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Mr Bairn

League reconstruction: Let's hear your view

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Premier) 14  clubs play home/away and split into top 8 and bottom  6 who then play eached othe home/away again. 40 games for the top and 36 for the bottom.  The league cup scrapped and expand the 'Ramsdens' cup to include the bottom 6.

2 automatic relegations.

Championship) 10 clubs. 36 games. 2 up and 2 down.

National League) 16 clubs. 2 up and 2-3 down

3xRegional leagues. North, South East, South West) 16 clubs each. Winners play off for promotion spaces

Dropping into further regional divisions.

Would obviously need integration with the juniors.

 

 

 

 

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20 hours ago, algy said:

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.

I think it might, and would be worth a look given that the loan system seems to be discredited since it and our current league structure have comprehensively failed to produce a national team with players capable of even taking us to a major finals, let alone be competitive at one. 

I think the best under 18s would be more competitive at that level than the under 20s have been in the Challenged Cup, because there'd be more concentrated quality in a single squad of our best 23 under 18s, rather than in 12 squads of however-many under 20s/development sides.  It'd give the future national team real competitive experience training and playing alongside each other, which you would think should pay off in the long term.  And it's only a pilot, so flaws could be ironed out or it could be binned completely after a couple of years.

Other tweaks I can see to the current system that could help the national team would be around the development league, where dumping 14 teams in a division with only one prize to play for shows a complete lack of thought or imagination from the powers-that-be on how to develop talent. 

If we agree that youngsters need competitive football around senior pros in order to develop to their potential, then it can't be right that most of the games are entirely meaningless since most haven't a chance of winning the title.  It would show more gumption if the development league was split into leagues of 8, for example, with autumn and spring seasons, top few playing off at the (overall) season's end, promotion and relegation, etc. 

Further, younger players could be guaranteed more games by simply shifting the quota around, so that 5 under 19s (for example) would have to be on the pitch at a given time during a match; this would continue to give game-time to 20 year-olds who would become part of the over-age element, and it would also give more older senior pros minutes on the field - since most clubs still cannot afford to run a full reserve team, a hybrid system is the best we can do.

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2 hours ago, RabidAl said:

I think the best under 18s would be more competitive at that level than the under 20s have been in the Challenged Cup, because there'd be more concentrated quality in a single squad of our best 23 under 18s, rather than in 12 squads of however-many under 20s/development sides.

Yeah ... it'd also mean that supposing Raith Rovers (picking a team at random) had one really outstanding youth prospect, they could get them trained to the same level as, and playing alongside, the best youth players in the country.  They'd get the game time, they'd get the training - maybe it'd be enough for a 16-19 year old player to say that actually there's a benefit to signing for a Scottish championship club, getting trained to the highest standard possible, then at 19/20 years old knowing that you'll be a first team regular in a decent side having had the best training you could've done.

2 hours ago, RabidAl said:

If we agree that youngsters need competitive football around senior pros in order to develop to their potential, then it can't be right that most of the games are entirely meaningless since most haven't a chance of winning the title.  It would show more gumption if the development league was split into leagues of 8, for example, with autumn and spring seasons, top few playing off at the (overall) season's end, promotion and relegation, etc. 

Again, this is exactly it to me.  There's no need for development leagues to follow the 10 month season of senior football.  I'd even argue just have 5 month seasons (August - December, February - June) and promotion/relegation in January & July would be fine.  Teams would move up/down the tiers quicker, and hopefully those players find a level where they can play meaningful games much faster.

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If you want to have a 16 or 18 team league, by all means punt it and justify with your own reason but not because "it's what the fans want."

You go down that road and it'll be a Fiver to get in and half the team must be Scottish U20s and a limit on foreigners and  every game KO at 3pm on a Saturday and no live TV  games.

There's shit kickers all over the place advocating some or all of the above with plenty of support.

