BeNe League - Xtratime Community
View Poll Results: Should there be a BeNe League?
Yes! The positives clearly outweigh the negatives 4 26.67%
No. Things are fine just the way they are 5 33.33%
No point in discussing the matter; too difficult to implement 6 40.00%
Voters: 15. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 41 (permalink) Old October 9th, 2012, 12:26 Thread Starter
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BeNe League


An idea that has been thrown around here and there over the years but never seriously discussed by either side in the men's context.

Of course the inaugural season of the women's version kicked off a few months ago but im not sure how much of a success its been thus far (even though its quite early).

Currently in the women's competition they split the Belgian and Dutch teams into two groups of 8 and the top 4 from Belgium end up playing the top 4 from NL. This could not work in the mens version. A completely integrated fixture list is what we need.

A league of 16-18 teams would be ideal if it were to happen.

Pros:
  • Stronger league; more competition
  • More money due to more viewers (where Belgium is already doing well)
  • The league becomes more appealing for youngsters to stay and for attracting players in general
  • The amount of spots in European competition should not be affected logically speaking

Cons:
  • Dutch teams are quite stronger than Belgian teams in general. How many teams will Belgium be happy to have in the league as a minimum?
  • What will this mean for the structure of a second tier, reserve leagues, youth football etc.
  • Political Issues between the two countries?
  • It goes against both countries footballing traditions
  • Potentially difficult to get it sanctioned by FIFA

What are your thoughts on this idea?
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post #2 of 41 (permalink) Old October 9th, 2012, 13:34
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I wouldn't mind it but I'm sure fans of clubs like NAC or NEC would not like playing the likes of MVV and Cambuur instead of Ajax or Feyenoord.

A ratio of 10:8 in favour of Holland could do, even though it actually should be 11:7 based on population

Ajax, AZ, Feyenoord, PSV, Twente, Vitesse, Heerenveen, Groningen, Utrecht and one more

Anderlecht, Club Brugge, Genk, AA Gent, Standard Luik and two more

Obviously with Van Raaij gone, there's been a lot less talk about it happening now and I doubt it will. Also the standard of women's football in Holland is a lot lower compared to what it is in Sweden, Germany or elsewhere. They're practically beginners so it's more readily accepted there.
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post #3 of 41 (permalink) Old October 9th, 2012, 13:41
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Its only good for the topclubs and would probably mean the death of a lot of smaller clubs. Even our subtop teams would be affected, teams like Heerenveen and AZ would hardly ever compete for European spots.

On the other hand watching PSV - Anderlecht beats watching PSV - PEC Zwolle..

I'm not the pro this idea because even though the Dutch league is not what it used to be, its still a strong league and the most fun to watch league. If the Eredivisie was at the level of the Serbian league than it would be a different thing.

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post #4 of 41 (permalink) Old October 9th, 2012, 14:02
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Right now the Benelux has 4 CL berths. In case of a merger, we'd realistically end up with 2 (only one of which would see automatic qualification). That's... not a pro.

Also, who's gonna watch FC Groningen - KV Mechelen?

The idea that young players would stay longer is completely hypothetical, disregarding the fact Belgium doesn't actually have a culture of grooming young players to begin with.

I'm also not convinced the two styles would merge all that well. Between Belgium's defensive culture and Holland's attacking culture, one of the two would probably suffer and see its number of teams in the top tier reduced in the first 2 seasons.

Also, the Belgians will want 50% of the teams, which we should never agree to.

And all of this is, frankly, academic, because FIFA goes by a one league = one national team policy and I don't see how we can overcome that.
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post #5 of 41 (permalink) Old October 9th, 2012, 18:20
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The women did already start with it... I'm against, btw.
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post #6 of 41 (permalink) Old October 9th, 2012, 19:01
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The women... No offence to them but that's about as relevant as a BeNe League in ping pong for men's football.
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post #7 of 41 (permalink) Old October 11th, 2012, 05:48 Thread Starter
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In theory i believe the BeNe league is a good idea but i just believe its too hard to implement.

