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Mr Bairn

League reconstruction: Let's hear your view

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I don’t doubt for one second Scotland could sustain a larger top flight. Of course it could.

 

I don’t believe it would make anything better for fans though and I 100 percent do not believe it would attract more neutral fans, sponsors and TV money

 

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1 minute ago, ShaggysBeard said:

Manchester, one city two clubs but populated by 500,000.

Erm no, Manchester has dozens of clubs across its metropolitan area, at almost every level of the English game. In the same way that even diddy village townships like Brechin and Forfar possess more than one football club. The 'too many clubs' argument rests on the bizarre belief that being a 'senior club' (the English 92; Scottish 42) carries some sort of magical power that gets diluted by having more of them under that category. It's a completely arbitrary cut-off point. 

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Absolutely nothing. I said that in the first line. Nothing can be done now.


So why would it be better if there were less in the first place? Why is it even an issue?

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1 minute ago, 1320Lichtie said:

I don’t doubt for one second Scotland could sustain a larger top flight. Of course it could.

 

I don’t believe it would make anything better for fans though and I 100 percent do not believe it would attract more neutral fans, sponsors and TV money

 

Scottish football clubs and the assorted authorities have spent decades dictating what is in the 'best interest' of fans: let them decide instead.  If more fans prefer league expansion to the current setup then expansion should take place, because that is the view of the most important customer base. And if they don't like it in years to come, the SPFL can always revert back to a smaller league system - the current setup is itself just the product of reorganisation on a regular basis.

The idea that Scottish domestic football at all levels should be any more beholden to TV interests after the ruinous effects of Sky and Setanta over the past two decades is laughable. They should be left at the back of the room when deciding the best league structure.  

 

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Erm no, Manchester has dozens of clubs across its metropolitan area, at almost every level of the English game. In the same way that even diddy village townships like Brechin and Forfar possess more than one football club. The 'too many clubs' argument rests on the bizarre belief that being a 'senior club' (the English 92; Scottish 42) carries some sort of magical power that gets diluted by having more of them under that category. It's a completely arbitrary cut-off point. 


That's a fair point, large support for junior and non league football also. Doesn't detract from the hypothetical stance that if there were less clubs with a greater following it would make a better spectacle.

As it is, Scottish domestic football is as healthy as we can expect it and don't agree with an urgent restructure.

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18 minutes ago, 1320Lichtie said:

 

Compare Dundee United v Hibs in the top flight and United v Hibs in the second division

 

It still blows my mind that someone is genuinely saying that taking away 2 Rangers v Celtic games a season and replacing them with an ICT v County or a St Mirren v Morton will mean that the league attracts more neutral fans, TV money and sponsors. I wish it was the case, but it most definitely isn’t

 

How often is Motherwell v Hamilton on the tele or Dundee v St Johnstone? Surely these derby games will be on Sky all the time? No?

That middle comments just shows me you're completely incapable of grasping what I'm saying. I have never once said that. I'm talking about protecting the Rangers and Celtic fixture as it steadily gets eroded away. 

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19 minutes ago, EdTheDuck said:

You claim our figures are skewed by the OF and then use them to try and prove a point?

We are behind them because player development is shite & money is wasted paying inflated wages to Jocks who can't play football when we should be buying half decent foreigners for sweeties from Eastern Europe to fill the gap while we get our development right.

Nothing to do with the size of the league

No not at all, The figures are skewed as in saying we have the most people going to football games in Europe. This is very basic stuff to follow. We still have more than these leagues, 

By your argument if bigger leagues take some of the money out the game that would be a good thing then? More young Scottish boys playing over foreigners. More middle of the ground teams not having to worry about relegation so again playing youngsters to blood them. 

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19 minutes ago, EdTheDuck said:

He suffers from Dunty level of delusion, he really does.

You suffer from lack of being able to grasp simple points. 

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That middle comments just shows me you're completely incapable of grasping what I'm saying. I have never once said that. I'm talking about protecting the Rangers and Celtic fixture as it steadily gets eroded away. 

