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Junior football, what is the future?

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3 hours ago, FairWeatherFan said:

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).

If there is benefactor financing to such a degree that might constitute financial doping and breach fair play rules.

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On ‎06‎/‎02‎/‎2018 at 10:49, Jambo'ness said:

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

Fair enough, but I think Airdie's full-time-with-youngsters set-up of last season has set the benchmark of what can be done with a limited (but healthy) home support of 700 or so.

My view is that semi pro League clubs need to look seriously at this model because the alternative is looking like being the lower leagues full of colts teams. 

If the big clubs don't trust their youths to be developed by semi pro clubs because their development with these clubs is currently stunted by not being able to train full-time, then they're going to continue to push for the introduction of full-time colts teams into the lower leagues.  If we want to avoid Project Grave and other such nonsense, then we really need to be looking at how we can 'blood' youths in a competitive first team environment whilst allowing them to train full-time throughout the week.

On ‎06‎/‎02‎/‎2018 at 10:58, Sergeant Wilson said:

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.

Nope, but what I keep suggesting is that playing regionally is a more cost-effective model that curbs this sort of thing by lowering costs and bringing in more supporters.  A previous post (not by you) dismissed travel for a semi pro Glasgow club to Stranraer or Peterhead as being effectively the same thing, even though trips to Peterhead and Elgin are twice as far as away trips to Stranraer and Annan - large savings are to be made by regionalising along east-west lines. 

Meanwhile, the travelling support attending semi pro clubs in a West Conference of 10 at tier 3 (for example) could be significantly boosted by the more local matches of: Alloa, Stirling, Stenhousemuir, Albion Rvs, Airdrie, Clyde, Dumbarton (if relegated, for Ayr promoted), Queen's Park, Stranraer and Annan.  Clubs at this level could be making more money than they are and spending plenty less.  I'm quite sure the advent of a senior Pollock would add more to their coffers also.

23 hours ago, Che Dail said:

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.

Raith Rovers' core home support is closer to 1200, but you may have been looking at their average attendances from seasons where they have benefitted from being in a league with mostly full-time clubs and their larger travelling supports.  Ayr United's would be about 1100 - both currently managing full-time football in a part-time league, I think.

16 hours ago, 1320Lichtie said:

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.

Peterhead regularly have 700+ of a home support, so based on the Airdrie model I included them as potentially full time.  I agree about your lot as well who, as you say, also have very good attendances and who I think would benefit from being in an East region at tier 3, with Angus derbies regularly boosting attendances to over 1000, if I remember that correctly.  I think you'd manage full time football well enough in a tier 2 surrounded by full-time clubs with larger travelling supports.

14 hours ago, redstarbenhar said:

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

Haha, take it they're not too chuffed with it then?

As I said above, I think full-time-with-youngsters needs to be looked at by more clubs - for early player development towards the national team, and to stave off the big clubs and their colts ambitions.

Bringing junior clubs through into the senior League will, I think, boost revenues for part-time clubs provided that it is done sensibly, through regionalisation.  There's money being thrown away here, that the game could really do with. 

But, just my opinions.

Edited by RabidAl
Words added for clarity.

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3 minutes ago, RabidAl said:

Fair enough, but I think Airdie's full-time-with-youngsters set-up of last season has set the benchmark of what can be done with a limited (but healthy) home support of 700 or so.

My view is that semi pro League clubs need to look seriously at this model because the alternative is looking like being the lower leagues full of colts teams. 

If the big clubs don't trust their youths to be developed by semi pro clubs because their development with these clubs is currently stunted by not being able to train full-time, then they're going to continue to push for the introduction of full-time colts teams into the lower leagues.  If we want to avoid Project Grave and other such nonsense, then we really need to be looking at how we can 'blood' youths in a competitive first team environment whilst allowing them to train full-time throughout the week.

Nope, but what I keep suggesting is that playing regionally is a more cost-effective model that curbs this sort of thing by lowering costs and bringing in more supporters.  A previous post )not by you) dismissed travel for a semi pro Glasgow club to Stranraer or Peterhead as being effectively the same thing, even though trips to Peterhead and Elgin are twice as far as away trips to Stranraer and Annan - large savings to be made by regionalising along east-west lines. 

