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2014-15 Scots pyramid launch

 

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PaulC
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Jun 18, 2013, 6:49 PM

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Re: [Mister TwoU] 2014-15 Scots pyramid launch [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

I got my SoSL muddled with my EoSL a few times,

That makes more sense! Yes, I wouldn't disagree that at the top there isn't a massive difference between East Juniors and EoSL.


cope1
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Jun 18, 2013, 10:38 PM

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What is in this set-up to entice any of the top junior clubs in the East and West? The chance to travel much further to meet poorer opposition than they currently play - with the promotion carrot of trips to Elgin, Peterhead, Montrose, Berwick and Annan? I don't see it myself.

The Lowland League offers juniors the opportunity to actually prove themselves beyond their own little playground. The seniors outside the SPL/SFL don't have much to play against so it's not surprising if they aren't as strong as you might hope. But the juniors haven't proved much by sticking to their own little corner.


mip
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Jun 18, 2013, 10:53 PM

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Post #53 of 71 (3551 views)
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What is in this set-up to entice any of the top junior clubs in the East and West? The chance to travel much further to meet poorer opposition than they currently play - with the promotion carrot of trips to Elgin, Peterhead, Montrose, Berwick and Annan? I don't see it myself.

The Lowland League offers juniors the opportunity to actually prove themselves beyond their own little playground. The seniors outside the SPL/SFL don't have much to play against so it's not surprising if they aren't as strong as you might hope. But the juniors haven't proved much by sticking to their own little corner.



The Juniors have done pretty well in the "big" Scottish Cup. And what do they have to prove? Apparently they are happy with what they've got and they actually have decent pyramid set-ups in each of their regions. The top teams can't progress but they play for a Championship, being mid-table mediocrity in SFL3 is probably not viewed as much progress by them.

If the SFA would look a bit broader they have the regions and a set-up for football outside the SFL. In the south (east and west) its' been created by evolution over many, many years in the Junior ranks.


buncranaboy
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Jun 18, 2013, 11:19 PM

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Post #54 of 71 (3533 views)
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Re: [mip] 2014-15 Scots pyramid launch [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

And mirrored as mentioned many times before by the Dutch Amateurs who are happy in their own bubble in the main, though there is a way up if they ever choose to take it - into a second division who've lost 3(?) clubs recently and where the league has had to invite three reserve teams in to make up the numbers. You can't put a price on knowing your own comfort level; it's often a lesson learned the hard way.


PaulC
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Jun 18, 2013, 11:28 PM

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Post #55 of 71 (3523 views)
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Re: [buncranaboy] 2014-15 Scots pyramid launch [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


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And mirrored as mentioned many times before by the Dutch Amateurs who are happy in their own bubble in the main, though there is a way up if they ever choose to take it - into a second division who've lost 3(?) clubs recently and where the league has had to invite three reserve teams in to make up the numbers. You can't put a price on knowing your own comfort level; it's often a lesson learned the hard way.


The Peter Principle which suggests people are promoted to the level of their own incompetence can be applied to football too. Why would, for example, Auchinleck or Linlithgow give up their successful position at the top of the junior tree in order to wallow in mediocrity in SFL3, or whatever it's going to be called next year?


kazy
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Jun 18, 2013, 11:32 PM

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Post #56 of 71 (3521 views)
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Re: [cope1] 2014-15 Scots pyramid launch [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


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The Lowland League offers juniors the opportunity to actually prove themselves beyond their own little playground. The seniors outside the SPL/SFL don't have much to play against so it's not surprising if they aren't as strong as you might hope. But the juniors haven't proved much by sticking to their own little corner.


I find this comment rather strange from someone who is, if I remember correctly, a fan of AFA competitions in England. I don't notice many AFA clubs proving themselves 'beyond their own little playground'. They, instead, seem to prefer 'sticking to their own little corner'.

What is it you think Scottish Junior clubs should be proving which AFA clubs apparently do not need to?


buncranaboy
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Jun 18, 2013, 11:52 PM

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The Lowland League offers juniors the opportunity to actually prove themselves beyond their own little playground. The seniors outside the SPL/SFL don't have much to play against so it's not surprising if they aren't as strong as you might hope. But the juniors haven't proved much by sticking to their own little corner.


