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Mr Bairn

League reconstruction: Let's hear your view

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14 hours ago, Rosco4 said:

3x leagues of 16, premiership, championship & Third Division, regionalisation after this.

 

Each league uses the same format.

 

All 16 teams will play each other once at home and once away for the first 30 games. After this, the league will be split into 4, 1-4, 5-8, 9-12, 13-16. These teams will then play each other twice more, once at home and once away, bringing a nice grand total of 36 games per season. 

 

In the premiership, 1st qualifies for the champions league first qualif round while 2nd automagically qualifies for europa league first qualif round. The teams ranked 3-6 will then play 2 legged play offs (3v6 & 4v5) with the winners then playing another 2 legged play off to decide the final Europa league spot. If the Scottish cup winner happens to be one of the teams ranked 1-6 in the final league standings, the team in 7th will then participate in the europa league play offs, again 4v7 & 5v6.

 

The teams that finish 1-10 in the premiership will receive a by to the knockout rounds of the betfred cup, this gives the end of season games between teams ranked 9-12 which don’t have much to play for a little bit more meaning 

 

teams finishing 15th & 16th will be automatically relegated, with 14th going into a play off with 3-5th in the championship, I’ll get on to this in a bit.

 

all in all for the premiership this means that 9 of the 16 finishing spots mean something.

 

The championship works mostly the same way with the europa league play offs being replaced by promotion play offs. Top 2 go up automatically with 3rd-5th going into the play-offs along with 14th place in the prem. teams will play 2 legged semis (3v5 & 4v14) with the winners playing a 2 legged final, with the winner of that gaining promotion/maintaining their premiership status. Relegation works exactly the same, 2 automatically down, 14th goes into the play off. For the top 10 teams in the championship (+all premiership sides) they will all receive a by to the Scottish cup second round. Again, this will increase competitiveness in the games between the teams ranked 9-12.

 

the third tier works nearly exactly the same as the championship, promotion works exactly the same way, while there is no extra incentive this time for the top 10 teams. At the bottom, the bottom 3 go down with the winners of each regional league get promoted.

 

 This format still assures you of 4 OF games a season (unless something goes horribly wrong for one of them) and it should increase competitiveness across all leagues. 

It may have passed you by, but the possibility of a game involving the two larger Glasgow  clubs just this last season which actually had no bearing on the destination of the title had the SPFL hierarchy having kittens. Can you even imagine the head exploding hysteria having them meet twice in the last 6 games would cause?

 

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3x leagues of 16, premiership, championship & Third Division, regionalisation after this.
 
Each league uses the same format.
 
All 16 teams will play each other once at home and once away for the first 30 games. After this, the league will be split into 4, 1-4, 5-8, 9-12, 13-16. These teams will then play each other twice more, once at home and once away, bringing a nice grand total of 36 games per season. 
 
In the premiership, 1st qualifies for the champions league first qualif round while 2nd automagically qualifies for europa league first qualif round. The teams ranked 3-6 will then play 2 legged play offs (3v6 & 4v5) with the winners then playing another 2 legged play off to decide the final Europa league spot. If the Scottish cup winner happens to be one of the teams ranked 1-6 in the final league standings, the team in 7th will then participate in the europa league play offs, again 4v7 & 5v6.
 
The teams that finish 1-10 in the premiership will receive a by to the knockout rounds of the betfred cup, this gives the end of season games between teams ranked 9-12 which don’t have much to play for a little bit more meaning 
 
teams finishing 15th & 16th will be automatically relegated, with 14th going into a play off with 3-5th in the championship, I’ll get on to this in a bit.
 
all in all for the premiership this means that 9 of the 16 finishing spots mean something.
 
The championship works mostly the same way with the europa league play offs being replaced by promotion play offs. Top 2 go up automatically with 3rd-5th going into the play-offs along with 14th place in the prem. teams will play 2 legged semis (3v5 & 4v14) with the winners playing a 2 legged final, with the winner of that gaining promotion/maintaining their premiership status. Relegation works exactly the same, 2 automatically down, 14th goes into the play off. For the top 10 teams in the championship (+all premiership sides) they will all receive a by to the Scottish cup second round. Again, this will increase competitiveness in the games between the teams ranked 9-12.
 
the third tier works nearly exactly the same as the championship, promotion works exactly the same way, while there is no extra incentive this time for the top 10 teams. At the bottom, the bottom 3 go down with the winners of each regional league get promoted.
 