Meanwhile, travelling support attending semi pro clubs in a West Conference of 10 at tier 3 (for example) could be significantly boosted by the more local matches of: Alloa, Stirling, Stenhousemuir, Albion Rvs, Airdrie, Clyde, Dumbarton (if relegated, for Ayr promoted), Queen's Park, Stranraer and Annan.  Clubs at this level could be making more money than they are and spending plenty less.  I'm quite sure the advent of a senior Pollock would add more to their coffers also.

Raith Rovers' core home support is closer to 1200, but you may have been looking at their average attendances from seasons where they have benefitted from being in a league with mostly full-time clubs and their larger travelling supports.  Ayr United's would be about 1100 - both managing full-time football in a part-time league, I think.

Peterhead regularly have 700+ of a home support, so based on the Airdrie model I included them as potentially full time.  I agree about your lot as well who, as you say, also have very good attendances and who I think would benefit from being in an East region at tier 3, with Angus derbies regularly boosting attendances to over 1000 if I remember that correctly.  I think you'd manage full time football well enough in a tier 2 surrounded by full-time clubs with larger travelling supports.

Haha, take it they're not too chuffed with it then?

As I said above, I think full-time-with-youngsters needs to be looked at by more clubs for early player development towards the national team and to stave off the big clubs and their colts ambitions.

Bringing junior clubs through into the senior League will, I think, boost revenues for part-time clubs provided that it is done sensibly, through regionalisation.  There's money being thrown away here, that the game could really do with. 

But, just my opinions.

Are you now suggesting FT football in a regional league, as the reduced travel costs would pay for it?

It doesn't work. The clubs are losing money. Where is the evidence of success?

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Haha, take it they're not too chuffed with it then?

As I said above, I think full-time-with-youngsters needs to be looked at by more clubs for early player development towards the national team and to stave off the big clubs and their colts ambitions.

Bringing junior clubs through into the senior League will, I think, boost revenues for part-time clubs provided that it is done sensibly, through regionalisation.  There's money being thrown away here, that the game could really do with. 

But, just my opinions.

 

For the first half of the season Peterhead’s average was only 577 and their highest was 691. First half of the season ours was 780.

 

Last season their average was 488, last season ours was 721.

 

Before then Arbroaths have been 651 (9th in League 2) 727, 1054 (Rangers) and 803.

 

And we just couldn’t sustain FT, no chance, when you actually think about the wages that are required for all of the required staff, coaches, players and training facilities for 4/5 days a week, expenses involved with that, it’s just not sustainable off of a support with about 500 season ticket holders. There are so many costs that go into running football clubs and don’t think a lot of people realise that. I’d love to sit down and look at a detailed report of all the costs in and out for a football club like ours over the season.

 

Airdrie are also helped because of their location, Peterhead and ourselves don’t have that. I don’t know if they train at the excelsior but that’ll be plastic too. Anyway they will be back PT next season, because they’ve realised FT is a bridge too far for them. They are not able to put a decent FT team out on the park when they should be putting good PT team out.

 

Don’t understand what the problem is anyway I don’t think we need any more FT clubs

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5 minutes ago, Sergeant Wilson said:

Are you now suggesting FT football in a regional league, as the reduced travel costs would pay for it?

It doesn't work. The clubs are losing money. Where is the evidence of success?

Yes, i'll just produce that evidence when there isn't a regional set-up in the SPFL at the moment.  Don't be silly!

Yup one thing that I am suggesting is that full-time football in a regional league is possible, that greater local travelling supports would help to pay for it and so would reduced travel costs.  You don't know that it doesn't work, because we haven't yet seen it.  (And probably never will.)

2 minutes ago, 1320Lichtie said:

For the first half of the season Peterhead’s average was only 577 and their highest was 691. First half of the season ours was 780.

Last season their average was 488, last season ours was 721.

Before then Arbroaths have been 651 (9th in League 2) 727, 1054 (Rangers) and 803.

