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Junior football, what is the future?

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2 minutes ago, parsforlife said:

There are full time players on absolute buttons. Its all very well saying they should earn a trade but for the bampot neds who thought signing a pro-youth form at 12 was them half-way to making it big so fannyied about in school before signing full time as quick as they could I'm not exactly sure their potential in the real world is particularly high.

I know that doesn't apply for all but for those that do the idea of avoiding real work and being able to tell everyone in their local shitty nightclub their a pro footballer is quite appealing to them.

There the odd one on two that earn extra in evenings etc but it's not true for many, I have heard in the past that a lot of lower league clubs in scandenavia train 4 days a week with the players taking an approach similar to students by working evenings/days off/in the odd-season.

It would certainly be an interesting model for a club here to approach.

Pro-youth football is one of the reasons that Junior football has declined in quality over the last few years.  Before, the youths would join a junior side from their juvenile team, then make the step-up to senior.  That path has almost disappeared recently.  Only now with community clubs bringing through their own players are we going to see an improvement.

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8 minutes ago, parsforlife said:

There are full time players on absolute buttons. Its all very well saying they should earn a trade but for the bampot neds who thought signing a pro-youth form at 12 was them half-way to making it big so fannyied about in school before signing full time as quick as they could I'm not exactly sure their potential in the real world is particularly high.

 

I know that doesn't apply for all but for those that do the idea of avoiding real work and being able to tell everyone in their local shitty nightclub their a pro footballer is quite appealing to them.

 

There the odd one on two that earn extra in evenings etc but it's not true for many, I have heard in the past that a lot of lower league clubs in scandenavia train 4 days a week with the players taking an approach similar to students by working evenings/days off/in the off-season.

 

It would certainly be an interesting model for a club here to approach.

 

Did hamilton not have an apprentice scheme years ago in the new ind est near the ground.

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Did hamilton not have an apprentice scheme years ago in the new ind est near the ground.


Not sure, quite a few clubs u20 players are on apprenticeship contracts, but the players tend to study sport courses and I'm doubtful many have used any qualifications to start an alternative career when they get released.

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On 2/3/2018 at 10:05, Jack Burton said:

Reginonalising leagues one and two would make little difference to the travelling. Regardless of what way you do it you will still have outliers like Stranraer, Berwick, Peterhead etc. Instead of going up to Peterhead we would have Stranraer.

The majority of players for the likes of Peterhead don't live in the Highlands. We played them at Broadwood last Sat and it would have been less travelling for most of their players than a home game.

Doesn't the team bus travel to the away ground and back again, regardless of where some players live?  It's probably a substantial recurring cost for clubs that can only be mitigated by playing in away matches that are closer to home.

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On 2/3/2018 at 10:37, Jambo'ness said:

Interesting set of figures.  If anything, they give hope to a club like mine.  Bo'ness had a population of just under 15,000 in 2008, now increased.  I would be confident that entering into a structure where we could progress would see our gates exceed the 1000 mark, the higher we went,  thus roughly giving us 15%.  So even getting to L2 would see us outstrip the current incumbents.

Conjecture I know but based on our support at Junior level through the years.

If this is accurate, then your club would support full-time football quite comfortably in a tier 2 containing mostly full-time clubs.  It would also manage full-time football in the current tier 3, if it opted for the full-time younger player model that Airdrie, with a core home support of maybe 750 or so, were operating last season.

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14 hours ago, Sergeant Wilson said:

Away and don't talk rubbish. It's that kind of thinking that bankrupts clubs.

I know this is a bit of a hobby for you, but that post betrays a total lack of understanding about football, finances, club potential and general knowledge.

Any example of potential that includes Livingston as an aspiration is off to a bad start. You'd be as well throwing St Bernards in to create a healthy rivalry for Edinburgh City.

Yes, it is a (n intermittent) hobby for me - as it is for most of us who post around here; everyone has their prejudices and is entitled to try to discuss and explain them (I hope).

I note your comments about Livingston, who are managing full-time football quite well at the moment with a core home support of 700-800 and decent away supports from the full-time clubs who they play almost fortnightly.  As a 'new' club in a large town, I take them as comparable to East Kilbride and Cumbernauld.

I'm also interested to see how Edinburgh City and Cove (assuming they'll be promoted) will do in terms of attracting more supporters over the long term in the SPFL.  Since they are clubs of a metropolitan area (and Aberdeen is a 'one club city'), they might well attract enough support over the long term to go full-time.

But the current SPFL league structure isn't conducive to progressing clubs towards full-time football, and perhaps even inhibits current full-timers from staying that way. 

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48 minutes ago, RabidAl said:

If this is accurate, then your club would support full-time football quite comfortably in a tier 2 containing mostly full-time clubs.  It would also manage full-time football in the current tier 3, if it opted for the full-time younger player model that Airdrie, with a core home support of maybe 750 or so, were operating last season.

