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About weeto

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  1. Selkrik are generally known by many outside the Lowland League as the team Stirling Albion duffed up 20-0 in the Scottish Cup 30 years ago but they're starting to become a decent side at Lowland League level. Good to see a side make progress. I'm sure Selkirk would like a chance to get revenge on Stiriling Albion too!
  2. Rangers Hearts Hibs Falkirk Dumbarton Raith Livingston Cowdenbeath QOS Alloa
  3. I can't see your point. Years ago,when both Old Firm teams were doing pretty well, Dundee had guys like Novo and Caniggia. They can't get guys like that now because the league is in the toilet at the moment. Having Rangers, Hearts and Hibs in the Championship isn't helping the little teams, it is depriving them of gate money. I don't see what the big deal about smaller teams getting a crack at Europe either as many of them play one very mediocre team in the Europa League and go out anyway. Even getting to the group stages in the Europa doesn't bring in a fortune. Scotland has only one Champions League place at the moment with the big rewards and it is pretty obvious where that will be generally going unless Rangers scramble together some cash eventually. I know the standards haven't been so terrible in the 'chasing pack' but below that at the bottom of the Premiership, it hasn't been great. Sure the relegation dogfight in the Premiership and the promotion battle in the Championship were exciting but not exactly high quality. The way things have been going, the league will get worse and Celtic will stay on team with a team that will be even weaker than their current lineup. They'll struggle in Europe and decline gradually but still remain on top until Rangers raise a few bob and end up back on top. Dundee United have been flogging some of their best players and don't exactly appear ready to splash cash to get replacements. Aberdeen are likely to lose some of their better players too. Stevie May is probably leaving St Johnstone for a disgustingly low fee (£800,000 seems to be what is being spoken about and I think he is worth x2-x3 more than that) and the money just seems to be keeping the clubs afloat rather than being reinvested.
  4. The truth is, pretty much the entire Scottish game is a joke at the moment. Apart from the likes of Aberdeen, Dundee United and St Johnstone having lifted up a bit, the game is in a poor state. Rangers, Hearts and Hibs are all in the second tier. Having ONE of the Edinburgh clubs in the second tier would have been a shock a handful of years ago but having both of them and Rangers is beyond belief. Celtic have had it all their own way recently but many people are just bored to death and Celtic's best players have been waiting at the door to go elsewhere and the quality going in is totally inferior to what is going out. A handful of credible guys were linked with the Celtic job and none of them wanted it in the end and a virtually unknown Norweigian who won one league title with a medium sized club has got the job. There is a total lack of ambition at almost every club and very little money is going round. If Rangers win the Championship, it'll be at least a boost to attendences and attention in the Premiership next season but there will be major questions on whether they can raise anything for players. It could still be the situation that Celtic could keep scaling down but still be too strong overall, especially if Rangers keep running into financial barriers. Deila might be able to do OK if he wins the league fairly comfortably this season and I'm not entirely sure he will and I don't think it is impossible that Aberdeen could be champions come May, although I'll concede it is very unlikely but maybe he can bring in some guys from Scandinavia before the deadline and he'd get them for buttons in all probabilty and it could give Celtic enough horsepower to drift past the finishing line. Next season could have all sorts of situations, (a) Rangers coming up alone or with a non Edinburgh team (b) Rangers coming up with an Edinburgh team © Both Edinburgh teams coming up (d) One Edinburgh team, no Rangers (e) None of the three favourites going up. I'd think (b) is likely but it obviously depends on the bottom of the Premiership too. Celtic are reliant on Champions League football and not having Rangers and the Edinburgh teams in the Premiership takes a lot of name value out of the top flight. The weak position of three teams generally regarded as top six level makes Scottish football look rather weak. Celtic's current situation is similar to the early part of the Rangers 9 in a row era as Rangers had pretty weak opponents and it sometimes put Rangers in a no win situation as it wasn't their fault that none of the other teams put up much of a challenge and Celtic are in the same boat at the moment. It makes them look like 'the best of a bad bunch' and even crushing teams week in, week out isn't very convincing as people grow to expect it. Ronny Deila is going to have a tricky time this season as his team have been poor in Europe and if he struggles in the league, he'll probably run into problems with even surviving in the job. Winning by a landslide will just lead to people saying the league was incredibly weak and a dog in a tracksuit could win the league as manager and it won't build him up much. The only teams that Celtic can be compared with is in Europe and I can't see them managing much in the Europa League if Legia Warsaw make them look pretty awful. Of course, an extended run would give Deila more credibility and could make things better for him. The truth is that both Old Firm teams need the other one to be pretty strong or they don't have a marker of the level they need to reach to be competitive at home and in Europe.
