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Does Pyramid p/o mean end of SJFA ?


mick90
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No offence taken with the ",

As far I know there is no planned requirement for floodlights at Lowland League level. It remains to be seen what would happen if a team wins the league and playoffs and is unable to take promotion due to not having floodlights as it is a requirement for the SPFL. It is a condition of entry to the Lowland League that you cannot refuse promotion.

I believe Alloa had a set for sale recently.

I would guess if a team won the league and didn't have floodlights they would have to prove they would have them ready in time for the next season or promotion would be refused, its a bit like Falkirk when they won the old first Division I don't think they could of refused promition (not thay they wanted to) but by not meeting the requirements they were unable to move up. So in theory if a Lowland league team didn't want promotion they could just never meet the SPFL requirements of floodlights although no doubt after the first couple of times the SPFL would have something to say to said team.

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The dates above demonstrate how much SJFA has to change, currently playing an idiot game into mid-June instead of starting with the rest with the SFA season, late June or July 1. They CANNOT join the pyramid system unless top leagues are finished end of APRIL ...

They cannot be a feeder to the SPFL in the absence of that, but there's hee haw chance of that happening right now anyway if the so-called super-duper league is dead in the water due to the reluctance of clubs (mainly Ayrshire) to do the extra travel. It remains to be seen what happens with playoffs at the bottom end of the LL and HL, because that's still very much a work in progress. If the bottom team automatically gets the bullet, which I think is the plan with the LL once they reach 16 clubs (HL have yet to agree to relegation and could rightly point to the absence of a viable division to relegate to) then playoffs to replace them could be held later than early May.

Edited by LongTimeLurker
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The HL has no viable division into which to relegate and has a tier structure of about 2 divisions of the traditionally weaker north Juniors are affiliated. The south would have about 5 tiers before you reached the level of the north second tier. I've said this repeatedly but the addition of the entire junior structure would make a complete mockery of the north/south split.The bottom end of the HL would be about tier 7 in the south.

I genuinely believe it suits the sfa just fine to have a limited number of teams in the south structure.

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Is the sfa not ultimately responsible for representing the best interests for all clubs in all its affiliated bodies?

What do you think? I don't think there is much evidence for them representing the best interests of all. Their only interest is avoiding anything that would cause the existing SPFL teams to close the door on the whole idea. I understand the need for compromise but as things stand, it would be perfectly reasonable in an "all in" pyramid to find Pollok (for example) behind the 28 top flight Junior clubs plus the 14 Lowland League clubs - effectively in Division 4 of the Lowland pyramid whilst Ellon Utd (for example) sat in Division 2 of a Highland pyramid.

The strength in depth in the south is massive compared to the north and completely skews the whole thing when an "all in" view of the semi professional game is taken. And if Pollok improve the position is still the same - a second tier East or West Junior team will be kicking about beneath a Lowland League and 2 Super Leagues worth of teams not to mention the need to account for EoS and SoS feeders which are already in place.

In my view, an all-in would create a ridiculously imbalanced structure where the North teams would benefit massively - in terms of the pace at which they'd be able to ascend the structure with a bit of finance thrown at them in the face of weakish opposition from about 2/3 of the way down the top flight structure.

Edited by HTG
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If you are an SFA officeholder and you want to keep your job, you are going to try to keep a majority of the SFA's full membership happy. The juniors until recently had only 2 votes (the SJFA plus Girvan) at the SFA's AGM, while the nonleague seniors had over 30. Once you grasp the implications of that, it's easy enough to understand why the HL was able to remain intact, even though it makes little sense to have the likes of Rothes and Fort William at tier 5, and the LL wound up being dominated by full-member EoS and SoS clubs with money being provided that only they could access to achieve entry level licensing.

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Ultimately the SFA can only work with what they've got, and with what SFL (as was) clubs were prepared to compromise on. They wanted a national feeder - the compromise was 2 feeders. They wanted licensing to be the criteria, which was very sensible anyway and has also been applied as SPFL's own criteria - there are 17 licensed clubs in HL and 1 in North Juniors, versus only 10 in LL with 4 more trying to get there by the summer, 1 in East Juniors, and 0 in West Juniors.

