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Lowland League 2020/21 General Chat

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Ken Ferguson stepping aside shows some integrity, as his name for the past year has been dragged through the mud. It was only going to get worse. 

As for the SPFL looking at the validity of the HL/LL championships its not surprising. Reaction was mixed at best to the decision, with the best take being a make good on last season. 

The SPFL have a duty to their members to challenge the decision. No different than the LL/HL boards acted in their members interests. 

I still think the games will get played. 

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https://spfl.co.uk/news/ken-ferguson-steps-down-from-spfl-board

...The SPFL understands that the Lowland League and the Highland League have each declared ‘League Champions’ for Season 2020/21, with Kelty Hearts having played just 13 games; and Brora Rangers having played only three games this season.

At its meeting on 19 April, the SPFL Board will determine whether each of Kelty Hearts and Brora Rangers meet the SPFL’s Membership Criteria.  Only then will the SPFL be in a position to announce the position in respect of Pyramid Play-Offs this season...

This implies the SPFL has  no issue with the question of whether they are qualifying champions in first place and should be a procedural formality, so this looks like confirmation that the playoffs are happening and given that backdrop the resignation looks like it might be a case of toys being thrown around the room upon not getting his own way.

Our approach has always been to apply the Rules that have been agreed by all member clubs, as well as the Pyramid Play-Off Rules agreed between the SPFL, the Scottish FA, the Lowland League and the Highland League, and we will do so again this season.

Edited by LongTimeLurker

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3 minutes ago, Marshmallo said:

😂

"Ever".

Some guy who played a year of football for a works team in 1902 is currently turning in his grave because the SPFL might be dodging the pyramid play-off again.

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Out of interest does anyone know what the 'SPFL Membership Criteria' is that they are referring to? Is there anything that could stop Kelty/Brora being eligible for the play-off against Team 42 on the basis of them having played less than half a season each? 

 

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36 minutes ago, AlansHotBath said:

Out of interest does anyone know what the 'SPFL Membership Criteria' is that they are referring to? Is there anything that could stop Kelty/Brora being eligible for the play-off against Team 42 on the basis of them having played less than half a season each? 

https://spfl.co.uk/admin/filemanager/images/shares/pdfs/Membership Criteria Letter 2021-22 issued 1 December 2020.pdf

So long as they meet the various requirements like Entry licence (+Bronze floodlights) etc, then I'm not sure how they won't be eligible, unless the SPFL wanted to be arseholes and use some discretionary powers they no doubt have to say no.

Though given the deadline for meeting the membership criteria etc is 31st March, the SPFL surely knows by now whether or not these two clubs are eligible to take part in the play-off. Unless of course one or both have applied for a waiver and they are waiting until the board meeting on 19th April to get it?

Clubs have the right to appeal to the SFA judicial panel though, so it would be interesting if it got to that stage.

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Ken is stepping down before the SPFL formally announce the play offs are not going ahead, is my take on this statement.

If there were no issues and they were going to go ahead, why would they have released this?

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f**k it, cancel promotions from the championship, league 1 and league 2 aswell then. 

 

 

Absolute shambles. 

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1 hour ago, AlansHotBath said:

Out of interest does anyone know what the 'SPFL Membership Criteria' is that they are referring to? Is there anything that could stop Kelty/Brora being eligible for the play-off against Team 42 on the basis of them having played less than half a season each? 

 

It was good enough for them both to play in the BetFred this season.

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51 minutes ago, Samsonite said:

Ken is stepping down before the SPFL formally announce the play offs are not going ahead, is my take on this statement.

If there were no issues and they were going to go ahead, why would they have released this?

Precisely this. An absolute farce from top to bottom, from an organisation that isn't fit for purpose.

I watch the PLZ show relatively often, and while I find myself at odds with their positions on certain SPFL issues (i.e. OF colts), I was glad to see them all pretty furious with this statement too. You'd think if enough influential people were against it, the SPFL would be forced to back down from this shitty position, but I sincerely doubt that will happen.

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The only other thing I can think of other than an outright refusal to engage in the playoff is league expansion, which would render the playoff irrelevant. 

It won't be that though, it'll be an excuse to keep cash with the current League Two clubs.

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7 minutes ago, parsforlife said:

It’s a very odd statement, something is happening in the background and it doesn’t feel good.

It's not exactly in the background if they come out and tell you exactly what they're doing.

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21 minutes ago, parsforlife said:

It’s a very odd statement, something is happening in the background and it doesn’t feel good.

