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Highland Pyramid

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Would the HL clubs ever say 'we don't want any  more clubs or divisions because that would hamper our chances of gaining promotion etc ? Just a thought, seems like the NCLfeeder is well accepted, while the Tayside area/clubs are almost hated - like having to go to Beirut for a game !

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9 hours ago, LongTimeLurker said:

No idea how you can reach that conclusion when the various parties in the PWG meetings were given a set of options to discuss that included Option Z. The postures adopted by both the SJFA and LL/EoS blocked anything other than the emergence of the WoS from being a viable pathway for pyramid entry by clubs from the west. Under those circumstances setting up the WoS and allowing ongoing SJFA membership was the sensible course of action, because there was no other way to first break the logjam and then manage to keep all the west clubs in the same structure.

In the short term the emergence of the WoS as a tier 6 LL feeder was definitely a decisive victory for the LL/EoS over the SJFA in blazer politics terms. Longer term, however, the east is almost certainly going to wind up as the most under-represented part of the country at tier 5 because of the structure that is now in place. The HL can probably be viewed as the main long term winners, especially if they now get to effectively jettison Tayside in de facto terms by only agreeing to negotiate with the north region and NCL as tier 6 feeders.

Option Z was an idea from the side of the juniors. It was never really on the table though. In order for that option to pass, the SPFL would have to agree to 3 feeder leagues. They weren't even at the table so there was no way they could have agreed to it. Plus, they've made it very clear from the start that they would only allow 2 feeder leagues. Initially they even only wanted one, but they conceded on that point to the current system of HL and LL as feeders. Personally, I don't think a 3 region system would be bad, it would make more sense with Scotland's geography imo, but it just wasn't going to happen.

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28 minutes ago, Andy groundhopper said:

Would the HL clubs ever say 'we don't want any  more clubs or divisions because that would hamper our chances of gaining promotion etc ? Just a thought, seems like the NCLfeeder is well accepted, while the Tayside area/clubs are almost hated - like having to go to Beirut for a game !

Well, nobody is hated.

An important thing to consider about the Highland League is that it isn't a single hive mind. There's differences in opinion and with Cove Rangers promoted the supposed 'pro-pyramid' / 'SPFL minded' clubs have lost an ally.

As a league they are open to application. Last year they actually invited Banks O'Dee into the league but were rejected by the club and they listened to an application proposal from Inverness CT for a 'colts' side to enter. You can probably understand why the 'colts' idea never went anywhere.

They've discussed two divisions but at the time it would have been 2x 10 divisions playing 18 games. That was rejected as you can understand due to the massive reduction of games and smaller gates for any 2nd Division side.

Fact is if people actually apply to the League they'd get listened to. They've also been working on this pyramid proposal to get the NCL into it and would probably take the North Juniors in. But it wasn't that long ago (Nov 2018) that the North Juniors said they weren't interested.

As for Tayside. The Highland League helped make the pyramid. They had reps on the SFA committee, Professional Game Board (which was only SFA, SPL and SFL at the time) and Non-Professional Game Board so they shaped it more than most. I don't think a number of clubs would be happy with it, but they'd get on with it. Its never been a Highland League rep that's complained about the possibility of Montrose, and Brechin City being relegated into the League or a Tayside club applying.

 

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2 minutes ago, FairWeatherFan said:

Well, nobody is hated.

An important thing to consider about the Highland League is that it isn't a single hive mind. There's differences in opinion and with Cove Rangers promoted the supposed 'pro-pyramid' / 'SPFL minded' clubs have lost an ally.

As a league they are open to application. Last year they actually invited Banks O'Dee into the league but were rejected by the club and they listened to an application proposal from Inverness CT for a 'colts' side to enter. You can probably understand why the 'colts' idea never went anywhere.

They've discussed two divisions but at the time it would have been 2x 10 divisions playing 18 games. That was rejected as you can understand due to the massive reduction of games and smaller gates for any 2nd Division side.

Fact is if people actually apply to the League they'd get listened to. They've also been working on this pyramid proposal to get the NCL into it and would probably take the North Juniors in. But it wasn't that long ago (Nov 2018) that the North Juniors said they weren't interested.

As for Tayside. The Highland League helped make the pyramid. They had reps on the SFA committee, Professional Game Board (which was only SFA, SPL and SFL at the time) and Non-Professional Game Board so they shaped it more than most. I don't think a number of clubs would be happy with it, but they'd get on with it. Its never been a Highland League rep that's complained about the possibility of Montrose, and Brechin City being relegated into the League or a Tayside club applying.

