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Junior football, what is the future?

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10 hours ago, sdr71 said:

The League 2 clubs need the big boys, but the big boys do not need League 2, and they would do well to remember that.  

The big boys were willing to relegate Hearts to avoid reconstruction on League 2's selfish 14-14-14 terms, so looks like the League 2 clubs have very little leverage now under the new SPFL's voting system. The 11-1 top tier requirement will be very difficult to unlock. That should keep the pyramid intact well into the future through the admittedly less than ideal Club 42 playoff.

10 hours ago, santheman said:

You should go and read the Falkirk one 

 

 

Edited by LongTimeLurker

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Let's face it the sfa and 42 spfl football league clubs are bizarrely making the sjfa and it's regional associations look competent.

What have the junior clubs let themselves in for getting involved in this circus! 

They'd have been far better served flushing out those that needed flushing out years ago in the sjfa and regions and continuing to make what was a great alternative to senior football even better by giving people now  totally disgruntled with the senior game an excellent alternative instead they have got themselves involving in the mother of all shitstorms that will last a generation. 

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1 hour ago, traffordab said:

Let's face it the sfa and 42 spfl football league clubs are bizarrely making the sjfa and it's regional associations look competent.

What have the junior clubs let themselves in for getting involved in this circus! 

They'd have been far better served flushing out those that needed flushing out years ago in the sjfa and regions and continuing to make what was a great alternative to senior football even better by giving people now  totally disgruntled with the senior game an excellent alternative instead they have got themselves involving in the mother of all shitstorms that will last a generation. 

The SJFA should indeed have flushed out their own deadwood, as you say, but did not due to a combination of misplaced loyalty and sheer inability to do anything for themselves. Perhaps the East and North regions may be able to do so now (though I wouldn't bet on it).

Edited by Bad Wolf

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17 minutes ago, traffordab said:

the mother of all shitstorms that will last a generation. 

Nah. Apart from the Hearts fans, everyone else will soon forget it.

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37 minutes ago, traffordab said:

Let's face it the sfa and 42 spfl football league clubs are bizarrely making the sjfa and it's regional associations look competent.

What have the junior clubs let themselves in for getting involved in this circus! 

They'd have been far better served flushing out those that needed flushing out years ago in the sjfa and regions and continuing to make what was a great alternative to senior football even better by giving people now  totally disgruntled with the senior game an excellent alternative instead they have got themselves involving in the mother of all shitstorms that will last a generation. 

It's an unprecedented situation we find ourselves in at the moment, and unfortunately it looks like self-interest rules the roost as it often will.

Having said that, don't compare and contrast the SJFA as some now-lost paragon of virtue and competence...at times it made the Keystone Kops look organised, and towards the end even freely admitted it was placed the importance of its own survival over the interests of its member clubs.

If you want to talk circuses, in the last few years it had gone full-on Ringling Brothers, which is why teams have been queueing up to leave...less to do with the promised land of milk and honey and very little to do with a glass ceiling that will only affect a tiny minority of clubs anyway...more that almost anything can be seen as an upgrade on what had become a toxic combination of arrogance, resistance to change, inertia and yeah...self-interest.

 

Edited by Hillonearth

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7 hours ago, craigkillie said:

I can't see what realistic case the HL or LL (or the individual clubs) could make here. Yes these clubs have been denied a play-off, but it is very obvious that it would not have been practical to hold these play-offs as a result government advice - in fact it would quite possibly be illegal to do so. The fact that both the Highland and Lowland Leagues chose to terminate their own seasons shows that both of those leagues acknowledged that fact too. The SPFL certainly have no moral (or legal) obligation to expand their membership as a result.

Hopefully Brora and Kelty will organise a pre season friendly and offer Brechin a chance to play the winner. Just for a laugh, eh.

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8 hours ago, craigkillie said:

What would happen is that the Lowland League and Highland League would say "Erm no, we have to agree to any such changes under the SPFL rules."

Precisely!

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8 hours ago, craigkillie said:

 

 

I can't see what realistic case the HL or LL (or the individual clubs) could make here. Yes these clubs have been denied a play-off, but it is very obvious that it would not have been practical to hold these play-offs as a result government advice - in fact it would quite possibly be illegal to do so. The fact that both the Highland and Lowland Leagues chose to terminate their own seasons shows that both of those leagues acknowledged that fact too. The SPFL certainly have no moral (or legal) obligation to expand their membership as a result.