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On ‎16‎/‎02‎/‎2018 at 20:11, EdTheDuck said:

If you want to have a 16 or 18 team league, by all means punt it and justify with your own reason but not because "it's what the fans want."

You go down that road and it'll be a Fiver to get in and half the team must be Scottish U20s and a limit on foreigners and  every game KO at 3pm on a Saturday and no live TV  games.

There's shit kickers all over the place advocating some or all of the above with plenty of support.

whats wrong with a fiver to get in?

 

In all seriousness I get what you mean fitbaw fans are there own worst enemy at times, personaly I would prefer a format where everyone only plays each other twice in the league, with nae gimmicks but that's just me. a few seasons of being stuck in mid table purgatory with that terrible sideways passing as managers just do enough to stop themselves getting dragged into relegation danger  would chase away what few fans still turn up to watch Falkirk Dunfermline st mirran partick etc etc  so you cant have it all ways

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1 hour ago, effeffsee_the2nd said:

whats wrong with a fiver to get in?

 

In all seriousness I get what you mean fitbaw fans are there own worst enemy at times, personaly I would prefer a format where everyone only plays each other twice in the league, with nae gimmicks but that's just me. a few seasons of being stuck in mid table purgatory with that terrible sideways passing as managers just do enough to stop themselves getting dragged into relegation danger  would chase away what few fans still turn up to watch Falkirk Dunfermline st mirran partick etc etc  so you cant have it all ways

A fiver to get in would be grand. Sometimes it would still be too much to be honest if it was based on entertainment value...

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If we're serious about developing young players to benefit the future national team, then we should really be looking at introducing a quota of at least 3 Scottish teenagers per starting XI in SPFL matches.  This would undoubtedly give them the experience that they need at an early enough age and would be fair in that it would apply to all teams across the League.

Failing that, a less cut-throat league set-up would give managers the freedom to introduce youngsters without such fear of losing their jobs; our current high-stakes small leagues seem to encourage short term-ism, and it seems only to have been the recent financial woes of SPFL clubs that have forced managers to introduce youths.  It is not a dichotomy, however, as larger leagues can be competitive as well as helping to develop youngsters...

...there is a double dividend available if we have a larger league with a conventional season of playing each opponent once at home, once away followed by play-offs for the European places.

Firstly, since any two teams cannot come away from any given match with full points, a larger league will minimise the throat-cutting that we have at the moment between potential title challengers.  In itself, this measure would likely keep several teams within a few points of each other at the top of the league until the season's end, and so would be very attractive to sponsors and supporters - such as with an 18-team league, 34-game season.

Secondly, end of season play-offs for European places would provide an additional spice for supporters and boost for commercial revenues, not only with more to aim for during the course of the season (negating the 'meaningless games' argument), but also in a winner-takes-all type finale to the season. 

Such as: a play-off ladder from 6th-3rd, where the team finishing 6th plays away to 5th, the winner plays away to 4th, the winner of that playing away to 3rd to decide the Europa League places; this could be a quick-fire week of Sat-Wed-Sun one-off games to decide the season.  These European play-off places could extend down to include 7th-place in the league in seasons where the Scottish Cup is won by one of the top 3 teams.  2nd could play 1st for the title if they finish within a reasonable number of points, such as if they within 10% (or about 9 points) of 1st place; the play-off could also be for the Champions' League place, if 2nd finished within 5% (4-5 points) of 1st; this could be either a one-off match or a two-legged affair, as required.

Other benefits of a larger league would be a greater variety of fixtures/less boredom from playing the same teams repeatedly, and more winning teams in the top flight so (possibly) higher attendances.    

If there was an issue with there not being enough guaranteed Old Firm games in a larger top division, I would recommend deliberately drawing the Old Firm together in Round 2 of the League Cup each season to give a guaranteed Old Firm game for commercial revenues and so one fewer OF match being required of any given league structure; or, more controversially, draw them together in a two-legged quarter final each year.  Any imbalances/odd numbers of home games between them could, of course, be played at Hampden.

