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  1. Folk on this thread may have an interest in the news and forum sections of Scottish Rural Action's website - https://www.sra.scot Cheers.
  2. I like the idea. I've been hoping for something like this and thought the creation of the Lowland League was supposed to be just the first step towards something much more open between the League and non-league - but more promotion and relegation has never materialised. Do Berwick and East Stirlingshire not talk to their former chums in SPFL2? More play-off places makes the lower league more exciting (the LL and HL could do that part themselves, right now - e.g. HL 1st v LL 2nd, LL 1st v HL 2nd, winners play off) and gives relegated clubs a much better chance to regain League status. Maybe it'll have to happen to a couple more of them before things are sorted for the better; automatic relegation for the worst in the League and automatic promotion for the best non-leaguers seems just. (Unless they're actually quite chuffed at the change of scene, and looking forward to meeting new clubs coming through; but opening up the leagues enables more of this, too, so even 12-12-10-10 would be more interesting than at present.)
  3. That doesn't sound quite right. Aren't there clubs playing regionally who have higher average attendances than some of those playing nationally? Isn't it the case that most clubs further down the pyramid will have lower attendances because they are simply smaller clubs, rather than that being caused by them playing in regional or district leagues? When derbies produce higher attendances than playing against non-rivals, as they surely do (?), it seems a logical decision to pursue that money. I'm sure we'll find out more as the pyramid progresses. I wonder if relegation to the Lowland League is already looking like a less fearful prospect for League Two clubs; maybe Berwick and East Stirlingshire will be quite sanguine about where they find themselves.
  4. I don't follow your arithmetic, there. Travel costs are absolute so, although you seem to be making a general comparison as to the relative sustainability of part-time vs full-time clubs, absolute travel costs are similar for both; therefore, playing on a national basis is less affordable for part-timers who by definition (?) have less income. Which I assume is why they would benefit financially from fewer of the longer away trips, more of the shorter journeys, and more income from local away supports. I'm afraid I don't follow your reasoning on the geography of Scotland and partitioning into regions leading to clubs travelling much further. I think that sounds good. The only thing that would concern me is small league tables becoming polarised, with teams lots of points apart and so maybe less interest as a result, but since they're all at the same level then I guess all 18 could sit fairly in the same league table even though they're playing slightly different fixtures?
  5. I think the point was whether the part-timers could compete consistently on a national basis without their SPFL payment; presumably, the full-time clubs could continue to do so because of their larger following. Something like 14-14-18 would allow full-time clubs at tier 2 to still play one another enough to support their finances, yet would enable room for several part-time clubs to develop within the league over seasons - and hopefully turn full-time. It would be good to have a larger bottom tier from the perspective of opening up the league to the bigger non-league clubs that will probably now be coming up the pyramid, and to help relegated former SPFL clubs return to the league more easily.
  6. What I wrote there was a bit tongue-in-cheek. Hence the crap anecdote (I was also urinated on by a dog on that same touchline, so Alloa - not a happy place for me). Can't find much to disagree with in what you say. I like what you're saying on restructuring; we'll probably never find out if the first part of what you say is true.
  7. I went past Wallyford on the train the other day and noticed the rather large skeleton of a stand, adjacent to a football-field sized park. No sign of construction work, although there is a KC Scaffolding (see Google's map, for exact location) firm next door. Anyone know if Wallyford amateurs have something happening here? Or Musselburgh seniors, maybe? It looks like it would be impressive if completed. Cheers!
  8. Interesting. Airth has a pineapple, I understand. The train journey from Stirling through to Alloa is also very scenic.
  9. I'd like to see an independent Scotland's government give Laffer-curve tax policy a go. If I remember my economics, lower taxation enables people and firms to spend more, which creates more jobs and businesses in order to meet demand, and so the government recoups the tax revenue from having a larger number of people and firms doing better in a growing economy. (With all the health benefits of people being in work rather than on the dole; although it would need to be a services-led economy, as more consumption of goods is not desirable for environmental reasons - unless it's to build infrastructure, like wind turbines for off-shore farms or small-scale run-of-river hydro for the energy to replace Hunterston.) I realise Gordon Brown's "share in the proceeds of growth" policy was based on Laffer-type economics, but I wouldn't want an independent Scotland to build a huge public sector with the 'proceeds' or we'd be facing similarly huge austerity during the inevitable down-cycle of the economy, in order to hack back government spending again - which was the major flaw in New Labour economics.
  10. The 'pro' I'd be interested in is if it was part of a larger plan that enabled the Old Firm's galactcos first teams to leave Scottish football and play in some kind of cross-border or Atlantic League-type thing. Scottish football could thrive without the OF at the top level - crowds could pour in to clubs with a sudden realistic chance of winning the league. I think so. I take it that the issue is with the Colt Firm trying to skip the non-league, as Hibs, Berwick, Stranraer, Stirling Uni, Spartans, and maybe others have all had second teams of some kind in the league. I encountered Mr Mulholland when watching youth teams playing at a park in central Alloa several years ago. A youngster knocked the ball out the park, and I played it back in thinking there'd be a quick throw. The lad, obviously looking for a breather, booted it straight back at me. As I quickly dodged, Mr Mulholland laughed and shouted "one-two". I gave him the Alloa glare, and he sauntered off chuckling away to himself. So, for that reason, no colts. Good place to watch several games simultaneously, though; there's a wee mound with a bench on it that has a decent view of all the action. Also - who knew that Alloa had a port?
  11. I'm not quite clear on what sort of cross-border league we'd be looking at: - full integration with other countries at the top level(s), and national leagues feeding into that via play offs; - or, an Atlantic League sort of thing with a permanent, franchise-type membership that's just about the kudos; - or, creating something that looks like a sixth major European league, with Champions' League places available, etc. I'm not sure those categories are mutually exclusive, mind you
  12. **Policy Interlude** A policy I'd like to see implemented is for younger folk to be more fairly treated by the minimum wage - by one or other of the governments topping up the mandatory minimum wage that employers must pay them, to the full 25s-and-over minimum wage amount. I can see why they allow employers to pay young folk less, because otherwise firms may not take on inexperienced staff and we don't want a wasted generation of unemployed youngsters, but young workers are adults and do face many of the same costs as the rest of us. Since the living/minimum wage is government policy, it is their responsibility to ensure that it is applied to people fairly. (Could be a good starter policy for the Lib Dems and Sir Ed.)
  13. I would have liked to have seen this competition as being only for Scottish senior teams, including all non-league seniors and all non-Premiership SPFL teams; it would be good to have this as a cup competition to support the senior league pyramid, at this time of integration and change.
  14. If the objectives are to have the top 16 clubs entering at Round 4, and to include all 64 eligible non-league clubs, then an 8 round competition is possible: Round 1 - 64 teams (all non-league); Round 2 - 52 teams (32 winners from R1, plus 20 teams from League One and League Two); Round 3 - 32 teams (26 winners from R2, plus 6 Championship teams); Round 4 - 32 teams (16 winners from R3, plus 4 from Championship, plus 12 from Premiership); Round 5 - 16 teams (winners of R4 ties); Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals, and Final - as normal. Sorry to be boorish or patronising or for seemingly spamming this thread, but it seemed important. I'll go away now.
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