 This format still assures you of 4 OF games a season (unless something goes horribly wrong for one of them) and it should increase competitiveness across all leagues. 
Given that it's taken nearly 20 years for pundits to get their head round how the top/bottom 6 split works I can see the media being right up for this!

Sent from my STF-L09 using Pie and Bovril mobile app

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It would have the benefit over the current set-up of post-split fixtures being equivalent in terms of same number of home and away matches against each team; the OF matches could be a double-header immediately after the split to (probably) remove the fear of an OF title decider. 

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On ‎24‎/‎05‎/‎2018 at 10:55, thisal said:

Right I can say this now without sounding like i have a vested interest. I don't want an 18 team league. It produces far too many boring games.  People say they get bored playing the same team 4 times a season, but it,s not the number of times you play that's boring it's meaningless games that are boring. Thistles fourth games with Hamilton Ross Co. and Dundee brought in an extra 1000 each on the earlier fixtures because their was something to play for. If it was an 18 team league the teams 9th-12th would have nothing to play for and the crowds would be down. 4 smaller leagues mean more relegation battles, more promotion battles.  Just more interesting games. Thistle are now in the Championship. it's a great league. it would disappear if we had an 18 team league. 

Some interesting points in here (and by waiting to be relegated to say that, you have demonstrated far too much class for this place), but why would the Championship suddenly disappear or be a poor league if we had an 18-team top tier?

In Scotland, we seem to confuse having a close-looking league table with having entertaining football on the park.  The 'extra' 1000 on the gate you mention for post-split fixtures is probably actually 1000 supporters who have been lost for the entirety of the season preceding the split, who just cannot face a full season of poor, desperate football in a constant relegation battle.   Also, the majority of post-split fixtures with something riding on them were absolutely appalling matches to observe - no wonder folk don't come back in the season proper.

In an 18-team league, 9th-12th may not have something to play for towards the season's end (although that could depend upon if there were EL play offs down to 6th, for example) but they won't usually be playing each other anyway - their opponents will have something to play for; therefore, not meaningless games.  And there can be decent games when there is nothing for either side to play for, when the 'shackles are off' and youths are given a chance.

In terms of crowds, they would be up in a larger league because there would be more big clubs winning more matches in the top tier and those in mid-table would have more opportunity to be playing entertaining football without fear of relegation, managerial sackings, full squad overhauls mid-season, etc; in this country we seem to cut out the mid-table and possibility of genuine entertainment and good football on a weekly/bi-weekly basis, in favour of the on-paper jeopardy of the league table and kick-and-rush dirge on the park.  

Not sure if there's an objective measure of the competitiveness or meaninglessness of any league, but maybe dividing the number of teams at the end of the season who don't qualify for anything (promotion, relegation, play offs, Europe) by the number of teams in that league, would give a sort of 'meaningless index' of league competitiveness. 

So for our Premiership, this would be 6.5 teams who qualify for nothing (half a point for 4th, as not guaranteed to be in EL), divided by 12 teams in total, giving 0.54; the English Championship would seem to be extremely uncompetitive with 15 teams out of 24 qualifying for nothing: 0.63 on an index of meaninglessness.  The closer to 1, the greater the likelihood of a too-flabby mid-table; the closer to 0, the greater the likelihood of terrible football in a too-competitive league...   

 

Edited by anonanist

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On ‎09‎/‎06‎/‎2018 at 11:10, anonanist said:

So for our Premiership, this would be 6.5 teams who qualify for nothing (half a point for 4th, as not guaranteed to be in EL), divided by 12 teams in total, giving 0.54; the English Championship would seem to be extremely uncompetitive with 15 teams out of 24 qualifying for nothing: 0.63 on an index of meaninglessness.  The closer to 1, the greater the likelihood of a too-flabby mid-table; the closer to 0, the greater the likelihood of terrible football in a too-competitive league...   

...which gives an indication of the competitiveness of a league relative to other leagues, but doesn't capture the 'real' situation or local factors.

