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maverick1

Scottish Football Reconstruction

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Looking for some views into ideas on league reconstruction in Scotland. To my mind the major problem in Scotland is that we have far too many professional clubs, this severely dilutes the financial pool and quality of football. We have 42 Senior clubs in a population of about 5 million. Assuming every person is a fan of football, that gives about 175,000 followers per club. Sounds great, apart from the fact that attendances outside of the old firm are tiny, clubs are failing financially left right and centre and we are being left behind most of Europe both on and off the field.

I appreciate this is very radical, but why don't we have 12 or so professional clubs in Scotland and have one division. These 12 clubs would be formed by smaller teams amalgamating, pulling resources and fan bases and actually creating a competitive league where more than one (previously 2) clubs actually have a hope of winning something. This would create a competitive league, with different winners, higher attendances and quite quickly get a better tv deal, attract better players to the league. Base upon attendances you could have

Celtic, Rangers, Glasgow FC (amalgamate Partick Thistle/St Mirren/queens park) play at nationalstadium. Hearts, Hibs ( though they may want to form Edinburgh FC)Lanarkshire (Motherwell Airdrie Hamilton Albion Rovers)Dundee Dundee Utd (may wish to amalgamate as local population is just 150k)Central Belt team (Livingston Falkirk Dunfermline)Ayrshire (Kilmarnock Ayr st Johnstone)Aberdeen / Grampian With Peterhead The Highlanders - Inverness ElginKings of the South - QofS Stranraer Berwick

The history of each team could be preserved with the lower leagues being made up of the amalgamated teams playing under 21 + 5 overage squad players as a separate club, essentially acting as feeders for the big clubs.

I appreciate this wouldn't be popular with fans initially, but Inverness Caledonian thistle came from a similar process and are thriving! The advantages are clear:

Concentrated cash amongst a smaller number of clubs, so able to compete more in EuropePotential large fan bases for the new clubsFans of clubs actually have a chance of winning something meaningful There would be a squad wage cap, but crucially players developed by each teams wages would not contribute to that cap!

I appreciate this sounds mental and would upset fans initially. Yes Dundee Utd did amazingly well in Europe in the 80s, but now - now the game in Scotland is dying, and we need to do something radical to improve the product. What chance do the likes of Dundee Aberdeen have now of ever reaching a european final? Why is playing in the champions league with 'success' being getting out of the group stage and collecting a big cheque (not winning it like has happened before) the best we can aim for as a nation?

Comments on the new super league appreciated. Why should we be looking to Atlantic leagues etc when we have the makings of a great domestic competitn right here?

Edited by maverick1

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Are you a genuine imbecile, or have you just never actually been to Scotland? St Johnstone don't even fucking play in Ayrshire.

Each of the merged sides involving larger teams would get lower attendances than either of the individual parts.

Edited by craigkillie

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No, I'm not an imbecile. I, like the majority in Scotland, am bored of the current set up and falling further and further behind European countries. I honestly think something radical is required to reinvigorate the game here. If the teams were playing in a competitive league with a chance of winning and money to attract better players (rather than what cash we have being diluted to the extent that it's peanuts), I'm pretty sure there would be an interest in attending and supporting a regional club.

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Looking for some views...

WTF... are you on acid or something? Or just poorly trolling...?

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No, I'm not an imbecile. I, like the majority in Scotland, am bored of the current set up and falling further and further behind European countries. I honestly think something radical is required to reinvigorate the game here. If the teams were playing in a competitive league with a chance of winning and money to attract better players (rather than what cash we have being diluted to the extent that it's peanuts), I'm pretty sure there would be an interest in attending and supporting a regional club.

So your solution is to move Perth?

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I'm seriously not on acid, trolling etc. You got to think outside the box to improve things. 16/14/12/10 of the same teams isn't going to change Scottish football. Seriously, the game is dying here, attendances are crap, the product we currently have is dull. Belgium, Romania, Denmark and Greece all have seasonal tv deals better than ours. Nobody is interested in what we are currently serving up!

Viewing figures for the Edinburgh derby were.... Wait for it.... 25,000! Old episodes of Bullseye on channel tv get 250,000. Somebody has to admit that we are doing something wrong.

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Not sure how getting rid of the likes of Morton, Forfar and Annan will increase ratings for a game between two edinburgh teams.

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Merged teams would be disasters. No-one would follow say "Fife United" (presumably playing at EEP?!?!) and fans would reform their own teams. Furthermore, we haven;t 42 Senior clubs, and there's no fundemental gap from SFL part-timers to 100+ part-time non-leaguers... it's a daft conception. Stupidity on so many levels.

EDIT: Also of the 4 countries cited for having better TV deals, one notes 3 of them have signficiantly larger populations than us. How much better is Denmark's deal, and how many games are shown?

Edited by HibeeJibee

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EDIT: Also of the 4 countries cited for having better TV deals, one notes 3 of them have signficiantly larger populations than us. How much better is Denmark's deal, and how many games are shown?

His idea is insane, but the TV Deal for the Danish Superliga is something like £120 million. They patently did a far better job of things than the SPL.

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Viewing figures for the Edinburgh derby were.... Wait for it.... 25,000! Old episodes of Bullseye on channel tv get 250,000. Somebody has to admit that we are doing something wrong.