Agreed, it sounds absolutely shite

Regardless of circumstance, the HL & LL have provided champions

Get these fucking games played 

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Something worth pondering before people fly off the handle about this statement and assume the worst:

https://spfl.co.uk/news/ken-ferguson-steps-down-from-spfl-board

He said: “In view of the fact that Brechin City are currently 42nd in the League, it is appropriate for me to step aside at this time – and to devote all my time and energy into ensuring that Brechin City do not finish bottom of League 2 this season.”

Why would ensuring Brechin won't be bottom of League 2 this season be worth doing that for if the playoff games aren't happening this year?

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Interesting the statement not just recognising Brora and Kelty are declared champions, but directly referenced the number of games each played to be so........Why call out the number of games played unless that is going to be rational for the spfl saying they don't view one or both as legitimate champions to take part in the playoff. What if the spfl say they only view Kelty as a legitimate champion to take part in the playoff given Brora had only played 3 games. Would be interesting to see how the LL and Kelty then react in that scenario, for example would they refuse to take part in a play off in solidarity to the HL and Brora if Brora weren't viewed as champions by the spfl? Also if the spfl was to take a stance of one or both not being legitimate champions surely that would also mean the SFA wouldn't be able to view them as legitimate champions to take part in the Scottish Cup next year.  You couldn't have the spfl not view them as champions but the SFA view them as champions.

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2 hours ago, LongTimeLurker said:

Something worth pondering before people fly off the handle about this statement and assume the worst:

https://spfl.co.uk/news/ken-ferguson-steps-down-from-spfl-board

He said: “In view of the fact that Brechin City are currently 42nd in the League, it is appropriate for me to step aside at this time – and to devote all my time and energy into ensuring that Brechin City do not finish bottom of League 2 this season.”

Why would ensuring Brechin won't be bottom of League 2 this season be worth doing that for if the playoff games aren't happening this year?

You can't be that naive surely?

So he is stepping down apparently due to his club fighting relegation and therefore it's the right thing to do - they were in same boat last year and he didn't go.  Last year he knew there was a (borderline) legitimate reason not to have the playoff due to all playoffs being scrapped.  This season there is no such excuse therefore he can't be seen to be L1/2 rep on the SPFL board if they intend to end the pyramid playoff and his team happen to be Club 42 at the time.  So he goes now!  (it's almost comical!).

Questions I have include:

1)What are the supposed 'several issues' that the SPFL have relating to the play-offs?

2) Why do they have any reason to believe either club does not meet the criteria - this must have been known long ago bearing in mind they both finished top last season, and had an end of March deadline re this years criteria.

3)  Why are they highlighting in their statement how many games each feeder league had played prior to the Leagues being called?  Remember that the Lowland League recently sounded out the SPFL about their scenario and were advised (by the SPFL!)  to call the league on a PPG basis, and appoint a champion.  (how the leagues got their champion really shouldn't be the SPFL's concern anyway).

4) Why can't dates be announced for the play off?  A complete fallacy to suggest otherwise.  We know the leagues are being based on a 22 game season.  Outwith for the cup, there have been no postponements since the leagues returned, and it's highly unlikely the clubs wont achieve the 18 games prior to the Apr 20th deadline.  There is therefore no reason why, at the very least, provisional dates couldn't be allocated for the two-legged pyramid play off final.  So ask yourself this - why are they so reluctant to do so?  Could it be that they have no intention, none whatsoever, in engaging in play-off final chat?

All of this, specifically the peculiar wording in at least 3 of the paragraphs in their official statement, stinks to absolute high heaven!

Edited by Bundesliga Boy

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Playoffs have to go ahead or Scottish Football will once again be a laughing stock.

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9 minutes ago, morley said:

Interesting the statement not just recognising Brora and Kelty are declared champions, but directly referenced the number of games each played to be so........Why call out the number of games played unless that is going to be rational for the spfl saying they don't view one or both as legitimate champions to take part in the playoff. What if the spfl say they only view Kelty as a legitimate champion to take part in the playoff given Brora had only played 3 games. Would be interesting to see how the LL and Kelty then react in that scenario, for example would they refuse to take part in a play off in solidarity to the HL and Brora if Brora weren't viewed as champions by the spfl? Also if the spfl was to take a stance of one or both not being legitimate champions surely that would also mean the SFA wouldn't be able to view them as legitimate champions to take part in the Scottish Cup next year.  You couldn't have the spfl not view them as champions but the SFA view them as champions.

Hopefully the fact that the SFA are seemingly sanctioning the pyramid play-off between the two clubs means they are ok with them being champions, and they back the two clubs should the SPFL cancel the L2 play-off final and it goes to the judicial panel.

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