I find this comment rather strange from someone who is, if I remember correctly, a fan of AFA competitions in England. I don't notice many AFA clubs proving themselves 'beyond their own little playground'. They, instead, seem to prefer 'sticking to their own little corner'.

What is it you think Scottish Junior clubs should be proving which AFA clubs apparently do not need to?


Good riposte.

I suggest that's the difference between reality and fantasy leagues a long way from your own doorstep, as usually played by rainjar.


cope1
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Jun 19, 2013, 12:49 AM

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Post #58 of 71 (3487 views)
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Re: [kazy] 2014-15 Scots pyramid launch [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


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The Lowland League offers juniors the opportunity to actually prove themselves beyond their own little playground. The seniors outside the SPL/SFL don't have much to play against so it's not surprising if they aren't as strong as you might hope. But the juniors haven't proved much by sticking to their own little corner.


I find this comment rather strange from someone who is, if I remember correctly, a fan of AFA competitions in England. I don't notice many AFA clubs proving themselves 'beyond their own little playground'. They, instead, seem to prefer 'sticking to their own little corner'.

What is it you think Scottish Junior clubs should be proving which AFA clubs apparently do not need to?

My involvement in AFA football, and AFA football in general, has nothing to do with this discussion. If you think AFA football needs changing start a new thread. Out of interest, which proposed setup is being held up by AFA clubs?


(This post was edited by cope1 on Jun 19, 2013, 12:57 AM)


cope1
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Jun 19, 2013, 12:56 AM

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Post #59 of 71 (3484 views)
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Re: [buncranaboy] 2014-15 Scots pyramid launch [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately


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In Reply To

In Reply To
The Lowland League offers juniors the opportunity to actually prove themselves beyond their own little playground. The seniors outside the SPL/SFL don't have much to play against so it's not surprising if they aren't as strong as you might hope. But the juniors haven't proved much by sticking to their own little corner.


I find this comment rather strange from someone who is, if I remember correctly, a fan of AFA competitions in England. I don't notice many AFA clubs proving themselves 'beyond their own little playground'. They, instead, seem to prefer 'sticking to their own little corner'.

What is it you think Scottish Junior clubs should be proving which AFA clubs apparently do not need to?


Good riposte.

I suggest that's the difference between reality and fantasy leagues a long way from your own doorstep, as usually played by rainjar.

That's my problem. Scotland is so far away from me that all the information I gather over the internet is unreliable so my words are meaningless.


Veteran
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Jun 19, 2013, 9:40 AM

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Post #60 of 71 (3434 views)
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Re: [cope1] 2014-15 Scots pyramid launch [In reply to] Can't Post or

Try a little trip up to Scotland and watch a couple of Junior matches, and then for good measure and contrast an EOS match on a park pitch in Edinburgh.

Two of my favourite football experiences are Scottish Juniors and Dutch Amateurs (incidentally I quite like AFA matches too) and in the light of the absolute mess we have made of our Pyramid in England I am increasingly coming to the same conclusion as Buncrana Boy that they are the ones that have got it right.

By all means provide a reasonable avenue for ambitious clubs to progress but don't make it compulsory to keep moving up even when it may be beyond your long term resources.


(This post was edited by Veteran on Jun 19, 2013, 9:42 AM)


aicwhu
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Jun 19, 2013, 10:11 AM

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Re: [Veteran] 2014-15 Scots pyramid launch [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

welcome to the other side veteran

but cope1's views need to be respected in particular because he often has sensible and insightful things to say

i agree i don't quite see where he is coming from on the lowland league as it does seem a contradiction given his involvement with the AFA
i also really can't see wht the excellent juniors are holding anyone else back or indeed affecting anybody else if they wish to play in their own play-ground-very wise in my opinion
perhaps cope1 might clarify?

andrew c


cope1
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Jun 19, 2013, 10:57 AM

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Re: [aicwhu] 2014-15 Scots pyramid launch [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Thanks Andrew for your kind words. To those who object to my comments I must admit I was in a sour mood yesterday - two weeks in the Highlands and islands followed by returning to all manner of cock ups in a London office can do that to a man! I apologise, especially for bad mouthing the juniors. I do have reservations about them in some ways but I didn't intend to antagonise.


cope1
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Jun 19, 2013, 11:04 AM

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Re: [aicwhu] 2014-15 Scots pyramid launch [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

As for AFA football, I really don't think my involvement in it has any bearing on this discussion. Surely I don't have to be bound by the fact that I am involved in my local football setup? If I had created it in my own image and insisted it be what it is then fair enough but I haven't.

