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League reconstruction: Let's hear your view


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The 40 or so teams who make up the professional league in scotland is too many. The clues in the name 'professional'. The part time clubs who have zero ambition in getting anywhere near the top league, who field players on £50 a game or even no fee should never ever be part of the senior league set up in Scotland. Let them go play in the amateur leagues where they belong. Then we start with the clubs who are full time and talk about league reconstruction from there. I can't even be arsed looking but If that is only 20 teams then so fekin be it, we have a league setup that works for the 20 full time teams and no team should be promoted unless they are prepared to go full time.
At least that way the decisions on the professional game won't be made by a chairman of a 3rd division team with 200 fans  and a £10k annual budget.

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Back to the old "too many clubs" argument, I see. Why? Because I said so. Oh, okay.

For some reason, it always tends to be brought up by fans of clubs who have been some of the worst-performing Scottish full-timers in recent history.

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It's really a terminology thing, the Spanish league has 122 clubs in its professional system, but 80 of them are in regionalized third divisions, which include reserve outfits and those which are part-time.  But the league numbering goes down to the Tercera, which brings the total to 462.  Nothing wrong with a national league of 42 even if half the teams are part-time.

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14 minutes ago, bluearmyfaction said:

It's really a terminology thing, the Spanish league has 122 clubs in its professional system, but 80 of them are in regionalized third divisions, which include reserve outfits and those which are part-time.  But the league numbering goes down to the Tercera, which brings the total to 462.  Nothing wrong with a national league of 42 even if half the teams are part-time.

And Germany calls everything below the 3rd tier "amateurs", even though many clubs in the Regionalliga (4th tier) are much bigger & more professional than the average Scottish L1/L2 team. There are 5 regionalised 4th tier leagues, on average each covering an area about the size of Scotland with about 3 times the population of Scotland.

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And Germany calls everything below the 3rd tier "amateurs", even though many clubs in the Regionalliga (4th tier) are much bigger & more professional than the average Scottish L1/L2 team. There are 5 regionalised 4th tier leagues, on average each covering an area about the size of Scotland with about 3 times the population of Scotland.


I believe in Europe they don’t count part time as professionals, unless it’s your main occupation then you’re amateur. Got to sayif you work full time or are a student but train and play during spare time then thats true
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Although this will no be on the discussion table as it is going to be a slapdash attempt at restructuring, what about

1st tier - 16 team Premiership

2nd tier - 18 team Championship

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3rd tier - 18 team National

4th tier - Regional leagues (Highland/Lowland, East, West etc.)

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4 teams who win their regional leagues all get promoted. Would give teams from the Highland leagues, ex junior teams etc. a chance to be in the national league or championship within 2-3 years if they are successful.

2-3 teams getting promoted/relegated at the other levels gives plenty of turn around and opportunity to all the teams.

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Don't worry lads. I've figured it out.

If we can presume it's "unfair" on any club to be denied their best possible position as they could, conceivably, win every game between now and season's end and the clubs in front could have a night mare here's the only "fair" way to do it.

Every club in the top tier still had a chance to retain their league place and avoid relegation and, also, every club in the Championship, I believe, still had mathematical chance of reaching the play offs. So all 22 clubs could, in theory, be playing Premiership football

22 team Premier League. Play home and away. 42 game season. Not impossible.

Everyone but Stranraer had a chance of making the League One play offs and being in the Championship. So there's yer 9 team Championship. A little unwieldy but such is life.

Stranraer could still have stayed up so remain in League One along with all the League Two clubs with a shot at promotion. This is everyone apart from Brechin so we have a nice 10 team League Two once again.

League Two saves Brechin from relegation but also brings up the top 5 in the Highland League, Kelty, Bonnyrigg and BSC Glasgow. Another 9 team league. This is, again, unwieldy but, to even it out, the team with a free week in this league plays a match against the team with a free league in the Championship.

