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Mr Bairn

League reconstruction: Let's hear your view

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2 hours ago, DA Baracus said:

I have heard that as of next season the bottom team in League 2 is automatically relegated. Anyone heard anything else about this?

I'd be surprised if that was introduced just yet but it would be a good move.

Would that make winning the HFL title a poisoned chalice for everyone but Cove? 

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Really dislike when voluntary promotions gets brought up, it defeats the point of a pyramid, in a pyramid every team finds their level. Give the Juniors a playoff place and the ability to decline promotion and nothing will change as they’ll sit in their bubble while getting Scottish cup access and then just refuse promotion. What if a team gets a sugar daddy and wins that league 6 years running? They’re happy winning that league every year but have no desire to move up as they’re a big fish in a small pond, they then block any teams below them from moving up. The only thing that should stop promotion is not meeting a criteria like ground standards in which case your place should be offered to the next team meeting the criteria. RELEGATION AND PROMOTION SHOULD NEVER BE OPTIONAL.

Debate the league sizes by all means but the pyramid below HFL and LLFL should consist of every team from EoS, SoS, NCL, SJFA and SAFA all in one structure not artificial separate leagues that run parallel. After 10 years most clubs will find their level.

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I have heard that as of next season the bottom team in League 2 is automatically relegated. Anyone heard anything else about this?


Good, if we are serious about a proper pyramid relegation is a must. Personally I’d have the same as the other leagues 10th relegated and the 9th in a play off. HL and LL could play off winner promoted and loser played off with League 2 9th placed team. I’d also like to see more than one relegated from LL if more Juniors show an interest.

Not heard anything but if true it will be the death of a few well known teams. A few teams teams a lot further up better not have a few seasons of bad results or they will go the same way.


Don’t see why, relegation really shouldn’t cause teams to go out of business as any well run team should be able to cut their cloth according to their level. Teams living beyond their means have no one to blame but themselves. Raith were relegated last season and if we fail to go back up we will need to look at our squad size and whether we remain full time along with a host of other areas, Seniors or Juniors you adapt to your income. If the Lowland League attracts more teams from the Juniors it will continue to improve the league and the drop would be less severe.

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On ‎16‎/‎01‎/‎2018 at 13:56, Glenconner said:

Not heard anything but if true it will be the death of a few well known teams. A few teams teams a lot further up better not have a few seasons of bad results or they will go the same way.

I dont get this kind of thinking,  did you want rangers 2012 to go straight back into the spl as it was then too?  I dont care who a team is , how long theyv been about or any kind of history they have, no team should have an in built protection from relegations,   what we're talking about here is, essentially , making allowances for teams being sh1te . That is what teams get relegated for , being sh1te if it happens to Falkirk then so be it thats what competetive sport is all about,  thankfully we're away from the days when teams like east Stirlingshire could be so bad that someone  wrote a book about them, finish the season bottom on several seasons once with only 8 points and yet nothing happened.

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11 minutes ago, effeffsee_the2nd said:

 finish the season bottom on several seasons once with only 8 points and yet nothing happened.

It was a bit of protectionism, but something did happen. The SFL brought in a rule saying that a club finishing bottom of the then Third Division two years in a rule would lose full membership to the SFL. Which presumably would mean no solidarity payments from sponsorships etc or voting rights. Then I think they would be under review for another two years to monitor improvements. If no improvement was shown they would get kicked out.

 

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I think there's an improvement to be made within the current SPFL set up, by the 20 clubs of Leagues One and Two dividing instead into two parallel divisions of 10 teams - a Conference West and a Conference East.  There wouldn't need to be a fixed west-east boundary line, but rather it could change as the composition of the overall Conference changed.

It could be an improvement on the current format because it would see all 20 teams at tier 3, and so each season they'd all start with a real chance of promotion to the Championship.  I think this would bolster their support in contrast to potentially bleeding support for clubs that are presently stuck in tier 4 (in League Two) for season after season.  It would also offer clubs a chance to build for future seasons without the current handicap of a very real prospect of demotion to tier 4/League Two.

 

The conference winner, either West or East, with the highest points total could be promoted automatically to the Championship, thus offering an element of cross-conference rivalry and addressing the issue of a 'runaway' leader.