 

Who gives a f**k about the Rangers Celtic fixture? You’re saying that it needs protected because that attracts sponsors and investment into the league, I am saying that’s not true. Less of they games, no matter how boring or unappealing they’ve become or will become doesn’t mean better TV money/sponsors and neutral fans.

 

I think a league expansion would be unreal for clubs like St Mirren and Morton, it could totally change things for them as clubs being in the top flight. All for that.

 

I don’t think it makes things any better for fans of the current premiership sides though, especially if the top 5 were playing each other less often.

 

I also certainly do not think it’ll mean we get more TV money/Sponsors or neutral fans than we do have currently.

 

None of this makes any difference to me I’m just giving my opinion, although I hope the 10 team lower leagues never change as they’re fantastic now imo with the addition of the play off places.

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34 minutes ago, 1320Lichtie said:

I don’t doubt for one second Scotland could sustain a larger top flight. Of course it could.

 

I don’t believe it would make anything better for fans though and I 100 percent do not believe it would attract more neutral fans, sponsors and TV money

 

I have never once said that. I've said Scottish football is fecked, it's likely beyond repair. We should now be trying to protect the league and sort it best we can. Part of that for me is taking out repeat fixtures. Rangers and Celtic games up to seven times a season? Boring! More and more fans will continue to fall away. lets do something that might cost some shortterm pain but in the long-term benefit the league and stakholders. 

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13 minutes ago, 1320Lichtie said:

 

Who gives a f**k about the Rangers Celtic fixture? You’re saying that it needs protected because that attracts sponsors and investment into the league, I am saying that’s not true. Less of they games, no matter how boring or unappealing they’ve become or will become doesn’t mean better TV money/sponsors and neutral fans.

 

I think a league expansion would be unreal for clubs like St Mirren and Morton, it could totally change things for them as clubs being in the top flight. All for that.

 

I don’t think it makes things any better for fans of the current premiership sides though, especially if the top 5 were playing each other less often.

 

I also certainly do not think it’ll mean we get more TV money/Sponsors or neutral fans than we do have currently.

 

None of this makes any difference to me I’m just giving my opinion, although I hope the 10 team lower leagues never change as they’re fantastic now imo with the addition of the play off places.

I am not saying less games will mean more money and sponsorhsip! I've not once said that. I'm saying Scottish football is far to reliant on a dying Cash Cow in the Rangers and Celtic games. You could kill two birds with one stone expanding the league. You protect that fixture a bit (long term gain, for a short-term hit) and you excite fans of other teams that get more of a taste at top flight football and more derby games 

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I am not saying less games will mean more money and sponsorhsip! I've not once said that. I'm saying Scottish football is far to reliant on a dying Cash Cow in the Rangers and Celtic games. You could kill two birds with one stone expanding the league. You protect that fixture a bit (long term gain, for a short-term hit) and you excite fans of other teams that get more of a taste at top flight football and more derby games 


I know exactly what you’re saying

I’m saying that you’re not protecting anything by having the games played less often and you’re not attracting any more investment by expanding the neutral interest in the league in adding other derbies

You’re not killing any bird

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9 hours ago, 1320Lichtie said:

 


I know exactly what you’re saying

I’m saying that you’re not protecting anything by having the games played less often and you’re not attracting any more investment by expanding the neutral interest in the league in adding other derbies

You’re not killing any bird

 

I think there is a definite argument for the fixture losing a massive amount of appeal in recent years. (likely down to one of the clubs dying as well but repetitive fixtures is also part of that) 

My personal preference from a fan perspective would be getting those clubs out our game all together. Would much rather less money but real competition in our game. Maybe the Colt team idea will be the start of something. Now that it's almost dead in Scotland maybe they'll put teams in England then f off when they get to a decent level... One can dream 

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There are immediate benefits to reducing to the bigot fest to twice a season, of course. I imagine Plod would be delighted. I can believe there's a large number of wives and bidie ins that wouldn't lose any sleep with fewer of them either.