 

Good points, think the North juniors are happy with their lot , reality over ambition to move upwards,sensible I'd say. Am guessing that a HL 2 wouldn't include any  clubs with much to offer tbh, the NCL feeder looks good and gives clubs a decent starting point to progress. Would the Tayside thing be a large number of clubs entering ? A bit like the Sth West Peninsula League down here, miles from anywhere,with the Western Lge based some 100 miles further north.

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16 minutes ago, Andy groundhopper said:

Good points, think the North juniors are happy with their lot , reality over ambition to move upwards,sensible I'd say. Am guessing that a HL 2 wouldn't include any  clubs with much to offer tbh, the NCL feeder looks good and gives clubs a decent starting point to progress. Would the Tayside thing be a large number of clubs entering ? A bit like the Sth West Peninsula League down here, miles from anywhere,with the Western Lge based some 100 miles further north.

When it comes to Tayside I wouldn't expect any news on that front until the new year and the EoSFL start looking for applications. Tayside clubs either try to apply or don't. Until the Tayside clubs actually engage with the pyramid nobody else is going to give them much thought and just get on with it.

NCL clubs will have issues getting licenced before getting into the league. With the likes of Brora Rangers, Wick Academy, and Clachnacuddin already in the Highland. As well as the ICT & Ross County youth teams most of the best players are from the Highland region are already hoovered up. Any NCL side without financial backing is going to float around the botttom at best.

North Juniors would strengthen on the field but would sway the league even more so into a Northeast league which would upset those that try to balance Highland / Aberdeenshire. Again you've got the issue of not getting licenced before that becomes a concern.

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It's important to remember that all clubs beneath the Tier 5 Division won't have to be licenced so the cost of investing in facilities etc wouldn't be a deterrent.

In the event that the NCL, North and Tayside Juniors joined up and Tier 6 was run on an the basis of these three  geographically determined areas travel wouldn't be an issue either.

Joining and not getting licenced would be just the same as it is now i.e. just playing NCL or Juniors from the  North or Tayside. I guess the rules would be amended to comply with the Highland League Rules. Tier 6 may require facilities to match other Tier 6 leagues but, even then, time could be allowed for clubs to comply. Other clubs could fit into Tier 7.

If clubs went for such a structure they could even become licenced without, in practice, being at significant risk of promotion to Tier 5.

Regionalised Tier 6 and 7 etc leagues would be much as now so clubs could remain happy with their lot.

One thing is likely if the NCL, North and Tayside Juniors do join in. Tier 5 in the Highland League will become more competitive and the geographical spread of the clubs will change.

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10 hours ago, Dev said:

 Tier 5 in the Highland League will become more competitive and the geographical spread of the clubs will change.

That more than anything is probably the concern. There's a reason why Strathspey Thistle got accepted back in 2009 despite being the poorest on the field performer. The clubs were trying to balance the regional make up of the league.

Which is something that was mentioned back in 2014 when attempting the 2x 10 team divisions. There was a suggestion of trying to have one Highland and one Aberdeenshire side round out the 20. Which on the face of it seems 'local football for local people' but at the same time would also mean a ton of travel for everyone. Its not like a Halkirk United who said in the press they would apply if it happened or Golspie Sutherland are particularly easy travel days.

Its why it will be good to move away from the idea of applications and move to a formal promotion/relegation structure to allow the best clubs on the field to filter through.

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On 01/08/2020 at 12:23, Whitburn Vale said:

That's why I used the word "regularly".....

Well aware they have to travel on ERJFA cup business but after speaking to the Harthill committee man yesterday he made it clear to me that "travelling" is their no.1 issue with joining the EOS.

So if Eyemouth is a problem right now to him,then Angus certainly would be....

How anyone can back Angus sides in particular playing in the LL area is beyond me and I'm not the only one on here that thinks that way !!

I travel regularly to HL games sometimes as a neutral and sometimes to see Deveronvale,Angus to many people down here is undoubtedly in the north.

What Brechin did in trying to coerce the SPFL into barring LL sides from the Challenge cup and League cup just to try and force the LL's hands into shifting the boundary north to the Angus/Aberdeenshire border was a disgrace and should never be forgotten......

Some of the people running ERSJFA sides would be happier in the amateurs by the sounds of it.

Edited by cmontheloknow

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11 hours ago, Dev said:

....In the event that the NCL, North and Tayside Juniors joined up and Tier 6 was run on an the basis of these three  geographically determined areas travel wouldn't be an issue either....

It would be easy enough to do, but this is not what is currently happening. Only the NCL and the north region are negotiating with the HL in the relevant working group and the future status of Tayside never even rates a mention when this gets discussed in HL circles online or gets reported by media outlets from north of Stonehaven. It only ever gets brought up by people on P&B as far as I can see.

