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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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7 minutes ago, Pull My Strings said:

I suppose it illustrates how shite the division was in 2014.

Yep, the fact we had Bomber for half the season illustrates that this year isn't the worst from a Dundee perspective. Hartley, before leading us to the title, suggested that Falkirk had the best squad in the division that year in his brief stint unemployed would you say their list of players were significantly worse/better than United's this season?

https://www.worldfootball.net/teams/falkirk-fc/2014/2/

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Here's our two title winning teams in this division, first 2004

Mark Brown------------

Ross Tokely--Bobby Mann--Stuart McCaffrey--Stuart Golabek

---Richie Hart/Liam Keogh--Russell Duncan--Roy Mcbain----

----Barry Wilson---Paul Ritchie/Steve Hislop---David Bingham--

 

And 2010

Ryan Esson

David Proctor--Ross Tokely--Grant Munro--Stuart Golabek--

---------Russell Duncan---Lee Cox------------------------------

---Jonny Hayes----Dani Sanchez/Eric Odhiambho--Richie Foran--

-------------------Adam Rooney------------------------------------

 

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1 hour ago, Gordon EF said:

Comparing the 2nd tier to the 1990s / early 2000s, I suppose an obvious factor is the Premiership increasing from 10 to 12.

Is the lower end of full time football experiencing a bit of a squeeze from two sides. I think part time football has improved a lot over the past 15/20 years. It's fairly noticable when you see extended highlights of games and compare them to games now. In the lower leagues, players have got much fitter and the pace of the game's increased a fair bit. That's almost certainly why more Championship clubs are losing cup games and th ebest PT clubs are finding it easier to stay in the Championship once they get there.

Has the number of foreign players in the Premiership decresed from then? I seem to remember clubs like Aberdeen, Dundee, Motherwell being filled with new batches of foreign players every year in the late 90s. If Premiership clubs are cutting back on that then it probably makes it more likely that Scottish players who might have been pushed down to the second tier in previous seasons are sticking in the top league.

I think there's probably a fair bit of merit in your foreign / English players point. Both Celtic and Rangers have a lot more domestic players now, middle order sides have less foreigners and there are therefore probably a lower standard of Scot floating down a level.

I'm not convinced your "Part time teams are finding it easier to stay in the Championship" point has an awful lot of merit though. Are they finding it easier? Arbroath have had a great start but they are 7 points off the playoff spot (granted that's another part time team) and 9 points off the bottom. If Thistle get their act together with a new Board and presumably new funds after Xmas then Arbroath still have much to do to ensure safety. Alloa stayed up last season but did so by a point as we imploded and the worst Falkirk car crash in living memory came up a point short.  17/18 the two part time teams were relegated. 16/17 part time Ayr went down and Dumbarton stayed up on goal difference from the Gary Locke / John Hughes Raith debacle (who knows what might have happened if they'd played an actual goalkeeper in goal every game!). 15/16 Alloa went down, Dumbarton stayed up thanks to Livi being a car crash. They finished 8th but did so by 6 pts granted. They also stayed up the year before but there were three part time sides that season + Livi had a points deduction.

2013/14 did see Dumbarton finish 5th which was a terrific achievement. There were 3 part time teams that season plus Morton were in complete car crash mode and finished bottom but it was still a terrific effort. Indeed they only missed the playoffs 2 weeks from the end of the season when we edged them out. In 12/13 Dumbarton and Cowdenbeath both stayed up but Airdrie had all but gone bust and Dunfermline had a 15 pt deduction. 11/12 the only part time team Ayr were relegated. 10/11 the part time sides Cowdenbeath and Stirling Albion were relegated. Etc, etc.

Dumbarton managed to stay up for 4 years, bucking a trend but helped by full time sides going bust and having other part time sides in the division. Alloa have twice managed to stay up but only did so by a hair's breadth on the last day both times. Arbroath are doing well so far but we're not even at the halfway point yet. I don't think there's any real evidence that part time sides are truly competitive at this level over a season, but there probably is a narrowing of the gap.

