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ComeBackAlexStuart

Who has applied for SPFL membership?

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Right now? Nobody, probably, as the first cut-off is January 31st.

Come January 31st? Everyone capable of becoming champions and required to under the rules, apparently.

http://www.highlandfootballleague.com/History/Item/2014-15%20SHFL%20%20Constitution%20approved%20by%20the%20AGM%20on%2022-05-2014.pdf

Subject to the terms of this Rule, all Clubs that are, as at 31 January in the relevant year, able (based on their then points total and number of remaining games) to become the Champion Club shall, prior to 31 March in the relevant year apply to become members of the Scottish Professional Football League.

The Application shall set out in detail the Club's ability to comply with all of the entry requirements contained within Rules of the Scottish Professional Football League as at 31 March in that year and, shall also confirm that the Club shall, on an on-going basis, comply fully with all of the Rules of the SPFL should the Club become a member of the SPFL .

Notwithstanding the foregoing, It is agreed that any Club which is not able (based on their then points total and number of remaining games) to become the Champion Club as at 31 March in the relevant year shall not be obliged to submit an Application.

http://www.highlandfootballleague.com/News/Item/434_The_Pyramid_System_and_how_it_affects_the_SHFL.aspx

January 31st – all clubs capable of becoming League Champions (based on points total &
number of games to play ) identify themselves

By March 31st- all potential League Champions apply to SPFL for membership
(clubs unable to achieve championship status need not apply)

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Thanks for that. Someone on the Lowland League forum has told me about the January 31st deadline. I had thought it was 31st December. As I'm a Montrose fan, you'll understand why I might be taking an interest in this.

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Any team that gets relegated to the Lowland/Highland league is in for a tough time IMO. I think it could be extremely hard to get back up again.

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Any team that gets relegated to the Lowland/Highland league is in for a tough time IMO. I think it could be extremely hard to get back up again.

Highland maybe, not Lowland.

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They get parachute payments for the first two (?) seasons that keep them close to the levels of subsidy they are accustomed to, which would go a long way at that level. Think it all depends on what state their finances are in where bank debt is concerned.

Edited by LongTimeLurker

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Highland maybe, not Lowland.

Are you having a laugh?

Is he having a laugh?

He's having a laugh!

There should be an HL vs LL select match organized.

Grimbo

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Highland maybe, not Lowland.

That might depend on the teams that come into the LL!!

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Highland maybe, not Lowland.

Even if they were miles better than everyone else in the Lowland League, they'd have to win two two-legged play-off matches against decent opposition to get back up.

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I don't think it makes any difference if they want promotion or not - they're not allowed to refuse...but, they could perhaps not comply with the stadium requirements and thus make themselves ineligible!

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I don't think it makes any difference if they want promotion or not - they're not allowed to refuse...but, they could perhaps not comply with the stadium requirements and thus make themselves ineligible!

I didn't think it was compulsory to take part in the play-offs. If they don't want to be involved then they just don't apply by 31st March. If they then go on and win their league, then no team from that league takes part in any play-off. Please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

Edited by ComeBackAlexStuart

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I didn't think it was compulsory to take part in the play-offs. If they don't want to be involved then they just don't apply by 31st March. If they then go on and win their league, then no team from that league takes part in any play-off. Please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

Seems like I should maybe correct myself. After looking through the rules linked to one of the previous posts, it seems like a team would have to make sure they didn't comply with one of the stipulations if they didn't want to go up.

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I find it ridiculous that these teams who don't want to gain entry to the SPFL could hold others back

They should either

a) Not be in a division which can lead to promotion

or b) rework the rules so it is the highest placed applying team who go into the playoff

Edited by itzdrk

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CBAS - it seems clear to me that clubs mathematically capable of winning must apply: otherwise it wouldn't say "shall", it might for example say "may", and it wouldn't go to the bother of specifically repeating that clubs mathematically incapable "shall not be obliged".

Itzdrk - even with the 'champions only' eligibility situation, I can see scenarios where it might be legitimate that a club was ineligible. For example a few of the LL clubs don't have floodlights at all: so they might be genuinely unable to get the necessary permission and finance in place over the course of the summer.

Where you would have a problem would be if a club turned-up the next season saying the same thing. Or were deliberately trying to make themself ineligible (there are all kinds of extravagant predictions over on FitbaNorth about Brora downgrading their own floodlights, or deliberately filling in the forms wrong, fans vandalising their own floodlights, not turning-up for the playoff, fielding their U17s in the play-off, and so on further and further into ridiculousness). That would hamper other ambitious clubs, and relegated clubs trying to bounce-back.

