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Do You Support Scottish Sides in Europe?

Do you support Scottish teams in Europe?   

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On 18/07/2019 at 18:00, craigkillie said:

And imagine Arbroath could just up sticks and move to East Kilbride or Bathgate because there was a bigger market there.

Prior to promotion and relegation to the fourth tier, Scottish football effectively was a franchise system. At least one without the equalization if incomes and salary caps etc. 

 

For example, Annan owe their place in the league to the fact the SFL wanted a geographic spread of clubs at the time.

 

 

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11 hours ago, gannonball said:

That competitive nobody can really be promoted or relegated? A boys club if there ever was one in sport.

Scottish football went its first 140 years with a closed shop of 38-42 teams. Is that any different? Did you complain about that? 

NFL could split into two or three divisions and have promotion and relegation, seeing as there are 32 of them, but they choose to keep a flat structure so that inequalities don't develop from being in a lower league.

Besides, in different sports and places there are limits on who can realistically compete and too big a leap from community club to someone who can live at pro level. Building an American Football team capable of competing is incredibly expensive, though maybe the XFL could lead things in that direction. There's no relegation in full-time professional rugby in Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Italy and Argentina and effectively none in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. There just isn't the support base for more and competition for places would weaken everyone, including national teams. You find no relegation in many places in ice hockey, basketball, cricket, motor racing, rugby league and many others. 

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On 20/07/2019 at 17:42, gannonball said:

That competitive nobody can really be promoted or relegated? A boys club if there ever was one in sport.

No offence, but that's a completely irrelevant response to the point made by the other poster.

It may be a boys' club, but you don't have a leg to stand on if you're trying to argue that they're wrong about how to run a sport. Sport dies without competition and football fans have bought the lie that some clubs being advantaged over others is just the way things have to be.

The funny thing is that the fans of the big clubs would probably enjoy football much more, just like the rest of us, if things were more equal. I don't understand why you'd pay a lot of money to regularly watch your team turn over sides on a fraction of their budget. Who's interested in that?

Edited by JTS98

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On 19/07/2019 at 01:00, craigkillie said:

And imagine Arbroath could just up sticks and move to East Kilbride or Bathgate because there was a bigger market there.

Another utterly irrelevant response.

Do you think that praising one aspect of an organisation automatically means embracing all aspects of it?

Jings.

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This thread is an interesting read for a couple of reasons.

The first thing that sticks out to me is the differing views on what sport fundamentally is. I view sport as something that inherently contains competition and should basically be a level playing field as much as possible. It's interesting that so many of the posters on this thread seem to have no problem with the concept of an uneven playing field and I think this is a clear consequence of the constant hammering home of the celebrity propaganda of the 21st Century.

BIG CLUBS ARE GOOD. BIG CLUBS DESERVE TO BE GOOD. BIG CLUBS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN GOOD. BIG CLUBS WILL ALWAYS BE GOOD. BIG CLUBS DESERVE TO ALWAYS BE GOOD. NOW PAY FOR SKY, SIT DOWN AND WATCH THE BIG CLUBS ON TV. BIG CLUBS ARE RICH. IT IS RIGHT THAT BIG CLUBS ARE RICH.

It's no surprise that football, having fallen into the hands of the media industry, should come to reflect the broader values of the early 21st century. We embrace individualism and the (ridiculous) idea that anybody can 'make it' so those who do make it deserve it and those who don't make it deserve that too.

The same logic that tells the Eton and Oxbridge-educated son of a millionaire that his success in life is down to his own qualities is what informs how the public at large look at football: It's right that there should be four English teams in the Champions League every year because they are so good. And it's fair that they are kept apart from each other in the draw because we want the good teams to stay in the competition, that's just sensible. And it's right that they should make more money than the others from this process, money they can spend on players to become better, which justifies their four places etc etc etc ...

And obviously Scotland is just a scaled-down version of that. We receive constant propaganda from Sportsound, Radio Clyde, The Herald, The Record etc about how obviously it's good to support all the Scottish teams in Europe because obviously it's good if they all do well. Especially in the Champions League, because it's obviously so wonderful for Scotland to be represented 'at the top table'.

It's obviously right that Celtic make an absolute fortune from European football and take an over-sized chunk of the domestic tv deal.

This is demonstrably bullshit. It is clearly harmful to our game if Celtic or Rangers qualify for the Champions League.

From the first time a Scottish club competed in the Champions League (1992-93) until the end of the 2010-11 season, the Old Firm competed in the Champions League group stages 13 times. In that period, non-Old Firm clubs won a grand total of 9 trophies. That's 0.47 non-OF trophies a season, down from 1.2 per season in the decade before the Champions League.