If a bridge between the current 12-team top division and an 18-team top level is needed for a few seasons, I would recommend a 15-team, 34-game, 37-week league season.  As outlined below.

Teams would play each other home and away for an initial 28-game, 30-week season.  Due to the odd number of teams, everyone would have two free weekends each during this part of the season, so our Champions' League representatives (for example) could have their free weekend between the two Champions' League Play-Off Round matches in order to help their progress.  (The SPFL could look at doing something like this at the moment, scheduling Round 2 of the League Cup for the Saturday in between CLPO matches.)  

Thereafter, the league would split into a top 4, middle 7 and bottom 4.  Teams in the top section would play each other both at home and away for a further 6 games; teams in the middle section (of 7) would play each other either at home or away, for a further 6 games; teams in the bottom section would play each other both at home and away, for a further 6 games.  This would guarantee everyone 17 home games each, and 34 league matches each.  It would look like this:

1 -> Champions' League place

2 -> Europa League place

3 -> Europa League place

4 -> Play-Off (Final) for Europa League place

5 -> Play-Off (Semi) for Europa League place

6 -> Play-Off (Semi) for Europa League place

7

8

9

10

11                                                                       

12 

13 -> Relegation Play-Off place

14 -> Relegated

15 -> Relegated

 

This would require a fourth European place to be allocated to the League, which happens when one of the top 3 win the Scottish Cup; if so, the top two from the middle section would meet in a one-off play-off game, with the winner progressing to meet the team finishing 4th in the league in a play-off for the final Europa League place.  (Ideally this would require additional Europa League places to be allocated to Scotland.)  

This set-up would give more variety of fixtures, most teams would have something to play for at the season's end, would give 4 Old Firm League matches, would give a less cut-throat season until the end-of-season splits (giving more teams in the title race until that time) and could also give more room for young player development during a more open regular phase of the season.  

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If we do not receive more Europa League places (from 2021) but the SPFL are looking for an interim expanded league to bridge towards a 16- or 18- team top division, i'd recommend a 14-team league with a 9-5 split after 26 games (when teams have played each other both at home and away). 

(A 5-9 split would have been ideal if there were enough Europa League places to 'overhang' the split, giving something for the best teams in the bottom section to play for - but that would not be possible without more Europa League places being available.)  

The top 9 would play each other once more, either at home or away, for a total of 34 games (35 week season).  This would give an open top section where teams could continue to play towards play-offs for the European places, uninhibited by a split.

The bottom 5 would play each other twice more, both at home and away from home, for a total of 34 games (36 week season).  This would give a 'group of death' bottom section, where 2 teams would survive, 1 would face relegation play-offs against teams from the division below, and 2 would be automatically relegated.

I envisage it looking like this:

 

1 -> Champions' League place / Play-Off for Title, against 2nd (home)

2 -> Europa League place / Play-Off for Title, against 1st (away)

3 -> Play -Off Final for Europa League place, against winner of Semi (home, Sunday)

4 -> Play-Off Semi for Europa League place, against winner of Quarter (home, Wednesday)

5 -> Play-Off Quarter for Europa League place, against 6th (home, Saturday)

6 -> Play-Off Quarter for Europa League place, against 5th (away, Saturday)

7

8

9                                                                        

10

11

12 -> Relegation Play-Off

13 -> Relegated

14 -> Relegated

 

By minimising the head-to-heads between the best teams during the regular part of the season, fewest points would be dropped all-round among the leading title contenders, so we would likely go into the split with a closer title challenge than we ever see in the current system.  This would be very attractive to commercial partners and supporters alike, as would the final 8 game 'sprint' to title and the intensity of the relegation group and play-off head-to-heads at the most decisive time of the season.

The 4th Old Firm game would likely be the title play-off match, but it could instead be in Round 2 of the League Cup each season.