It's also worth adding that (AFAIA) the only public quotes of someone connected to Brora have come from their "main backer"... not chairman. He said he wanted to stay put and win HL for years on end. However, in another interview he also said it isn't his decision - albeit he claimed it should be the fans decisions. And he said some of their committee were warming to it - and they wouldn't throw a game. More water will have passed under the bridge since then.

EDIT: These were quotes of the "main backer" last April, just after winning HL:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/26931320

"Sorry to tell the Highland League - we're not going anywhere," he said. "We've got the pyramid system now - we have to deal with it. "If it happens, it happens - we would never ever throw a game - but my preference is for Brora to go nowhere.

"I would like to do with Brora Rangers what happened with Huntly Football Club [in the 1990s] and dominate the Highland League. "Nothing would give me more pleasure than that."

These, perhaps already with a changed and less defiant emphasis, from July's Petrofac Cup draw:

http://sport.stv.tv/football/scottish-league-two/284342-brora-rangers-to-let-fans-decide-over-potential-spfl-participation/

the club's main backer Ben MacKay says they would let the fans to decide on their future.

He told STV: "What we have decided as a football club and as a committee is if that eventuality happens then it will be the supporters of Brora Rangers that will decide what league we play in, not the committee or the Scottish league for that matter.

...

MacKay has voiced his opinion on the matter but admits some on the club's committee would like the chance to join Scotland's senior leagues. He said: "I would say there’s a mixed opinion. If we had this conversation three or four months ago it would definitely have been a no. "There is two or three people on the board now that have voiced ‘we should try and be as big as we can be’.

It's speculation filling a vacuum, currently.

Edited by HibeeJibee

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It's also worth adding that (AFAIA) the only public quotes of someone connected to Brora have come from their "main backer"... not chairman. He said he wanted to stay

These, perhaps already with a changed and less defiant emphasis, from July's Petrofac Cup draw:

http://sport.stv.tv/football/scottish-league-two/284342-brora-rangers-to-let-fans-decide-over-potential-spfl-participation/

the club's main backer Ben MacKay says they would let the fans to decide on their future.

He told STV: "What we have decided as a football club and as a committee is if that eventuality happens then it will be the supporters of Brora Rangers that will decide what league we play in, not the committee or the Scottish league for that matter.

...

MacKay has voiced his opinion on the matter but admits some on the club's committee would like the chance to join Scotland's senior leagues. He said: "I would say there’s a mixed opinion. If we had this conversation three or four months ago it would definitely have been a no. "There is two or three people on the board now that have voiced ‘we should try and be as big as we can be’.

He's not too clued up - Brora are already in "Scotland's senior leagues".

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True.

They were involved in a notable controversy last season when trying to win the 'Highland treble' - HL, North of Scotland Cup and Highland League Cup - and had successfully lifted the N of S in the autumn, and were cakewalking the League. But then they fielded an ineligible player in the League Cup R1 and were expelled.

To widespread astonishment Brora announced they'd go to the Court of Session to apply for an Interim Interdict, to prevent Clachnacuddin from playing their tie in the next round, in advance of seeking a Judicial Review... They appointed a QC and announced their intention to pursue HL for costs. It even made 'Sportsound' where it was claimed the SFA might get involved. HL hinted at abandoning the whole cup, and Brora eventually backed-down just before the first hearing was due.

https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/uncategorized/45748/now-brora-seeking-cup-tie-injunction/

http://www.northern-times.co.uk/News/Brora-Rangers-drop-legal-action-as-HFL-threaten-to-cancel-cup-25032014.htm

http://www.fitbanorth.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4653&hilit=session

http://www.fitbanorth.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2415&p=476860&hilit=session#p476860

Separately, they unveiled further ground upgrade plans last June, including floodlight works:

http://www.brorarangersfc.co.uk/club/267420/News/view/845398

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4. Adding lamps. On each of our 8 floodlights we would like to place a further lamp on each. This would take us above the SFA threshold for club licensing and further towards securing a higher merit from the governing body.

For entry level there's only a guideline of best practice, which is below the bronze level required for the SPFL, so not clear that this would be sufficient, although the "higher merit" bit suggests it probably would be, if that means being at bronze rather than entry level.

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I find it ridiculous that these teams who don't want to gain entry to the SPFL could hold others back

They should either

a) Not be in a division which can lead to promotion

or b) rework the rules so it is the highest placed applying team who go into the playoff

I don't understand how turning down entry is "holding others back".

Say team A wins the league, but doesn't want promotion.

Team B comes second. They aren't being "held back" - they aren't good enough!

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