Balls to 14-10-10-10 or 14-14-14

The best outcome is 22-9-10-9 for one season only. 50 is a nice round number as well. I'm happy to be paid in single malt whisky as a consultancy fee. Coupla bottles of Oban 14 and a crate of Tennents to wash it down please.

Edited by AsimButtHitsASix
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5 hours ago, AsimButtHitsASix said:

Don't worry lads. I've figured it out.

If we can presume it's "unfair" on any club to be denied their best possible position as they could, conceivably, win every game between now and season's end and the clubs in front could have a night mare here's the only "fair" way to do it.

Every club in the top tier still had a chance to retain their league place and avoid relegation and, also, every club in the Championship, I believe, still had mathematical chance of reaching the play offs. So all 22 clubs could, in theory, be playing Premiership football

22 team Premier League. Play home and away. 42 game season. Not impossible.

Everyone but Stranraer had a chance of making the League One play offs and being in the Championship. So there's yer 9 team Championship. A little unwieldy but such is life.

Stranraer could still have stayed up so remain in League One along with all the League Two clubs with a shot at promotion. This is everyone apart from Brechin so we have a nice 10 team League Two once again.

League Two saves Brechin from relegation but also brings up the top 5 in the Highland League, Kelty, Bonnyrigg and BSC Glasgow. Another 9 team league. This is, again, unwieldy but, to even it out, the team with a free week in this league plays a match against the team with a free league in the Championship.

Balls to 14-10-10-10 or 14-14-14

The best outcome is 22-9-10-9 for one season only. 50 is a nice round number as well. I'm happy to be paid in single malt whisky as a consultancy fee. Coupla bottles of Oban 14 and a crate of Tennents to wash it down please.

👏👏There might be a vacancy at the SPFL very shortly. You should think about it. 😂😂

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On 21/04/2020 at 01:13, ChrispPancake said:

The 40 or so teams who make up the professional league in scotland is too many. The clues in the name 'professional'. The part time clubs who have zero ambition in getting anywhere near the top league, who field players on £50 a game or even no fee should never ever be part of the senior league set up in Scotland. Let them go play in the amateur leagues where they belong. Then we start with the clubs who are full time and talk about league reconstruction from there. I can't even be arsed looking but If that is only 20 teams then so fekin be it, we have a league setup that works for the 20 full time teams and no team should be promoted unless they are prepared to go full time.
At least that way the decisions on the professional game won't be made by a chairman of a 3rd division team with 200 fans  and a £10k annual budget.

This post is absolutely not the result of Falkirk puffing out their arse struggling to beat a bunch of part-time teams for the past season. Definitely not. No way.

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  • 1 month later...

I'll always champion the smaller clubs. They are totally misunderstood by some who are too lazy and blinkered to see their value in our domestic game. Many of these clubs are very well run. Many of the chairmen and board members are often successful business people and the like. They just happen to have a passion for our game which everyone on here shares. This is Scotland, not many cities, some what we would class as large towns. Then the smaller towns of 15000, 20000 etc. Why post things like only 200 fans? to me it's either made up, or these posters are just clueless. Many of these teams will be followed by a few hundred to away matches. The only people that tout this regionalising nonsense are the people that wont be affected by it. Again this is Scotland, easy enough to get around. Colt teams in the setup? Believe me imo. This would be bad for the game.

        I've seen a lot of gifted players in part time football, as well as good and well qualified coaches. I could give you plenty of examples of how good on their day these teams can be. ( can't be bothered just now). "Only playing for beer money" Really? £50 a week? More here say shite. Players at this level play for a lot more than that. One reason many of them do so apart from their love of football is for the extra money it brings them. More so if they have young families.

    The League setup; Bigger leagues of 18 or 20 or more is what it should be throughout the structure. Too many meaningless games some keep saying. When you really think things through that needn't be the case. 