Edited by Skyline Drifter

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13 minutes ago, Skyline Drifter said:

I don't think we really were comparing it to the 90's though, more than last decade or two and the Premiership numbers haven't changed in that time.

Agree with much of what you type, but the OP asked if this year's second tier was the worst since the 70's, and titled his post "Is this the worst second tier in the history of Scottish football? "

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9 minutes ago, Dundee Hibernian said:

Agree with much of what you type, but the OP asked if this year's second tier was the worst since the 70's, and titled his post "Is this the worst second tier in the history of Scottish football? "

Fair enough. My error. His later posts were much more up to date in analysis.  Will edit my previous post

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How many players in the championship in the 90's and 00's would have agents? I doubt that many would. I think this is reducing the money the clubs have to spend on wages and the same players are just moving from club to club to club.

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On 25/11/2019 at 17:43, Skyline Drifter said:

If we go back to the days before the Rangers / Hearts / Hibs seasons, champions were better. The St Johnstone, Hamilton, Dundee, Inverness, Falkirk, Dunfermline, Partick Thistle sides that won promotion were better than any of the recent sides to do so since Hibs.

Disagree, the League was an absolutely dreadful standard when we won the league, there's a strong argument that it would be the worst quality ever. 

 

However go up a few posts and that Dundee side was shite, etc, etc. The Partick side had a good few players but it had some amount of dross, as for the rest of the division? Oaft. 

 

The division this year is stronger than last year. 

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6 hours ago, Skyline Drifter said:

I think there's probably a fair bit of merit in your foreign / English players point. Both Celtic and Rangers have a lot more domestic players now, middle order sides have less foreigners and there are therefore probably a lower standard of Scot floating down a level.

I'm not convinced your "Part time teams are finding it easier to stay in the Championship" point has an awful lot of merit though. Are they finding it easier? Arbroath have had a great start but they are 7 points off the playoff spot (granted that's another part time team) and 9 points off the bottom. If Thistle get their act together with a new Board and presumably new funds after Xmas then Arbroath still have much to do to ensure safety. Alloa stayed up last season but did so by a point as we imploded and the worst Falkirk car crash in living memory came up a point short.  17/18 the two part time teams were relegated. 16/17 part time Ayr went down and Dumbarton stayed up on goal difference from the Gary Locke / John Hughes Raith debacle (who knows what might have happened if they'd played an actual goalkeeper in goal every game!). 15/16 Alloa went down, Dumbarton stayed up thanks to Livi being a car crash. They finished 8th but did so by 6 pts granted. They also stayed up the year before but there were three part time sides that season + Livi had a points deduction.

2013/14 did see Dumbarton finish 5th which was a terrific achievement. There were 3 part time teams that season plus Morton were in complete car crash mode and finished bottom but it was still a terrific effort. Indeed they only missed the playoffs 2 weeks from the end of the season when we edged them out. In 12/13 Dumbarton and Cowdenbeath both stayed up but Airdrie had all but gone bust and Dunfermline had a 15 pt deduction. 11/12 the only part time team Ayr were relegated. 10/11 the part time sides Cowdenbeath and Stirling Albion were relegated. Etc, etc.

Dumbarton managed to stay up for 4 years, bucking a trend but helped by full time sides going bust and having other part time sides in the division. Alloa have twice managed to stay up but only did so by a hair's breadth on the last day both times. Arbroath are doing well so far but we're not even at the halfway point yet. I don't think there's any real evidence that part time sides are truly competitive at this level over a season, but there probably is a narrowing of the gap.

Fair enough. That was more based on perception than any detailed analysis. I think the PT teams at the top end of L1 are generally a bit more confident of going up and having a chance of staying up than they were a few years ago. Although I think Dumbarton managing to stay in the league by hook or by crook for a few years is largely responsible for that.