More Leeway to Build Teams and Develop Players

In 'absolute' terms, 6-7 teams don't ultimately qualify for anything when the current Premiership is done; there'd be 9 who don't in the 18-team Premiership that I favour (as 6 European/EL play off places at the top, 3 relegation/play off places at the bottom).  Not hugely different (and 0.5 on the meaningless index), but gives a little more leeway for clubs to avoid the season-after-season grind of continual relegation battles that have attritional effects on supporter numbers.  It also allows more opportunity for competitive teams to be built over a couple of seasons, and for teenagers to be given the top level experience alongside senior pros that they need for their development.

Local Factors (to Scotland): the Big Six

The other upside of a larger league would be a real chance of a European play-off place for smaller clubs, which would bring in more supporters, since our big six clubs block out the current 3-4 European places in the league in a mode/typical season (but not in recent years when they've been committing hara-kiri through being liquidised, administrated or relegated), but 1-2 of them normally have an off season in any given year - which would allow for smaller clubs to have their chance, if the top 6 qualified for a European or Europa League play-off place in a larger league.

TV Deal

In terms of the fixtures that would be needed as the foundation of a television deal, there'd be the games between the big six clubs, games when form teams play at home to the big six, and a larger variety of local derbies in a larger league.  For example, the core fixtures grid for the big six would be:

 

Celtic - Rangers..............Rangers - Aberdeen...........Aberdeen - Hibernian.............Hibernian - Hearts................Hearts - Dundee Utd

Celtic  - Aberdeen.........Rangers - Hibernian...........Aberdeen - Hearts....................Hibernian  - Dundee U

Celtic - Hibernian..........Rangers - Hearts.................Aberdeen - Dundee U

Celtic  - Hearts...............Rangers - Dundee U

Celtic - Dundee U

 

These 15 fixtures would obviously be reversed during the course of the season, to give 30 of the biggest matches in the 34 rounds of fixtures - almost one per week to televise, before you consider derbies, home and away: 

Dundee Utd - Dundee; Motherwell - Hamilton; Morton - St.Mirren; Falkirk - Dunfermline; Ayr - Killie; St.Johnstone - Dundee; Inverness - Ross County; etc,

...and also add in the matches between form home teams and the big six when they come to visit - all potentially attractive to television money men... 

 

Edited by anonanist

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Big six - includes Dundee United? Currently toiling in The Championship, not even big 14.

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1 hour ago, Jacksgranda said:

Big six - includes Dundee United? Currently toiling in The Championship, not even big 14.

He appears to be talking to himself, best not to get involved, sort 'let sleeping dogs lie' etc etc and so on and so forth

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On ‎11‎/‎06‎/‎2018 at 11:47, Jacksgranda said:

Big six - includes Dundee United? Currently toiling in The Championship, not even big 14.

Currently, yes.  But they're the sixth largest club by fan-base, and traditionally (in my life time, anyhow) are the most successful club outwith Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.  There would be end of season European play offs to add to the interest from tv, also.  

I'd like to see the SPFL financially support full time football for about the top 30 clubs (if within an 18-team Premiership and an 18-team Championship), with enough money to support part-time football on a national basis for the remaining 6 clubs; hopefully, more clubs operating on a full-time basis would enable more youngsters to gain the first team experience that they need to develop, and a more open league system would be more vibrant and refreshing than our current constipated mini-leagues, by bringing through new names and seeing senior 'league' football in different towns around the country.

I'd also regionalise below the top 2 tiers.  I take it from the north/south regionalisation of the first rounds of the league cup and challenge cup and also the west/east regionalisation of the second level of the ex-development (soon-to-be-reserve) leagues, that there is some demand or justification from smaller clubs for playing at a sub-national level.  Presumably, this is to do with the money that they can save from not having to send the team bus all over the county, as they must when playing on a national basis.   

Edited by anonanist

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3 hours ago, anonanist said:

Currently, yes.  But they're the sixth largest club by fan-base, and traditionally (in my life time, anyhow) are the most successful club outwith Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.  There would be end of season European play offs to add to the interest from tv, also.  

