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LOWLAND LEAGUE - TO BE OR NOT TO BE THAT IS THE QUESTION

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4 hours ago, gaz5 said:

As before, I didn't say there aren't issues to overcome in the pyramid, just like you're not saying there aren't issues (some pretty fundamental ones like fixture lists and floodlight use) to overcome in the juniors.

(correct) 

I am stating, again, that none of the issues stem from the LL being a closed shop and I reject that as the main premise of your original post I answered.

(correct) 

Its very much open, in every sense. That there's a shortage of teams who meet the requirements or have the ambition to play in it is a different matter.

(agreed) 

The league is 4 years old and in every season it has moved forward in terms of interest, quality and structure (league cup access, challenge cool access etc), it's top teams proving themselves on the park against all grades (for the most part).


(100 % this) 


By contrast, I played in the West for over a decade and I find it hard to think of a single thing that changed in that time, other than crowds falling and the standard dropping (at regional level).

Consider this though, if the junior superleagues East and West were to implement a minimum at of requirements such as entry level license, which is actually a pretty sensible set in terms of safety, facilities, behavior etc., would they be in the same position as the LL with teams electing not to go into then because they want to avoid being held to those standards?

I think you'd probably find they would.

And that is the main crux of the issue with future turnover of LL clubs.

But, you have to draw a line somewhere in terms of those standards and tier 5 seems appropriate. Having been to lots of LL games the past season it is noticeable.

Now some people will like that and some won't, but the important thing here is that the opportunity for any Sunday league amateur side who wants to progress into the senior game has a defined route to do so. And it's not actually that complicated.

(agreed) 

In terms of Junior involvement, that ship has sailed I'm afraid. To move en masse they would have had to engage 4 years ago. The only route now (and in my opinion the most sensible anyway - keeps your regional setup but still provides another step between that and full national) is for the Junior structure to plug in at tier 6 in its entirety, merging with SoS and EoS. Pride (and in many cases arrogance about the standard of the LL) means that will never happen.

(correct) 

What it needs is someone in charge to enforce it.

(exactly but who's gonnae grow a pair 1st) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Burnie_man said:

 

Fair points, although you highlighted the Junior crowds in the West are falling (I cant argue as I don't attend West games very often, but when I do they always seem fairly healthy), but I don't see that LL crowds are increasing.  EK are the success story in that respect, Gala always have a decent following, Spartans occasionally (and WW) but that was about it. Even Edinburgh City struggled to break into three figures. After 4 years, you would have thought that you would see significant gains in that area from the established clubs, but I don't see any evidence of that. The "new" clubs just dont seem to get many at all.

(how many times crowds don't win trophies players do) 

1 hour ago, Burnie_man said:

Re Junior club involvement, you wont get that I'm afraid, it has nothing to do with pride or arrogance it has everything to do with promoting what is a sensible structure and the reverse should actually happen, the LL should merge into the West and East Superleagues and we go with a 3 Region tier 5. The Threave and St.Cuthberts examples are an indication that some clubs think the travelling involved at that level is too much. If the Junior clubs rejected the idea of creating a joint West/East Superleague for that very reason, you're not going to have them plugging in under the existing LL.

(it very much is pride and arrogance) 

You don't really mention the EoS, that is the elephant in the room, it could collapse and I note that the Tweedmouth Rangers v Leith Athletic opening league game today has been called off due to "unforseen circustances". I hope nothing serious, and I hope its not another club pulling out. Burnisland game also apparently cancelled as they cant raise a team, this is a club that is licenced.

(eosfl and SoSFL have most certainly worrying times but junior participation could improve that) 

 

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You need to learn how to quote lol

Crowds: as you know, they are a measure of the health of a league the world over. Gav said he has noticed West Junior crowds dropping, therefore if the LL is a success surely there should be increasing crowds across most clubs year on year? I don't see it.

Juniors: it's not pride or stubbornness, as will eventually be born out, a 3 Region system was the sensible way forward. That was ignored. The SJFA were culpable for not engaging fully at the time but they were clear that three Regions is what Junior clubs wanted. That isn't going to change.

EoS: Two games called off today, at least one apparently down to player issues, and from a licenced club. If the EoS goes down the pan, the Pyramid is in real trouble. The Juniors will not become involved in a failing league, why on earth would they, the opposite is actually happening as you know.