With all due respect, if they're not worried about legal challenges from Rangers or Hearts as a result of the decision to call the season early, then they're not going to be worried about the Lowland League or Highland League.

This is not a case of the SPFL choosing to pull up the drawbridge (even if some of the League 2 clubs might want to), it's a case of the SPFL having to take the only practical option to handle the early termination of a league season which is caused by circumstances completely outwith their control. The play-off remains in place for future seasons - that has never really been in doubt despite people wanting to muddy the waters. Hopefully longer term we can see this becoming an automatic place once the League 2 clubs realise, as the SPL clubs did in 2013, that it's useful to have more chance to get back up if you do go down.

 

One thought is that the rules are in place and there's no provision for an alternative in an extraordinary situation which has been caused by the Covid-19 virus.

In other words they're stuck with their own rules so they have to make them work. In fairness no-one ever thought of a pandemic when the rules were agreed by the SFA, SPFL, HL and LL but it's hard lines for the SPFL if they cannot come up with an appropriate solution. After all a solution to the Tier 5/SPFL 2 situation is really simple to find, whatever-else happens within the SPFL.

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Teams looking out for their own self interest firing out statements complaining about teams looking out for their own self interest.

Scottish Fitba  Eh!!

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2 hours ago, Andy groundhopper said:

Difficult situation as the season never finished, would have been good to have say PPG across the board, SPL downwards and then possibly have a play off for Kelty,Brora etc prior to next season starting. Also, would it be beneficial to keep the transfer window open throughout the season ? As there's a possibility that such pandemics could be a regular thing, isn't it time to have new rules set in stone re seasons ending and at least the clubs know beforehand.

Incomplete playing seasons are very rare but they have happened, under exceptional circumstances, in the past within the UK/NI. Think of War-time situations, Foot-and-Mouth.

The Football Associations in the UK/NI, understandably, didn't consider it necessary to build in provisions for what happens when seasons are terminated early through no fault of the organisations involved. This is now showing to have been a mistake. This early close-down of a season situation could happen again - even in 2020/21.

Rules need to be brought in by the SFA and their equivalents elsewhere in UK/NI so that everyone knows where they stand if the worst re-occurs.

In the mean-time  the FA's need to accept responsibility for their own pyramids. Pyramids are a form of binding contractual arrangement after all and that means that movement has to continue, thus avoiding a constraint of trade situation, even if it is only upwards i.e. no relegations unless an individual club desires to take relegation.  

Imbalances due to certain divisions/leagues gaining one or two extra clubs to be ironed out at the end of the next full season via additional, pre-agreed relegations.

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1 hour ago, traffordab said:

Let's face it the sfa and 42 spfl football league clubs are bizarrely making the sjfa and it's regional associations look competent.

What have the junior clubs let themselves in for getting involved in this circus! 

They'd have been far better served flushing out those that needed flushing out years ago in the sjfa and regions and continuing to make what was a great alternative to senior football even better by giving people now  totally disgruntled with the senior game an excellent alternative instead they have got themselves involving in the mother of all shitstorms that will last a generation. 

Such wonderful hind-sight.

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16 minutes ago, Dev said:

One thought is that the rules are in place and there's no provision for an alternative in an extraordinary situation which has been caused by the Covid-19 virus.

In other words they're stuck with their own rules so they have to make them work. In fairness no-one ever thought of a pandemic when the rules were agreed by the SFA, SPFL, HL and LL but it's hard lines for the SPFL if they cannot come up with an appropriate solution. After all a solution to the Tier 5/SPFL 2 situation is really simple to find, whatever-else happens within the SPFL.

They have come up with an appropriate solution, which is in fact the only one which is practically possible. Even if the SPFL agreed a reconstruction, technically they would still be breaching this rule in exactly the same way, since they would still not be holding the play-offs which they are obliged to hold under their own rules.

I have a lot of sympathy for Kelty and Brora (and Bonnyrigg) here, and ideally I would like to see either a 12 team Championship or a 12 team League 2 to , but there are a number of practical issues surrounding that and the SPFL are certainly not obliged to do that.

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It would be a huge struggle to get the League Two clubs to back it anyway.  Look at how well Cove Rangers have done this season (Edinburgh City in second too).  The chances are that Brora and Kelty would be promoted and not go straight back down next season.  Increase the league to 14 teams and then relegated 2 or 3 next season (to go back down to 42 teams) and there's a decent chance those 2 or 3 clubs would be established SPFL clubs.  Scottish football is generally about self-protectionism.  Clubs are going to do what they can to keep it at relegation playoffs rather than automatic relegation at the bottom of League Two and they certainly aren't going to be keen on promoting two non-league clubs at once and threatening their SPFL status further.