I'd like to see the SPFL financially support full time football for about the top 30 clubs (if within an 18-team Premiership and an 18-team Championship), with enough money to support part-time football on a national basis for the remaining 6 clubs; hopefully, more clubs operating on a full-time basis would enable more youngsters to gain the first team experience that they need to develop, and a more open league system would be more vibrant and refreshing than our current constipated mini-leagues, by bringing through new names and seeing senior 'league' football in different towns around the country.

I'd also regionalise below the top 2 tiers.  I take it from the north/south regionalisation of the first rounds of the league cup and challenge cup and also of the second level of the ex-development (soon-to-be-reserve) leagues, that there is some demand or justification from smaller clubs for playing at a sub-national level.  Presumably, this is to do with the money that they can save from not having to send the team bus all over the county, as they must when playing on a national basis.   

Aye but in Jacksgranda' day they were competing with East Stirling.

Reversion to the mean.

Edited by ayrmad

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On ‎11‎/‎06‎/‎2018 at 11:47, Jacksgranda said:

Big six - includes Dundee United? Currently toiling in The Championship, not even big 14.

Aye I wondered what the guy was on about, last season (just finished)  is the first one in my life time where all the middle sized clubs have stayed in form all season (utd except) Aberdeen have been mostly howling for the majority of my 30 years on earth , hibs and hearts have both had long spells doing f**k all & that was before relegation and money troubles, Dundee have spent more time in the 2nd teir than the first and utd haven't done all that much in the league . constantly occupying the top 6 spots they certainly have not.

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...also, since head-to-head matches between rivals mean that one (or both) teams must drop points, an 18-team league therefore gives a higher probability of an extended title challenge and non-Old Firm league winner: fewer head-to-heads between the leading teams in a larger league means fewer guaranteed dropped points for title challengers. 

This stronger, longer title challenge each season in itself would attract more tv money, and more punters through the gates.  Ideally, these big head-to-head matches would be saved for the European play offs - at the end of the season, when they matter most and so are most attractive.

 

On ‎11‎/‎06‎/‎2018 at 11:47, Jacksgranda said:

Big six - includes Dundee United? Currently toiling in The Championship, not even big 14.

Following the logic of your argument - Rangers, Hearts and Hibs all ceased to be big clubs with large supports whilst they, too, were playing down in the Championship. 

That doesn't seem to be true.

 

On ‎14‎/‎06‎/‎2018 at 16:26, ayrmad said:

Aye but in Jacksgranda' day they were competing with East Stirling.

Reversion to the mean.

You are probably referring to East Stirlingshire, and regression to the mean. 

Dundee United are an order of magnitude larger than East Stirlingshire in terms of their support, and significantly more successful, although East Stirlingshire are also a venerable institution. 

Regression to the mean in this context would see Dundee United promoted, and take their place in the top six more often than not.

 

On ‎15‎/‎06‎/‎2018 at 00:53, effeffsee_the2nd said:

Aye I wondered what the guy was on about, last season (just finished)  is the first one in my life time where all the middle sized clubs have stayed in form all season (utd except) Aberdeen have been mostly howling for the majority of my 30 years on earth , hibs and hearts have both had long spells doing f**k all & that was before relegation and money troubles, Dundee have spent more time in the 2nd teir than the first and utd haven't done all that much in the league . constantly occupying the top 6 spots they certainly have not.

I think you should check the SPFL's Premiership archives. 

You'll find that, in your life time, the top 3-4 places have been blocked out by the big six in the majority of seasons - hence, the mode/most frequently occurring season is one where those outside the big six have not qualified for European football via league position.  Which is one reason why European play offs down to 6th, and a larger league with a bit of a mid-table, would be useful for smaller-to-middle sized clubs - to have something realistic to build towards and aim for.   

(And I didn't mention Dundee as being one of the big clubs, so not sure why you have).

 

On ‎07‎/‎02‎/‎2018 at 13:06, 1320Lichtie said:

Part time football clubs are not made up of players from the same town as the club ffs. You’re no helping anybody whatsoever with regionalising games, the vast majority of players at every single club will be from the central belt area. emoji23.png

See below - evidence of smaller clubs' acknowledgment that playing on a national basis is too costly for them? 

