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Time for a new National Conference League?

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7 hours ago, San Starko Rover said:

The LL are doing exactly the same to the WOS / SOS / EOS with one promotion spot.

A situation that has existed for...checks watch...less than one year.

Which was introduced in the middle of a pandemic with no one knowing how 2020-21 would play out, the WoS Premier having no licenced sides, uncertainty over how COVID restrictions would impact the ability of clubs to get licenced, and 3 of the 4 leagues already relegating surplus sides from the expansion caused by the curtailed 2019-20 season.

There's going to be a change to the LL Pyramid Play-off a lot sooner than there's any change to the SPFL2 Play-off. A change to the SPFL2 Play-off likely happening due to more Tier 5 clubs getting promoted more than anything.

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15 hours ago, San Starko Rover said:

Don’t see the point, the biggest argument the SPFL 2 teams have against opening up the bottom is that the LL in particular is too weak for teams dropping down. The LL are doing exactly the same to the WOS / SOS / EOS with one promotion spot. The irony is by doing this the LL are keeping the weak teams up and proving the SPFL 2s argument.

You don’t need a national conference, you need to open up the bottom of the LL to allow the strong tier 6 clubs to move up faster and the weak tier 5 clubs to come down. Once clubs like Pollok, Talbot, Linlithgow etc are making up the LL the argument is lost by the SPFL 2 teams. With the current 1 down from the LL this will take years, relegate 3 teams and get the best of the tier 6 up faster.

On the other side of the coin if the LL is that weak do you think SPFL clubs would rather it stayed as it was and not be over run by the teams you mentioned?

Gives relegated SPFL clubs an easier pathway back though if it's as weak as you say it's interesting how Shire and Berwick haven't been near a play off.

Teams will just have to be patient,it will all work itself out eventually. 

 

 

Edited by newcastle broon

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We already have 2 National Conference leagues. They are SPFL L1 and L2, predominately part time, community based, and reluctant to change (i.e. risk losing their status and the guaranteed £45k a season in SPFL cash). 

 

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On the other side of the coin if the LL is that weak do you think SPFL clubs would rather it stayed as it was and not be over run by the teams you mentioned?
Gives relegated SPFL clubs an easier pathway back though if it's as weak as you say it's interesting how Shire and Berwick haven't been near a play off.
Teams will just have to be patient,it will all work itself out eventually. 
 
 


It’s nothing to do with the strength of the playing squads, there’s a mixed bag in the LL of good teams and weak teams. What the SPFL are using is the strength of the clubs themselves. They’ll point (like many on here) at BSC, Caledonian Braves and others who have very small supports to say the league is weak.

With the bigger ex Juniors they’ll have supports comparable to the SPFL clubs and therefore nullify the argument. Bottom SPFL teams will moan if they’re relegated into a league of clubs they see as having no fan base, yes being relegated into a stronger league means less chance to bounce back but it’s a more attractive league to play in.

This is not meant as a personal dig at BSC, Caledonian Braves etc as I dislike football snobbery but that’s how many SPFL clubs will currently see the LL. There’s currently one down so it’ll take 4 years just to drop the bottom 4 clubs who are playing well above their level.

This isn’t their fault as it’s just how the pyramid came about with some teams joining early. Yes it’s only year one but I’ve seen many on here (understandably) saying why should the LL open up the bottom when the SPFL won’t.

The reason you should open up is to allow clubs to find their level quickly to then make your top league as strong as it can be. Relegate 3 teams and you’re x3 the movement. The longer it takes for the bigger clubs to move up the longer the SPFL will wrongly keep the trapdoor closed.

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A situation that has existed for...checks watch...less than one year.
Which was introduced in the middle of a pandemic with no one knowing how 2020-21 would play out, the WoS Premier having no licenced sides, uncertainty over how COVID restrictions would impact the ability of clubs to get licenced, and 3 of the 4 leagues already relegating surplus sides from the expansion caused by the curtailed 2019-20 season.
There's going to be a change to the LL Pyramid Play-off a lot sooner than there's any change to the SPFL2 Play-off. A change to the SPFL2 Play-off likely happening due to more Tier 5 clubs getting promoted more than anything.
The number of licensed clubs, under the LL, has continued to increase year after year but the number of promotion spots has stayed the same.

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9 minutes ago, Jack Burton said:
14 hours ago, FairWeatherFan said:
A situation that has existed for...checks watch...less than one year.
Which was introduced in the middle of a pandemic with no one knowing how 2020-21 would play out, the WoS Premier having no licenced sides, uncertainty over how COVID restrictions would impact the ability of clubs to get licenced, and 3 of the 4 leagues already relegating surplus sides from the expansion caused by the curtailed 2019-20 season.
There's going to be a change to the LL Pyramid Play-off a lot sooner than there's any change to the SPFL2 Play-off. A change to the SPFL2 Play-off likely happening due to more Tier 5 clubs getting promoted more than anything.