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6 hours ago, ICTChris said:

Here's our two title winning teams in this division, first 2004

Mark Brown------------

Ross Tokely--Bobby Mann--Stuart McCaffrey--Stuart Golabek

---Richie Hart/Liam Keogh--Russell Duncan--Roy Mcbain----

----Barry Wilson---Paul Ritchie/Steve Hislop---David Bingham--

 

And 2010

Ryan Esson

David Proctor--Ross Tokely--Grant Munro--Stuart Golabek--

---------Russell Duncan---Lee Cox------------------------------

---Jonny Hayes----Dani Sanchez/Eric Odhiambho--Richie Foran--

-------------------Adam Rooney------------------------------------

 

I reckon both those teams would win the division this season.

 

 

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Ally Maxwell

Jamie McQuilken
Brian Welsh
Rab Shannon
Christian Dailly
Steven Pressley
Andy McLaren
Dave Bowman
Gary McSwegan
Robbie Winters
Craig Brewster

Subs -
Ray McKinnon
Grant Johnson
Owen Coyle

That’s the team vs Partick in the 95/96 playoff final. The first season I started going to games. There are 9 or 10 names from that squad who were outstanding. Not necessarily saying in comparison to the current crop but it is a ridiculously strong side.

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On 24/11/2019 at 19:13, Dele said:

It's an absolute toilet clogged up with shit. It has been for years. 

You'll just be passing through?

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9 minutes ago, stumigoo said:

Ally Maxwell

Jamie McQuilken
Brian Welsh
Rab Shannon
Christian Dailly
Steven Pressley
Andy McLaren
Dave Bowman
Gary McSwegan
Robbie Winters
Craig Brewster

Subs -
Ray McKinnon
Grant Johnson
Owen Coyle

That’s the team vs Partick in the 95/96 playoff final. The first season I started going to games. There are 9 or 10 names from that squad who were outstanding. Not necessarily saying in comparison to the current crop but it is a ridiculously strong side.

Yet you still needed the referee's help to win.

Edited by Cerberus

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something that's sort of linked I guess, and I'd quite like to see (albeit it would I'd hazard a guess be an unworkable nightmare along with making budgeting extremely difficult) is some sort of system where you pay based on the result your team has managed to pick up at the end of the game, say £15 if the team lose, £20 if they draw and then £30 if they win. idk how on earth you could get that effect with season tickets realistically, though. Plus when you pay you're paying to watch the game, not the end result - but a quirk of it all is that the end result is arguably what you're paying to watch; the full time whistle going on a win is pretty much what it's all about imo.

You can sort of get that effect anyway through judicious placing of bets with a bookies, but then you're at the mercy of the odds that you can get + being old enough to gamble.

I wouldn't mind paying a premium to watch a Thistle side that's winning Scottish Championship level games, but having had a season ticket for last year + this season (today as an aside was a complete nope for going to Firhill to watch us against Alloa; didn't finish work til about 7pm, shite weather, shite teams, just straight up couldn't be fucked despite having already paid it in advance) the sheer drudgery of this league is wearing on me to the extent that I'm finding it harder and harder to justify getting a ST each year. Season tickets just feel a bit like they're not really fit for purpose in terms of value for money vs. the risk taken from fans to end up paying in advance for a team that are just flat out not enjoyable to watch - could remedy that through trying to add a few more neat, low cost extra's for everyone stumping up rather than fancy pricing structures. It could well be a very different story and I'd be saying something else if we were in a playoff spot, but I'm not so sure.

I like those weird Scandinavian structure's I've heard about that are on some kind of a Netflix model, but I don't really know an awful lot about them (sounding a bit like Darren Mackie there, ha) so would rather sound the horn of HibeeJibee about whether they'd be an option.

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11 hours ago, Ludo*1 said:

On paper, I reckon our current side would beat our 2014 Championship winning side:

Kyle Letheren

Gary Irvine - Iain Davidson - Declan Gallagher - Willie Dyer

Nicky Riley - Gavin Rae - Kevin McBride - Jim McAlister

 Peter MacDonald - Carlo Monti/Craig Beattie/Christian Nade

Vs

Jack Hamilton

Cammy Kerr - Jordon Forster - Jordan McGhee - Jordan Marshall

Declan McDaid - Paul McGowan/Finlay Robertson/Jamie Ness/Shaun Byrne - Graham Dorrans - Andrew Nelson

  Kane Hemmings - Danny Johnson

Not that that adds a whole lot to the debate.
 