There is also the possibility of 7th place in the league qualifying for a play-off place if one of the top 3 league sides wins the Scottish Cup (and so a Europa place becomes available for the league.

A subsequent 18-team league could then be set up along similar lines in terms of play-offs and relegation, but with more teams involved it would be a little less brutal and so give more time for the introduction of youths.

I think our as-many-small-national-leagues-as-possible-pyramid probably inhibits the development of young players through its overly-competitive-therefore-short-term-ist nature, and also as it stifles clubs from progressing to reach their full-time potential.  Candidate full-time clubs, given genuine opportunity and openness to progress, would (for me) be: Elgin, Peterhead, Cove Rangers, Arbroath, Edinburgh City, Bo'ness, Stirling Albion, Cumbernauld, Pollock, East Kilbride and Irvine Meadow; there may be others.

I wonder what the bare minimum is for a 'full-time' operation?  Each club already has a basic infrastructure in place, so: a squad of youths, a coach, a physio, and somewhere to train between 10am and 12.30pm Monday to Friday.  Not too onerous.

I tend to think that clubs would be best suited to staying part-time in regional leagues until the point at which they are promoted to a national league where they face full-timers (and large travelling supports) on a regular basis; however, I think that the cost-savings from less travel and the increased revenue from greater local away supports within regional leagues would allow some clubs to be able to afford full-time football whilst playing within the regions, even if only on the model set out above.

I take the number of full-time clubs as a barometer of the health of our game, in that it shows both strong supporter numbers and also gives more youths the chance to train full-time and play genuine competitive football alongside senior pros at the weekends.  

Edited by RabidAl

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Reduce the Premiership and Championship to 8 teams each. Clubs play each other 4 times, plus every Premier team plays every Championship team once throughout the season. 36 games

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On 3/6/2018 at 10:53, Salvo Montalbano said:

9/5 (or any other odd numbered splits) make it impossible to have all your final games kicking off at the last time which makes it a non-starter.

Not really that important.  The team with the least to play for once the post-split phase begins would always sit out the final round of games. 

For example, the team beginning the post-split phase in 9th (in a 9-5 split) would always play in the first round of post-split matches but would not play in the final round of matches, whilst the team beginning the post-split phase in 1st place would sit out the first round of matches but would always play in the final round of matches. 

The effect of this would be to keep the league table closer for longer (concertina effect), since the lower-ranked teams would be given the chance to close up on higher ranked teams who were sitting out that week.  The biggest clubs would still be playing in the 'showpiece' final games of the season.  Similarly, in the bottom 5, the team sitting in 10th at the split could sit out the first round of games with the league closing up behind them, but would eventually have the advantage of playing in the final round of matches.

Of course, it'd be important not to over do it with the play-offs for European places, since fans obviously won't turn out for regular league matches if they feel that they're guaranteed a play-off for the Europa League from early on in the season.

---

In terms of an improvement to the pyramid that could be made immediately, I think the next step would be to have the bottom 2 teams from League Two play in the end-of-season pyramid play-off competition alongside more teams from the Lowland and Highland leagues.  It would be beneficial to the competition in regional leagues for teams to have more than one promotion play-off place to aim for and it would be a step towards a more integrated senior game.

They could start with the top 2 from each of the Highland and Lowland leagues qualifying for the pyramid play-offs, possibly seeding the Lowland and Highland winners into the 2 play-off finals, with each Highland or Lowland runner-up playing against one of the bottom two SPFL teams in the semi finals in order to qualify for one of the pyramid play-off finals. 

They could be a bit more adventurous than that, however, by making it into an 8 team end-of-season knock out, with the top 3 from the Lowlands and top 3 from the Highlands qualifying alongside the bottom 2 of the SPFL.

In time, they could have 2 from each of the SPFL, the Lowland League West, the Lowland League East, and the Highlands qualifying for the pyramid play-offs, one from each league going into two separate knock-out competitions of 4 teams, for the 2 SPFL places available.