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59 minutes ago, LongTimeLurker said:

It would be easy enough to do, but this is not what is currently happening. Only the NCL and the north region are negotiating with the HL in the relevant working group and the future status of Tayside never even rates a mention when this gets discussed in HL circles online or gets reported by media outlets from north of Stonehaven. It only ever gets brought up by people on P&B as far as I can see.

What working group would that be? The Highland League Pyramid Working Group basically ended in November 2018 when they said they weren't interested.

Everything since then has just been the leagues talking to each other. NCL with the Highland League more than anyone which is why that looks possible for 2020-21.

When the one writer wrote the same story in different papers with quotes from Rod Houston about NCL & North Juniors looking good for the pyramid. The North Region secretary was quick to react with a 'hold your horses' response.

https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/sport/football/2142565/talk-of-north-junior-football-clubs-being-ready-for-highland-league-promotion-plan-premature/

14/04/2020 by Jamie Durent

Quote

Talk of north junior football clubs being ready for Highland League promotion plan ‘premature’

Any talk of the north juniors being ready to form a “tier six” below the Highland League is premature.

Highland League secretary Rod Houston had said on Thursday that proposals were in place from the start of next season, which would introduce relegation to its league and promotion from the North Caledonian League and North Region Superleague.

However Richard Easton, secretary of the North Region Junior FA, said only informal talks had taken place, before the current lockdown was imposed, and no concrete proposal is in the pipeline.

He said: “We have had very early discussions but there’s nothing in place for us at the moment. We just wanted to see what the plan was if any of our clubs wanted to progress through the pyramid.

“If some time in the future they want to take the step up, improve their facilities or maybe feel they’ve outgrown junior football, it gives them the platform to do so.

“But there’s not too many clubs in that situation just now if an agreement was to be put in place. That is a long way away.”

There may well be an appetite there at some clubs within the north junior structure, longer term, to look at progression up the leagues.

Easton added: “I think for some clubs there is, given the circumstance are right. That would be down to the individual clubs. You’ve got some clubs that are more ambitious and some clubs that are quite happy playing junior football. It’s on a case-by-case basis.

“The criteria is strict and there would be very few clubs that would meet that currently.”

 

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^^^FWF recently used a 2010 version of the Highland League constitution to try to claim that you don't need to be licensed to join the HL. In a similar way outdated information is being recycled here because it fits a preferred narrative. This recent flurry of posts on this topic was initiated by info from an NCL officeholder linked to Tain St Duthus that was posted on Fitba North. According to him the NCL have agreed to the HL's terms to be a tier 6 feeder, and they are now waiting for the response from the north juniors to determine whether this goes ahead in 2020-21.

http://www.fitbanorth.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=8529#p733592

Quote

Not news per se, as it's been publicly acknowledged that the NCFA are in support of a sixth tier in the North - but this week the NCFA formally intimated their agreement with the terms offered for the pyramid agreement between the SHFL and the NCFA, which would see the NCFA become Tier 6 for 2020-21, all being well.

This was followed up on here by this:

Quote

There is still discussion to be had about what a Tier 6 structure would look like, with all three associations, the Highland League, the North Caledonian League and the North Region Superleague, required to agree on the terms. Whether that will happen before the start of the delayed 2020-21 season remains to be seen.

At the time of writing, the North Caledonian FA management committee have expressed their agreement with the proposal made by the office bearers of the Highland League, but the view of the North Region Junior management committee is still to be heard. We can but wait and see what the future holds

 

Edited by LongTimeLurker

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6 minutes ago, LongTimeLurker said:

^^^FWF recently used a 2010 version of the Highland League constitution to try to claim that you don't need to be licensed to join the HL. In a similar way outdated information is being recycled here because it fits a preferred narrative. This recent flurry of posts on this topic was initiated by info from an NCL officeholder linked to Tain St Duthus that was posted on Fitba North. According to him the NCL have agreed to the HL's terms to be a tier 6 feeder, and they are now waiting for the response from the north juniors to determine whether this goes ahead in 2020-21.

http://www.fitbanorth.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=8529#p733592

This was followed up on here by this:

The quotes are the wrong way round time wise:

Book quote was written sometime before 22/07/2020:

Quote

There is still discussion to be had about what a Tier 6 structure would look like, with all three associations, the Highland League, the North Caledonian League and the North Region Superleague, required to agree on the terms. Whether that will happen before the start of the delayed 2020-21 season remains to be seen.

