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The Nick of this Division

Is this the worst second tier in the history of Scottish football?  

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29 minutes ago, RandomGuy. said:

How would you know?

Hello RG , paying us a visit or having a look around scoping out the place for next season?

 

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Just now, Snafu said:

Hello RG , paying us a visit or having a look around scoping out the place for next season?

 

Like to pop in every so often.

FWIW our last title winning team had Jody Morris, Paul Sheerin, peak Hardie, Jason Scotland, and then Peter MacDonald and Steven Milne at the top of their game, they'd stroll this league.

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Was actually chatting to a mate about this today. I did briefly consider the Scottish Cup results may have been significantly down to Juniors slightly less resembling pub league teams but eventually concluded that Scottish League football is fucking shite. 

Probably doesn't help that in my youth the old First Division had some terrific teams and players that would easily make the Top Six of the top division nowadays. The season around 95/96 (i think) where Dunfermline won a thrilling league campaign, and the Dabs beat Partick in the play-off had a really strong league. Morton who only just missed out on the last day iirc seemed to have a constant stream of talented young players and seemed to be involved in a goalfest almost every week. The Dabs had held onto Billy McKinlay, even Dundee had a decent side which made a cup final and was actually decent to watch. Dunfermline were magnificent that season. I think the two Dens games alone were 4-4 and 2-4. Great days. 

Now it's just turgid overpriced shite.

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On 09/03/2019 at 20:43, Tarmo Kink said:

Ross County can add ‘skooshing’ the worst Championship of all time alongside their other paltry achievements, such as winning the Plastic Diddy Insurance Cup and the seaside leagues. We’ve been around less than a quarter of their existence and have won the Scottish Cup, played in Europe and finished 3rd in the country. Despite operating on a lower budget, we’ve finished above them 20 times out of 25.

 

Absolute minter for the Dingwall Oil Merchants. The inferior neighbours.

 

Last year ^^^

 

On 04/03/2017 at 23:57, die hard doonhamer said:

 

The title of the thread sounds a little dramatic, but I am really starting to think that this is one of the worst quality seasons in the second tier ever.

 

Queens: Went on a run of 13 games without a win, including 7 consecutive defeats.

Raith: Are on a run of 15 games without a win, which included 6 consecutive defeats.

Ayr: Had a run of 16 games without a win, with 4 consecutive defeats.

St Mirren: Opened up with a run of 15 games without a win, including 6 consecutive defeats.

 

Add to this Dunfermline and Dumbarton, though neither have had such long runs between victories, they still find themselves in amongst the other 4.

 

Has there ever been another year where so many teams have been so poor?

 

Discuss.

^^^ 2 years ago

Same as it ever was.

NB I agree with @ScottishZizou that the part time and non league teams have probably got relatively better. Teams like my own and the other FT teams  in this league are definitely weaker than we should be. I can remember SFO before P&B when Thistle won the league in 2001-02 with 60-odd points and it being declared the worst First Division ever... yet Thistle fans online would now apparently kill for players from that team in today's squad 🤷‍♂️

Nostalgia is a wonderful thing.

Edited by Fuctifano

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3 minutes ago, RandomGuy. said:

Like to pop in every so often.

FWIW our last title winning team had Jody Morris, Paul Sheerin, peak Hardie, Jason Scotland, and then Peter MacDonald and Steven Milne at the top of their game, they'd stroll this league.

The core of that team was good enough for consecutive top 6 finishes, but I just think we are far too hard on our clubs. No one would have figured Livingston to do as well as they have done up to now having had successive promotions from League 1- Championship - Premiership and thrived in the top flight.

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Been surprised at how small the gap is between the full timers and Arbroath. 

Last time we were in this division you could see a massive gap between us and some of the teams, apart from Ayr no one has really played us off the park or hammered us so far.

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5 hours ago, Andrew Wells said:

Morton SHOULD see them off, but I honestly don't see us getting past Brora away from home. And Queen of the South going out to Queen's Park hardly makes things look great either. Neither does Stranraer putting Dunfermline out. Hell, Partick's result doesn't even inspire confidence.

For what it's worth, I don't actually buy it, but please stop with the "this is because Morton had a bad day" bullshit. It's not.

Morton’s bad day?

Try bad 30 odd years (and counting).

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1 hour ago, craigkillie said:

To be fair, the top flight St Mirren side, who his own club embarrassingly failed to score a single penalty against last season, thus condeming them to a FOURTH consecutive season in the second tier, were not a particularly good team. Still better than United across the two legs, of course.

To be pedantic, we actually did score a penalty against St. Mirren in the playoff final second leg, to very briefly go 1-0 up.

We just didn't bother about scoring in the shootout later...

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2 hours ago, Distant Doonhamer said:

in all honesty there is a lot of truth in this. The standard is dire.

100%.

I don't think it is unique to the Championship though, I feel that the standard of the game, as a whole, has gradually declined.

I would also agree regarding the pricing.  +/-£20 to watch this level is too expensive.

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^^^ 2 years ago

Same as it ever was.

NB I agree with [mention=62309]ScottishZizou[/mention] that the part time and non league teams have probably got relatively better. Teams like my own and the other FT teams  in this league are definitely weaker than we should be. I can remember SFO before P&B when Thistle won the league in 2001-02 with 60-odd points and it being declared the worst First Division ever... yet Thistle fans online would now apparently kill for players from that team in today's squad 🤷‍♂️

Nostalgia is a wonderful thing.