You can't beat a bit of Bully. Smashing!

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1354570407[/url]' post='6863006']

His idea is insane, but the TV Deal for the Danish Superliga is something like £120 million. They patently did a far better job of things than the SPL.

I know it sounds insane. But we have drifted so far behind every other country football-wise, and now have a product that generates little interest - even in Scotland!! It's an alternative idea to what we currently have, which is stale, uncompetitive and seriously struggling financially. I honestly think that if we keep things as they are half of the spl teams will be part time in a decade.

Edited by maverick1

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no ayr united no scottish football for me

Not even "FC Ayrshire Ace" or similar? "Ayrshire Atoms"?

I know it sounds insane. But we have drifted so far behind every other country football-wise, and now have a product that generates little interest - even in Scotland!! It's an alternative idea to what we currently have, which is stale, uncompetitive and seriously struggling financially. I honestly think that if we keep things as they are half of the spl teams will be part time in a decade.

Two things here. Firstly, why would your system improve things football-wise? You're suggesting franchise teams, in a stand-alone league. Secondly, what evidence have you that we're "so far" behind "everyone"?

Edited by HibeeJibee

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I know it sounds insane. But we have drifted so far behind every other country football-wise, and now have a product that generates little interest - even in Scotland!! It's an alternative idea to what we currently have, which is stale, uncompetitive and seriously struggling financially. I honestly think that if we keep things as they are half of the spl teams will be part time in a decade.

Whit? St.Johnstone and Kilmarnock merging would benefit Scottish football? Where would they play? Lerwick?

The franchise system is totally the wrong road to go down. This is not to say there haven't been succesful examples of clubs merging in the past. FC Copenhagen are probably the best example here, as are to a lesser extent Caley Thistle, but it worked in these cases for specific reasons. They became the local clubs. Places like Kilmarnock, Perth or Greenock only have one club in their town, so all you would be doing by this mad idea would be ripping the clubs out of community, destroying the link between the clubs and the supporters. I would go further and say that in Dundee and Edinburgh(as I suspect this would be your comeback), the clubs have had a century or more to build up their support. To destroy this would be criminal.

You ask what is the best way of re-invigorating Scottish football? There are many ways. This is not one of them. It makes the SPLs proposals look good by comparison.

I would also contest that we are not "far behind everyone else." We are underperforming, but we are what we are, a middle-ranking league that has good and bad seasons both in Europe and domestically. There are too many drama-merchants as it is.

It is a terrible idea.

Edited by fletch81

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Hearts and Hibs play each other 4-5 times a season.

Watching Hearts once this season is easily enough for most people. They have been steered down the current route of stifling football in order to try to remain competitive despite their financial setbacks and I'm not really knocking them for that as competitors.

To an outsider - and arguably part of the target market for SPL TV coverage - Hibs = Aberdeen = Motherwell = Hearts and they just seem to be playing each other every week. It's a not a spectacle for TV viewers.

At least the dull duopoly has broken up even temporarily - I probably wouldn't have watched any SPL at all otherwise.

If it's variety we need - and I think it is - maybe something that brings more new teams together mid-season would help.

eg:

Not at all married to these numbers, but for example's sake 14 - 14 - 14

top 6 play for title / Europe

Bottom 8 + Top 6 (SFL1) contest 6 SPL places

Bottom 8 (SFL1) + Top 6 (SFL2) contest 6 SFL1 places

Bottom 8 (SFL2) + 6 / 8 Regional Leagues qualifiers contest SFL places

Look SPL, look how fast Teh Berz could get promoted!

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This is not a bad idea at all, but needs a bit of tweaking:

Queen Of The South & Queen's Park => South Park

Albion Rovers & Raith Rovers => Raith Albion

ICT, Partick Thistle => Thistle United

Annan, Dunfermline, Alloa, Forfar => Athletic United

Glasgow Rangers & Berwick Rangers => Glasgow Berwick

Livingston, Morton, Dumbarton => Ton United

Celtic & Cowdenbeath = Starts With A C United

Ross County & Aberdeen => Sheep FC

St. Mirren & St. Johnstone = > Perth Mirren

Stranraer & East Fife => Don't Go There FC

Brechin City & Elgin City => City United FC

etc.

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I would look to merge Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC and Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale Community FC into the catchy Inverness Caledonian Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale Community FC.

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To my mind the major problem in Scotland is that we have far too many professional clubs, this severely dilutes the financial pool and quality of football.

What a gem! You're right! The impoverishment of SPL clubs is all the fault of teams like Clyde, Montrose and the evil lower league cadres. Take away clubs like that (even though most of them aren't actually a burden to anyone financially) and it'll be cream teas all the way.

Hooray!

web-kim-jong-un-getty.jpg

Tooooooooooooooo sexy!

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Forced mergers are an absolute abomination of an idea. If you merged the four Fife teams, a tiny fraction of the supporters who currently support the four clubs would actually go to the games and it would take years for any new fans to grow to significant numbers. Would any 'merged' club survive that?

There are far some than 42 'professional' clubs in Scotland. Most non-league and junior clubs will also be professional, as much as part time clubs in the league set up are anyway. The country supports as many professional clubs as it can.

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