At the time of writing, the North Caledonian FA management committee have expressed their agreement with the proposal made by the office bearers of the Highland League, but the view of the North Region Junior management committee is still to be heard. We can but wait and see what the future holds

The update was from 28/07/2020 and doesn't mention the Juniors.

image.thumb.png.877084dfbb0e0665105865fe31c8aee0.png

My "preferred narrative" here is that the NCL is in the pyramid for 2020-21 dependent on COVID factors / HFL sign off, and isn't reliant on the North Juniors.

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In the same way the SOS and EOS didn’t wait for the Juniors, I hardly see why The Caley league has to.

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14 hours ago, MacGafraidh said:

In the same way the SOS and EOS didn’t wait for the Juniors, I hardly see why The Caley league has to.

It's the HL that gets to decide who to make an agreement with as they are already recognised as the tier 5 league. If the north region have to sign off as well before the NCL can get in, it will be because it suits the HL for things to unfold that way.

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On 04/08/2020 at 13:13, LongTimeLurker said:

It's the HL that gets to decide who to make an agreement with as they are already recognised as the tier 5 league. If the north region have to sign off as well before the NCL can get in, it will be because it suits the HL for things to unfold that way.

"Suits" the HL is the wrong word.....

It makes "sense" if the north juniors join up along with the NCL.

Relegation is the key here and where you get relegated too.

Right now teams to the east of Elgin play in the Aberdeenshire cup,while teams to the west of Elgin,Lossie and Rothes included play in the North of Scotland cup,the same will apply to relegation in any future set up below the HL,it will undoubtedly be regional due to the size of area involved.

If from the east side of Moray,Aberdeenshire or Aberdeen you'll get relegated effectively into what was the old north super league.

If from the west side of Moray or Highland you'll get relegated into what was the NCL.

 

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1 hour ago, Whitburn Vale said:

"Suits" the HL is the wrong word.....

It makes "sense" if the north juniors join up along with the NCL.

Relegation is the key here and where you get relegated too.

Right now teams to the east of Elgin play in the Aberdeenshire cup,while teams to the west of Elgin,Lossie and Rothes included play in the North of Scotland cup,the same will apply to relegation in any future set up below the HL,it will undoubtedly be regional due to the size of area involved.

If from the east side of Moray,Aberdeenshire or Aberdeen you'll get relegated effectively into what was the old north super league.

If from the west side of Moray or Highland you'll get relegated into what was the NCL.

 

The Moray split is because Banffshire teams were historically Aberdeenshire FA members and the (old) Moray teams were North of Scotland FA.

Banffshire then got merged into Moray and the Shire with new boundaries in the 70s. Essentially, if a Moray town has an AB postcode, it's old Banffshire and if it's IV then it's old Moray.

 

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4 minutes ago, Cyclizine said:

The Moray split is because Banffshire teams were historically Aberdeenshire FA members and the (old) Moray teams were North of Scotland FA.

Banffshire then got merged into Moray and the Shire with new boundaries in the 70s. Essentially, if a Moray town has an AB postcode, it's old Banffshire and if it's IV then it's old Moray.

 

Spot on CZ,cheers for that 👍

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Pyramid prospects currently ...   someone said HFL helped to establish the `pyramid` ... I would have said `gerrymander` the pyramid ... and what we need is a real pyramid woth HFL (North) in its proper place (maybe one-fifth of promotion rights on population).  If we are to have one ... then there should be a split between the north West ( of Aberdeenshire) and the North-east (including Tayside).

https://scottishpyramidnews.yolasite.com/pyramid.php

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3 hours ago, mick90 said:

Pyramid prospects currently ...   someone said HFL helped to establish the `pyramid` ... I would have said `gerrymander` the pyramid ... and what we need is a real pyramid woth HFL (North) in its proper place (maybe one-fifth of promotion rights on population).  If we are to have one ... then there should be a split between the north West ( of Aberdeenshire) and the North-east (including Tayside).

https://scottishpyramidnews.yolasite.com/pyramid.php

Where would you place Albufeira in the big east/west Algarve debate? It would great if you could give us some comments about football that you might actually have some local knowledge about.

 

 

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3 hours ago, mick90 said:

and what we need is a real pyramid woth HFL (North) in its proper place (maybe one-fifth of promotion rights on population). 

Population argument is a crock since so many of the major population centres compete in the National leagues.

  • Highland without East Region Premiership = 63
  • Lowland with East Region Premiership = 177

 

  • Highland with East Region Premiership = 80
  • Lowland without East Region Premiership = 160

Despite the population advantage the Lowland area doesn't have 4x the number of semi-professional clubs. The number & spread of clubs operating at this level is more of an indicator for a 3 region split.

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