For the record, I think the SJFA and AFA are in very different situations. If AFA football were considered to be better than Ryman League but refused to join the party then there would be a parallel but it's at best step 5 standard and probably more like step 7 on average in the top divisions of the SAL and AFC. The SJFA, on the other hand, is probably the best football in the east and west outside the SPL and SFL. To have a pyramid which doesn't include SJFA teams is nonsensical to a neutral observer. What I think about the Lowland League is that, however imperfect it may seem, it is one step in the right direction and I think we should see how it gets on. It's undoubtedly not the best league in the world but I don't see how it was ever likely to be any more than it is. What I think is positive is that it gives SJFA sides something to consider which wasn't there before.

In reply to Veteran, I also find the Dutch system interesting and I agree that it would be good to have a similar setup in Scotland. I often argue the case of the Northern League sides who don't want to step up so I am a firm believer in clubs not having to be promoted. But having the framework for it is important.

Also for the record, if anyone is interested in discussing AFA football and what it should or shouldn't do I would be delighted to start a thread, I just assume there aren't enough people interested.


crankie2
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Jun 19, 2013, 2:09 PM

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Re: [cope1] 2014-15 Scots pyramid launch [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

I`m quite astonished that anyone of reasonable intelligence can call this a `pyramid` launch. It is a LOONEY idea from a guy who has NO IDEA about football, or anything else apparently.

Scottish football has been consistently de-stabilised and impoverished since WW2 by complete lack of competition and election of mainly east, north and south absolute minnows, most of whom who have done nothing and are never likely to do anything.

Where are we now in the Lullaby-land `pyramid`? Well ... HALF of Scotland`s population get 14 clubs in the SPFL, with a 1-2 economic disadvantage against 28 clubs from East-North-South.
No wonder our game is going down the tubes, financially as well as productively. No businessman would ever expect success from this kind of set-up .. except of course if he is one of the crooks who run our major clubs and our game.

Now the diddy Regan has come up with a `final solution`. We`ll have the distinct possibility of these impoverished 14 clubs being relegated ... but only ONE WEST CLUB, from 30 in the initial feeders, can be promoted. Lunacy ... plain and simple. Anyone who expects good to come from this should urgently seek medical attention.


aicwhu
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Jun 19, 2013, 3:18 PM

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Re: [crankie2] 2014-15 Scots pyramid launch [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

i am not sure i understand the lack of competition and impoverishment part of your post

are you saying there are junior clubs who could have stepped upto the spl if given a chance? and that this would have changed the finances of scottish football?



andrew c


aicwhu
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Jun 19, 2013, 3:23 PM

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Re: [cope1] 2014-15 Scots pyramid launch [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

of course it is true that the juniors are a relative better standard than the afa but i am not sure i see the relevance of that

if they are simply happy to fulfil their ambitions within the leagues they sit in and do not wish to be part of the spl/sfl which has created a strange vertical pyramid in the name of progress then what is the issue?

they do not prevent any other club joining the sfl which at its lowest level is quite bonkers (in terms of the size of clubs and their attendances) as a national league

perhaps the sfl clubs should all join the juniors!


andrew c


cope1
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Jun 19, 2013, 4:15 PM

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Re: [aicwhu] 2014-15 Scots pyramid launch [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

The issue is that the juniors make up a large chunk of the best non-League teams in Scotland. Trying to create a pyramid without them is impossible. The SPFL structure is, like I said above, another discussion all of its own but it is not ideal in my view.

At present the juniors have no incentive to move up because their next step up is probably the SFL which means much greater expense for little reward. The alternative - in some parts of the country - is to move to a senior league but it is clear that the SoSL and the EoSL wouldn't be as good a standard, so it is arguable that they offer a backward step. What is required is a system which allows all clubs - including juniors - stepping stones up the system which they can take if they choose. The Dutch system has been mentioned already and that would seem appropriate. The amateur levels can provide promotees but the teams involved are not obliged to go up. To be honest, I don't know if there is any rule to say teams have to go up if promoted in England, they just do. If Canvey Island can request to be moved from the Conference to the Ryman League then surely a team being promoted can choose not to go up?