Similarly, the team finishing with least points overall - regardless of which conference - would fall into the pyramid play off match.

In terms of promotion play offs, the quarter finals could be: 2nd West v 3rd East and 2nd East v 3rd West; semi finals - winner QF1 v 9th in Championship, winner QF2 v remaining conference winner; final - winners of SF1 & SF2.

 

There could be two options for the fixtures:

1) All 20 teams play every other team once at home and once away, giving 38 games each - but teams would remain in their own conference of 10 in terms of the league table.

This would give the full variety of fixtures each season, but would cut down on local derby-type matches; it would also be fairest in terms of who qualifies for promotion/relegation since everyone has played the same opponents the same number of times.

2) The 20 teams play within their own conferences of 10, playing each opponent twice at home and twice away for a total of 36 games each.

This would take advantage of the under-reported phenomenon of the local away support, with more local matches and so more revenue for the clubs involved, but would mean less variety of fixtures.

They could swap between the two formats as regularly as they felt necessary to keep the competition fresh; there would also be fewer incidences of teams playing each other 5-6 times in a league season (that arises just now due to league matches-plus-play offs).

 

This season, the Conferences could look like:

East: Elgin, Peterhead, Montrose, Forfar, Arbroath, East Fife, Raith Rovers, Cowthenbeef, Edinburgh City and Berwick.

West: Alloa, Stirling Albion, Stenhousehmuir, Albion Rvs, Airdrie, Clyde, Queen's Park, Ayr Utd, Stranraer and Annan Athletic, 

...with Brechin likely to come into the East Conference and Dumbarton into the West for next season.

 

If the format proved a success, then something similar to option 1 could be adopted in a Premiership of 18 teams in a 34-game season.

The team finishing on the highest points total could claim the Champions' League Place, but the Champions (and trophy) could be the team winning play offs between the top 4 West and top 4 East sides, with the remaining European places decided in this way (within these play offs) also.

For example: quarter finals  - 1st East v 4th West, 2nd East v 3rd West, 3rd East v 2nd West, 4th East v 1st West; semis - winner QF1 v winner QF3, winner QF 2 v winner QF 4; final - two semi final winners. 

 

Overall, these changes might freshen up the SPFL by adding more opportunities for success (20 teams aiming for Championship; play offs at top of Premiership) and either more revenue from increased local matches (from local away supporters) or more variety of fixtures. 

 

 

 

Edited by RabidAl
Unscrambling words; final paragraph added.

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Leagues are fine and the right size. Automatic relegation from division 4, with a play-off for the highland/lowland leagues to decide who comes up.  

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A 20 club tier 3 with parallel West and East conferences of 10 teams would probably work best if situated below the SPFL's preferred top two divisions of 12, since a 12-team tier 2 would give scope for each conference winner to be  automatically promoted (with 2 relegated from the Championship) in addition to 10th in the Championship going into play-offs with 2nd and 3rd of each Conference: a 12-12-20 SPFL.  In terms of the fixtures, using 'option 1' (from previous post) would be best used where local derbies would not fit into the same conference, and it would be best to keep within-conference fixtures until the season's end in order to give more meaning to those games that are head-to-heads within the same division for promotion/play off/relegation places.

---

In a north east/south west split of clubs, I think those in the Forth 'valley' (Stirlingshire, Clackmannanshire, Falkirk) would play in a West Conference.  With the south-west to north-east trajectory of both the border and the base of the highlands meaning that the majority of Scotland's population lives in the band in-between, dividing into south-and-west/north-and-east regions may be reasonable.   

---

Within the current SPFL 42, if an 18-team (34-game) top tier could be agreed (as outlined in previous post) then the remaining 24 teams could compete in a semi-national second tier with West and East conferences of 12.  Teams would play each team of their own conference both at home and away (22 games) and each in the other conference either at home or away (a further 12 games; 34 in total). 

This would give the full variety of fixtures of playing nationally whilst also having more derbies from playing within a 'local' conference.  Although there could be half-a-dozen full time clubs playing within these largely part time conferences, there would be very good and frequent opportunities for them to be promoted to an enlargened top tier. 