On ‎14‎/‎06‎/‎2018 at 13:05, anonanist said:

I'd also regionalise below the top 2 tiers.  I take it from the north/south regionalisation of the first rounds of the league cup and challenge cup and also the west/east regionalisation of the second level of the ex-development (soon-to-be-reserve) leagues, that there is some demand or justification from smaller clubs for playing at a sub-national level.  Presumably, this is to do with the money that they can save from not having to send the team bus all over the county, as they must when playing on a national basis.   

Regionalisation of the lower leagues would save wee clubs money though reduced travel costs, and raise them more money through increased attendances from local away supporters. 

 

P.S. - Correlation without causation is...coincidence.

Edited by anonanist

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On ‎19‎/‎06‎/‎2018 at 15:28, anonanist said:

See below - evidence of smaller clubs' acknowledgment that playing on a national basis is too costly for them? 

Regionalisation of the lower leagues would save wee clubs money though reduced travel costs, and raise them more money through increased attendances from local away supporters. 

League One for season 2018-19 has the look of a Conference East about it, with 6 clubs from Angus and Fife, then Stenny who could come under that heading. 

It'll be interesting to see what it does for the finances of these clubs, to have the reduced travel costs and increased away supports of having many more local matches in a season; it should help to make them stronger for the future, and possibly persuade them that north-east and south-west conferences would be a better solution for the third level of Scottish football.

 

It is interesting that the Angus clubs have been doing better since Montrose's possible relegation from the SPFL.  Although it was mooted at the time that they would have been relegated to the Highland League, there are two interpretations of the Highland/Lowland dividing line of 56 45 13 N.

1) According to Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 382 (Arbroath, Montrose & Carnoustie) North Sheet, 56 45 13 N is at the Aberdeenshire-Angus border, at the mouth of the River North Esk.

2) According to google maps, 56 45 13 N bisects the Tay Road Bridge: pointing your mouse then clicking between the 'g' and the 'e' of the word 'Bridge' (at certain magnifications) brings up a wee box that gives 56.4513 as the latitude.

It's a bit bizarre that each interpretation should fall on such a seemingly-definite river boundary in that way, but it looks to me as if Montrose (or any other Angus club) would have a sound case for appeal if the SFA (or whoever is involved) tried to force them into either the Lowland or Highland league against their wishes; with such ambiguity, it looks as though clubs from Angus could choose either league as they wished.

I also wonder about the implications of this for the pyramid lower down, as the Ordnance Survey dividing line would seem to put clubs on north Tayside within the boundaries of the East of Scotland League.   

Edited by anonanist

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17 minutes ago, anonanist said:

League One for season 2018-19 has the look of a Conference East about it, with 6 clubs from Angus and Fife, then Stenny who could come under that heading. 

It'll be interesting to see what it does for the finances of these clubs, to have the reduced travel costs and increased away supports of having many more local matches in a season; it should help to make them stronger for the future, and possibly persuade them that north-east and south-west conferences would be a better solution for the third level of Scottish football.

 

It is interesting that the Angus clubs have been doing better since Montrose's possible relegation from the SPFL.  Although it was mooted at the time that they would have been relegated to the Highland League, there are two interpretations of the Highland/Lowland dividing line of 56 45 13 N.

1) According to Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 382 (Arbroath, Montrose & Carnoustie) North Sheet, 56 45 13 N is at the Aberdeenshire-Angus border, at the mouth of the River North Esk.

2) According to google maps, 56 45 13 N bisects the Tay Road Bridge: pointing your mouse then clicking between the 'g' and the 'e' of the word 'Bridge' (at certain magnifications) brings up a wee box that gives 56.4513 as the latitude.

It's a bit bizarre that each interpretation should fall on such a seemingly-definite river boundary in that way, but it looks to me as if Montrose (or any other Angus club) would have a sound case for appeal if the SFA (or whoever is involved) tried to force them into either the Lowland or Highland league against their wishes; with such ambiguity, it looks as though clubs from Angus could choose either league as they wished.

I also wonder about the implications of this for the pyramid lower down, as the Ordnance Survey dividing line would seem to put clubs on north Tayside within the boundaries of the East of Scotland League.   

It's been confirmed by the Lowland League secretary that the HL/LL boundary is the midway point of the Tay Bridge.

It's been one of the issues of integration of East Region Junior clubs into the pyramid. A number of the traditional Tayside clubs would have to join the pyramid beneath the Highland League, which doesn't necessarily appeal to them.

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