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Moses McNeil

New clubs in the East of Scotland

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Rumour has it BOD were knocked back thanks to lobbying from a certain neighbouring existing HL club who didn't want them competing for players in the Aberdeen area. 


From allegations of teams throwing SPFL promotion play off games to blackballing clubs who want to join the league and voting against a two tier structure the HL really are a beacon of constructive engagement with the whole pyramid project eh?

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8 minutes ago, Enigma said:

 


It’s not so much the travel, it’s more the closed shop attitude of the HL. Do Banks o’ Dee not have floodlights and a licence and did they not apply to the HL only to get knocked back as the league is full? The HL splitting in two would have facilitated growth in this regard, so long at the second tier didn’t have such stringent entry requirements. Some of these Tayside clubs aren’t going to be in a position to acquire floodlights and a licence anytime soon.

Banks O'Dee applied back in 2009 when the Highland League had 15 clubs. There's different stories over how the selection took place with blame being placed on either side depending on who you talk to. Since then they are in a sweet spot. Already licensed with the benefits of SFA membership, challenge for titles and local travel. There isn't much of a reason to challenge the status quo from their point of view.

With no one applying to the Highland League its hard to judge if they are a closed shop. All we know is they have a plan to split into divisions if they get more than 20 members. So they've thought about it and put a plan in place. Some would say "what about relegation? A 19/20 team league would be ridiculous!" but right now with no leagues underneath they aren't going to throw one of their members into the wilderness.

You can work Tier 6 under the Highland League similar to how the Lowland League may well look next year. 3 Feeder leagues with the licensed champions eligible for promotion. Instead of EoS Premier, West Premiership and SoS. It would be North Super League, Tayside Premier and NCL.

 

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I think Cove are quite keen to get in and have been for years. Unfortunately for them Edinburgh City stuffed them in the semi finals in 2016 and then they met a determined (and fighting!) Cowden side last year.

If they win the HL this year and get past the LL winners they might have a good chance of making it. 

 

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4 minutes ago, Enigma said:

 


From allegations of teams throwing SPFL promotion play off games to blackballing clubs who want to join the league and voting against a two tier structure the HL really are a beacon of constructive engagement with the whole pyramid project eh?

The vote about intentionally going to two leagues of ten supposedly went something like 10-8 or 9-9. Basically the bottom clubs that would likely make up the the Second Division didn't fancy being in a glorified NCL. There's also the fact that 10 team divisions aren't the most popular in the first place.

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Brora have been on record as saying they'd accept promotion if they were to get past club 42. Brora are still somewhat in the title race with a match against Cove this weekend that if Cove win I expect them to go on & win the league.

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12 hours ago, Enigma said:

 


From allegations of teams throwing SPFL promotion play off games to blackballing clubs who want to join the league and voting against a two tier structure the HL really are a beacon of constructive engagement with the whole pyramid project eh?

 

The HFL is different to the LFL though - for years the senior leagues outwith the SFL/SPL were the HFL, EoSFL and SoSFL. When the LFL was formed, it had readymade senior lower divisions. The HFL doesn't have that.

Until there's either mandatory merging of structures, some negotiation occurs with the juniors/NCL or the HFL invites more clubs to form a second division; there's nothing going to happen.

The HFL only has 18 teams - even adding a couple of other teams would make two divisions too small to have a meaningful number of games.

There doesn't appear to be any appetite here to change structures, the depth in clubs just isn't there. I personally don't think there'll be any changes unless there's a forced merger.

It would probably have been better that when the LFL was set up, a new separate Highland Regional division was created with the interested teams, which could have been fed by the HFL (or even Tayside). That boat's sailed though.

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12 hours ago, FairWeatherFan said:

The vote about intentionally going to two leagues of ten supposedly went something like 10-8 or 9-9. Basically the bottom clubs that would likely make up the the Second Division didn't fancy being in a glorified NCL. There's also the fact that 10 team divisions aren't the most popular in the first place.

That was the "Stables Plan" - it was rightly ridiculed as it would have involved 18 game league seasons and an extended sectional league cup.

There is a separate plan to split once 21 teams are reached - either by relegation or application.

