I am not sure what to do in all honesty. I like the idea of giving a 1st round bye to the respective champions of each league and the defending XT CL winner. However, how can we give the XT CL winner a first round bye when there is no guarantee he is in the CL the following year?
I don't like the group stages as it adds even more games to the already big workload. I already have to schedule 26 games in XT Serie A, along with the XT Coppa Italia tournament, and the XT Supercoppa Italiana match. Also, we are moving our start date for the league til later (we used to start on the very first matchday) so we can go longer and into April. I definitely want to avoid any May games as IMO most teams/players don't go as hard with nothing to play for. Coaches are also more likely to start using youngsters in meaningless games. And having 3 teams per group is a bit weird to me...always used to 4 teams.
We should just throwing ideas out there and see what works for us three.
Any solution will always have a problem and I think that we all see them. Starting from this fact, I believe we must find the appropiate solution.
Okay, I'm going to throw a proposal in the line proposed by TGO, but, R10, it would require a change on one of the rules we set last year. The change is to give the former winner the chance to defend his title the next year, independently of his position in the domestic league. It's not a revolutionary idea. Many football competitions do it.
Then the bye goes for the winner of the XTCL and the winners of each league. If the winner of the XTCL is the same who won the domestic league (as it is in your case), then the bye is for the winner of the XTCL, the winners of the other 2 leagues and the 2nd of the league where the winner belong (in this case, it'd be Andrey). The rest would play a previous round.
Then, each of us, domestically, should set the way to solve these exceptions, since we must keep the 4 spots per country. On the other hand, given the level of the competition, I think it'd be strange to have a CL winner that is not even 3rd or 4th in the domestic competition.
As I said, this would require a change in what we agree last summer. I think it's a fair solution.
Then we have the XT Cup. On paper the system should be the same, said all this, as you know, El Primitivo won the competition this year, but he has the right to play the CL next season, so he will play with the elite.
In this case, the byes would be for the top positions of the ones who have the right to play the XT Cup. As you know, in our case, the cup winner plays the CL too, but not in Italy, so you may give this bye to the winner of your cup. Then the problematic "4th bye" would be the next in the list who have the right to play this competition.
The rest will remain exactly the same. Rules, 2 legs during the competition with the away goal rule, the single game for the final...
We can start to discuss from this. Tell me your thoughts now.