• Kyodo

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The J. League is considering returning to the single-stage system that had been in place for 10 years through the 2014 season for the first division, soccer sources said Wednesday.

The change may be implemented starting next season, they said. The J. League has been using the two-stage system followed by a championship playoff for the top flight since last year in the hope of boosting sponsorship revenues.

But as it has since concluded a 10-year, ¥210 billion (about $2 billion) deal to sell digital online broadcasting rights to British-based Perform Group, J. League officials see less of a need to continue the two-stage format as they have secured revenues.

The current system has been met with opposition, with some criticizing it as lacking in fairness and others arguing that holding the championship playoff leads to tight scheduling.

The J. League is expected to discuss the matter at its board of directors meeting on Sept. 20, when they are set to put together the schedule for next season.

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