I think it's important for non-league clubs to have more opportunities for promotion than they currently do, but head-to-head competition is the only way to decide upon merit who should be where. 

Edited by RabidAl

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Not really that important.  The team with the least to play for once the post-split phase begins would always sit out the final round of games. 
For example, the team beginning the post-split phase in 9th (in a 9-5 split) would always play in the first round of post-split matches but would not play in the final round of matches, whilst the team beginning the post-split phase in 1st place would sit out the first round of matches but would always play in the final round of matches. 
The effect of this would be to keep the league table closer for longer (concertina effect), since the lower-ranked teams would be given the chance to close up on higher ranked teams who were sitting out that week.  The biggest clubs would still be playing in the 'showpiece' final games of the season.  Similarly, in the bottom 5, the team sitting in 10th at the split could sit out the first round of games with the league closing up behind them, but would eventually have the advantage of playing in the final round of matches.
Of course, it'd be important not to over do it with the play-offs for European places, since fans obviously won't turn out for regular league matches if they feel that they're guaranteed a play-off for the Europa League from early on in the season.
---
In terms of an improvement to the pyramid that could be made immediately, I think the next step would be to have the bottom 2 teams from League Two play in the end-of-season pyramid play-off competition alongside more teams from the Lowland and Highland leagues.  It would be beneficial to the competition in regional leagues for teams to have more than one promotion play-off place to aim for and it would be a step towards a more integrated senior game.
They could start with the top 2 from each of the Highland and Lowland leagues qualifying for the pyramid play-offs, possibly seeding the Lowland and Highland winners into the 2 play-off finals, with each Highland or Lowland runner-up playing against one of the bottom two SPFL teams in the semi finals in order to qualify for one of the pyramid play-off finals. 
They could be a bit more adventurous than that, however, by making it into an 8 team end-of-season knock out, with the top 3 from the Lowlands and top 3 from the Highlands qualifying alongside the bottom 2 of the SPFL.
In time, they could have 2 from each of the SPFL, the Lowland League West, the Lowland League East, and the Highlands qualifying for the pyramid play-offs, one from each league going into two separate knock-out competitions of 4 teams, for the 2 SPFL places available.
I think it's important for non-league clubs to have more opportunities for promotion than they currently do, but head-to-head competition is the only way to decide upon merit who should be where. 
Not really important? That'll be why all World Cup and Champions League final matches kick off at the same time then. And what if the team in 10th in your scenario are only a point or two ahead of the bottom team but then end up knowing a draw against a team who are safe will see them stay up at the expense of the team who are missing out? I'm all for innovation and even some of the more complex Belgian style solutions but that's just not going to work.

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17 hours ago, Salvo Montalbano said:
22 hours ago, RabidAl said:
Not really that important.  The team with the least to play for once the post-split phase begins would always sit out the final round of games. 
For example, the team beginning the post-split phase in 9th (in a 9-5 split) would always play in the first round of post-split matches but would not play in the final round of matches, whilst the team beginning the post-split phase in 1st place would sit out the first round of matches but would always play in the final round of matches. 
The effect of this would be to keep the league table closer for longer (concertina effect), since the lower-ranked teams would be given the chance to close up on higher ranked teams who were sitting out that week.  The biggest clubs would still be playing in the 'showpiece' final games of the season.  Similarly, in the bottom 5, the team sitting in 10th at the split could sit out the first round of games with the league closing up behind them, but would eventually have the advantage of playing in the final round of matches.
Of course, it'd be important not to over do it with the play-offs for European places, since fans obviously won't turn out for regular league matches if they feel that they're guaranteed a play-off for the Europa League from early on in the season.
---
In terms of an improvement to the pyramid that could be made immediately, I think the next step would be to have the bottom 2 teams from League Two play in the end-of-season pyramid play-off competition alongside more teams from the Lowland and Highland leagues.  It would be beneficial to the competition in regional leagues for teams to have more than one promotion play-off place to aim for and it would be a step towards a more integrated senior game.
They could start with the top 2 from each of the Highland and Lowland leagues qualifying for the pyramid play-offs, possibly seeding the Lowland and Highland winners into the 2 play-off finals, with each Highland or Lowland runner-up playing against one of the bottom two SPFL teams in the semi finals in order to qualify for one of the pyramid play-off finals. 
They could be a bit more adventurous than that, however, by making it into an 8 team end-of-season knock out, with the top 3 from the Lowlands and top 3 from the Highlands qualifying alongside the bottom 2 of the SPFL.
In time, they could have 2 from each of the SPFL, the Lowland League West, the Lowland League East, and the Highlands qualifying for the pyramid play-offs, one from each league going into two separate knock-out competitions of 4 teams, for the 2 SPFL places available.
I think it's important for non-league clubs to have more opportunities for promotion than they currently do, but head-to-head competition is the only way to decide upon merit who should be where. 

