1.1 Throughout these Rules, unless the context otherwise requires: -
'The League' means The Football League Limited.
'the Board' means the Board of Directors of The League.
'the Clubs' means those Clubs qualifying for the Play-Off Competition each Season.
'the Play-Off Competition' means the knockout competition held at the end of each Season to determine the final Club qualifying for promotion to the next highest Division, or in the case of the Championship, the Premier League.
'these Rules' means these Rules of the Play-Off Competition as from time to time altered.
'the Regulations' means the Regulations of The League from time to time in force.
2 Competition Format
2.1 At the end of each Season, the four highest placed Clubs in each division not gaining automatic promotion shall enter the Play-Off Competition.
2.2 The Semi-Final matches shall be played over two legs.
2.3 In the Semi-Finals, the two teams who finished in the First and Second Play-Off place in The League, will play away from home in the first leg against the Fourth and Third placed team respectively. These pairings will be reversed for the second leg.
2.4 In the Semi-Finals, the first leg shall be of 90 (ninety) minutes duration. If the aggregate scores are level at the end of 90 (ninety) minutes in the second leg, extra time will be played. If the scores remain level at the end of extra time the tie will be determined by the taking of kicks from the penalty mark, in accordance with the Laws of Association Football.
2.5 In the Final, if the score is level at the end of 90 (ninety) minutes, extra time will be played, followed if necessary by kicks from the penalty mark, in accordance with the Laws of Association Football.
3.1 Where a Home Club admits any person to the ground as part of its hospitality arrangements or to an executive box and there is no separate charge for admission, each person is treated as having bought a ticket at the highest price payable for a ticket for that match.
3.2 A maximum of 250 complimentary tickets, excluding those covered under Rule 3.4, and any tickets required to be made available under any commercial agreement entered into by The Football League, may be issued. Any tickets in excess of this number must be accounted for at the appropriate rate.
3.3 The Visiting Club shall have the right to claim 2,000 tickets for use by its supporters (or such number as represents 10% of all tickets reserved or otherwise sold in advance, if less than 2,000). The following conditions shall apply: -
3.3.1 unless otherwise mutually agreed in writing, all tickets shall be on sale or return basis;
3.3.2 payments for tickets sold by a Visiting Club together with details of tickets sold and the return of unsold tickets, must be made to the Home Club within four days of the date of the match; and
3.3.3 a minimum of 10% of the total disabled spectator accommodation must be made available to disabled supporters of the Visiting Club.
3.4 A Visiting Club shall also be entitled to one third of the seats usually reserved and known as the 'Home and Visiting Directors' Seats', up to a maximum of 24 seats.
3.5 The Home Club may not reduce normal League admission charges without the written agreement of the Away Club. Any disagreement between the Clubs shall be determined by the Executive.
3.6 For the purposes of Rule 3.5, 'reduce' shall also include seeking to make Play Off Match tickets available to season ticket holders, members of membership clubs or other similar schemes at the same discount that would apply to them for normal League Matches when compared with the Club's published normal League Match admission charges.
3.7 The provisions of Regulation 34.2.4 to 32.2.10 (inclusive) shall apply so as to ensure that away supporters are not charged more than home supporters except where permitted by those Regulations.
3.8 For the avoidance of doubt:
3.8.1 Regulation 34.2.3 (5% commission on away ticket sales) shall not apply; and
3.8.2 Matches in the Play-Off Competition cannot, for the avoidance of doubt, be treated as local promotion matches (as that term is described in Regulation 34.2.11).
4 Central Sponsorship
4.1 Each Club will be required to make available the contracted services and facilities at the Club's Home ground from time to time required for the League's Sponsorship and Commercial partners. Details will be circulated by The Football League's Commercial Department.
5 Financial Rules relating to the Semi-Final matches
5.1 The expenses of the semi final matches in the Play-Off Competition shall include standard class railway fares of Players and officials of the Visiting Club, not exceeding twenty-four in number, and hotel expenses (at the rate as determined by the Executive from time to time) if necessarily incurred. If however, a Club should choose to travel by air, thus obviating the necessity of overnight accommodation, the Visiting Club may claim an amount in lieu calculated by reference to the amounts that would have been incurred in respect of standard railway fares (not exceeding £100 return per person) and one night's hotel expenses as stated.
5.2 Income from television broadcasting of any match shall not form part of the proceeds of the match. Facility fees payable to Clubs shall be determined by the Board.
5.3 The proceeds of each match after paying thereout the travelling and/or hotel expenses, for one night and only if incurred, of the Visiting Club, the ground and other expenses of the match including Value Added Tax, floodlighting of the playing pitch and ancillary lighting (not to exceed £200), advertising, printing, postage, police charges, turnstile operators, stewards and contribution to first aid helpers shall hereafter be referred to as 'the Semi Final Net Gate Receipts Before Levy'.
5.4 A levy amounting to 3% of the Semi Final Net Gate Receipts Before Levy shall be payable in accordance with Article 67. The balance of the net proceeds after deduction of the levy represents the 'Net Gate Receipts' and such Net Gate Receipts shall be divided as follows: -
5.4.1 50% of the Net Gate Receipts shall be paid into the Pool Account referred to in Article 65; and
5.4.2 the remaining 50% of the Net Gate Receipts shall be aggregated, Division by Division, and each Division's aggregated monies shall be shared equally amongst the four Clubs taking part in that Division's Play-Off matches.
5.5 Each Home Club shall send the 3% levy and the shares of the Net Gate Receipts to be paid into the Pool Account to The League together with a statement of the calculations thereof within ten days of the match to be aggregated by Division.
6 Financial Rules relating to the Final matches
6.1 Where a Club sells match tickets on behalf of The League, the proceeds of ticket sales shall be paid to The League in accordance with the provisions of Article 79.
6.2 Both Clubs shall be entitled to claim a maximum of two nights overnight hotel accommodation if incurred. Such expenses shall be limited to those incurred for a party not exceeding twenty-four in number.
6.3 The proceeds of each match after paying thereout the travelling and/or hotel expenses, for a maximum of two nights and only if incurred (at the rate and as determined by the Executive from time to time, per person per night), of the competing Clubs, the ground and other expenses of the match including Value Added Tax, hire of stadium, advertising, printing, postage, police charges, turnstile operators, stewards, contribution to first aid helpers, catering, entertainment, travelling and/or hotel expenses of The League Board, staff, match officials and ball boys shall hereafter be referred to as 'the Final Net Gate Receipts Before Levy'. A levy amounting to 3% of the Final Net Gate Receipts Before Levy shall be payable in accordance with Article 67. The balance of the net proceeds after deduction of the Levy represents the Net Gate Receipts and such Net Gate Receipts shall be divided as follows:
6.3.1 50% of the Net Gate Receipts shall be paid into the Pool Account referred to in Article 65;
6.3.2 the remaining 50% of the Net Gate Receipts shall be divided equally between the two Clubs taking part in each Final Play-Off match.
6.4 Where spectators are admitted to the Final Play-Off matches as part of hospitality arrangements by The League then the income from such hospitality arrangements shall be included in the Final Net Gate Receipts Levy.
6.5 Income derived from programme sales and perimeter advertising after paying thereout all attributable costs shall be included in the Final Net Gate Receipts Before Levy.
6.6 Any income or costs which are attributable to more than one match, including without limitation the Stadium hire costs, will be apportioned pro rata to gate receipts.
6.7 Income from television broadcasting of any match shall not form part of the proceeds of the match. No facility fees shall be payable to Clubs.