From 2011-12 to 2015-16 non-OF clubs won eight trophies. That's 1.6 per season.

And how did that happen?

Obviously, Rangers going away made a huge difference. But the 2011-12 season was Celtic's third consecutive year with no Champions League group stage football. Rangers had played in it more recently, but were in meltdown. So Scotland didn't have anyone loaded up with Champions League cash. Scotland had never had a situation where nobody had had Champions League cash for three straight years. For the first time in the Champions League era, both Scottish domestic cups were won by non-Old Firm sides.

Celtic finally made it back into the group stages in 2012-13, for the first time in four seasons. Three years of nobody in the league (Rangers had died by now) raking in Champions League cash. Three out of four cup finalists were non-Old Firm and again the following season both domestic cups went to non-Old Firm sides. Indeed, all four cup finalists were non-Old Firm sides.

But Celtic made it to the group stages again in that 2013-14 season. The party was ending.

Celtic, wisely, sat on that money (according to UEFA, 17m Euro before gates etc for 2013-14 alone) for a bit with a view to Rangers' promotion and added to it by reaching the Europa League group stages in each of the next two seasons. Then they spent a fortune hiring Brendan Rodgers and went shopping. Nobody else has won anything since.

It seems that the base fee for Celtic getting to the Champions League group stages this season would be 13m pounds. A supporter of any other Scottish club would need to be utterly insane to want that to happen. The 'get your house in order' stuff that we hear from some Celtic-minded people (those of us old enough will remember Rangers fans saying exactly the same in the 90s) is up there with our millionaire's son mentioned earlier taking the view that an unemployed guy born to drug addict parents in a deprived area of a poor city should somehow work harder to improve his lot.

Despite the vast majority of the Old Firm's appearances in the Champions League ending in failure - not to mention occasional humiliation - they are staggeringly well rewarded for this. There is no reason for anybody to want them to succeed.

Scottish football gets more interesting, the stats say about three times as interesting, when the Old Firm don't do well in Europe.

And this brings us back to what you think sport should be. The money from European football means that certain clubs are starting the 100m sprint about 70m ahead of everybody else. I see Rangers, Europa League group stagers last season, have just spunked about three million quid on a defender... It astonishes me that any non-OF supporter would consider it a good thing for them to get that level of income again this year.

So, in short, relax and hope everyone gets pumped.

Edited by JTS98

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An absolutely stonking post JTS98.

The parallels you draw with recent prevailing political outlook, and the spurious self-serving nonsense that attends daft notions of meritocracy, are spot on.

Well done that man.

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Yep cracking post.

Particularly the fundamental view of sport part. The sky sports generation have been convinced that footballs value is in the level of investment into the game. We clearly saw it here in recent years, the campaign for a return to the closed shop two horse because, well... the tv deal.

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Another utterly irrelevant response.
Do you think that praising one aspect of an organisation automatically means embracing all aspects of it?
Jings.
My post might have been a bit flippant, but that doesn't mean I haven't thought about it.

For me, it's all an intrinsic part of the same system. His post was all about the ways in which US sought to maintain a competitive balance, but all of them are essentially contingent on their sport being a closed system where the same teams are involved each year and there is no other similar league anywhere else in the world.

For example, a draft system is aimed at balancing out the squads by giving the worst team from the previous season a good chance of getting the best young player. Even leaving aside the fact that clubs in Scotland run their own youth systems and there's no centralised one to draft from, the system would have other problems here. The SPFL contains a mix of full-time and part-time clubs. The part-time ones will obviously be the worst and therefore get the best drafted players. But a) these clubs probably couldn't afford the players, b) the players wouldn't want to go there and c) you wouldn't want Scotland's most talented youngsters playing part-time football in League 2.

Even if you ignored c), funded clubs to pay the players and told them they weren't allowed to sign for anyone else in Scotland, you're not operating in a vacuum and these players would likely go and play in another country (England, mainly). Therefore the likely consequence is that you'd have to restrict your draft system to full-time clubs, and possibly even to just the top flight clubs. The net outcome of all this is that you may have more balance in the top flight, but it likely creates an even greater imbalance between the haves and have nots.

The same sort of thing goes for income sharing. Obviously there is already some income sharing in Scottish football, with Premiership (and to some extent Championship) clubs subsidising the lower leagues in terms of sponsorship and TV income, though it's not evenly spread. If your aim is to make your leagues as competitive and balanced as possible then you're going to have to try to overcome the financial advantages the top clubs get from their attendances (even with revenue sharing they'd still make more) and from European football. It's unlikely you could spread your money 42 ways and achieve that, so again you would likely be focusing on the top flight clubs.