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12 hours ago, tamthebam said:

Rumour has it BOD were knocked back thanks to lobbying from a certain neighbouring existing HL club who didn't want them competing for players in the Aberdeen area. 

There are many rumours about the circumstances. When the clubs were meant to make their presentations to the HFL board, Banks o' Dee didn't appear.

The three teams that were elected surprised many, although there was some logic (and they also turned up to make their cases...): Turriff Utd were from a relatively unrepresented area of the Shire with potential to grow - as they have. Similarly Strathspey Thistle were the Highland area equivalent, although you could argue less successful. Formartine Utd was less obvious, but again, the area had a growing population with potential (and cash).

I don't think the case that Banks o' Dee were a shoe-in is entirely accurate. I'm sure that there was some internal lobbying against them, but ultimately they didn't help their own case. Now they are in the sweet spot of guaranteed Scottish Cup entry and challenge for pretty much every NRJFA trophy going. I can see why the board may have changed their mind.

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13 hours ago, Enigma said:

 


It’s not so much the travel, it’s more the closed shop attitude of the HL. Do Banks o’ Dee not have floodlights and a licence and did they not apply to the HL only to get knocked back as the league is full? The HL splitting in two would have facilitated growth in this regard, so long at the second tier didn’t have such stringent entry requirements. Some of these Tayside clubs aren’t going to be in a position to acquire floodlights and a licence anytime soon.

 

Banks O'Dee does have floodlights and a licence. Whilst it is argued by some that the HFL is NOT a closed shop, BoD's application was refused in 2009, when 3 junior clubs (Formartine, Turriff & Strathspey) were accepted. However times have moved on with the development of the pyramid, and the HFL might not now be in a position to refuse a new application, as there is no formal pyramid in place in the north Highlands & islands.     

However if the NRJFA clubs are "not now interested" in joining the pyramid, as some posts on here claim, and if the club's Chairman continues to say the club is no longer interested in joining the HFL (apparently, unless it is restructured),  BoD's 'protected' (historical) SFA licence could be withdrawn, when it is next due for 'renewal'.  Hopefully not.

****

FOOTNOTE : very interesting though the subject of Banks O'Dee, Cove Rangers, HFL is, it is amusing that this is being discussed on a "New Clubs in the East of Scotland" forum. Perhaps BoD might be considering an application to join the EoS .......... (just joking).

Edited by Robert James
additional question added

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30 minutes ago, Robert James said:

Banks O'Dee does have floodlights and a licence. Whilst it is argued by some that the HFL is NOT a closed shop, BoD's application was refused in 2009, when 3 junior clubs (Formartine, Turriff & Strathspey) were accepted.

There was no pyramid at the time though and licencing as we now have it didn't exist.

Quote

However if the NRJFA clubs are "not now interested" in joining the pyramid, as some posts on here claim, and if the club's Chairman continues to say the club is no longer interested in joining the HFL (apparently, unless it is restructured),  BoD's 'protected' (historical) SFA licence could be withdrawn, when it is next due for 'renewal'.  Hopefully not.

This article in the P&J from a year ago makes the Banks o' Dee chairman's views pretty clear, I think.

I don't think it's a case so much of the NRJFA being against the pyramid, more that many clubs don't really think it applies to them - remember the majority of the clubs are junior in name only, most are amateur.  The situation with the Tayside clubs also doesn't make bolting on the NRJFA and NCL an easy option.

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22 minutes ago, Cyclizine said:

There was no pyramid at the time though and licencing as we now have it didn't exist.

 

Actually it did to a certain extent. I have a copy of the requirements from 2008 (marked version 4) when I first looked into it for Blackburn and although it's not split into different categories, it echoes a mixture of requirements for Entry, Bronze and Silver, eg, cover for 500 was required, floodlights to 350 lux were required, pitch dimensions were almost international standard.  Only 20 pegs required in each changing room though, not 22.  Clearly it has evolved since then.

Edited by Burnie_man

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4 hours ago, Robert James said:

Banks O'Dee does have floodlights and a licence. Whilst it is argued by some that the HFL is NOT a closed shop, BoD's application was refused in 2009, when 3 junior clubs (Formartine, Turriff & Strathspey) were accepted. However times have moved on with the development of the pyramid, and the HFL might not now be in a position to refuse a new application, as there is no formal pyramid in place in the north Highlands & islands.     