As Gav touches on and I agree, nothing is going to change unless there is compromise on both sides. That may be accelerated if EoS collapses and there is no route into the Lowland Pyramid for clubs outwith D&G.

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10 minutes ago, Burnie_man said:

You need to learn how to quote lol

Crowds: as you know, they are a measure of the health of a league the world over. Gav said he has noticed West Junior crowds dropping, therefore if the LL is a success surely there should be increasing crowds across most clubs year on year? I don't see it.

Juniors: it's not pride or stubbornness, as will eventually be born out, a 3 Region system was the sensible way forward. That was ignored. The SJFA were culpable for not engaging fully at the time but they were clear that three Regions is what Junior clubs wanted.

EoS: Two games called off today, at least one apparently down to player issues, and from a licenced club. If the EoS goes down the pan, the Pyramid is in real trouble. The Juniors will not become involved in a failing league, why on earth would they.

And you need to learn emoticons :P

If ye can survive on shite crowds where's the problem,it's the world all over look at the English leagues from top to bottom. Premiership get over 50k each week bottom of English league Carlisle etc struggle to break 4k but they survive often enough. 

Eos wouldn't go down pan if merged with ambitious clubs from your organisation though. 

Al leave you to debate with someone else as it's been done to death on here and whilst you may have valid points there's nae point discussing until someone actually grows a pair and actually changes something. 

I very much doubt that will happen anytime soon. 

Anyway off to see my team start the league today and can plan for months ahead my shift patterns so can get to games. That's maybe something a certain organisation can take heed from eh ;)

 

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On ‎30‎/‎07‎/‎2016 at 13:22, newcastle broon said:

Eos wouldn't go down pan if merged with ambitious clubs from your organisation though. 

 

 

It's already happening with ambitious Easthouses Lily and Craigroyston joining the Juniors, we just need a few others to do likewise and amalgamation is complete :thumsup2

Not sure where that would leave the LL with effectively no feeder league outwith Dumfries & Galloway :wacko:

Emoticons are easy :whistle

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11 minutes ago, Burnie_man said:

 

It's already happening with ambitious Easthouses Lily and Craigroyston joining the Juniors, we just need a few others to do likewise and amalgamation is complete :thumsup2

Not sure where that would leave the LL with effectively no feeder league outwith Dumfries & Galloway :wacko:

Emoticons are easy :whistle

Easthouses and Craigroyston ambitious, the dominant forces of the eosfl for decades :D

Another pop at the LL ye just canny help yersel... 

Being a smart arse was never my strongest point I bow to your superiority ;)  

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33 minutes ago, newcastle broon said:

Easthouses and Craigroyston ambitious, the dominant forces of the eosfl for decades :D

Another pop at the LL ye just canny help yersel... 

Being a smart arse was never my strongest point I bow to your superiority ;)  

 

I believe Easthouses missed out by a bawhair on being EoS Champions in their last season. Just pointing out that the merger is happening, but maybe not the way you envisaged. 

I think my comment re LL feeder leagues is a statement of fact and not a pop, don't you agree? the only feeder will be the SoS if the trend of clubs leaving the EoS continues.

:shutup

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If Superleague clubs were made to abide by the same ground requirements as those needed for an entry license, a lot of the clubs would fail.

In the East, Broughty Athletic, Carnoustie Panmure, Fauldhouse United, Jeanfield Smiths and Penicuik would all most likely fail

In the West, Arthurlie, (possibly) Kilbirnie Ladeside, Krikintilloch RR and Largs would be the same.

The Juniors would never agree with this

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15 minutes ago, Burnie_man said:

 

I believe Easthouses missed out by a bawhair on being EoS Champions in their last season. Just pointing out that the merger is happening, but maybe not the way you envisaged. 

I think my comment re LL feeder leagues is a statement of fact and not a pop, don't you agree? the only feeder will be the SoS if the trend of clubs leaving the EoS continues.

:shutup

The SoS is a joke as a feeder too as Threave resigned from the LL and the champions delayed their license application so as they wouldn't be promoted and don't get me started on Edusport!

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If a 5th tier is all it takes then so be it.

We are hardly the biggest country in the world. 

How many other countries our size have multitudes of "feeder leagues" anyway. 

How far do folk want a pyramid to go  ? 