Again you're likely only succeeding in pushing the imbalance down from 2 v 40 to 12 v 30. You're also almost certainly making the quality of the league as a whole worse, since you're probably basically bringing Celtic and Rangers down to an Aberdeen or Hearts level, with the resulting impact in terms of European football, transfer income etc, but some posters have suggested they wouldn't care about that as long as the league is balanced, and are therefore willing to pretend we exist in a vacuum for the purposes of competitive balance.

I don't see any way you can enforce balance in the league without somehow basically casting aside a whole group of clubs to focus on a select group. Most likely that select group would be 10-12 in a top flight, or at a push 20-24 across two tiers. In either case, you're essentially restricting top level football to a select set of areas in the country, much as they do in the US. Then, if there are social and cultural changes in the country over time, you end up with certain towns no longer being able to support clubs and other towns not having a club when they "should", hence my Arbroath/East Kilbride suggestion.

All of that is why I don't consider it in any way useful to think about what US sports do in terms of competitive balance. It's a totally different system in a country with different values and ideals about sport. It would make more sense to get ideas from Scandinavia or Poland or places like that, because they seem to have more balanced leagues and yet still operate under the same sort of system that we do.

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Whilst there are some fair points there is an awful lot of post hoc ergo propter hoc in that post. Celtic don't qualify for the Champions League so immediately fail in the domestic cups without the money that brings? In seasons that immediately follow them having sustained periods of Champions League cash?? It seems rather more likely that Celtic failed to qualify for the Champions League and failed to win the domestic cups for the same reasons. 

 

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4 minutes ago, craigkillie said:

All of that is why I don't consider it in any way useful to think about what US sports do in terms of competitive balance. It's a totally different system in a country with different values and ideals about sport. It would make more sense to get ideas from Scandinavia or Poland or places like that, because they seem to have more balanced leagues and yet still operate under the same sort of system that we do.

I don't think anybody is advocating simply implementing an NFL-style template on Scottish football.

But why not elements of it?

For example, why do we accept that the clubs at the top end of the league should take a bigger cut of tv money than everybody else? Why not just dish it out evenly to clubs by division? There is absolutely no reason why that cannot be the case.

Why not implement a system of shared merchandise revenue?

Why do we have to accept this supposed meritocracy? Football is a sport. The governing body should be doing all they can to ensure that it remains competitive. And those running Scottish football are utterly failing in that regard.

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19 minutes ago, The OP said:

Whilst there are some fair points there is an awful lot of post hoc ergo propter hoc in that post. Celtic don't qualify for the Champions League so immediately fail in the domestic cups without the money that brings? In seasons that immediately follow them having sustained periods of Champions League cash?? It seems rather more likely that Celtic failed to qualify for the Champions League and failed to win the domestic cups for the same reasons. 

 

The point isn't really about any specific season. It's about long-term patterns. You can argue with the numbers all you like, but we've got the thick end of four decades' worth of stats that tell us that when the Old Firm qualify for the Champions League, which makes them very rich, nobody else gets a look in. And when they don't have access to that money we see years-long spikes in the success of the other clubs.

For example, without the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons in the Champions League, do Celtic hire Brendan Rodgers and give him the funding he wants? Doubtful. But they did and we've had a three-year snooze-fest. Good for the game?

You have to not want to see it to not see it.

Edited by JTS98

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8 minutes ago, JTS98 said:

The point isn't really about any specific season. It's about long-term patterns. You can argue with the numbers all you like, but we've got the thick end of four decades' worth of stats that tell us that when the Old Firm qualify for the Champions League, which makes them very rich, nobody else gets a look in. And when they don't have access to that money we see years-long spikes in the success of the other clubs.

You have to not want to see it to not see it.

Or when one of them ceases to exist and the other appoints a bad manager we see years long spikes in the success of the other clubs despite the remaining one having lots of accumulated Champions League money. Whereas under a better manager when they haven't been in the Champions League for a wee while one of them goes undefeated in an entire season and win 3 trophies.

I don't disagree that the Champions League creates imbalances, particularly in diddy nations like ours, but your examples are poor. 

Edited by The OP

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10 minutes ago, The OP said:

Or when one of them ceases to exist and the other appoints a bad manager we see years long spikes in the success of the other clubs despite the remaining one having lots of accumulated Champions League money. Whereas under a better manager when they haven't been in the Champions League for a wee while one of them goes undefeated in an entire season and win 3 trophies.

I don't disagree that the Champions League creates imbalances, particularly in diddy nations like ours, but your examples are poor. 

And where did that better manager come from?