However if the NRJFA clubs are "not now interested" in joining the pyramid, as some posts on here claim, and if the club's Chairman continues to say the club is no longer interested in joining the HFL (apparently, unless it is restructured),  BoD's 'protected' (historical) SFA licence could be withdrawn, when it is next due for 'renewal'.  Hopefully not.

****

FOOTNOTE : very interesting though the subject of Banks O'Dee, Cove Rangers, HFL is, it is amusing that this is being discussed on a "New Clubs in the East of Scotland" forum. Perhaps BoD might be considering an application to join the EoS .......... (just joking).

The other thread also stated that in 2009 BOD didnt turn up to the meeting, the other clubs did and they were given entry.  It didnt state why BOD didnt turn up but maybe they had changed their minds at the time.

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FOOTNOTE : very interesting though the subject of Banks O'Dee, Cove Rangers, HFL is, it is amusing that this is being discussed on a "New Clubs in the East of Scotland" forum...

Obviously folk are just interested in the pyramid generally, but there is actually a more relevant motive too. The issue of where the Tayside junior clubs go has a big impact on where the EoSFL fits in, and what happens to the ERSJFA generally. I had always felt the issue of the pyramid in the north was really for them and not my business, but the possibility of the ERSJFA sitting alongside the EoSFL only comes about because the stronger Tayside clubs won't move across. So what happens under the HL affects us all.

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Obviously folk are just interested in the pyramid generally, but there is actually a more relevant motive too. The issue of where the Tayside junior clubs go has a big impact on where the EoSFL fits in, and what happens to the ERSJFA generally. I had always felt the issue of the pyramid in the north was really for them and not my business, but the possibility of the ERSJFA sitting alongside the EoSFL only comes about because the stronger Tayside clubs won't move across. So what happens under the HL affects us all.


Won’t or can’t?

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1 hour ago, honestman54 said:

The other thread also stated that in 2009 BOD didnt turn up to the meeting, the other clubs did and they were given entry.  It didnt state why BOD didnt turn up but maybe they had changed their minds at the time.

It's been said no one turned up, the presentation they gave was poor and that HFL rejected them as they were too competitive for their liking.

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41 minutes ago, FairWeatherFan said:

It's been said no one turned up, the presentation they gave was poor and that HFL rejected them as they were too competitive for their liking.

????  If they didnt turn up then no presentation would have been given either good or poor and they would therefore not be invited to the HL, what am I missing here?   

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13 minutes ago, honestman54 said:

????  If they didnt turn up then no presentation would have been given either good or poor and they would therefore not be invited to the HL, what am I missing here?   

It's one of the three versions that have been told:

  1. They never turned up to the meeting
  2. They gave a poor/half hearted presentation
  3. The HFL were biased against them.

When it was brought up recently on FitbaNorth the "never turned up" was denied. Which makes sense, otherwise why would the other two stories gain traction?

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15 minutes ago, FairWeatherFan said:

It's one of the three versions that have been told:

  1. They never turned up to the meeting
  2. They gave a poor/half hearted presentation
  3. The HFL were biased against them.

When it was brought up recently on FitbaNorth the "never turned up" was denied. Which makes sense, otherwise why would the other two stories gain traction?

Thank you, understood now and very interesting

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14 minutes ago, FairWeatherFan said:

It's one of the three versions that have been told:

  1. They never turned up to the meeting
  2. They gave a poor/half hearted presentation
  3. The HFL were biased against them.

When it was brought up recently on FitbaNorth the "never turned up" was denied. Which makes sense, otherwise why would the other two stories gain traction?

A presentation is always likely to be less than impressive if you're not there to give it to be honest. 

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8 minutes ago, honestman54 said:

Thank you, understood now and very interesting

The vote tally was reported at the time as:

15 - Turriff United

14 - Strathspey Thistle

11 - Formartine United

5 - Banks O'Dee

Guessing that would be 15 members of the HFL at the time with 3 votes each. 5/15 isn't horrible and with Strathspey winning so many I think it shows the league was prioritising balancing between Highland and Aberdeenshire.

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