In practice, I would have the fixtures as if it was a 24-team league where every team plays each other team once until they reached 23 games each; then the fixtures against those in the same conference would be reversed, so that the final 11 games would be head-to-heads within rivals of the same conference playing for promotion/play offs/relegation.  I would also have the top team of each conference being promoted automatically (replacing bottom teams from the west and east respectively of the Premiership), with 2nd, 3rd and 4th in the West Conference playing off with 8th in the West Premiership; 2nd, 3rd and 4th of the East Conference would play off against 8th of the East Premiership (therefore, 2-4 promotion places to the Premiership).  

The bottom team from the West Conference would be relegated automatically, to be replaced by the winners of the West Lowland League; the bottom team from the East Conference would be replaced by the winner of a play off between the East Lowland League champions and the Highland League champions.

The Lowland League could become part of a semi-regional tier 3, with a 10-team West LL playing each other both at home and away for 18 games and also playing teams from the East LL once, at home or away, to give a further 10 games and a 28-game season.  The East LL would be set up to mirror this.  In practice, the Lowland League would play their first round of fixtures as if one united league of 20 teams, so each team would play 19 games before the fixtures would be reversed - against those within their own West or East division - to give a final 9 games against within-conference rivals for promotion and relegation places.  The Highland League would remain similar to its current format, but would open up to promotion from below.

The Challenge Cup could then become a 24-team competition for those competing in the tier 2 Conferences, with a 16-team Round 1 before the 8 winners would play the 8 remaining sides, then the competition would continue though the rounds as normal.  With a non-league trophy for those outwith the SPFL.

So a top-of-pyramid of: 18 - 12/12 - 10/10/18 - 

Edited by RabidAl
Spacing, words added, typos, syntax.

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On the subject of parallel leagues: at the start of the decade, Scottish Rugby went from six national leagues to four, and then down to two with a split west/east at tier 3, structured: 10-10-(10+10)

However after the first season clubs in the west/east leagues (named Championship Leagues A and B) voted to go back to four national leagues, structured: 10-12-12-12

Reasons for this included:

  • fluid boundary line based on distance travelled, no consistency season to season - some traditional local rivals were being split and teams in the middle could switch leagues each season
  • confusing to players, spectators and sponsors - names A and B not helpful, struggling to sell to sponsors
  • leagues not split on ability so less competitive and more mismatches
  • each league winner was promoted - but no way of knowing if the 2nd placed team in one league was better than the top team in the other

So I'd say it would be better to reduce the number of national league teams - by making tier 4 regional - than to start adding more complication with parallel leagues at tier 3.

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I like the idea of a 14-14-18 set up at the moment. Top leagues would have a top 6 and bottom 8 after having played twice. Teams in each split group play each other again twice. So 36 games in the top section and 40 in the bottom. This means more home games for the lower teams offsets missing out on playing the bigger teams. Teir 3 is a national league where teams play twice (32 games per season).

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On ‎05‎/‎02‎/‎2018 at 17:24, Ginaro said:

On the subject of parallel leagues: at the start of the decade, Scottish Rugby went from six national leagues to four, and then down to two with a split west/east at tier 3, structured: 10-10-(10+10)

However after the first season clubs in the west/east leagues (named Championship Leagues A and B) voted to go back to four national leagues, structured: 10-12-12-12

Reasons for this included:

  • fluid boundary line based on distance travelled, no consistency season to season - some traditional local rivals were being split and teams in the middle could switch leagues each season
  • confusing to players, spectators and sponsors - names A and B not helpful, struggling to sell to sponsors
  • leagues not split on ability so less competitive and more mismatches
  • each league winner was promoted - but no way of knowing if the 2nd placed team in one league was better than the top team in the other

So I'd say it would be better to reduce the number of national league teams - by making tier 4 regional - than to start adding more complication with parallel leagues at tier 3.

Interesting post - all news to me!

I think with our League One and Two teams, the standard is pretty much the same across the two divisions save for the couple of full-timers who there's no room for in the current top 2 divisions; as far as that goes, I don't think there'd be an issue over knowing whether the leagues would be of a roughly equivalent standard/whether there'd be too many mismatches.