And we just couldn’t sustain FT, no chance, when you actually think about the wages that are required for all of the required staff, coaches, players and training facilities for 4/5 days a week, expenses involved with that, it’s just not sustainable off of a support with about 500 season ticket holders. There are so many costs that go into running football clubs and don’t think a lot of people realise that. I’d love to sit down and look at a detailed report of all the costs in and out for a football club like ours over the season.

 

 

So would I - I think it'd be very instructive.  Again, I think with Airdrie managing full time with their crowds in a part-time league, and Livingston doing so with a similar home support to yours, but with the larger away attendances, Arbroath may well manage full time football in tier 2.

Interesting about Peterhead's attendances, because whenever I check in the papers on a Sunday they seem to be 700+. 

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So would I - I think it'd be very instructive.  Again, I think with Airdrie managing full time with their crowds in a part-time league, and Livingston doing so with a similar home support to yours, but with the larger away attendances, Arbroath may well manage full time football in tier 2.
Interesting about Peterhead's attendances, because whenever I check in the papers on a Sunday they seem to be 700+. 


I think it was this Saturday, actually I’m sure you just looked at this Saturday before your first post and thought that at the time We had a poor crowd Saturday and the Peterhead v Montrose game was one of the better crowds this weekend in the bottom 2 leagues.

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Hehe, caught me!  I did that, but it's mostly from impressions that I've formed from years of looking at individual attendances and asking whether, say, Annan would have brought many supporters up to Arbroath or wherever - probably not, or not much more than 10% of their home support - and so arriving at whichever club's core home support by deducting that way. 

---

The regionalisation thing - I just look at the difference between the high attendances at the derby matches and low attendances at the matches against clubs from Timbuktu and my mouth waters.  Obviously, too many derbies would kill them off for the fans in terms of interest but plenty of fans are happy to travel in good numbers fairly locally - because we are creatures of habit and would love to see a game every weekend if the distances/costs (time, money) weren't so prohibitive.

Anyway, I'm clearly in a minority of one on these issues so i'll head back off to dreamland and leave youz in peace.

(Also I am a hypocrite since I quit going to senior football a dozen years ago - it was too expensive and too repetitive; now just happy going to watch the local youths at the weekend, which is free, several matches to choose from, and I can leave after half an hour if I'm too cold, too bored or when my old knees are too sore from standing without feeling guilty about having wasted sixteen quid!)

Cheers.

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Hehe, caught me!  I did that, but it's mostly from impressions that I've formed from years of looking at individual attendances and asking whether, say, Annan would have brought many supporters up to Arbroath or wherever - probably not, or not much more than 10% of their home support - and so arriving at whichever club's core home support by deducting that way. 
---
The regionalisation thing - I just look at the difference between the high attendances at the derby matches and low attendances at the matches against clubs from Timbuktu and my mouth waters.  Obviously, too many derbies would kill them off for the fans in terms of interest but plenty of fans are happy to travel in good numbers fairly locally - because we are creatures of habit and would love to see a game every weekend if the distances/costs (time, money) weren't so prohibitive.
Anyway, I'm clearly in a minority of one on these issues so i'll head back off to dreamland and leave youz in peace.
(Also I am a hypocrite since I quit going to senior football a dozen years ago - it was too expensive and too repetitive; now just happy going to watch the local youths at the weekend, which is free, several matches to choose from, and I can leave after half an hour if I'm too cold, too bored or when my old knees are too sore from standing without feeling guilty about having wasted sixteen quid!)
Cheers.


The derbies would certainly lose their appeal if they were to be held every single season though. One of the main bonuses about us getting relegated to the 4th tier is usually that we will have that Montrose away game back on the calendar.

Personally my favourite away days in the last few seasons have been Annan and Ayr, if they were to be removed from the calendar I would be gutted. Infact one of the reasons I support Arbroath is because we compete on a national stage. I’ve said elsewhere too that we have players from Aberdeen to Saltcoats and everywhere inbetween, we train in Perth. The regionalisation thing would just make it much harder for clubs further away from the central belt to attract players. That’s why if Montrose did end up relegated a few seasons back and ended up in the highland league it could’ve been disastrous for them. They can sign players who are willing to travel up to Montrose every 2 weeks for a game but getting them to Montrose and north of Montrose all over the highlands every single week would be a no goer.