As such the current arrangement is the only one which flies.

However the logical arrangement is for 3 regions. This is what the natural geography and population base of Scotland points towards - and what the old non-league system roughly mirrored (3 Junior Regions and HL / EOS / SOS leagues). Hopefully the current arrangements are a starting point to reaching that but I doubt it'll happen unless the Juniors join the pyramid and numbers of them get licensed.

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I honestly don't think a 3 leagues at level 5 would work.

However I have to agree with the point about standard of north v south.

A possibility could be dropping the geographical split abit more southern, thus allowing a few more clubs to classify as north to add a bit more depth.

Another idea could be to lower the number of teams in each league in the north, and number of promotion places. Although this is not ideal and doesn't improve the overall standard it would mean that any clubs starting at the bottom of the northern half of the pyramid would have more tiers to climb, rather going from HL division 2 to the highland league.

Edited by inthepink
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I honestly don't think a 3 leagues at level 5 would work.

However I have to agree with the point about standard of north v south.

A possibility could be dropping the geographical split abit more southern, thus allowing a few more clubs to classify as north to add a bit more depth.

Another idea could be to lower the number of teams in each league in the north, and number of promotion places. Although this is not ideal and doesn't improve the overall standard it would mean that any clubs starting at the bottom of the northern half of the pyramid would have more tiers to climb, rather going from HL division 2 to the highland league.

How far south can you go though before it becomes impractical? Brora to Dundee is already a huge distance for a regional structure. Including everything from Dunfermline up would add only a few clubs - particularly at the top level and would probably kill them off unless there was a significant level of support with travel costs.

And there would still be a massive imbalance.

Everything is fine as long as the Juniors don't seek licences. The minute they do the whole thing becomes very lopsided.

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...., which partially explains why they put in the extra clause about progression into the licensing conditions to actively put clubs off (after your club unexpectedly lodged an applications and Auchinleck Talbot started making noises about doing the same), and only made money available for ground upgrades to their existing full members. So far, it has been a reorganisation of the senior grade rather than a sincere attempt to create a genuine pyramid. Junior clubs in the central belt have historically not been interested in moving to the senior grade in its current form, so it would have taken a much more radical reform to get them to embrace the pyramid format.

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U mean belittling junior clubs, their grounds and calling them backwards isn't productive? :P imo if the sfa were serious about the whole thing they would be looking at how they could fit all clubs into a new structure, contacting them with information and providing assistance.

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.

Everything is fine as long as the Juniors don't seek licences. The minute they do the whole thing becomes very lopsided.

But they don't have licences, and whist some are interested most aren't. We aren't going to have a change unless there becomes a situation where 30 or so lowland region clubs are licensed, and the highlands only has enough for 1 league. Then we may have a situation where clubs can make an argument over imbalance, without that there's nothing to demand a split in the lowlands.

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...so nothing much really changed, all the blazers kept their little fiefdoms, and it all ended happily ever after. In reality, things won't stand still. EKFC, Broomhill Sports Club and AM Soccer are the shape of things to come. Once you open the door to the possibility of progression to the SPFL groups of people that previously would not have contemplated it will emerge to give it a go. Most of the activity on that will be in the central belt and I suspect some of it may well involve new committees taking over moribund junior clubs.

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...so nothing much really changed, all the blazers kept their little fiefdoms, and it all ended happily ever after. In reality, things won't stand still. EKFC, Broomhill Sports Club and AM Soccer are the shape of things to come. Once you open the door to the possibility of progression to the SPFL groups of people that previously would not have contemplated it will emerge to give it a go. Most of the activity on that will be in the central belt and I suspect some of it may well involve new committees taking over moribund junior clubs.

Which is the daft part of it all. By reading the posts on this thread alone it seems that the licensing requirements have been brought in as an exclusionary tactic rather than (what it should be) a way of encouraging clubs to be part of a system, whether it be a League structure or not) which provides communities and visitors with a professionally run, well considered and equipped club.

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Selkirk had access to generous grants that were only available to full members. The fix was in, but we could drone on about this for pages and pages and never reach resolution. Things are where they are now, but won't stand still at that point. Maybe better to focus on how things will evolve down the road?

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