Only in Scotland can you get people looking on enviously at the progression of a 5 th tier...........

 

 

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It's not a pyramid if the majority of non league clubs aren't involved in it! It's not a lack of clubs it's a lack of will from the SFA and SJFA to get it sorted.

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46 minutes ago, newcastle broon said:

If a 5th tier is all it takes then so be it.

We are hardly the biggest country in the world. 

How many other countries our size have multitudes of "feeder leagues" anyway. 

How far do folk want a pyramid to go  ? 

Only in Scotland can you get people looking on enviously at the progression of a 5 th tier...........

 

 

Scotland is far behind when it comes to a pyramid system.  I'm pretty sure we're one of the last countries in Europe to have brought in some form of pyramid system.  The whole point of a pyramid system is that it's meant to include the majority of clubs and every club can find its level; not that it's meant to provide one or two tiers below the league.

Norway: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwegian_football_league_system

Slovakia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slovak_football_league_system

Finland: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnish_football_league_system

Three countries with very similar populations to Scotland and they clearly have a lot of clubs and tiers.  The pyramid system is supposed to involve far more clubs than five tiers (and only six divisions).  Or six tiers and eight divisions if you include the East of Scotland/South of Scotland Leagues.

It's noticeable when you look at the above three examples that they drop down to more divisions in each tier far quicker than Scotland.  1-1-4-12 in Norway.  1-2-4-4 in Slovakia.  1-1-3-7 in Finland.  This idea that we must have two divisions only at tier five is very bad.  The majority of the population is in the central belt yet we have a North/South divide at tier five.  There has to be a north/west/east divide for the pyramid to have any chance of including more clubs.  

We have had absolutely no progress in the north in terms of the pyramid.  Not even any possible way for Banks O'Dee to join the Highland League despite them having a licence and wanting to join.  In the south, the East of Scotland League is in decline and the future of the league is uncertain.  If the East of Scotland League collapses then you'd think that something would have to be changed but the method so far has simply been to make things as similar as possible to how they were pre-pyramid other than adding a Lowland League.

And here's two examples from smaller countries.  They also have many tiers and divisions.  Scotland is one of the exceptions to European pyramid systems.  We took far longer than almost any other country to bring in a pyramid system and we have far fewer tiers/divisions/clubs than most.

Croatia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Croatian_football_league_system

Bosnia and Herzegovina: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bosnia_and_Herzegovina_football_league_system

 

Edited by stanley

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I never thought I'd say this but have a greenie Bankies Alive. I've said many times this Juniors v Seniors thing gets on my tits. I watch both grades and they're all just fitba clubs. And if people in the West think we're all middle class then that's a loady prejudiced pish too (Isa :lol: ).

The Blazers in both camps are shafting us by divide and rule. 

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7 minutes ago, stanley said:

Scotland is far behind when it comes to a pyramid system.  I'm pretty sure we're one of the last countries in Europe to have brought in some form of pyramid system.  The whole point of a pyramid system is that it's meant to include the majority of clubs and every club can find its level; not that it's meant to provide one or two tiers below the league.

Norway: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwegian_football_league_system

Slovakia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slovak_football_league_system

Finland: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnish_football_league_system

Three countries with very similar populations to Scotland and they clearly have a lot of clubs and tiers.  The pyramid system is supposed to involve far more clubs than five tiers (and only six divisions).  Or six tiers and eight divisions if you include the East of Scotland/South of Scotland Leagues.

It's noticeable when you look at the above three examples that they drop down to more divisions in each tier far quicker than Scotland.  1-1-4-12 in Norway.  1-2-4-4 in Slovakia.  1-1-3-7 in Finland.  This idea that we must have two divisions only at tier five is very bad.  The majority of the population is in the central belt yet we have a North/South divide at tier five.  There has to be a north/west/east divide for the pyramid to have any chance of including more clubs.  

We have had absolutely no progress in the north in terms of the pyramid.  Not even any possible way for Banks O'Dee to join the Highland League despite them having a licence and wanting to join.  In the south, the East of Scotland League is in decline and the future of the league is uncertain.  If the East of Scotland League collapses then you'd think that something would have to be changed but the method so far has simply been to make things as similar as possible to how they were pre-pyramid other than adding a Lowland League.