Do you think they'd have hired him if Lennon's side hadn't qualified for the Champions League? Would they have been able to support him so strongly in the transfer market?

The answers to those questions are obvious. Without Lennon's Champions League team, absolute nonsense like the same team winning nine trophies in a row never happens. And let's be clear, it should never happen. When that can happen it is not something anyone should celebrate. It is a sign of a deeply broken system.

It's not good for anybody. Among the biggest losers are Celtic since 'success' like that ceases to be success when nobody takes it seriously. There is such a thing as winning too much. Celtic's own dominance stops anybody taking them seriously.

Edited by JTS98

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34 minutes ago, craigkillie said:

My post might have been a bit flippant, but that doesn't mean I haven't thought about it.

For me, it's all an intrinsic part of the same system. His post was all about the ways in which US sought to maintain a competitive balance, but all of them are essentially contingent on their sport being a closed system where the same teams are involved each year and there is no other similar league anywhere else in the world.

For example, a draft system is aimed at balancing out the squads by giving the worst team from the previous season a good chance of getting the best young player. Even leaving aside the fact that clubs in Scotland run their own youth systems and there's no centralised one to draft from, the system would have other problems here. The SPFL contains a mix of full-time and part-time clubs. The part-time ones will obviously be the worst and therefore get the best drafted players. But a) these clubs probably couldn't afford the players, b) the players wouldn't want to go there and c) you wouldn't want Scotland's most talented youngsters playing part-time football in League 2.

Even if you ignored c), funded clubs to pay the players and told them they weren't allowed to sign for anyone else in Scotland, you're not operating in a vacuum and these players would likely go and play in another country (England, mainly). Therefore the likely consequence is that you'd have to restrict your draft system to full-time clubs, and possibly even to just the top flight clubs. The net outcome of all this is that you may have more balance in the top flight, but it likely creates an even greater imbalance between the haves and have nots.

The same sort of thing goes for income sharing. Obviously there is already some income sharing in Scottish football, with Premiership (and to some extent Championship) clubs subsidising the lower leagues in terms of sponsorship and TV income, though it's not evenly spread. If your aim is to make your leagues as competitive and balanced as possible then you're going to have to try to overcome the financial advantages the top clubs get from their attendances (even with revenue sharing they'd still make more) and from European football. It's unlikely you could spread your money 42 ways and achieve that, so again you would likely be focusing on the top flight clubs.

Again you're likely only succeeding in pushing the imbalance down from 2 v 40 to 12 v 30. You're also almost certainly making the quality of the league as a whole worse, since you're probably basically bringing Celtic and Rangers down to an Aberdeen or Hearts level, with the resulting impact in terms of European football, transfer income etc, but some posters have suggested they wouldn't care about that as long as the league is balanced, and are therefore willing to pretend we exist in a vacuum for the purposes of competitive balance.

I don't see any way you can enforce balance in the league without somehow basically casting aside a whole group of clubs to focus on a select group. Most likely that select group would be 10-12 in a top flight, or at a push 20-24 across two tiers. In either case, you're essentially restricting top level football to a select set of areas in the country, much as they do in the US. Then, if there are social and cultural changes in the country over time, you end up with certain towns no longer being able to support clubs and other towns not having a club when they "should", hence my Arbroath/East Kilbride suggestion.

All of that is why I don't consider it in any way useful to think about what US sports do in terms of competitive balance. It's a totally different system in a country with different values and ideals about sport. It would make more sense to get ideas from Scandinavia or Poland or places like that, because they seem to have more balanced leagues and yet still operate under the same sort of system that we do.

Once more, I think you're entirely missing the point by delving into the minutiae of American sport.  

Once more, that point is that steps can be taken in the governance of sport to make it more competitive.

Nearly all the steps taken in the governance of ours, have conspired to make it less so.  

Please at least recognise this point, even if you bizarrely believe it doesn't matter. 

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It takes some doing that I'd agree with a point, and I still think the person making it is a c**t. 

It's the "my opinion is the only right one" attitude that's the winner. What a fucking monumental c**t.

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JTS98 has made me agree with a Hearts fan about football, alarming.

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On 22/07/2019 at 12:36, Greenlantern said:

It’s a real life Robin Hood story. Warms my heart.

That's the sort of stupid, facile wee comment you make, when you've nothing with which to counter someone's argument, isn't it?

It's genuinely a bit embarrassing to see.

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37 minutes ago, Monkey Tennis said:

That's the sort of stupid, facile wee comment you make, when you've nothing with which to counter someone's argument, isn't it?

It's genuinely a bit embarrassing to see.

Why do you think Messi has never left Barcelona monkey?
Plus the reports about Bale could get a million a week in China? 

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