 

What is it about cricket fans being smart as f**k?

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I don’t think it’s anything new to say that this division is pretty shite ability wise but brilliant entertainment and entirely unpredictable. There’s a part of me that loves that tbh, although the endless hoof ball that most teams employ does get boring quickly.

 

I think it helps that we’ve been generally easy on the eye for parts of the last season and a bit in this league (although we have been shite at times) so maybe if we were toiling down the bottom and putting in shite performances week in week out I’d be complaining more.

 

I don’t think it’s an issue that you’ll only find in our league though. It’s an issue that encompasses all of Scottish football. A few Championship sides were beaten yesterday but I wouldn’t say that the Seaside Leagues have got an abundance of quality in them.

 

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5 hours ago, Fuctifano said:

Nostalgia is a wonderful thing.

This.

I don't think anyone in this thread (me included) has gone and watched a full 90 minute replay from the "glory period" of the First Division.

Part of the reason the second tier may be declining, is of course down to the increased professionalism of part-time sides, the increasing ability of non-league sides and finally the anomaly of having Rangers, Hibs, Hearts in the division.

I could point to many seasons for instance 2010-11, 11-12 etc. where the First Division was just a turgid as it is now. However, I would point out that the Scottish Championship is probably in the top 10 second tiers in Europe.

In terms of crowds, only Germany, England, France,  Spain, Italy have consistently higher attendances. Russia and the Netherlands have similar crowds.



 

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Looking at the league there has been a lot of managerial changes throughout almost every team in the league. Are Dick Cambell and wee Robbo the only managers who have been in situ beyond the last season and a half?

Arbroath are performing above expectations.

ICT are probably around where expected being in the play-offs.

Ayr had a team built up by McCall and still have the same squad and are doing well overall.

United have appointed a steady if unspectacular manager in Neilson. They have pulled a rabbit out the hat in bringing in Shankland. I've not been impressed overall by them in the games I've seen but they've been able to be the most consistent team despite a few bloody noses along the road so far.

Recruitment has been questionable elsewhere.

Dundee seem to have a very inexperienced manager in charge and their recruitment has been ropey. They don't look like going up.

Thistle have been in a funk since finishing top 6 with boardroom uncertainty. Even now people are worried about who is influencing decisions at the club in the time being.

The previous board did well to get McCall on board. We're still bottom but have closed the gap since Caldwell got punted. With regards to the cup game I had the fear on seeing our line-up. 

Pars, Morton and QoS seem to have struggled with poorly performing managers, drop in budgets and this has led to inconsistent performances and results.

Alloa have had a new manager and a change of personnel. They don't seem to have the loan players that augmented their team last season.

The standard of the second tier rises and dips and I'd say we're certainly close to a nadir at the moment but that can change relatively quickly.

There's probably less money kicking about overall apart from United, Dundee and too a degree Thistle. The part-time teams are probably doing okay as there is a steep rise in income from the seaside leagues.

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The standard is pretty poor.  At our level, the money just isn't there to attract decent players.  We currently have a few excellent players (Lewis Strapp & Reece Lyon two who have come through the youth system) but we certainly don't have a terribly good squad overall, and our goalkeepers are outstanding in their general shiteness (Rogers may be competent but he's no Derek Gaston; Ramsbottom is comedy gold).  I imagine the situation is the same at the majority of tier 2 clubs.  It's just not good to watch.  No wonder fans are staying away.

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Its dogshit compared to the first time we came down 95/96

United , Dunfermline, Morton, St Johnstone and Dundee all had decent sides.

Teams all had international players, or soon to be international players. 4 teams had 5 figure crowds that season too.

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1 hour ago, invergowrie arab said:

Its dogshit compared to the first time we came down 95/96

United , Dunfermline, Morton, St Johnstone and Dundee all had decent sides.

Teams all had international players, or soon to be international players. 4 teams had 5 figure crowds that season too.

Teams were also running at £2m a season losses. That's before my time so I can't really vouch for how good the league was then, but the OP was suggesting that this season was the worst ever, which is quite frankly bull.

Also worth noting there was only 10 teams in the Premier Division back then, so of course the quality of the second tier would be better.

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10 hours ago, ArabAuslander said:

I could point to many seasons for instance 2010-11, 11-12 etc. where the First Division was just a turgid as it is now. 

I'd be interested to see you substantiate that claim, given that your club wasn't actually playing in the division and there was no detailed coverage of the matches either. Morton ended those campaigns with stinking 7th and 8th place finishes under Allan Moore, yet those squads were simply far more talented and effective as a football team on any given week than the dung that somehow finished in the top half of the second tier in May 2019. There are have been plenty of First Division campaigns that were forgettable but none have been as diabolical in terms of the quality and standard of play as the garbage being served up right now. That isn't nostalgia for some mythical good old days but rather observation of an objective decline in quality across the board and particularly among midtable teams.

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2 hours ago, ArabAuslander said:

Teams were also running at £2m a season losses. That's before my time so I can't really vouch for how good the league was then, but the OP was suggesting that this season was the worst ever, which is quite frankly bull.

Teams really were not 'running at £2m a season losses' as a general rule in the second tier, not in the 1990s and not ever. But there's also no sign that financial profligacy has disappeared in recent times either: Inverness ran up an £800k loss in the last campaign; Dundee United recorded a seven figure loss for yet another floundering failure; Dunfermline IIRC lost £200k and Raith lost £400k trying and failing to get into the division. 

Clubs are simply getting far less quality for their money than before. 

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