My point about AFA clubs being in a different situation is that basically it makes little difference to the rest of the world if AFA clubs join the pyramid or not. Whether or not the juniors opt in or out is crucial.


(This post was edited by cope1 on Jun 19, 2013, 4:18 PM)


mip
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Jun 19, 2013, 4:57 PM

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Post #68 of 71 (3289 views)
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The issue is that the juniors make up a large chunk of the best non-League teams in Scotland. Trying to create a pyramid without them is impossible. The SPFL structure is, like I said above, another discussion all of its own but it is not ideal in my view.

My point about AFA clubs being in a different situation is that basically it makes little difference to the rest of the world if AFA clubs join the pyramid or not. Whether or not the juniors opt in or out is crucial.



I think the premise, that the SFA draw up something the Juniors have to opt into, is flawed. The SFA have to acknowledge the SJFA, and that many of the strongest non-league clubs belong to the SJFA, and to coorporate with the SJFA to make a structure where both Seniors and Juniors are embedded from the start.

It seems there's little contact between the SFA and SJFA and I don't have a clue why that is and whose fault it is. Possibly the persons in charge should be locked in a room with sufficient whisky to ensure they start talking to each other at some stage. There's a real chance they'd be able to draw up a better plan for a pyramid while pissed than they do now.

The SFL structure is another problem but it's linked because the only reason Juniors would want to be part of a pyramid is if the Junior clubs have a suitable carrot. The present SFL3 simply isn't attractive for the top Juniors. In the Netherlands there are 37 "profesional" clubs with a population roughly three times that of Scotland. I'd guess Scotland can support 16-18 "profesional" clubs which could give a national league system with 24-28 clubs to ensure the gap between regional and national levels won't be too great. It's been proposed before in this thread to take the tail end of the SFL and pool it with the top Juniors and non-league Seniors to form three regional non-league super leagues which I think is a very good idea. These clubs could play for an "Amateur" Championship (or something similar with another name) with promotion to the national leagues being a possibility. This might be enticing for the top Juniors.

Of course the SFA and SJFA would have to coorporate and the some SFL clubs would have to give up their precious "league status" so not likely to happen.


Mister TwoU
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Jun 19, 2013, 8:54 PM

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Re: [cope1] 2014-15 Scots pyramid launch [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Let's be frank here, while taken individually, some SPFL2/3 clubs might get placed topmost in a listing of playing-strengths, were you to compare them with everything non-league in the Scots game (Well, one would, at least! Tongue).
However, I don't think that many more than a dozen of them would end-up in a current 'top-twenty', and that to me signifies a problem. Especially so, insofar as the 'glass trapdoor' doesn't allow for any prospective upcoming and ambitious teams to resolve this and find their level.

It is my firm belief that had proper opportunity for promotion to/from a Scottish League regional Third Division from as far back as the 1920's been grasped and sensibly operated from date until now - then the landscape of the SPFL would be very, very different than it currently is today; and by this, I'm not simply referring to the obvious cosmetic things.

It's hard to explain properly, but I'll try. This is kinda sort of a 'fairy-tale' I suppose. Without fairies. Except probably for 'Lithgae Rose Wink.

There would firstly have been a successful, thriving '3rd.' SFL division, becoming fully 'settled-in' by 1930, but it wouldn't have been a vertically positioned SFL Division3, no, rather it would have been in the dispensation of a second SFL Division2, say providing for simple East/West regionalisation (the HL area would still of necessity be marginalised somewhat, probably well into the 1960's whence road improvements would begin to allow their increasing involvement.).

This in its turn should have had the knock-on effect of preventing the alienation of all clubs outwith the SPL/SFL aegis, as we still have to struggle with today, the entrenched ridiculous apartheid of that 'us and them' attitude, preserved most poignantly to the last among the Juniors cadre.

Instead, picture this: coming out of the war, we've three sixteen-team divisions, One; Two East & Two West. Probably only six to eight of the clubs in membership have never yet played in Division One, mostly newer inductees, while four or five of them have dropped from the league, only to have returned again. About ten-twelve previous league teams are no longer in it, relegated to district (inc. Junior) leagues and not returned, a few 'out of business' and a few not to have survived the war.
On the other hand, several of the 1920's 'expansion' clubs have had settled First Division periods behind them in the 15/16 seasons since that expansion, and one or two of them have even won the odd honour or two.

