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Why is there no feeder to the Highland League ? How can there ever be a pyramid when the SFA are allowing this to happen ?

Every grade Senior, junior, whatever grade the Highland League are is a closed shop. Mental.

The Highland league is hardly a closed shop; It currently has four member clubs who not so long ago were juniors, Formartine, Inverurie Loco works, Strathspey Thistle and Turriff. Correspondingly they have also lost a few to the SFL (and the SFPL) over the years. Inverness, Ross County, Peterhead, Elgin. I would think this is the mark of a progressive and successful organisation.

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The Highland league is hardly a closed shop; It currently has four member clubs who not so long ago were juniors, Formartine, Inverurie Loco works, Strathspey Thistle and Turriff. Correspondingly they have also lost a few to the SFL (and the SFPL) over the years. Inverness, Ross County, Peterhead, Elgin. I would think this is the mark of a progressive and successful organisation.

I think you may find these new clubs are only in there because those you mention left for the SFL.

As it stands, they don't appear to be encouraging any integration with the North Superleague, and have turned Bank O'Dee away.

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Good to see so much debate on this and now that I'm no longer involved in football I feel I can speak about it more openly.

Licensing

Girvan are in the process of getting an entry license. Planning permission to build an extension to the stand is in place and that will allow for a new referee room and first aid room. Everything else has been assessed and passed as far as I'm aware. We were in the lucky position of already having compliant disabled toilets but it shouldn't break any club's bank. It does however take a lot of volunteer time. I'd still recommend it to any club though.

Reinstatement

I wrote a proposal for the SJFA AGM this year to remove reinstatement and after speaking to eight clubs in person who all seemed supportive I couldn't get a seconder. I should have emailed it round all the clubs but I was working two jobs and planning a move to New Zealand at the time so it was fairly far down my list of life priorities. More than happy to share the motion with any interested clubs, although it'd be straightforward to write it again.

Making change happen

It's interesting to see how attitudes to the pyramid and general modernisation are changing on here. As Burnie Man says, change doesn't have to be driven from the top. Go and speak to your committee. If, like ours, it's very small it's hard for committee members to dedicate time to planning the future of the game. There's enough work to be done keeping a football club afloat with only five people behind the scenes. I'm sure most committees would love to have passionate fans with a vision for the future on board. I really don't think it's intransigence from clubs, it's just hard to fit everything in. It was for me anyway.

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Will the SFA insist that Girvan return to the SoS League once licensed to fulfill their signed pledge to take part in the pyramid?

That seems to be the inference - unless they can grab the team 16 spot in the Lowland League.

There is something logical about expecting the 2 feeder leagues to the SPFL being the same size but the HFL doesn't show any sign of reducing to 16 whilst the LL seems to have 16 as its target. Surely the number of games the clubs will play is a matter of concern for any relegated club.

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The SFA have made a complete and utter bollox of what could have been a reformed non-league structure and pyramid.

They are now scrambling around making up rules on the hoof because of it.

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There is something logical about expecting the 2 feeder leagues to the SPFL being the same size but the HFL doesn't show any sign of reducing to 16 whilst the LL seems to have 16 as its target. Surely the number of games the clubs will play is a matter of concern for any relegated club.

I don't see that as being an issue. LL will play 30 games and an additional cup (the South Challenge Cup involving LL, EOSL & SOSL clubs), while HL plays 34 games. If one was playing 38 but the other 22 / 26, then OK, but only geeks or pyramid aficionados will think there has to be exact symmetry.

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I don't see that as being an issue. LL will play 30 games and an additional cup (the South Challenge Cup involving LL, EOSL & SOSL clubs), while HL plays 34 games. If one was playing 38 but the other 22 / 26, then OK, but only geeks or pyramid aficionados will think there has to be exact symmetry.

Would it not be best for the 'Pyramid' and the Lowland League be discussed in a forum more suited? Like Lowland League perhaps, East of Scotland or even South of Scotland?

Where the geeks and pyramid aficionados live.

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Would it not be best for the 'Pyramid' and the Lowland League be discussed in a forum more suited? Like Lowland League perhaps, East of Scotland or even South of Scotland?