Sorry, still not buying it.  Full-time is a commitment that should only be entered into when you have sufficient guaranteed income streams.  I respect your opinion but feel it verges towards fantasy on this issue.

Also no interest in furthering the modern-day slave trade that is young, full-time professionals

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40 minutes ago, RabidAl said:

Yes, it is a (n intermittent) hobby for me - as it is for most of us who post around here; everyone has their prejudices and is entitled to try to discuss and explain them (I hope).

I note your comments about Livingston, who are managing full-time football quite well at the moment with a core home support of 700-800 and decent away supports from the full-time clubs who they play almost fortnightly.  As a 'new' club in a large town, I take them as comparable to East Kilbride and Cumbernauld.

I'm also interested to see how Edinburgh City and Cove (assuming they'll be promoted) will do in terms of attracting more supporters over the long term in the SPFL.  Since they are clubs of a metropolitan area (and Aberdeen is a 'one club city'), they might well attract enough support over the long term to go full-time.

But the current SPFL league structure isn't conducive to progressing clubs towards full-time football, and perhaps even inhibits current full-timers from staying that way. 

Do you not realise that even paying low fulltime wages by the clubs you cite incurrs massive losses. They have had multiple, huge insovency issues between them chasing daft ideas like yours.

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3 hours ago, RabidAl said:

Yes, it is a (n intermittent) hobby for me - as it is for most of us who post around here; everyone has their prejudices and is entitled to try to discuss and explain them (I hope).

I note your comments about Livingston, who are managing full-time football quite well at the moment with a core home support of 700-800 and decent away supports from the full-time clubs who they play almost fortnightly.  As a 'new' club in a large town, I take them as comparable to East Kilbride and Cumbernauld.

I'm also interested to see how Edinburgh City and Cove (assuming they'll be promoted) will do in terms of attracting more supporters over the long term in the SPFL.  Since they are clubs of a metropolitan area (and Aberdeen is a 'one club city'), they might well attract enough support over the long term to go full-time.

But the current SPFL league structure isn't conducive to progressing clubs towards full-time football, and perhaps even inhibits current full-timers from staying that way. 

Raith Rovers have a core support of about 2000 and were on the verge of going part-time after relegation, but decided to stay FT to pursue promotion back to the Championship as they figured they'd be £200k worse off in League 1.

Kirkcaldy population: 50,000. The only time they've filled the stadium in recent years was against Rangers on their way through. 

I'm not sure if there should be any drive towards more full-time football clubs - Iceland have no pro clubs yet they made it to the euros and did pretty well, they also will be in the world cup finals in 2018. They invest in community football, coaches and have excellent facilities including several indoor full size astros. Their elite players move to bigger pro clubs in other countries.

Perhaps Junior clubs should look to the likes of Spartans who have the equivalent of about 10-12 FT employees (maybe more?) but in club and community development roles rather than in the playing squad.

Edited by Che Dail

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28 minutes ago, Che Dail said:

Perhaps Junior clubs should look to the likes of Spartans who have the equivalent of about 10-12 FT employees (maybe more?) but in club and community development roles rather than in the playing squad.

Out of interest what pays for that? that's a £200k wage bill or thereabouts.

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45 minutes ago, Burnie_man said:

Out of interest what pays for that? that's a £200k wage bill or thereabouts.

It's the Spartans Community Football Academy - in addition to subs from playing members and facility hire they're a charity with a variety of funding partners such as Cash for Kids, SIS, Big Issue, Big Lottery, Sport Scotland, Robertson Trust, BBC Children in Need, Rank Foundation etc etc. 

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2 hours ago, Che Dail said:

It's the Spartans Community Football Academy - in addition to subs from playing members and facility hire they're a charity with a variety of funding partners such as Cash for Kids, SIS, Big Issue, Big Lottery, Sport Scotland, Robertson Trust, BBC Children in Need, Rank Foundation etc etc. 

Probably limited scope for too many clubs to achieve this, although the basic community model is very much achievable.

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20 minutes ago, Burnie_man said:

Probably limited scope for too many clubs to achieve this, although the basic community model is very much achievable.

It mostly depends on the people involved, the level of ambition and where the club priorities lie, its purpose and aims.  

Broxburn is another good local example with 3 or 4 FT roles.

Refer to the OSCR website for more info on any charity's activities.

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39 minutes ago, Che Dail said:

It mostly depends on the people involved, the level of ambition and where the club priorities lie, its purpose and aims.  

Broxburn is another good local example with 3 or 4 FT roles.

Refer to the OSCR website for more info on any charity's activities.