      Now my pet subject; Summer football. We've been playing at the wrong time of year for far too long . There's loads of reasons how this would work. To list a few benefits; the pitches would stay in better condition, they recover at this time of year obviously. If the turf isn't cut too short and not bone dry on match days/ nights, then you've got a good surface. It would be easier far the fans to get out to games, safer to travel etc. You could have more night games. Would the pools, and TV companys  be interested in investing? I think so. Those fans who already subscribe to watch the big English and European games would still do so. Switching to summer I don't think would affect our European participants or International football too much. However it's the domestic game which imo matters.

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On 23/06/2020 at 16:13, Lesser Is More said:

      Now my pet subject; Summer football. We've been playing at the wrong time of year for far too long . There's loads of reasons how this would work. To list a few benefits; the pitches would stay in better condition, they recover at this time of year obviously. If the turf isn't cut too short and not bone dry on match days/ nights, then you've got a good surface. It would be easier far the fans to get out to games, safer to travel etc. You could have more night games. Would the pools, and TV companys  be interested in investing? I think so. Those fans who already subscribe to watch the big English and European games would still do so. Switching to summer I don't think would affect our European participants or International football too much. However it's the domestic game which imo matters.

100% agree, more advantages to it for me. 

My biggest hate in Scottish football is the lack of progression and ideas. We stumble along moaning about multiple things in our game but don't ever do anything about it. Why not try summer football, if in a few years it is proven not to be beneficial then change it back.

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The oddest thing about the summer football debate is that, when you get a cold snap in April and a bit of snow, suddenly you get people claiming this is why summer football doesn't work. Bizarre stuff.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 26/06/2020 at 11:32, ahemps said:

100% agree, more advantages to it for me. 

My biggest hate in Scottish football is the lack of progression and ideas. We stumble along moaning about multiple things in our game but don't ever do anything about it. Why not try summer football, if in a few years it is proven not to be beneficial then change it back.

I agree with you. The problem with the SPFL is that it is run by the 42 clubs who the majority of don't want change. Scotland is one of the few countries which relies more on gate receipts than on TV money. Polls have shown that fans (as well as players) want larger leagues. So the 42 SPFL clubs are not listening to the people they rely on - the fans.

The league needs to be more open to having more promotion/relegation. This allows clubs to find their level quicker. To have more teams go up and down each season also means larger leagues. I'd rather there were 2 Old Firm games per season than 4. I realise Sky TV want 4 Old Firm games, but as I said above, TV money is not as important as supporters through the gate for Scottish clubs.

I would personally go for a 16-16-16 SPFL to start with. 3 up/down in each league apart from the 3rd tier where 2 go down automatically for LL and HL champions to go up.

With a 16 team league there can be a split after 2 games each. How that would work is open to discussion. 

What's more, I'd invite B teams to join the set-up possibly at the bottom tier. I suppose there's an argument for Rangers and Celtic B teams to join the Lowland League or bottom SPFL tier.
Again, summer football is worth a try. Might give our teams a tiny advantage in European qualifiers.

But all of the above post can be ignored really since the current 42 SPFL clubs will not vote for anything remotely like it. The voting structure is not fit for purpose.

Neil Doncaster (or whoever may in future be in his position) isn't worth the money since he cannot make decisions without 42 clubs voting. So he is really an administrator on a very large salary. 

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2 hours ago, DG7 said:

What's more, I'd invite B teams to join the set-up possibly at the bottom tier. I suppose there's an argument for Rangers and Celtic B teams to join the Lowland League or bottom SPFL tier.
 

Anything else you said has dissipated into the ether because this couple of sentences stands out like a wosname at a whatchamajigger. Anyone or anything that champions B teams in the senior leagues can, as the bard himself once said, get to f**k.

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B teams, summer football, bigger leagues  ‘listen to the fans’ ‘the clubs have too much power’

Just need ‘part-time players shouldn’t be travelling to Elgin on a Tuesday night’ and we’ve got a full house.