I'm surprised it doesn't appeal to sponsors to have West and East divisions, given local radio (and now TV) coverage, and there's surely a bit more prestige to being the best in a region than to winning an oddly titled third tier.  I could see the fluid boundary line potentially being an issue, which is why I suggested cross-conference fixtures to supplement the within-conference component - no derbies would be lost entirely, yet travel distances would be cut considerably.  And local away supports could turn out in greater numbers for fixtures closer to home than for those middle-to-long distance journeys - giving more money for the semi pro clubs, in my opinion.   

On ‎05‎/‎02‎/‎2018 at 19:05, Enigma said:

I like the idea of a 14-14-18 set up at the moment. Top leagues would have a top 6 and bottom 8 after having played twice. Teams in each split group play each other again twice. So 36 games in the top section and 40 in the bottom. This means more home games for the lower teams offsets missing out on playing the bigger teams. Teir 3 is a national league where teams play twice (32 games per season).

Yep, I think you're probably about right with that set up initially.  It'd allow for more full-time clubs in the top two divisions, and give a bit of stability for those promoted to tier 2 and hoping to establish themselves further.  Obviously I'd like to see tier 3 regionalised, but I don't really think it'll happen. 

With the Europa League possibly undergoing an expansion* (from 2021, I think), it'd be good to have the top of the Premiership bottom section qualifying for any additional Europa League play-off spot, since some teams will be safe from relegation pretty early on in the post-split phase and so will need something to play for. 

I'd probably do it slightly different to you, though, in that for the top division I'd have a 5-9 split after 26 games with the top 5 then playing both home and away for 34 games each and the bottom 9 playing either home or away for 34 games each; in the second tier I'd turn that on its head, with a 9-5 split so that more teams would still be involved in the chase for promotion play-offs until the season's end and a bottom  5 'group of death' -type of scenario to avoid relegation to the third tier; with tier 3 - as you say - being 18 teams playing twice for 34 games in total. 

*https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/celtic-chief-peter-lawwell-reveals-11527511

 

Edited by RabidAl
Typo or two; words added for clarity; link added.

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Leagues are fine and the right size. Automatic relegation from division 4, with a play-off for the highland/lowland leagues to decide who comes up.  


This. The conversation on this thread at times is insane. Too much football manager for wind folk.

Also bemuses me why anyone actually thinks the whole fucking league structure should change just to maybe get a Scottish team a step further in Europe, not that I think the two have any correlation at all but it’s mental. League football is week to week, a European game pops up every now and then, same with internationals, changing club football to such an extent to maybe get a hypothetical advantage elsewhere is just crazy talk.

The whole East/West conference stuff too. Half our squad comes from the West areas.

Part time football clubs are not made up of players from the same town as the club ffs. You’re no helping anybody whatsoever with regionalising games, the vast majority of players at every single club will be from the central belt area.

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3 hours ago, 1320Lichtie said:

 


This. The conversation on this thread at times is insane. Too much football manager for wind folk.

Also bemuses me why anyone actually thinks the whole fucking league structure should change just to maybe get a Scottish team a step further in Europe, not that I think the two have any correlation at all but it’s mental. League football is week to week, a European game pops up every now and then, same with internationals, changing club football to such an extent to maybe get a hypothetical advantage elsewhere is just crazy talk.

The whole East/West conference stuff too. Half our squad comes from the West areas.

Part time football clubs are not made up of players from the same town as the club ffs. You’re no helping anybody whatsoever with regionalising games, the vast majority of players at every single club will be from the central belt area. emoji23.png
 

 

Ah come on cut RabidAl and the likes a bit of slack the thread is called...         League reconstruction: Let's hear your view

Though saying that and from all the conversation on this thread and few others in my eyes the 2 things I would hope to happen in the next 5 years would be;

1) For there to be a Tier 6 West of Scotland league started and for automatic promotion for all Tier 6 Champions with licence.

2) As mentioned above automatic relegation for bottom club in League 2, so at least one of the Highland & Lowland league Champions gets promoted

To ask or hope for more than that is deluded mainly because at SPFL level voting system 75% and 11 out of 12 for the Premier league.  So all this regionalisation of the the lower SPFL leagues will never happen due to 'Turkeys... xmas affect'.  