  5. I think he is just trying to get back in to a position where he can play with minimal disruption to his play. If he plays reasonably well, it could be enough to maybe get him back to at least Championship level. If he could prove his fitness and was banging in goals, a Raith or a Dumbarton would probably take a chance on him or at least an Airdire or an Ayr in League 1. Not exactly English or Russian top flight but not the end of the world either.
  6. The Lowland League is a total headscratcher for me. I've heard of all the teams but some of them are virtually new startups and it will be interesting to see what kind of backing they get with the potential of getting into the league next season. Although you'd imagine the likes of Spartans and Whitehill Welfare will be amongst the big guns, the likes of East Kilbride, Edinburgh City and Broomhill could potentially end up being threats because of their pretty big catchment areas. Those three might not be up to taking on the big two right away but you'd imagine they'd be in the chase within a couple of years. Spartans seem the most likely to win though and two in a row seems like a fairly big possibility for them. The Lowland League looks like it could potentially end up very lopsided if the big city / town teams get a solid following and the village / little town teams get 2 men and a dog for their home gates. It will be interesting to see what will happen to the league maybe three to five years down the road if a couple of established names end up going down. It might be similar but obviously on a different level to Rangers, Hearts and Hibs all ending up in the Championship. The Conference in England has become fairly strong through having a couple of established names going down to that level and maybe a couple of relative big names landing in the Lowland League would give it a far higher profile.
  7. I've heard rumours that Aberdeen have made a major signing... they've bought a tin of Brasso for the Premiership trophy.
  8. My Dad told me about a truly awful pub he was at back in the 1960s. Warm beer even warmer inside and the beer was of rather poor quality. It was in Maputo, Mozambique though... It was basically a stall with a cover. He and his pals (my Dad was a ship's cook at the time) went and asked a group of Portuguese guys where a decent bar was and they told them about a place two or three streets away and it nice place owned by a Portuguese family with decent drinks and food. They had a lot of imported stuff from Portugal. Personally, although I don't drink alcohol myself, I've been in a few tough boozers in Greenock and some other places in the West of Scotland. I thought I was in a decent bar in Greenock once, in an end of course meal then drink with college friends (I had an orange of course!) and a guy got smashed in the face with a glass when I was leaving which was pretty nasty. In that particular bar, apparently it isn't that common. It was the James Watt Bar, a popular student haunt.
  9. The English First Division wasn't so fantastic when the English were out of Europe and just after and there were issues such as the Taylor report forcing stadium modernisation (and huge expenditure on stadiums rather than players for many clubs), plus there were hooliganism issues on top of that. It was the Premier League money that brought English football kicking and screaming into the modern era. English clubs were successful in Europe before the ban but the game was behind the times there and the crumbling stadiums and hooliganism would have created more Hillsboroughs and Heysels. It was only on the field that the English clubs were doing well but financially and in terms of media deals, they were behind the times. The stadium modernisations helped kill the worst of the hooligan element and also created an atmosphere hostile to that element of the support too as the camera packed all seater stadiums made catching culprits very easy, Premier League football also gave the finance to sign international stars and build a much bigger following internationally. You can get merchadise of major English teams in any country in the world, that wouldn't have been the case in the First Division days.