The number of licensed clubs, under the LL, has continued to increase year after year but the number of promotion spots has stayed the same.

All of which was lopsided to the East. There's been 5 Licenced Tier 6 Champions since the pyramid started 4 of them got promoted.

Starting this season the LL, WoS Premier, and EoS Premier were all operating with surplus numbers and so the focus was on extra relegation from those leagues not added promotion. The WoS Premier also heading into the 2020-21 season with zero Licenced clubs. The 3 way LL Play-off with one promotion spot has so far existed for less than a season. I doubt it will last more than two.

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All of which was lopsided to the East. There's been 5 Licenced Tier 6 Champions since the pyramid started 4 of them got promoted.
Starting this season the LL, WoS Premier, and EoS Premier were all operating with surplus numbers and so the focus was on extra relegation from those leagues not added promotion. The WoS Premier also heading into the 2020-21 season with zero Licenced clubs. The 3 way LL Play-off with one promotion spot has so far existed for less than a season. I doubt it will last more than two.
Extra relegation from the LL? They amended the rules to allow the league to increase to 18 teams.

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16 minutes ago, Jack Burton said:
1 hour ago, FairWeatherFan said:
All of which was lopsided to the East. There's been 5 Licenced Tier 6 Champions since the pyramid started 4 of them got promoted.
Starting this season the LL, WoS Premier, and EoS Premier were all operating with surplus numbers and so the focus was on extra relegation from those leagues not added promotion. The WoS Premier also heading into the 2020-21 season with zero Licenced clubs. The 3 way LL Play-off with one promotion spot has so far existed for less than a season. I doubt it will last more than two.

Extra relegation from the LL? They amended the rules to allow the league to increase to 18 teams.

As an option to deal with another incomplete season due to COVID. 

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On 10/04/2021 at 14:23, Spyro said:

What FWF said.

Also the pyramid is still in its infancy. Tbh I’m surprised at how quickly things are moving, as much as the SPFL and SFA try to stall it.

Once everyone starts to find their level, the LL and HL will naturally become stronger and have a bigger voice. By then though I imagine the current top 4 tiers will have expanded slightly and their won’t be an appetite from the teams left at tier 5 to play nationally

Indeed. And once the pyramid settles in I’d expect we’d see something similar to England, where several clubs have left the league and returned, some many times, and some have been in tiers three through six. 

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On 10/04/2021 at 12:06, Dev said:

The SPFL doesn't like the reality of the Pyramid i.e. promotion and relegation up and down all of the Tiers.

Having done down its' reputation twelve months ago it seems likely that it's perceived as about to do the same thing again this time.

Maybe the time is approaching when the  HL and LL should go it alone and create a jointly run National Conference made up of the best HL and LL clubs. The HL and LL would be directly feeding into it from below as follows:

[1] The initial National Conference of 16 clubs would be made up of the top 8 clubs from both the HL and the LL.

[2] Unless the SPFL agrees to automatic promotion and relegation with two up and two down there would be no agreement to movement between the leagues for the time being. 

[3] The bottom two clubs in the Nat Conf would be automatically relegated to either the HL or the LL, depending on which side of the Tay Bridge line the ground is located. 

[4] The third bottom club in the Nat Conf would play-off to retain its' place against the winners of play-offs between the runners-up of the HL and LL leagues. [Edit]

With guaranteed mobility between the leagues beneath the National Conference would quickly fill up with the strongest 16 clubs currently "below" the SPFL. It seems likely that the Nat Conf would quickly become as strong in playing standards as SPFL2, with some clubs close to SPFL1 level in playing standard. 

Imagine if another 10 or more WoS/EoS/SoS clubs gain their club licences this summer they will play in the 2021/22 SFA Cup. As more leading clubs gain licences the numbers of SPFL clubs being knocked-out of the SFA cup each year by "lesser" clubs will increase until it becomes a complete embarrassment to Scottish football. 

This, in turn, will destroy the myth that the HL and LL (now their top clubs in the National Conference) aren't capable of providing a league suitable for relegated SPFL2 clubs.

While an interesting idea, I think this is going about things the wrong way.

An alternative that guarantees no relegation from SPFL2 for several years would be very much easier to sell... A slow drip-feed expansion by two fresh teams per season over twelve seasons into the SPFL is what I'd suggest. It isn't diffiult to devise fair fixture programs for 12, 14 & 16-team divisions to give between 34 to 38 matches per season. I'd increment each division by a pair of teams sequentially in Championship - League 1 - League 2 order, repeating every three seasons and ending  when all three divisions contain 18 teams.

League prize funding would require just an extra ±5% each season for parity over the dozen expansion seasons. That should be eminently feasible, if not, much bettered.

This plan ignores any possible interest the Premiership might have in expansion itself. It also ignores any Colts involvement, but I'd see such teams being limited to fifth tier and below.

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