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Highland League restructuring

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http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/3526251

Not sure I can see this working. Not keen on an 18 game season, with what is going to be a sectional league cup - allegedly a 'minimum of six' further games. So that's swapping a guaranteed 17 home games for 12, why not a straight 4 x playing, if we're going that way. I think there should be promotion/relegation from the HFL, but surely better to start discussions with the North Juniors and NCL regarding a North pyramid.

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If it goes through Banks O' Dee have to be one of the teams joining (Spain Park is close to be licensed by the SFA iirc). As for the 2nd party I'm not sure, maybe Culter (their ground would hold them back though).

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It'll be punted across the Lossie come thursday as being toooo rrrrrrrrrrradical boy

Ah fancy Stables has had the oxygen to his brain momentarily cut off to have come up with this...plan...to be honest

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I'm not sure if i can see this working out either, but it could turn into something that could when/if everyone gets together to discuss it properly.

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IMO:

10/10 sounds fine.

18-game season doesn't.

Would they not be better playing 36 games a season if this idea did happen!

Been reading some of the comments from the hate mob on fitba north, according to their online poll 93% of them are against it but how many of that 93% go to highland league games, a bet a lot of that 93% are armchair fans!

Can't see it happening but if theres money to be made then you never know!

Edited by Vale Vale Vale

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Would they not play each other 4 times a season if this idea did happen?

That's what I assumed at first as that would total 36 games, but according to the P&J and Evening Express, Sandy Stables wants to play only 18 league games - which is remarkably few, tbh - and restart the North Challenge Cup but play it sectionally (6 games).

Total 24, down from 34.

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That's what I assumed at first as that would total 36 games, but according to the P&J and Evening Express, Sandy Stables wants to play only 18 league games - which is remarkably few, tbh - and restart the North Challenge Cup but play it sectionally (6 games).

Total 24, down from 34.

Sandy Stables has done a lot of great things for highland league football, met him a few times and he seems like a really passionate guy but only playing 18 games is not one of his best ideas, i thought they would be better playing 36 games a season and scrapping the regional cups. IMO!

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Sandy Stables has done a lot of great things for highland league football, met him a few times and he seems like a really passionate guy but only playing 18 games is not one of his best ideas, i thought they would be better playing 36 games a season and scrapping the regional cups. IMO!

Yep, possibility.

Presumably others will submit plans too.

e.g. 27 league games + 3-game section/straight knockout North Challenge Cup, that also works.

Edited by HibeeJibee

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Banffshire Journal claiming Highland League clubs will reject the proposal.

Turriff against, Deveronvale also quoted.

http://www.banffshire-journal.co.uk/Sport/Football/Highland-League-clubs-set-to-veto-two-division-revamp-07012014.htm

Highland League clubs set to veto two-division revamp

HIGHLAND League clubs look set to reject a proposal for the most radical shake-up in North football’s 120-year history - a switch to two 10-team divisions with promotion and relegation.

The "Banffshire Journal" understands there is already a strong groundswell of opinion among Highland League clubs against such a major restructure to accommodate the Scottish Professional Football League’s (SPFL) play-offs from the end of the 2014/15 season.

The Highland League management committee, which comprises delegates from each of the league’s 18 member clubs, meets in Lossiemouth on Thursday evening.

Top of the agenda is discussion about the introduction of the SPFL’s pyramid system play-offs, which will see the Highland League and Lowland League champions play off in mid-April every year and the winners meeting the bottom club in League 2 with an SPFL place at stake.

"The meeting will explore various options open top us and send proposals back to the clubs for internal discussion to allow members clubs to adopt their own positions on the issue," said Deveronvale chairman Bob McLardy.

"The issue has been heightened because Highland League clubs were put in the position where they had to back the pyramid system or risk losing member clubs to a new league which the Scottish League was threatening to set up alongside the Lowland League.

"What’s important here is that our member clubs do what’s best for Highland League football in the long term."

With Deveronvale currently lying fifth in the Highland League table any league split on merit at the end of this season would almost certainly see the Banffers end up in upper division.

A few miles, away Turriff United are currently 12th and a finish there would see them relegated to a new lower division - a prospect chairman George Manson does not want to contemplate.

"As a club, we will put the good of the whole Highland League before our own individual interests when it comes to voting on nay proposals for the league’s future," he said.

"We don’t believe that a two-division Highland League is the answer because every club would lose out, not least financially because fewer games would see everybody’s revenues from gate money, hospitality and sponsorship suffer.

"The more sensible option would be an agreement to play midweek games, when necessary through November, December and January, weather permitting to cut down on the end-of-season fixture pile-ups which we can experience over bad winters."

Weather interference last season delayed the completion of the 2012/13 Highland League championship programme until Saturday, May 25.

A perennial problem for North clubs, it is likely that Highland League clubs will choose to tackle that problem to shorten the season rather than vote for major change.

"We have to end our season in time for the proposed play-offs in mid-April," concedes Highland League president Finlay Noble.

"I had a meeting recently with league secretary John Grant and my vice-presidents.