  10. Surely having a top division with 18 or 20 teams would make games more appealing for fans and would prevent teams like Hearts, Hibs, Killie and the likes having to worry about relegation. I'd be inclined to think that smaller Premiership teams would get a big attendence boost too. I think just putting a Premiership label on a game like Falkirk vs Raith would boost attendences. Don't get me wrong though, the league would need to be careful that they weren't just glueing the Championship to the bottom of the Premiership. There needs to be more incentive to have better facilities, better players and more fans coming in to the grounds. I'd like to see a speculative TV deal which would put the games on one network but invest money into the game up here with the idea of producing a better product. The old Englsh First Dvision wasn't so fantastic when Sky threw money as it became the Premier League. At first, the standard of play wasn't worth the money but it picked up as a result of getting the cash. Even the small clubs that got there on a fluke promotion run gain riches for even a single season in the big time and get parachute payments on top of that. When you look up here, even when the Old Firm were both flying, the TV money was ridiculous and the clubs totally relied on Europe, ticket sales and merchandise. TV money from domestic football is terrible here. The smaller Premiership clubs whine about not getting enough but even when both the Old Firm were in the league (as the SPL at that time) they were getting very little out of the various deals themselves. Old Firm clubs have fielded players at times that earned more per week than their entire opposition team. The truth is that the Old Firm are the only clubs that draw TV money and other commercial deals but the likes of Aberdeen, Dundee United, Hearts, Hibs and the other upper middle level clubs in stature are falling behind because they aren't getting enough to make a consistant challenge. The biggest teams don't get enough to sign superstars and take on Europe at the highest level, the upper middle teams don't make enough to challenge to get into the Champions League or win the Premiership, the lower middle teams are trying desperately to avoid getting sucked into the relegation situation and trying to compete with the upper middle sides and the lowest sides are desperately avoided going down and losing what little money and opportunity there is. Nearly every highest tier league in Europe have had a much wider gap at the top end developing because of the huge exposure and income for the regular European competitors and clubs that can make a lot from international merchandise sales. Those that rely on their native fanbase and don't make money on a wider scale find it very difficult to keep up. Most countries have a maximum of five 'brand' clubs and here in Scotland, it's two and one of those is down in the doldrums at the moment. The 'nearly' clubs have to fight hard or spend big to be able to get into the elite club now and it is a worry how teams at the upper middle levels across Europe will cope if an exodus to European leagues ever happens. Salary caps almost certainly wouldn't work in football as rebel leagues would pop up and take players that didn't 'play ball' with FIFA. As far as the Scottish game is concerned it is difficult to feed two giants and keep 40 other mouths fed with only a couple of pots of gruel that are available. If you deprive the big two of sufficient income, our European status erodes further and the value of the two big brands of the game fade further, if you give the Old Firm virtually everything, it causes the others to become a joke and leads to even more one sided matches. The game needs to come up with more schemes to raise funding in Scotland and I think reducing the ticket prices at a lot of games would be a good idea and even giving away tickets to fill up grounds would be a good thing. Imagine if say, 2000 school kids got free admitance to several games in a season at a club. That could grow a fanbase, encourage them to buy merchandise and get involved in the fanbase of the club. I'd encourage the clubs in League 1 and 2 (if the current format was retained) to drop their ticket prices to something like £5 for League 2 and £8 for League 1. Ticket prices in Germany and Italy are generally much cheaper than over here in the UK. They get very good crowds at many games and Germany's lower leagues have strong attendence figures. Clubs should be trying to get councils and local companies involved in investing in facilities and community owned stadiums and training facilities. Clubs should have more links with youth football programmes too. I don't see why many part time footballers couldn't be coaching schoolboy players during the week. If the clubs were to do something like that, the local councils could fund the training sessions and they'd be paying the players to participate. Local schools would produce better players as a result and they'd go on to the clubs which would bring in money to the local communities.
  11. I think there should be two divisions of 20 then a three way regional split for Highland, West and East leagues with each league having two divisions of 20. Everyone should play 38 games in the league, I'd do this format Premiership (4 teams relegated) Championship (4 teams promoted, 3 relegated) Highland, East and West League 1 (1 promoted, 4 relegated) Highland, East and West League 2 (4 promoted, licence renewal needed for teams consistantly finishing in low positions or with severe difficulties with finances or facilities and if they don't meet criteria they could be replaced) I think the entire league should have strict minimum criteria for entry, including minimum levels for facilities and financial checks on club finances to prevent people with shady backgrounds wrecking clubs and causing chaos in the league. I think more should be done to encourage ground sharing, construction of community facilites in a lot of areas and a network of feeder leagues.