Great points although most of it we've been arguing about for years. Spot on about the other nations though.

everybody knows we need regional leagues below the Championship but nobody's willing to do anything (I may be wrong as I heard that many of the L1 and L2 clubs and fans are happy being national).

i have it on good authority that Regan knows nothing about the non-League system and cares even less, mind you we got him along to Whitehill to present City with their trophy last year. I've had experience of going to Hampden a couple of times in the morning and the car park is pretty busy. So many people there with jobs to protect and only interested in the status quo.

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4 minutes ago, The Mantis said:

Great points although most of it we've been arguing about for years. Spot on about the other nations though.

everybody knows we need regional leagues below the Championship but nobody's willing to do anything (I may be wrong as I heard that many of the L1 and L2 clubs and fans are happy being national).

i have it on good authority that Regan knows nothing about the non-League system and cares even less, mind you we got him along to Whitehill to present City with their trophy last year. I've had experience of going to Hampden a couple of times in the morning and the car park is pretty busy. So many people there with jobs to protect and only interested in the status quo.

That's the most frustrating thing for me.  It's all common sense.  The system we should be using is fairly straightforward.  There are some debates such as how many national divisions we should have and how many clubs should be in each division but the basic system below the national leagues is obvious.  Merge the seniors and juniors and use the North/West/East divide with three divisions at the first tier below the league and then things gradually get more regional with more divisions as you go down.  It's very simple but no-one seems willing to do anything whatsoever about it.  I'd be surprised if we saw any kind of merger between the seniors/juniors in the next ten years.  I think it's most likely that there will be exactly the same debates going on in ten years on here as there are today.

Personally, I'm hoping now that the East of Scotland League folds and maybe that would force some types of decisions to be made (although I still think that they'd possibly do nothing and keep going without the EoS League).  I don't want the individual clubs to fold; only for them to join other leagues such as the juniors or amateurs.  The lack of any kind of progress in the north, however, makes me doubtful that anything will prompt any changes in the pyramid.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, newcastle broon said:

If a 5th tier is all it takes then so be it.

We are hardly the biggest country in the world. 

How many other countries our size have multitudes of "feeder leagues" anyway. 

How far do folk want a pyramid to go  ? 

Only in Scotland can you get people looking on enviously at the progression of a 5 th tier...........

 

 

We have 925 teams playing Saturday afternoon adult football in Scotland, they should all be incorporated into a system that allows them to progress through the ranks. 

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1 hour ago, Marr1 said:

We have 925 teams playing Saturday afternoon adult football in Scotland, they should all be incorporated into a system that allows them to progress through the ranks. 

But that's it under different organisations, all as bad as each other.

Only in Scotland................... 

Edited by newcastle broon

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We will only have a proper pyramid when you have the possibility of starting a team on a public park playing in a local league, and it is possible through promotion to reach the Premiership or whatever it is we are calling the top league at the time. Granted there will be obstacles in the way such as the various levels of licensing, but that would be the same in most countries with a pyramid

ie a move up from local to regional would require better facilities, regional to national etc

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2 hours ago, stanley said:

Personally, I'm hoping now that the East of Scotland League folds and maybe that would force some types of decisions to be made (although I still think that they'd possibly do nothing and keep going without the EoS League).

 

 

 

 

That throws up the problem of where do clubs go if they finish bottom of the LL? eg Preston Athletic or Hawick RA, where do they play their football? or is relegation scrapped and we have a LL closed shop like the HL?

It may force the SFA to intervene in this mess if the EoS does decline further and eventually folds, but then again maybe not. As others say, Regan isn't interested, and the game is already divided at Hampden, Professional Game Board (inc LL) and Non-Professional Game Board (inc SJFA). Madness.

 

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6 hours ago, honestly united said:

We will only have a proper pyramid when you have the possibility of starting a team on a public park playing in a local league, and it is possible through promotion to reach the Premiership or whatever it is we are calling the top league at the time. Granted there will be obstacles in the way such as the various levels of licensing, but that would be the same in most countries with a pyramid

ie a move up from local to regional would require better facilities, regional to national etc

Tbf, you can do that just now south of the Tay, but only unsatisfactorily. To go from amateur to semi-professional football you'd have to face an AGM vote - albeit with falling numbers it's unlikely you'd lose it in EOS or SOS leagues... and if you're from Strathclyde, or to a lesser degree Central Scotland / Fife, you'd have to join a league without local representation.

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