"At that time, it looked impossible for us to complete our season in time for the play-offs under our current fixture schedules."

Former Highland League president, long-serving SFA delegate and Keith chairman Sandy Stables has tabled the radical proposal for a 20-team two-tier Highland League with promotion and relegation.

That would see two new clubs elected to a new-look Highland League with two 10-team divisions playing 18 league games a season - a significant reduction on the current 34-game league programme.

The Maroons chairman’s vision of the future proposes the introduction of a new all-in Challenge Cup competition for all 20 clubs to be played over the season along with the Highland League Cup, while clubs would continue to play in the North, Inverness and Aberdeenshire FA regional cup compeitions.

But club representatives, who will report back to their own boards after Thursday’s meeting ahead of any constitutional vote on change, are expected to reject that option when the clubs get back together later in the spring.

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I'd be surprised if Fort William would survive if they were playing in the second tier and only getting 24 games a season (let's face it they're not going to advance in the cup, realistically)

I'd also expect Golspie to be pushing for a place ahead of the likes of Culter

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I don't get this idea of spiting the league up tbh. The fans of the SPL wanted a bigger league as they were getting bored shitless of a 10 team league and it would only be a matter of time before this mindset would set in to the fans of HL clubs IMO.

I can understand making it more regionalised perhaps i.e. Highland / Grampian League for cost purposes maybe but all in all I prefer to see the HL set up left alone altogether.

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I don't get this idea of spiting the league up tbh. The fans of the SPL wanted a bigger league as they were getting bored shitless of a 10 team league and it would only be a matter of time before this mindset would set in to the fans of HL clubs IMO.

I can understand making it more regionalised perhaps i.e. Highland / Grampian League for cost purposes maybe but all in all I prefer to see the HL set up left alone altogether.

Completely agree, one of the worst proposals I've ever read.

There are however a couple of alternative proposals they could easily adopt that would make a significant improvement.

The most obvious one is to hook up with the Northern juniors and have them act as feeders to the Highland League. That would liven things up at the bottom of the league and helps progress the pyramid further.

Secondly, reduce the Highland league by two clubs by the end of NEXT season. That way the league will soon mirror the same format as their Lowland counterparts, ie 16 teams, 30 game season. Ironic as it appears, Fort William are already on record as saying they would be prepared to vote in favour of relegation from the Highland League. A further benefit of this proposal being that it helps to reduce the overall fixture congestion.

Finally, as alluded to in a previous post, the league could play some of their games in hand in midweek when possible in order to prevent a build up of games at the end. This would help ensure that end of season play-offs go ahead as scheduled.

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Completely agree, one of the worst proposals I've ever read.

There are however a couple of alternative proposals they could easily adopt that would make a significant improvement.

The most obvious one is to hook up with the Northern juniors and have them act as feeders to the Highland League. That would liven things up at the bottom of the league and helps progress the pyramid further.

Secondly, reduce the Highland league by two clubs by the end of NEXT season. That way the league will soon mirror the same format as their Lowland counterparts, ie 16 teams, 30 game season. Ironic as it appears, Fort William are already on record as saying they would be prepared to vote in favour of relegation from the Highland League. A further benefit of this proposal being that it helps to reduce the overall fixture congestion.

Finally, as alluded to in a previous post, the league could play some of their games in hand in midweek when possible in order to prevent a build up of games at the end. This would help ensure that end of season play-offs go ahead as scheduled.

Maybe if we had footballing unity... given that the North Premier has 14 teams, two down from the HFL would make two sensible sized leagues - I guess you could consider having the NCL alongside the East/West First Divisions (or split up the teams into two divisions) below that as well.

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Maybe if we had footballing unity... given that the North Premier has 14 teams, two down from the HFL would make two sensible sized leagues - I guess you could consider having the NCL alongside the East/West First Divisions (or split up the teams into two divisions) below that as well.

Yeah, it makes sense for the very reasons you give. 14 team North Prem becomes 16 team feeder league, then regional leagues below that. This proposal to me makes the most sense.

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Banffshire Journal claiming Highland League clubs will reject the proposal.

Turriff against, Deveronvale also quoted.

http://www.banffshire-journal.co.uk/Sport/Football/Highland-League-clubs-set-to-veto-two-division-revamp-07012014.htm

Bob McLardy all for it?

Edited by Vale Vale Vale

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Stables wants to change it as says season doesnt end soon enough,will try scheduling mid week games come aug-sept-oct instead of leaving it till feb-march and trying to cram 3 games a week in,a bit of sense needed!!

I think bringing some north caley teams in maybe relegation promotion to north caley but certainly not 10-10 teams lose 8 games a season which with hospitality fans etc can be money some clubs cant afford to lose

Edited by strathspey thistle

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16-16 if you could hook up with the juniors and north cally and amalgamate would be magic!

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Don't think it makes sense in the long term to have a second Highland League tier covering all the area north of the Tay (which is supposed to be the boundary with the Lowland League) given how expensive it is to travel those distances. What they could do is merge the old Moray junior clubs with the North Caledonian league to form one feeder and have clubs from the old Aberdeenshire junior setup form another.

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