1950 comes by and spectating is at an all-time high. At the start of the decade, six more teams are elected to make three 18-strong divisions, with one or two pre-war members making welcome reappearances, and the clamour for league placements rises to critical levels by the end of the decade, allowing for another six-team intake. This seems to satiate the now slightly shrinking football market and the SFL faces the 'swiging sixties' with three twenty-team divisions.

Three dark clouds mark the horizon: First, rumblings for SFL membership for clubs North of Brechin. Aside from two reasonable Inverness teams and one from Aberdeen, there's been virtual total separation between the SFL and the HFL and now, with travel-infrastructure beginning to improve, HFL teams increasingly want in. Second problem - attendances are seriously waning year-on-year for everyone - it's an economy-thing. Thirdly, with 20 clubs in each division, the junction between Division One and the two Division Twos is fraught; thought solved with the introduction of a 2x 2-up & 4-down exchange system, when the league expanded to 60 clubs in 1960. The Top Division argues quite convincingly that losing four from 20 each season is too many, leading to teams such as Arthurlie, Inverness Thistle and Pollok becoming serial yo-yoers! The SFL points out that returning to halving the annual divisional exchange will seriously upset the football applecart, and anyway would lead to an even greater surplus of meaningless mid-table matches in all three divisions - a subject already dissatisfactory to, and complained about by Division One regulars, Linlithgow, Bo'ness & Inverness Caledonian.

Matters come to a head in the early '70's and the plan to solve the crisis involves a full league reconstruction: from a 20 - (2x)20 format to 14/20/(2x)14 format, where the three 14-team divisions play a 1&half-round-robin and each division promotes/relegates 2 teams up/down (excet the middle division, which would relegate four). No-one gets 'relegated' in this plan - the top-14 Div1. sides become a new, 'on-the-top', elite, 'Premier League'; the lowest six in Div1. plus the top seven in each of the Divs2. combine to remake Division One; the rump-13 in each Div2. each gain one new non-league club elected to return them to being 14-strong.
The plan looks like it'll tick all of the boxes. From outside the SFL, there are murmurings of dissent about the election process to the league, many clubs throughout both Juniors and Seniors beginning references to 'the glass-ceiling' as successful elections into the SFL have become few and far-between since the war, with obvious exception of 'recruiting-seasons', when expansions have been on the agenda. It's hard to argue against when facts show that in all the seasons between 1945 & 1974 there have only been four teams successfully elected to the SFL separate from expansion influxes, and all of those re-admitted an ex-member club!

While the two new places created in the shake-up went to Huntly & Keith, the HL is still unsatisfied with access for their teams to the SFL continuing to be denied in general. Traditionally Aberdeen, Caledonian and Thistle are the only Highlanders to have gained entry to the SFL and remained regular members since the war at very least - and 3/60 is just 5% representation for an area of the country in which at least 10-15% of the population resides.
Their embryo idea is given warm greeting among all their peer Junior & Senior leagues directly beneath the SFL. - to band together to reach amicable agreement to end the election free-for-all, to nominate from their combined ranks just one to three clubs for election each season and thus cease splintering the pro-non-league vote... and to simplify and back this whole process up by creating their own regional non-league 'Super-Leagues'!

The non-league fraternity have always split Scotland into three distinct regions, rather than the SFL's often awkward two-way split - the 'Super-League' idea works with this, drawing-in all half-dozen and more Junior area Leagues, the three Senior non-league tournaments, and importantly, the SAFA - to broker a deal to implement 'a pyramid' of leagues and organisations in a simple hierarchy of promotion and relegation agreements, with the ultimate aim of providing a clear pathway for even the lowliest team to 'step their way' up through the echelons and eventually come knocking on the SFL's door!

There would be three geographic 'streams' a team enters, dependent on its location - North, taking in Tayside and northwards thereof; East, taking in the Lothians and Eastern Lowlands; and West encompassing all south of Tayside, West of the Lothians and inc. the Western Lowlands.
The boundaries extolled will be flexible, changing as required to first roughly equalise numbers of teams within each stream, allowing also for local population density & secondly allow for individual boundary requirements at each individual level, to accommodate the requirement to occasionally move clubs at the boundaries between streams.