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Two prominent West Lothian clubs who decided to stick to Junior football next season have already advertised for new Managers. Coincidence or were they going to leave in any case?

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6 minutes ago, Casey Jones said:

Two prominent West Lothian clubs who decided to stick to Junior football next season have already advertised for new Managers. Coincidence or were they going to leave in any case?

Can’t find players that want to play in that league maybe?

It quite obvious the vast majority of PLAYERS want to play in the main system, it’s only the committees and some fans who still think they are a big pull. If players had the choice, they’d play at any level of the EoS or WoS before playing in that league

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1 hour ago, stanley said:

It would be a huge struggle to get the League Two clubs to back it anyway.  Look at how well Cove Rangers have done this season (Edinburgh City in second too).  The chances are that Brora and Kelty would be promoted and not go straight back down next season.  Increase the league to 14 teams and then relegated 2 or 3 next season (to go back down to 42 teams) and there's a decent chance those 2 or 3 clubs would be established SPFL clubs.  Scottish football is generally about self-protectionism.  Clubs are going to do what they can to keep it at relegation playoffs rather than automatic relegation at the bottom of League Two and they certainly aren't going to be keen on promoting two non-league clubs at once and threatening their SPFL status further.

Probably true (unfortunately).

I was looking forward to seeing Brora in League Two next season, and Kelty certainly deserve to go up, having been the club which was the catalyst for the enhanced pyramid we will have, if 2020/21 goes ahead as planned. Perhaps the 2 should play an HFL  v  SLL challenge match, during pre season (at Aberdeen ?), just to compare their relative strengths ?

Despite my disappointment, I can't see any litigation being successful, as there is no "legal" obligation for the SPFL to restructure at this junction, particularly as the club 42 play-offs  cannot be played, as things stand.  The SPFL hasn't approved any promotion play-offs for the Championship, League One, or League Two, so no legal  precedent has been set which Brora & Kelty could otherwise cite to their advantage.  

However, SPFL & pyramid restructuring is needed, and I would recommend that, following an in-depth review (carried out by the SFA, SPFL, and both the Highland & Lowland League representatives jointly), should be undertaken with a view to implementation in 2021/22. Buying time for this restructuring would  hopefully allow the virus to be controlled, enable some leading WoSL clubs to get licensed,  and the 'conferences' in both East & West to have been replaced by hierarchial divisions.  And ideally, providing a much better long term solution.

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Obviously the spfl clubs have built a bomb proof house allowing nobody inside, and the fear of disappearing into the  LL or HL is as clear as day,running scared. Am not fully up to date with everything, how has the reaction of Berwick fans/club been this season ?  Is it just the money that keeps spfl clubs in their cocoon ?

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3 hours ago, Robert James said:

Probably true (unfortunately).

I was looking forward to seeing Brora in League Two next season, and Kelty certainly deserve to go up, having been the club which was the catalyst for the enhanced pyramid we will have, if 2020/21 goes ahead as planned. Perhaps the 2 should play an HFL  v  SLL challenge match, during pre season (at Aberdeen ?), just to compare their relative strengths ?

Despite my disappointment, I can't see any litigation being successful, as there is no "legal" obligation for the SPFL to restructure at this junction, particularly as the club 42 play-offs  cannot be played, as things stand.  The SPFL hasn't approved any promotion play-offs for the Championship, League One, or League Two, so no legal  precedent has been set which Brora & Kelty could otherwise cite to their advantage.  

However, SPFL & pyramid restructuring is needed, and I would recommend that, following an in-depth review (carried out by the SFA, SPFL, and both the Highland & Lowland League representatives jointly), should be undertaken with a view to implementation in 2021/22. Buying time for this restructuring would  hopefully allow the virus to be controlled, enable some leading WoSL clubs to get licensed,  and the 'conferences' in both East & West to have been replaced by hierarchial divisions.  And ideally, providing a much better long term solution.

Interesting thing to come out on Sportsound today from the LL and Brora chairmen was that the SFA run the play off, not the SPFL, and they haven't made a statement. Wonder what happens if the Brora Kelty playoffs go ahead preseason, and the SPFL fail to provide team 42 for the decider?

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