Not really important? That'll be why all World Cup and Champions League final matches kick off at the same time then. And what if the team in 10th in your scenario are only a point or two ahead of the bottom team but then end up knowing a draw against a team who are safe will see them stay up at the expense of the team who are missing out? I'm all for innovation and even some of the more complex Belgian style solutions but that's just not going to work.

Yes, and plenty of those World Cup and Champions' League games have nothing riding on them at all, as do many of the fixtures in the final round of league matches of any  given season, making it an empty gesture.  (The rugby union world cup, as an example, has 4 groups of 5 teams who obviously cannot all play in the final round of matches - and it is a better, more exciting format than our football European Championships and should really be considered for that tournament.)   

If the team who were in 10th at the split only need a draw against a team that are already safe, at the expense of a team who are not playing, then they will play for a draw - as happens anyway. 

If you finish bottom at the point of the split, then you'd be least deserving of playing in the final round of league matches; on the other hand, that same team would have all their games out of the way by the final day of the season, giving them the best chance of accruing the points to pressurise on opponents and so saving themselves from relegation.

As I said, it is a minor issue - not a show stopper, by any means - and is fair enough for everyone provided that is all advertised in advance, so that everyone knows what to expect.

If the league went to 14-14-14 using this set up, there could be plenty of interesting friendlies across the divisions between those teams sitting out; page 32 of this thread shows a possible method of transition from our current set up to 14-14-14, or to 14-14-18 if we were to add a Scottish Youth team, one from Highlands, two from Lowlands.

 

On 3/7/2018 at 08:45, DA Baracus said:

Please stop

Yep - i'm well past my 'use by' date on here, so i'll quit today.

Thanks to everyone who has put up with me; sorry to anyone who i've offended; all the best to you and yours.

(Boo-hoo, right?)

 

P.S. -

On 3/6/2018 at 22:25, EdTheDuck said:

Absolutely agree.  It would be fantastic, and is tried-and-tested so the powers-that-be have good precedent to point to when implementing it. 

Bye!

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11 minutes ago, RabidAl said:

Yes, and plenty of those World Cup and Champions' League games have nothing riding on them at all, as do many of the fixtures in the final round of league matches of any  given season, making it an empty gesture.  (The rugby union world cup, as an example, has 4 groups of 5 teams who obviously cannot all play in the final round of matches - and it is a better, more exciting format than our football European Championships and should really be considered for that tournament.)   

If the team who were in 10th at the split only need a draw against a team that are already safe, at the expense of a team who are not playing, then they will play for a draw - as happens anyway. 

If you finish bottom at the point of the split, then you'd be least deserving of playing in the final round of league matches; on the other hand, that same team would have all their games out of the way by the final day of the season, giving them the best chance of accruing the points to pressurise on opponents and so saving themselves from relegation.

As I said, it is a minor issue - not a show stopper, by any means - and is fair enough for everyone provided that is all advertised in advance, so that everyone knows what to expect.