Edited by parsforlife
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      Now my pet subject; Summer football. We've been playing at the wrong time of year for far too long . There's loads of reasons how this would work. To list a few benefits; the pitches would stay in better condition, they recover at this time of year obviously. If the turf isn't cut too short and not bone dry on match days/ nights, then you've got a good surface. It would be easier far the fans to get out to games, safer to travel etc. You could have more night games. Would the pools, and TV companys  be interested in investing? I think so. Those fans who already subscribe to watch the big English and European games would still do so. Switching to summer I don't think would affect our European participants or International football too much. However it's the domestic game which imo matters.


Summer football is barely used and for good reason.

The calendar doesn't really work - in normal years we play 38 or 36 league fixtures, there is 5 BetFred Cup group matchdays plus 4 knock out round matchdays, there are 5 knock out rounds plus replays for the Premiership teams in the Scottish Cup and there are Champions League and Europa League commitments too. So this season started on 12th July (pre-season friendlies and Challenge Cup ties notwithstanding) and was scheduled to end on 9th May. In other words, almost exactly 10 months. OK, we should maybe add in another few midweek rounds in the height of summer, so let's say we trim that by 4 weeks. We are still playing 9 months of the season and missing three. Which 3 do we not play in? December, January and February presumably? In which case pre-season is in the depths of winter (fine if you can afford warm weather camps in the Algarve or Middle East, no good for anyone else) and you have the denouement of the season when titles and relegation is to he decided in November. Which then leads to an increased likelihood of games being postponed or being played on the pudding pitches summer football supporters say is a major issue.

It would also clash with the groups of the European competitions meaning less midweek dates are free for rescheduled games and games can't be shown live on TV. And the group stages of the European competitions come to a head in November and December, so you'd have teams maybe prioritising League points over getting to the Knock Out rounds, damaging the coefficient.

This of course ignores the problem of having the Major Championships during every second season, when players at the bigger clubs might be representing their nations and casual fans would probably rather tune in to Brazil v Germany on BBC 1 than going to see Arbroath v Ayr United.

Other issues are plentiful too. The pitches need the summer months to recover. If we played in the summer they would have to be re-seeded or re-laid in the winter months so wouldn't be in good condition for the start of the next season. Other stadium upkeep duties such as recladding, roofing, repairs, replacing seats etc. would have to be done in the depths of winter rather than summer making weather delays more likely and making it harder to get volunteers to help (the lifeblood for many lower league teams including my own). Teams wouldn't have the usual sides from the rest of the UK to play pre-season games against. Part-time players wouldn't be able to take summer holidays unless their clubs allowed them to miss matches.

Summer football means that we would no longer have the Festive fixtures which are usually amongst the higher attended games when people are back home for Christmas or are wanting to get out the house to avoid family dramas. To many, football in the winter is ideal as it gets you out the house when the weather is lousy, whereas in the summer there are plenty of other things to do. It would also require a half-season or a season-and-a-half season to get synchronised and leads to strange situations where European qualifiers are decided in November but don't play any games until June or July.

Tl;dr - Summer football has many more drawbacks than positives, and these positives are far from certain anyway.
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14 hours ago, EdTheDuck said:

Anything else you said has dissipated into the ether because this couple of sentences stands out like a wosname at a whatchamajigger. Anyone or anything that champions B teams in the senior leagues can, as the bard himself once said, get to f**k.

Not sure there's any need for that. Rather than say "get to f**k" why not put forward your arguments against B teams. So come on, let's hear it. You may convince me otherwise. That's what discussions are all about.

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11 hours ago, Salvo Montalbano said:

Tl;dr - Summer football has many more drawbacks than positives, and these positives are far from certain anyway.

 

You make some good points. We should perhaps look at how they do it in Scandinavia and Ireland with regards to pitches, pre-season and the other things you've mentioned. I'm sure they have similar issues and possibly have found solutions.
It's an interesting discussion (league reconstruction) but we all know that nothing exciting is going to happen in reality. Sadly.

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