  12. I thought Broomhill were a joke to be honest. I'm surprised they got in. It must have been desperation to get a Glasgow team to avoid the notion of the league being made up of purely of East and South of Scotland League clubs apart from East Kilbride.
  13. Scottish football really needs to have a proper pyramid and not have one with a glass ceiling for junior teams and an open door for seniors, many of whom are poorer clubs in every way to the top junior sides. I know the big junior sides sometimes want to remain big fish in a small pond but some will probably change their mind once the lure of playing league football becomes a clearer target. I'm not keen on this overly biased playoff format for next year where the bottom team plays off against the winner of a playoff between the Highland and Lowland leagues. I thought it was going to be the case that the bottom team in the league went down and it would be a straight promotion playoff. I think it could eventually be the case that the Lowland League will end up covering only the East and South, the Highland League will cover the North and there could be space for a Western League for juniors that jump ship to the senior game. Apart from a handful of teams, there are virtually no non league seniors in the West of Scotland and junior teams and new startup teams are the only option. Tiny community based clubs couldn't be the backbone of a new league and there would need to be junior converts in there as well. I can't see the Lowland League being the long term solution for all non Highland seniors to be honest and I see it as a stopgap until some converts arrive.
  14. The problem with this Dave King situation is that Rangers need money very soon and King seems determined to wait until the vultures are circling again and the obvious reason is that he wants to swoop in and get the club for buttons by bullying the existing board out. I think he should be putting investment into the club. If he puts sufficient money in then he can have control, if not then he shouldn't be trying to gain control with the investments of others. And there are people at the club I would rather see leaving, preferably by bus as their number 23 runs just past Ibrox...
  15. The Old Firm will never really be able to compete at the highest level without getting TV money similar to the bigger European leagues and the only way that could happen is if clubs from smaller countries were able to either join bigger leagues, with say the Old Firm going to England, Ajax joining the German or English league, Porto and Benfica going to Spain and so on. The other alternative is the 'Atlantic League' idea, which has actually been done in some sports like basketball, although generally more in Eastern and Southern Europe. What would be wrong though, is that taking the likes of the Old Firm, Ajax, PSV, Feyenoord, Benfica, Porto,Sporting Lisbon, Anderlecht, FC Copenhagen, Red Bull Salzburg, Panathanikos, Olympiakos, Galatasaray, Fenerbahce, Besiktas, Shaktar Donetsk and Dynamo Kiev out of their national leagues would weaken them even further and destroy any TV and commercial revenue that their leagues get already. Clubs like Aberdeen, Dundee United, Hibs and Motherwell would struggle if they weren't getting the TV money they're used to getting. The Sky and BT deals would probably disappear if the Old Firm did and while those clubs were soaking in the millions they need to compete at a higher level, the rest would stagnate and the standard of youth football and players coming through would decline at the clubs that didn't jump ship. The biggest clubs in the small countries have struggled to compete in Europe in recent years as TV money and commercial revenue has dried up outside the 'Big 5' of England, Spain, Germany, France and Italy. Even England has the race for a top 4 spot every year now, as a Champions League spot is so important now as the financial penalties of not qualifying will push you further away from being able to compete against those that get the cash pot. So this has created a division even in their league, while everyone gets great TV and commercial revenues just for being in the English Premier League, being in the Champions League gives a huge financial boost on top of this. It has got to the stage where Champions League teams are often the same teams year in and year out as the benefits of qualification can make getting back in almost a formality unless other teams spend huge sums to chase the dream and wealth associated with getting to the promised land. Obviously the risks involved have damaged and crippled several clubs while others have flourished. This culture of 'haves and have nots' have messed up football in many ways as the likes of Scottish, Dutch and Swedish teams that used to be able to make some impact in Europe have found the gap has grown to the extent they can't compete like they did in the past.
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