While there would be leeway at all levels for individual leagues to arrange their own divisional sizes &/or promotion/relegation arrangements, all would be subject to certain maxima/minima decreed from time to time by a Leagues' Liaison Committee, which authority would also oversee inter-league movements too. This LLC would be created for and by the combined committees of the three new Top-Division Leagues to head each stream - Scottish Alliance League (North); Scottish Alliance League (East) & Scottish Alliance League (West).

The prime function of each of these three Leagues will initially be to identify and put forward for election to SFL2, one, two or three teams, one only per stream. The long-term aim of these Alliance Leagues will be to provide a stable environment for ex-SFL clubs to drop into while they prepare to fight to regain their SFL place, and eventually to successfully petition for provision of a direct promotion and relegation agreement between themselves and the SFL.

The creation of the Alliance Leagues just beat the turning of the decade, being introduced for 1979-80, following a complex three-season selection process wherein clubs were required to show certain minimum provisions in infrastructure, suitable for SFL2 entry, as well as stable on-field success pitchside.

The SFL reorganisation of 1974 meanwhile, began a roaring success. Spectator attitudes and numbers-count picked-up a little, which was excellent news, considering its immediately prior Stuka-like trajectory! The new sizes in divisions, with the previously abhorred promotion and relegation numbers being kept-on were a surprisingly popular contrivance, and so SFL thinkers and guardians were left a decade or so to simply contemplate the goings-on involving their uppity upwardly-mobile non-league neighbours.
Those neighbours had themselves now spent several years improving their product and while yet no breakthroughs had occurred there were a couple of resounding near-misses, first when long-time successful non-league East Stirlingshire (in Alliance West) came within a handful of votes of taking traditional SFL2 South wooden-spoonists' Coldstream's 40-odd year SFL membership away from them. Then just three seasons later Alliance North, Peterhead & Alliance East, Stranraer both came within whiskers of booting-out long-timers, Brechin Vics from SFL2 North & Shotts Bon Accord from SFL2 South! Surely we were soon to witness a bloody changing of the old guard?

As it happened, yes - we did see blood... but the old guard were saved.

1987. need I say much more?

Valley Parade.

Heysel.

Shockwaves of horror pulsed through the corridors of power at the SFL, the three SALs and onward down the system to the very roots of the SAFA.
Immediate ground-safety reports were prepared for Department of Health requests and as soon as was practicable all Leagues imported draconian rules and regulations via the Alliance LCCs and signed up to them. All teams had to achieve certain 'ground-grading' requirements in order to play at each step of the pyramid. These requirements would supersede any on-field achievement. Full-stop.
If a club were already at a step whereby their infrastructure failed that echelon's grading standard, they would automatically be relegated to the highest step that their grading was good-for when measured again in twelve months time. All teams would be measured once every three seasons thereafter, just to keep a weather-eye on them and every team to finish in a promotion place would require inspection prior to their promotion being authorised.

The SFL had set understandably swingeing standards for itself and the LCC naturally had to follow suit, carefully massaging the grading requirements to fit as best possible with the already standing requirements previously insisted upon for the Pyramid's creation. Nevertheless, even with 12-month's grace often having been granted, not all remedial works could be finished in time, and the 1990's began rather dismally with a couple of seasons where demotions became nearly as common as relegations - which even affected the Alliances at the top of the NL-pile.
End of season election campaigns became a waste of time, as SFL uncertainty regarding the feeders' stability grew on the back of several high-profile demotions, gussied up as 'expulsions' by the tabloid 'comics'. A period of stability was required and from the Alliances down, that's what they got.

On the International Scotland scene, team performances were now making Scottish participation in the Finals Series of Euro~ & World Cups an expected thing, with internationals plying their trade in the Premier Division from Inverness to Auchinleck, Petershill, Bo'ness & Linlithgow, via Aberdeen, the Dundees, Motherwell, the OF and the traditional Edinburgh 'giants'.
The egalitarian openness, verve and exciting attacking play on display in the Premier Division and indeed throughout the League; eventually attracted the attentions of the SKY TV platform.
Sensing a worldwide market for this dynamic Scottish product, a five-year live-television rights package was signed for 1.5B in 1999, increased to 2.0B in 2004 and to 2.8B in 2009.