If there is definite acceptance of reduced income, a traditional 16 team league and its attendant fewer games would, of course, permit a switch to summer football, although it's not something I personally would care for. Having said that the HFL & North Juniors should have switched decades ago.

However, improving the standard will only come with better player development & coaching. Like I said league size is irrelevant.

 

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Oh, I nearly forgot; there's just one more thing -

If you consider that the Europa League may be expanding from 20211, the SPFL would be looking at having any restructure in place in time for an increased number of Scottish teams being able to qualify for that expanded tournament - so season 2020-21 would need to be the first year of any new structure. 

It is probably coincidence, but both the SPFL's main sponsorship2 and tv3 deals expire in 2020 - i.e. in time for new deals to be agreed alongside a new league structure from season 2020-21.  The first evidence of this change was shown in a recent article4 on 'colt' teams in the league, where it was claimed that the bottom tier of the SPFL was going to be expanded to 18 teams in 'year 3' of a pilot scheme (which was due to begin next season): this would mean the SPFL are looking at an expanded bottom division beginning in season 2020-21, and it seems unlikely that would be the only change to the league's structure.

If we really are looking at change from 2020-21, then next season will be the last of the current set-up - season 2019-20 will have to be a transition season, where teams are playing towards however many promotion/relegation places are available for the divisions of the new-look SPFL. 

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

2 https://spfl.co.uk/news/article/spfl-retains-ladbrokes-as-title-sponsors/

3 https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/916502/Scottish-Premier-League-Sky-Sports-TV-deal-Neil-Doncaster-football

4 https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/chris-mccart-gives-detailed-insight-11925894

Then again, 2 + 2 = 22.

Sorry to have bothered you; I, eh, I appreciate your time.

Edited by RabidAl

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On 08/02/2018 at 15:24, ShaggysBeard said:

 


That's a fair point, large support for junior and non league football also. Doesn't detract from the hypothetical stance that if there were less clubs with a greater following it would make a better spectacle.

 

Not sure that's true. Would, for example, a load of Hibbees flock to Hearts if Hibernian were disbanded? 

Personally - travel's changed since the 19th century. Why not expand horizons a little?

Top flight of 12 teams, play eachother twice. European places decided by those positions + the cups.

Second & third tiers - 16 teams, play eachother twice.

Regional leagues - as they are

THEN - pan-celtic league

Division 1 - top 6 in Scotland, top 2 from NIR, ROI, Wales

Division 2 - 7th to 10th + Second tier winner + playoff winner from Scottish league, 3rd & 4th from other nations

Play eachother twice. 

Challenge cup expanded to cover any non-qualifying teams from Scotland (down to Highland/Lowland leagues), tier 1 teams from other nations. Matches played by region (ie North, south, Wales, NIR, ROI) to get it down to, say, a last 16 ( 5 North, 5 south, 2 from other nations)

Wales & ROI already have a compatible league format, NIR would revert to the format from 5ish years ago.

--

Undoubtedly the 'foreign' sides would get pummelled the first few seasons, but TV money & a higher profile should hopefully bring the standard up. The OF will still have their 4 games a season. There'd be more fixture variety for all involved.

Edited by algy

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17 minutes ago, algy said:

Not sure that's true. Would, for example, a load of Hibbees flock to Hearts if Hibernian were disbanded? 

You missed my point. I was far from suggesting the disbanding of current teams, that's totally against my views.

I was suggesting that if Scottish football had originally developed with one Edinburgh team, one Dundee team, maybe a couple of Glasgow teams, one Fife team....etc. Hypothetical nonsense admittedly.

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With more Europa League places available from 2021, it'd pretty much terminate the larger league=meaningless games argument and leave a clearer path for the larger top tier that the majority of supporters prefer; a consequence of this would be to enable the SPFL to change to the 3 national tiers that supporters also prefer (see page 32 of this thread).