The Spartans Community Academy is really exceptional and well run. It would take one hell of a job to match that. As you mention they seem to be the masters of fundraising for that as well sure they raised £250k at their Sportsman's Dinner in aid of the Academy earlier in the season.

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45 minutes ago, Che Dail said:

It mostly depends on the people involved, the level of ambition and where the club priorities lie, its purpose and aims.  

Broxburn is another good local example with 3 or 4 FT roles.

Refer to the OSCR website for more info on any charity's activities.

I'm not saying it isn't achievable, just that there are lots of limiting factors and matching Spartans is probably out of reach for 99% of clubs.

Broxburn are an example of what can be done in a reasonably large town with a good sized club. Think they were the first Junior club in West Lothian to go down the community sports club route.  Blackburn are an example of what can be done in a smaller town/village (no FT employees).

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1 hour ago, Burnie_man said:

I'm not saying it isn't achievable, just that there are lots of limiting factors and matching Spartans is probably out of reach for 99% of clubs.

Probably, they're just the best example - although the point I'm trying to make is that for football at this level it would be more realistic and sustainable to employ staff to help develop the club instead of aiming to employ FT footballers which was suggested earlier.

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Probably, they're just the best example - although the point I'm trying to make is that for football at this level it would be more realistic and sustainable to employ staff to help develop the club instead of aiming to employ FT footballers which was suggested earlier.


Yip agree with that.

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I would imagine that both Bo'ness and Pollock would manage full-time football if they made it through to tier 2; for that matter, it'd be interesting to see if East Kilbride and Cumbernauld could do the same - I see them as similar to Livingston as a 'new' club from a well-populated area that could attract a decent support if in a higher league.  From current SPFL clubs, Peterhead and maybe Arbroath, Stirling and Elgin have the home support to think about going full time if surrounded by full timers in the second tier.
The point about playing regionally is really that local away supports can be 50% or more of the 'away' team's core home support, who are keen to attend a game involving their team that is just along the road.  Yet perhaps only 10%* of a core home support is willing to travel for longer distances/times of, say, over an hour each way.  (By 'core home support' I mean total attendance minus the away support, since average attendances can be very misleading as to the actual support that a club has.)  In local matches, you can almost end up with two sets of home supports.
The idea is to bolster the attendances at part time clubs through local matches/local away supports until the point where promotion leads to the bigger travelling supports of full time clubs filling the away end, at which point you can charge higher ticket prices; it is about continuity of income, and is a more sustainable model for semi professional clubs than playing nationally, relying on a payment from the SPFL and high ticket prices (which suppress supporter numbers) to fund a similar quality of player to the best of the non-leagues.
The bottom line is that many people who are inclined to go to the football every week cannot do so because of the cost of travel - in terms of both time and money - is too prohibitive for them.  So there is a dead-weight loss of money to the game (for full time clubs, too) due to an unnecessary number of fixtures being played on a national basis.
No, I don't think that just because they are currently doing it, the SPFL clubs must have thought of everything or are necessarily doing the most astute thing financially.
*Exceptions being the Old Firm because glory-hunting supporters, like weeds, can turn up anywhere; and Aberdeen because their much-heralded 'away' support are mostly exiles settled within the central belt for work, etc (for this reason, it is actually their home support that disproportionately small).  


Dunno why you’d say definitely Peterhead and then maybe us, we seem to have the best PT support outside Dumbarton (who are getting huge away supports in) averaging about 700-800 the last 5 year, that doesn’t take into account the 120 we sell out corporate most weeks.

What I do know though is that we couldn’t sustain FT football and neither could Bo’ness or Pollok or infact any club senior or junior who’s not full time at the moment.

When you think about the costs that are actually involved you really need to have a solid core support of about 1500 along with a lot of investment into the club from other sources. It’s just not worth it, I’ve absolutely no idea how Livingston are doing what they’re at the moment but I don’t think it’s sustainable. I think it must be their location and stadium size, they’re always going to get good away supports to their ground because of it from the likes of Falkirk/Hibs/Hearts/Rangers/Dundee United etc as has been shown over the last few years. Giving these teams such big allocations is surely one of the reasons behind their success with the FT model.

They could just as easily be in Airdrie’s position.

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12 hours ago, RabidAl said:

If this is accurate, then your club would support full-time football quite comfortably in a tier 2 containing mostly full-time clubs.  It would also manage full-time football in the current tier 3, if it opted for the full-time younger player model that Airdrie, with a core home support of maybe 750 or so, were operating last season.

Go on to the Airdrie P&B forum and ask their fans how well the recent full time model worked for them.

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I don't think there's a single club that should turn full time unless they've been promoted to the Premiership, or have an ownership that would be able to bankroll any losses (and are more in the vein of Roy MacGregor than Brooks Mileson).

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