With such largesse filling the League's pockets every year, each and every one of its 62 teams began to reap the rewards... prize-monies, obviously canted in favour of the higher divisions, but spread throughout the whole system, began to filter down through the non-league echelons in greater and greater amounts. Top non-league talents' values rose and they were rapidly signed by the big teams.
Non-League expanded its investment in under-age football and contentiously Premier Division and many other SFL teams looked to create U-23 teams and place them in their local district divisions.
It was a golden time too, for fans. Much grading activity had more recently been directed toward 'customer comfort' and making grounds friendly for families to attend - and these efforts paid-off with many clubs seeking to increase their capacities to meet the new demand. Some even had to build themselves brand-new homes, because they couldn't expand their old homes any further. Supermarket chains were blessed with the sudden availability of much town-centre building land upon which they could plan their magnificent new stores...

...and the faerie Queen, seeing little Stewie had nodded happily off to sleep, with his thumb in his mouth and the ghost of a smile on his lips, gently closed the great tome on her lap, 'The boys' book of dreams'.
She tucked-in the edges of his blanket, stooped to brush his cheek with the lightest of kisses and then, unfurling her faerie wings, she floated to the open bedroom window - and promptly returned to being Mrs. Regan, bending to pick up her son's Shoot Team Tracker, with all of its regular team-names tipp-exed-out and replaced with the scribbled-in names of, as best she could make-out, the names of some local teams on them. She grabbed a couple of his old, doggy-eared Rothmans yearbooks on the next scoop and his box of Subbuteo bits and pieces after that.
Once all those were safely stashed back in the places that they lived, she closed the window, drew its curtain properly and tiptoed out, deftly extracting a crunchy pair of underpants from behind the bedroom door and exited, heading for the wash-pile...


... and they all lived happily ever after. THE END


[Angelic Sorry, I lied about the fairies. A bit.Angelic]



Professional cretin.


HibeeJibee
Reserve Team Star

Feb 11, 2014, 12:19 AM

Posts: 896
Location: South-East Scotland
Team(s): Berwick Rangers, Hibernian, Scotland

Post #70 of 71 (2204 views)
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Re: [mip] 2014-15 Scots pyramid launch [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

Junior supporter from Haddington has posted the criteria/timetable for the remaining Lowland league places to be filled.

Should open at the link but I've copied the main section:

http://www.pieandbovril.com/...ndpost&p=8121125


Quote


Scottish Lowland Football League V Expression of Interest
You are invited to express an interest in joining the Scottish Lowland Football League (SLFL) for season 2014/15.
Expressions of interest should be intimated to David Baxter, SLFL Secretary, by completion of the attached form and provision of information regarding your plans to achieve a club licence by May 2015 and how this will be financed. The relevant sections (5, 6 and 8) of the SFA Club Licensing Manual are attached.

The timetable of events is:
h January 2014 V Clubs are informed that applications may be made
h 31
st March 2014 V Last date for receipt of applications
h 7
th April 2014 V SLFL Board makes first review and contacts clubs for any clarifications or additional information
h 28
th April 2014 V SLFL Board makes final selection of up to four clubs

The process will be overseen by assessors appointed by the SLFL Board. Clubs will be assessed on the basis of their returns with a maximum possible score of 50. The points will be awarded as follows based on the Club Licensing criteria:



Section 5 (Ground Criteria)
Up to 20 points

Section 6 (First team football)

Up to 12 points

Section 8 (Legal, admin, finance, codes of practice)

Up to 8 points


The remaining ten points will be awarded based on the clubs on-field performance in the last three seasons and its organisation and management.




crankie2
Youth Team Regular

Feb 13, 2014, 3:00 PM

Posts: 251
Location:
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Post #71 of 71 (2038 views)
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Re: [aicwhu] 2014-15 Scots pyramid launch [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

 ... someone doesn`t understand the `lack of competition and impoverishment` of Scottish football ? I`m sorry ... you can`t possibly be on Mars ... are you ?

before World War 1 ... SCOTLAND were ranked No 1 in the home internationals (which demonstrated the strength of our game compared to quite a few much larger countries, like England, Germany, France, USA, Spain) .... and we are now ranked 31st in Europe ! In 1967, we had clubs in the semi-finals of all three UEFA club competitions ... two of which went to the finals ... one of which won UK`s first European Cup. This demonstrated that we had a least ten clubs capable of playing in Europe and doing well ... other clubs DID do well ... but now we have ONE (possibly two when Rangers come back).