Only way things could change though remaining the same would be if all the biggest supported non league teams gain access to the SPFL.  Cove and East Kilbride both have the potential to build up big supports once within the League system.  Though mainly the best supported non league clubs are West Juniors and a few more East Juniors.  So a decade or a generation until well supported teams find their level within the Scottish league system if at all.

Edited by Unknown Fan

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On 2/5/2018 at 19:05, Enigma said:

I like the idea of a 14-14-18 set up at the moment. Top leagues would have a top 6 and bottom 8 after having played twice. Teams in each split group play each other again twice. So 36 games in the top section and 40 in the bottom. This means more home games for the lower teams offsets missing out on playing the bigger teams. Teir 3 is a national league where teams play twice (32 games per season).

I'd be delighted with this. Think it makes a lot of sense. There's a few different 16/ 18 team models that could work as well. Problem is OF will not allow any change that takes away four meetings. That will be their downfall though on global scale. Boring and repetitive fixture is driving away fan interest (money) 

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4 hours ago, Bazil85 said:

 Boring and repetitive fixture is driving away fan interest (money) 

Can you demonstrate this with anything resembling facts & figures?

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Can you demonstrate this with anything resembling facts & figures?


I don’t think he can. We have Stranraer on Saturday, we have played them twice already this season, last time feels like forever ago. I personally couldn’t care less whether it was Stranraer for the 3rd time or a team like Peterhead for the 1st time this season, I turn up to watch my team, nobody else.

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14 minutes ago, 1320Lichtie said:

 


I don’t think he can. We have Stranraer on Saturday, we have played them twice already this season, last time feels like forever ago. I personally couldn’t care less whether it was Stranraer for the 3rd time or a team like Peterhead for the 1st time this season, I turn up to watch my team, nobody else.

 

Nailed it.

Playing a whole raft of different teams twice a season is every bit as shite as four times a season if *my* team is down among the dead men (or stuck in meaningless mid-table mediocrity) 

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Nailed it.
Playing a whole raft of different teams twice a season is every bit as shite as four times a season if *my* team is down among the dead men (or stuck in meaningless mid-table mediocrity) 


The thought of that gives me the fear. We’re in the best division in Scotland this season, only 4 spots mean nothing.

Floating about in 11th or whatever in no danger of finishing relegated or promoted after 2/3rds of the season playing against a team in a similar position sounds so shite. I couldn’t care less if we’d only be playing that team twice or not.

Plus not everyone can make every single game, getting two visits to a club means you have a chance to visit every team in the league.

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14 hours ago, EdTheDuck said:

Can you demonstrate this with anything resembling facts & figures?

Of course. The Rangers Celtic game in October 2017 was the lowest viewed game between those two clubs or Celtic and the old club in the sky era. 

Roughly 275k watched it. That’s 26k fewer than watched Villa Vs Forrest the same day and 145k less than watched Sheffield derby the next day. 

Now there may be a slight correlation with TV times but getting considerably less than Villa Vs Forrest is pretty tangible evidence that the interest in that fixture has dropped.

Link below. 

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&source=newssearch&cd=1&ved=0ahUKEwj_uOv4p5bZAhUIIcAKHTxrBXwQqQIICSgBMAA&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.sundaypost.com%2Ffp%2Falan-brazil-rangers-and-celtic-viewing-figures-show-the-old-firm-tv-bubble-is-well-and-truly-burst%2F&usg=AOvVaw1p7zV0pgFt3hgayMa-sq-2

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13 hours ago, 1320Lichtie said:

 


I don’t think he can. We have Stranraer on Saturday, we have played them twice already this season, last time feels like forever ago. I personally couldn’t care less whether it was Stranraer for the 3rd time or a team like Peterhead for the 1st time this season, I turn up to watch my team, nobody else.

 

Please see my above response. What can’t speak can’t lie and stats about people tuning in to those games are plain to see. Even the game I’ve quoted is a drop in the previous game one month prior. Six Rangers Celtic games last season. Boring 

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