 38 days (round trip) between the members of each group. From this first phase, those who finish in first position are promoted directly to Second (LaLiga SmartBank), while those who remain between second and fifth place, both inclusive, will go on to play a promotion promotion. The last five of each group (from 16 to 20) will go down to Second RFEF.
Group 1: Racing de Ferrol, Deportivo, Racing de Santander, Celta B, Cultural Leonesa, Bilbao Athletic, Tudelano, Calahorra, UD Logroñés, Valladolid B, Zamora, Unionistas, UD Sanse, Rayo Majadahonda, DUX Inter, Talavera, Badajoz, Extremadura, Real Unión and SD Logroñés.
Group 2: Sevilla Atlético, Betis Dvo, Linares, Atlético Sanluqueño, San Fernando, Algeciras, Linense, Andorra, UCAM Murcia, Alcoyano, Albacete, Castilla, Atlético Baleares, Vilarreal B, Castellón, Nàstic, Cornellà, Barcelona B, Sabadell and Llagostera.
The same number of groups is maintained as those that now exist in Second B. There will be five, but with a greater number of teams for each one: 18. All the champions of each group will be promoted directly to First RFEF and those that remain between the 2nd and 5th place will play a neutral venue playoff between rivals from different groups. Only five other teams will go up.
Regarding the decline, the last five of each group fell. The four worst sixths in the queue will play a playout at a neutral venue from which two other teams will be relegated to Third RFEF.
In the Third, which will become the fifth category at the national level, the 18 groups remain, divided by Territorial Federations. The first of each group will be promoted directly. In addition, there will be another 9 places to go up: there will be a playoff for Territorial from which 18 teams will come out, these tickets will be played in a playoff at a neutral venue.
The schedule for those competitions is still up in the air. The clash between LaLiga and the RFEF affects the rest of the categories and until the CSD achieves or imposes an agreement, no calendar will be able to be drawn by not knowing officially when the season will begin and end. Also, there are still several promotion and relegation matches at stake in Tercera División.
The new logos of the three new competitions were also discovered at the RFEF Assembly. Following the design and pattern of what are the new hallmarks of the National Team and the RFEF. Round logos with the initials RFEF and the new one with circles and different colors to determine if it is the First, Second or Third RFEF.