Scottish football is suffering partly due to the end of the 50`s and 60`s `baby boom` ... clearly it is also affecting Scottish Rugby ... plus a wider sports choice ... but mainly due to the fact that our game has been consistently mis-managed at SFA, who failed to respond to obvious demographics, with the changes which we eventually managed to spur everyone into through the Pyramid (News) campaign.

That campaign from 1994 focussed on two major issues ... getting Junior Superleagues ( to advance their competition and hopefully improve the dwindling infrastructure in an organisation which had already lost TWO-THIRDS of its club complement) ... and to generally improve Scottish football via a `pyramid` of competitive COMMUNITY CLUBS. It is this last part you`re not getting ... SFA has almost 7,000 `tiny` clubs, with little economic or competitive viability. Its full-membership structure represents just 1.5% of this total ( the people who run the game and generally prevent any reasonable competition). SFA claims around 170,000 players from a population of around 5.3 million, in around 14,000 teams.

Compare this to similar sized NORWAY ... 325,000 players in 1800 CLUBS (almost every one having astroturf, thanks to former secretary, Karen Espelund, now at UEFA), 20,000 teams in 18 `district` associations. Let me do the sums for you ... its what I`m good at. In NORWAY = 180 players per club. In Scotland = 24 players per club. And we haven`t gone into the `support` element of family, officials, former players, etc, etc. In many bigger countries in Europe ... and some smaller ... these averages are MUCH HIGHER... pointing to the economic and technical capability of clubs and leagues. That is Scotland`s major problem under SFA`s narrow rule ... which isn`t improved any by the LOWLAND `idiot` league (presumably why no juniors have joined, since many are economically and technically capable).

To continue the `narrow` anti-competitive policies of SFA, they have chosen to introduce our suggestion of `licencing` (for all clubs) attached to the creation of what they call a `pyramid` (but which few would recognise as such). Thus, rather than `encouraging` clubs to COMPETE and IMPROVE ... SFA requires them to jump through hoops before they are allowed to `compete`and not many would regard HFL and Lowland as `effective competition`, while there is no promise of promotion to SPFL.

What should have happened in Scotland (under a legitimate organiser) is precisely ... the `licencing` of ALL CLUBS to make sure they are organisationally and financially sound, as well as in a fit state to cater for local football demand ... and the introduction of appropriate competitive systems, with promotion and relegation, to encourage clubs to improve their status and their organisation. There isn`t even the remotest `promise` of this in the future.

So ... the football debate is very similar to the `independence` debate ... either we vote to stay with an incompetent union and governments not elected by us ... or we strike out in a better direction, as most countries do. We want to keep the pound for the forseable future NOT because it is a good currency ( it has lost 30% if its value since euro was introduced 12 years ago), but because it is `practical`in our trading situation. But, we still have options if we vote YES. With SFA ... we either follow their rotten rules and destructive ideas ... or we go with something else. I think most sane people would go with something else ... if it were reasonably available. And, in reality, this position is only going to change when we have a GOVERNMENT which demands fair play and proper organisation of a major sport. Or ... if the people and the CLUBS actually demand better. They can DO THAT (in part) by staying away from Lowland league and HFL .. and demanding a system that has equal access from SJFA leagues to SPFL (with guaranteed promotion). That system of course means the end of SJFA too ...

But this is only a small part of the `competitive` and production equation ... to go anywhere in terms of finance and europe, we have to have a better average club strength than the rest. The Pyramid Campaign said 400-500 clubs
(bringing together every 12-15 current clubs), with an average participation of at least 1000 people per club. Now what have SFA done with that suggestion .... they`ve done NOTHING about improving club size, competition, finance or access ... but they HAVE said they`d like to go up to 400,000 involved (through `volunteers`) .. as if by `magic` in the next 2-3 years. That is plainly stated in their `one national plan` ... What we have here is UTTER INCOMPETENCE .. and that includes anyone who follows their ideas and systems.


(This post was edited by crankie2 on Feb 13, 2014, 3:02 PM)

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