If the league went to 14-14-14 using this set up, there could be plenty of interesting friendlies across the divisions between those teams sitting out; page 32 of this thread shows a possible method of transition from our current set up to 14-14-14, or to 14-14-18 if we were to add a Scottish Youth team, one from Highlands, two from Lowlands.

 

Yep - i'm well past my 'use by' date on here, so i'll quit today.

Thanks to everyone who has put up with me; sorry to anyone who i've offended; all the best to you and yours.

(Boo-hoo, right?)

 

P.S. -

Absolutely agree.  It would be fantastic, and is tried-and-tested so the powers-that-be have good precedent to point to when implementing it. 

Bye!

Colombia introduced the same system in 2014. Their top 8 had previously gone into 2Xgroups of 4 teams and played each other home & away with group winners playing in a final. (Teams could play FIFTY games a season!?)

The switch to Liga MX KO playoffs saw average attendances in the playoffs jump from about 14,000 to about 24,000.

Please don’t go. Your ideas & suggestions may not be to everyone’s taste but at least you are offering up something different from the tedious ‘jist hae 18 teams playin’ twice, ken” without any logic or reasoning to support it beyond “it’s whit fans want, ken”.

 

 

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Lets go with current league structure and guessing what will happen to the East of Scotland league next year.

One Division or two?  Or two parallel Divisions on a East, Mid Lothian and Borders in one the rest in the other.  Let Tynecastle go to one Lothian Thistle to the other if they are still in the league. 

13 teams currently though sounds like Dalkeith, Clydebank and possibly Bonnyrigg IN, there could be more though.

Stirling Uni EoS  (their reserve team) OUT head to Caledonian Amateur League so it has been said.

Say there are 16-18 teams, playing a 30 to 34 league game season at that level too many games?

An interesting approach that would appease the strong former Junior clubs in a tiered 2 Division league would be say 2 leagues of 8. 

Then taken from the idea above;

They play twice 14 games, half season top 2 in 2nd Division replace the bottom 2 in the 1st Division.

Then 2nd half of season 8 and 8 again another 14 games.

28 league games total, 2 promotions and relegation a season, makes the season 2 games shorter than a 30 game 16 team league, so more palatable at that level and more competitive and exciting league.  New stronger clubs joining in the lower divisions can gain access to top league quickly.  Same approach could be used with 24 team league. 

Edited by Unknown Fan

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11 hours ago, Unknown Fan said:

Lets go with current league structure and guessing what will happen to the East of Scotland league next year.

One Division or two?  Or two parallel Divisions on a East, Mid Lothian and Borders in one the rest in the other.  Let Tynecastle go to one Lothian Thistle to the other if they are still in the league. 

13 teams currently though sounds like Dalkeith, Clydebank and possibly Bonnyrigg IN, there could be more though.

Stirling Uni EoS  (their reserve team) OUT head to Caledonian Amateur League so it has been said.

Say there are 16-18 teams, playing a 30 to 34 league game season at that level too many games?

An interesting approach that would appease the strong former Junior clubs in a tiered 2 Division league would be say 2 leagues of 8. 

Then taken from the idea above;

They play twice 14 games, half season top 2 in 2nd Division replace the bottom 2 in the 1st Division.

Then 2nd half of season 8 and 8 again another 14 games.

28 league games total, 2 promotions and relegation a season, makes the season 2 games shorter than a 30 game 16 team league, so more palatable at that level and more competitive and exciting league.  New stronger clubs joining in the lower divisions can gain access to top league quickly.  Same approach could be used with 24 team league. 

On the Stirling Uni front i'm pretty sure it's their 3rd XI that are moving to the Caledonian Amateur League, so Stirling Uni EoS will be staying put. That's the way I remember it at least as they run 4 or 5 teams at different levels.

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A 42 team super league where each team plays each other once. 41 games. Sorted. 

Maybe consider a play-off for the 42nd team against the winners of the Highland/lowland league play off. 

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