The remaining difficulties regarding an expanded top division relate to fitting in 4 Old Firm matches per league season (for tv deals), and whether having more full-timers in the top tier makes the second tier less financially viable for clubs in that division to remain full-time (because there are fewer large travelling supports in a division where there are fewer full-time clubs). 

Firstly, it's surely more appealing to have fewer head-to-heads in the course of the regular season and saving them for the decisive time at the season's end - so a regular season of playing opponents once at home and once away in an expanded division of 16 or 18 teams, followed by play offs for the title and for Europa League places at the season's end, would give the additional OF and other head-to-heads greater meaning.  (A 14-team top tier with a 5-9 split would achieve something similar.)  The Champions' League place could still go to the team with the highest points total. 

Secondly, an expanded top tier would give much more scope for promotion and relegation between the top two divisions, so full-timers relegated to tier 2 would not find themselves stuck in tier 2 or 3 for the years that they currently do - more fluid promotion and relegation keeps the money flowing around the game and would enable them to continue with full-time squads.

The other thing that i'd be interested to see, if they do introduce an 18-team bottom division of the SPFL, would be a pilot of a Scotland under 18s team in that division. 

The Scottish FA could take the best youths in the country from their clubs on a unique development loan, training them full-time at Oriam during the week and playing them in all the competitive league and cup football for that level at weekends.  It'd be the logical outcome for Club Academy Scotland/Project Pave graduates to have a year or two to finish honing their skills, being coached tactics and techniques by the best that we have, and also playing at a high level. 

I see them as playing at either Linlithgow or Livingston, since both are handy for Oriam and both offer good rail links for supporters travelling from our highest-populated areas - around Glasgow and Edinburgh - from where there'd surely be plenty of interested supporters.  I'd expect there to be good interest from sponsors, given the media attention on a national team of the future.

Furthermore, it'd put to bed the idea of Old Firm colts/B teams in the league. 

The issue over the inconsistency of a team of youths could be addressed by simply reversing the fixtures at the mid-point of the season, so that teams having the easier fixture against an inexperienced team of youths at the season's beginning would also have to face the hardest fixture of playing the youths towards the season's end - a bit more fair that way. 

The pilot would determine if this is the correct level to develop a team of our best youths, and whether promotion or relegation would be a factor if a Scotland Academy FC  was to become a permanent feature in the leagues.      

Edited by RabidAl

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3 hours ago, ShaggysBeard said:

You missed my point. I was far from suggesting the disbanding of current teams, that's totally against my views.

I was suggesting that if Scottish football had originally developed with one Edinburgh team, one Dundee team, maybe a couple of Glasgow teams, one Fife team....etc. Hypothetical nonsense admittedly.

Ah, I get ya ... yeah, I agree.   Who'd have thunk someone would totally get the wrong end of the stick on an internet forum, eh? ;)

 

1 hour ago, RabidAl said:

The Scottish FA could take the best youths in the country from their clubs on a unique development loan, training them full-time at Oriam during the week and playing them in all the competitive league and cup football for that level at weekends.  It'd be the logical outcome for Club Academy Scotland/Project Pave graduates to have a year or two to finish honing their skills, being coached tactics and techniques by the best that we have, and also playing at a high level. 

Now there's an interesting idea.  I suspect it'd do the Scottish national team's fortunes the world of good in the longer run.

Edited by algy

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On 2/8/2018 at 15:17, virginton said:

Erm no, Manchester has dozens of clubs across its metropolitan area, at almost every level of the English game. In the same way that even diddy village townships like Brechin and Forfar possess more than one football club. The 'too many clubs' argument rests on the bizarre belief that being a 'senior club' (the English 92; Scottish 42) carries some sort of magical power that gets diluted by having more of them under that category. It's a completely arbitrary cut-off point. 

A more meaningful metric than "senior" or whatever is the number that are full time. As far as I understand it Scotland has 22 full time clubs. England has full time clubs all the way down to Tier 6 - there must be at least 120 full time clubs.

Given the size of Scotland and the amount we spend on football, 22 full time clubs is probably fine.

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