Where the geeks and pyramid aficionados live.

It will remain a matter of interest or speculation to this forum given that there are clubs working towards a licence. Best not opened if it is of no interest.

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I don't see that as being an issue. LL will play 30 games and an additional cup (the South Challenge Cup involving LL, EOSL & SOSL clubs), while HL plays 34 games. If one was playing 38 but the other 22 / 26, then OK, but only geeks or pyramid aficionados will think there has to be exact symmetry.

The number of league games clubs will play seems to matter to SPFL clubs. Completely appreciate that symmetry isn't everything but we have a relatively new league lining up alongside an established version in the north. So who decides when to stop letting clubs in? Does the LL decide that for themselves or does the sfa prescribe what its pyramid should look like? It obviously matters if Girvan, Haddington and Glasgow Uni are all licenced in time for next season but only one gets in when they might otherwise all get in to achieve parity with the north. Meantime Banks o Dee and Golspie will sit on their thumb whether they want in or not.

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Edusport Academy would be eligible for promotion if they win the SoS league and have licensing by then and club 42 (probably East Stirling by the looks of things) could be relegated down as an additional club if an HL club wins the promotion playoff, so there may not even be a vacancy available for next season. My understanding is that the LL is rigidly fixed at 16 clubs based on the policies that were in place when the SFA agreed to its creation and affiliation.

The SFA originally wanted 10 in the north and south, but eventually had to cave in to the HL's demand that it remains intact as the north feeder, because they may have struggled to find even 10 clubs for their north feeder otherwise given only four HL clubs (Cove Rangers, Formartine, Inverurie and one other may be Deveronvale but not 100% sure) are keen on SPFL entry. If at any point the SFA allows a licensed club in the south to forego progression up the "pyramid", I would have thought it would be very difficult in legal terms for them to justify denying junior clubs the opportunity to do the same, if any club wanted to make an issue out of it.

Edited by LongTimeLurker

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Good to see so much debate on this and now that I'm no longer involved in football I feel I can speak about it more openly.

Licensing

Girvan are in the process of getting an entry license. Planning permission to build an extension to the stand is in place and that will allow for a new referee room and first aid room. Everything else has been assessed and passed as far as I'm aware. We were in the lucky position of already having compliant disabled toilets but it shouldn't break any club's bank. It does however take a lot of volunteer time. I'd still recommend it to any club though.

Reinstatement

I wrote a proposal for the SJFA AGM this year to remove reinstatement and after speaking to eight clubs in person who all seemed supportive I couldn't get a seconder. I should have emailed it round all the clubs but I was working two jobs and planning a move to New Zealand at the time so it was fairly far down my list of life priorities. More than happy to share the motion with any interested clubs, although it'd be straightforward to write it again.

Making change happen

It's interesting to see how attitudes to the pyramid and general modernisation are changing on here. As Burnie Man says, change doesn't have to be driven from the top. Go and speak to your committee. If, like ours, it's very small it's hard for committee members to dedicate time to planning the future of the game. There's enough work to be done keeping a football club afloat with only five people behind the scenes. I'm sure most committees would love to have passionate fans with a vision for the future on board. I really don't think it's intransigence from clubs, it's just hard to fit everything in. It was for me anyway.

Good post, hopefully someone takes up the issue of Re-instatement at next years AGM, its time it went, and the loss of funds - c£15k - wont be so hard felt now that there is a sponsor on board for the Junior Cup. Not that it would be with £500k in the bank anyway.

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Why not ask for club fee based on the league they play in?

Base descriptions on east region

South Division £35 or whatever it is at present

Premier League £75

Superleague £125

Given the wage bills and attendance of the Superleague clubs it would make little difference to them.

It is just that some clubs are more equal than others.

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The SJFA don't need a fee/levvy at all, and the re-instament rule continues to claim victims (Downfield being the prime example last season).

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I believe that the limit on the Lowland League size is not set in stone. All it would take would be a vote from the clubs themselves to extend the size of the league.

However I believe 16 clubs is the correct size as the playoffs have to be started around mid April. At our level, I believe that we should keep the amount of midweek games to a minimum.

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