See, I'm fairly certain our title winning side would beat our current side (both sides based on number of appearances)...

Clark

Ralston - Duffy - Kerr - Tanser

Wright - Davidson - McCann - O'Halloran

Kennedy

May

v

Holmes - Milne

Sheerin - Hardie - Morris - Millar

Craig - McCaffrey - Rutkiewicz - Irvine

Main

...

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On 25/11/2019 at 13:55, ArabAuslander said:

Teams were also running at £2m a season losses.

Yeah, nowadays you have to run a £3.7m loss to get out of the uber shite league.

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Ally Maxwell

Jamie McQuilken
Brian Welsh
Rab Shannon
Christian Dailly
Steven Pressley
Andy McLaren
Dave Bowman
Gary McSwegan
Robbie Winters
Craig Brewster

Subs -
Ray McKinnon
Grant Johnson
Owen Coyle

That’s the team vs Partick in the 95/96 playoff final. The first season I started going to games. There are 9 or 10 names from that squad who were outstanding. Not necessarily saying in comparison to the current crop but it is a ridiculously strong side.
And you came second that season. Get it RIGGGGHHHHHHTTTTT fucking up ye

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21 hours ago, Thistle_do_nicely said:

something that's sort of linked I guess, and I'd quite like to see (albeit it would I'd hazard a guess be an unworkable nightmare along with making budgeting extremely difficult) is some sort of system where you pay based on the result your team has managed to pick up at the end of the game, say £15 if the team lose, £20 if they draw and then £30 if they win.

This is wonderfully mental.

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The league is very poor. Dundee United who are spending fortunes would not survive in the Premiership with that team. I can’t imagine either that any team in the play offs would beat, Hamilton,Hearts St Mirren or St Johnstone to go up. It was not long ago that Rangers,Hearts and Hibs were in the division to now be replaced by Alloa,Ayr and Arbroath. It is what it is though and no team can go out expecting to win.

 

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I don't think this is an issue specific to the Championship. If you look at the teams in recent years who have won the Championship they stay up in the Premiership (admittedly this is skewed by Rangers, Hearts and Hibs being some of those teams). Equally, teams that come down struggle to bounce back up. If the Championship had suffered more of a decline than other leagues then you'd expect teams who get promoted to struggle with the step up, and teams who get relegated into the league to bounce back up.

I think what's happened is that across all levels (minus the old firm) the gap in ability has narrowed. The gap between 3rd in the Premiership and bottom of League Two (and beyond that to some Highland/Lowland league teams) is as small as it's ever been. In effect most teams have been dragged towards the 'centre', fans of Premiership and Championship clubs will see this as standards declining, whereas fans of League 1 and League 2 clubs probably see it as standards improving slightly.

Don't know exactly why this has happened but there have been a few good suggestions. I'd guess firstly that increasing professionalism at part-time clubs is closing the gap. Obviously professional clubs have got more professional too, but that brings diminishing returns once you reach a certain level of conditioning and fitness. You can't continue to keep your fitness advantage by continuing to get fitter indefinitely. If part-time players are willing to put the work in to get to an optimum fitness level then the benefit of being full-time (in that one aspect at least) is negated. At some lower league clubs there is more money which obviously narrows the gap slightly. And lastly I think shorter contracts and the ability of bigger clubs to immediately poach a player showing the slightest signs of talent has levelled the playing field in the lower leagues. It is almost impossible to build a team now as a bigger side will come and take any half decent players, this means clubs are constantly in a building phase and having to take risks on new players, a lot of which will be rubbish. While this is going on, teams like Arbroath, or Dumbarton a few years ago, are building a solid, organised side and can take advantage while traditionally bigger clubs get pushed down the league.

I don't think it's a bad thing that the playing field is levelling out a bit, but then as a fan of a club desperately trying to get up the league I would say that...

 

Edited by Diamonds are Forever

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