Infact a Montrose player I know of was getting offered unreal money (in the context) by a highland league club a few seasons ago but he was based in Dundee and just couldn’t commit to it.

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35 minutes ago, RabidAl said:

 

Anyway, I'm clearly in a minority of one on these issues so i'll head back off to dreamland and leave youz in peace.

 

I think that's best for everyone.

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1 hour ago, RabidAl said:

Anyway, I'm clearly in a minority of one on these issues

Cheers.

Different approach to FT football taken by Edusport, funded by the players themselves!

Also Selkirk had a tie-in at one point through Borders College and the modern apprentice scheme... not sure how successful it was though 

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2 minutes ago, Che Dail said:

Different approach to FT football taken by Edusport, funded by the players themselves!

Also Selkirk had a tie-in at one point through Borders College and the modern apprentice scheme... not sure how successful it was though 

Are you both trying to out do each other with daft examples?

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@RabidAl

Re the "Full time with youths" model: I was under the impression that most of the young players who are sent out on loan by the full time teams still train full time, they simply split it between the two clubs depending on when the teams are playing and all that malarkey.

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42 minutes ago, Sergeant Wilson said:

Are you both trying to out do each other with daft examples?

Ha!

"Edusport Academy eyes Premiership place by 2025 under web-based fan membership"

On the BBC website today...

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[mention=45814]RabidAl[/mention]
Re the "Full time with youths" model: I was under the impression that most of the young players who are sent out on loan by the full time teams still train full time, they simply split it between the two clubs depending on when the teams are playing and all that malarkey.


Scott Martin will train with Hibs all week and with ourselves one of either Monday or Wednesday night I’m sure. Definitely the case with all these loans. Clydes 2 loanees from Huddersfield are supposedly only in Scotland Thursday night to Saturday night before going back down the road.

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[mention=45814]RabidAl[/mention]
Re the "Full time with youths" model: I was under the impression that most of the young players who are sent out on loan by the full time teams still train full time, they simply split it between the two clubs depending on when the teams are playing and all that malarkey.

Development loan players can play for their U20s and loan club as well

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The regionalisation thing - I just look at the difference between the high attendances at the derby matches and low attendances at the matches against clubs from Timbuktu and my mouth waters. 

 

Derby games are massive outliers for most clubs. A far fairer assessment would be comparing the difference in crowds with the same team at home against long distance opponents and other run of the mill games against teams they would share a region with.

 

With 5 minutes of lazy research we could take Clyde as an example.

 

Home last 2 weeks against Peterhead and Edinburgh city.

 

Vs Peterhead 449

 

Vs Edinburgh city 421

 

I'm actually slightly the city game is lower given its importance but I guess it's too early attract fans based on games being decisive.

 

What is clear is the difference is minimal

 

 

 

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Derby games are massive outliers for most clubs. A far fairer assessment would be comparing the difference in crowds with the same team at home against long distance opponents and other run of the mill games against teams they would share a region with.
 
With 5 minutes of lazy research we could take Clyde as an example.
 
Home last 2 weeks against Peterhead and Edinburgh city.
 
Vs Peterhead 449
 
Vs Edinburgh city 421
 
I'm actually slightly the city game is lower given its importance but I guess it's too early attract fans based on games being decisive.
 
What is clear is the difference is minimal
 
 
 

I think when you're taking about this level, it's the regular home support that's important, away support is so variable and distance is only one of a load of factors influencing this. Regionalising at the third or fourth tier just isn't palatable for current clubs, there's no evidence regional leagues significantly reduce travel given the geography of Scotland. If clubs thought it would be beneficial, they'd be doing it already!

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3 hours ago, Che Dail said:

Ha!

"Edusport Academy eyes Premiership place by 2025 under web-based fan membership"

On the BBC website today...

Had to check there it wasn't April 1st.

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