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Robert James

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About Robert James

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    Glasgow University

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  1. New clubs in the East of Scotland

    Considerations for the East of Scotland and the Lowland Leagues are: (1) With only a week to go, until the deadline it looks like a maximum of 3 anticipated EoS applicants for next season. Will there be any others, from the Juniors, or from the amateurs ? (2) Also, will there be any EoS club resignations (eg Eyemouth Utd, or any dissatisfied ex Junior clubs seeking a return to the ERJFA) ? (3) Will the SFA's licensing debacle continue beyond the date of the Lowland's AGM, thereby resulting inf the EoS "Conference" winners (eg Bonnyrigg Rose ?) not being eligible for promotion to the SLL, because they are not licensed (in time) ? The exception would be Conference championship contenders Linlithgow Rose (who are licensed and would be promoted automatically, but only if they win the EoS play-offs. No other Conference play-off contenders are licensed, awaiting the SFA Board's (delayed) ratification of the (mostly EoS) clubs' who submitted licensing applications before 1/1/19. (4) The additional SLL vacancy, caused by the demise of Selkirk, presents an opportunity to reprieve the club finishing 15th this season (Whitehill Welfare or Dalbeattie Star), if they apply to be re-elected. It also gives the other licensed clubs, eg LTHV, Girvan, Preston Athletic, Threave Rovers, Hawick Royal Albert, etc, the opportunity to apply to fill the extra SLL vacancy. Whitehill however, don't have floodlights, which could be a complication (derogation ?) (5) Alternatively, will either Albion Rovers or Berwick Rangers be relegated to the Lowland League, by losing the "SPFL Club 42 play-off final" (to either East Kilbride or Cove Rangers) ? If HFL club Cove were to be successful, the SLL would gain an extra (15th) club for 2019/20 anyway, thereby resulting in either Whitehill Welfare (being relegated to the EoS}, or Dalbeattie Star (to the SoSL) automatically, Still plenty of unanswered questions ? Apologies if my assumptions of the current state of play, are incorrect.
  2. Junior football, what is the future?

    (2) you are correct (3) should read "play off with club 42" (for promotion to SPFL, as post states)
  3. Junior football, what is the future?

    Just coasting in by default with total indifference, while the Eosfl get shafted. I don't support the ERJFA clubs (south of the Tay) being given tier 6 status. Utter stupidity to have 2 pyramid feeder leagues in the same geographical area. The EoSL is already the pyramid feeder league, and it should remain as the ONLY east feeder league (below the Tay.) The situation in the north is very different as the north juniors, and the NCL cover different regions, and my caveat was "NCL to join, IF the North Region Juniors (also) join the pyramid. Unlikely at present, I am sure you will agree.
  4. Junior football, what is the future?

    Don't think it's tenable for there to be only one club promoted once the WRSJFA are involved, and if the SFA Board are about to override objections, they can also address that. It seems to be the majority view on here, is that the SFA Board do have override powers, but if they are going to exercise them at tier 5 (SLL) and tier 6 (EoS), they would also have to override the SPFL as well, to implement the automatic relegation of club 42 (at tier 4), and replace them by the Highland/Lowland champions' playoff. They won't bite the bullet ! Furthermore, it would be insane to have a pyramid with over 100 clubs at tiers 5 - 8, and then have (1) play-offs , between the champions of 4 separate Lowland feeder leagues (EoSL, SoSL, WRJL & ERJL), followed by (2) a play-off with the Highland League champions, followed by (3) a play-off with SPFL Club 42, followed by victory for the non-league play-off , but only if they win. The SPFL will disagree with club 42 gaining automatic promotion to the SPFL, so we will be in deadlock. Outcome IMO is, that there will be a massive logjam at the top of the pyramid, and also new steps being taken, to give protection to club 42, each year. Hardly conclusive to having a fluid and effective pyramid.
  5. Junior football, what is the future?

    ...."everyone except the north" ! Not just the north juniors, as the NCL will want pyramid status, IF the North Juniors are admitted in 2020/21.
  6. Pyramid 2019/2020

    David Baxter has done a superb job in coordinating the Conferences and the seamless inclusion of junior clubs into the EoS.
  7. Junior football, what is the future?

    I can't see any provisions within the SFA handbook/manual which gives powers to its Chief Executive to personally override the rules and regulations governing the Lowland or EoS leagues. Therefore I am not surprised that Ian Maxwell (apparently ?) didn't contribute much at this particular meeting, as it could be risky for him to do so. Approximately 300 posts ago, I warned that this matter could go to litigation. I hope that I am wrong, in the interests of Scottish non-league football, but the current situation appears to be shambolic. However, going against my general principles (where I usually assume that the particular 'organisation' knows best), my advice to the SFA is that they should appoint an independent 'consultant', to carry out a review of the current situation, including separate consultation with the Leagues/Associations concerned, and also by examining how other countries organise/operate a football pyramid. Once this 'review' is completed, the 'consultant' can make recommendations direct to the SFA, without inappropriate 'interference' from those with a "vested interest". In the meantime, the senior and junior clubs can continue to make their own decisions, on the basis of what is best for them for the future. Sad, but IMO it should lead to a better long term solution for the pyramid, etc ?
  8. Junior football, what is the future?

    "You cannot be serious !" This is football. "Minutes, only available to the clubs concerned" . I suggest that you don't repeat your statement to Bonnyrigg and the other clubs, who are seeking SLL promotion, and/or an SFA Licence, as they haven't been told anything, and we are almost in April. Several secret meetings later, no Minutes and no SFA official announcements/updates, to the clubs concerned. I'm not someone who usually complains, but this is appalling (mis)management IMO.
  9. Junior football, what is the future?

    No, because we are waiting for a response from UEFA, who haven't yet received a protocol from the EU.
  10. Junior football, what is the future?

    Brexit negotiations are diabolical, but they are at least in the PUBLIC domain. The SFA is acting as if it is a secret society. This is football, not state secrets !
  11. Junior football, what is the future?

    Absolutely no idea !
  12. Junior football, what is the future?

    Did you mean to say......"isn't meant to be mid April" ? Or is this a typo ? I would imagine that the SLL will accept an EoS champion club after 31st March, but surely the SFA Board would hold its meeting before the SLL playoff matches take place ? Clubs and fans need to know where they stand, when these games take place, especially as there may be 2 promotion spots this season. Backdating - yes I agree. Where are the March PWG Minutes ?
  13. Junior football, what is the future?

    Could the SFA be delaying the overdue Club Licences announcement, pending an agreement between the EoSL and the ERJFA is reached, ?. A sort of bargaining chip ? Perhaps "no new licences will be confirmed until a pyramid agreement is reached between the seniors and juniors" ?
  14. Pyramid 2019/2020

    ........................and Ross County ! (They left as well). If in the future, an operational pyramid (with promotion & relegation) is formed in the north, by the inclusion of the juniors at tiers 6 & 7, then the NCL would also seek feeder league status, thereby ensuring that clubs to the north and west of Inverness, are not excluded. It would also provide a league at tier 6 level, for HFL clubs like Wick, Fort William, and Brora to be relegated into, should this become necessary in future years. These 'remote' Highland clubs (plus possibly Clachnacuddin ?) would not wish to join an Aberdeenshire (and Tayside ?) based junior league; nor would the existing North Region Juniors, want them joining their leagues. Initial pyramid discussions have taken place, but are unlikely to be concluded any time soon in the north'''.........and certainly not until the West & East Juniors' situation, has been sorted out.
  15. Junior football, what is the future?

    100% spot on/agreed by me.