The fact with teams like NEC and NAC not wanting to play MVV etc. i get the point so maybe a second BeNe league then has to be implemented. Again, im aware of the difficulties this poses but we are just talking hypothetically I know this will still favour the big teams but i think it will improve the level overall.

There shouldn't be a massive loss of CL berths though. If you add Belgium and NL coefficient points or even if they do begin with 2 births, the BeNe league teams should easily rank above the likes of Russia in years to come.

Slag also talked about the contrasting styles of play with the Dutch being attacking and the Belgians defensive. How is this a con? Football is all about different approaches to the game and thats why the EPL is so exciting to watch (not just the top teams). A Swansea v Stoke game for example.

For me though there are too many obstacles:
  • Will the smaller clubs in BE and NL agree with the new structure?
  • Will Belgium agree to have less teams in the league than NL?
  • Will FIFA ever sanction such a league?

Then again you never know what lies ahead in the crazy world of football

That football economist from Barcelona is already talking about an Iberian league in order for football in Spain to be profitable. He expects that La Liga will not be profitable in 5 years time
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post #8 of 41 (permalink) Old October 11th, 2012, 08:48
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There shouldn't be a massive loss of CL berths though. If you add Belgium and NL coefficient points or even if they do begin with 2 births, the BeNe league teams should easily rank above the likes of Russia in years to come.
That doesn't do anything. You have to outrank France or Portugal to get 3 berths. You have to outrank Italy or Spain to get 4 again. That's not going to happen.

Quote:
Slag also talked about the contrasting styles of play with the Dutch being attacking and the Belgians defensive. How is this a con? Football is all about different approaches to the game and thats why the EPL is so exciting to watch (not just the top teams). A Swansea v Stoke game for example.
If Italy and Holland were to merge, the Dutch teams would begin to disappear quite quickly imo. Defensive style is just easier to gather the points. You wouldn't want something like that to happen.
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post #9 of 41 (permalink) Old October 11th, 2012, 09:33 Thread Starter
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That doesn't do anything. You have to outrank France or Portugal to get 3 berths. You have to outrank Italy or Spain to get 4 again. That's not going to happen.
My bad. I thought Russia got 2.5 births instead of 1.5.

The BeNe League would then overtake Portugal

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If Italy and Holland were to merge, the Dutch teams would begin to disappear quite quickly imo. Defensive style is just easier to gather the points. You wouldn't want something like that to happen.
Yeah, in the past the more defensive teams have been more successful i guess.

Nonetheless, quality still rises to the top. None of the EPL's big 6 play a defensive style (unless they play against each other) as they know they need to pick up points week in week out where as teams like Stoke and Bolton/Blackburn in the past have had limited success whilst playing a defensive style.
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post #10 of 41 (permalink) Old October 11th, 2012, 13:56
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It'd be a great idea in terms of TV revenue and competition. Ok, teams like AZ and Heerenveen will be affected. But maybe it's the kick up the arse that most Eredivisie sides need. I'd rather watch Club Brugge vs Vitesse than Zwolle vs Willem II...
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post #11 of 41 (permalink) Old October 11th, 2012, 19:22
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It'd be a great idea in terms of TV revenue and competition. Ok, teams like AZ and Heerenveen will be affected. But maybe it's the kick up the arse that most Eredivisie sides need. I'd rather watch Club Brugge vs Vitesse than Zwolle vs Willem II...
That's a dumb comparison. How would you like to watch NAC Breda - Lokeren..? Is that really any better than Groningen - Utrecht?
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post #12 of 41 (permalink) Old October 12th, 2012, 10:28 Thread Starter
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Hmm but the stakes would be different then Slag.

NAC Breda - Lokeren would be a relegation battle style game where as a Groningen-Utrecht would be a mid table clash in the Eredivisie.
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post #13 of 41 (permalink) Old October 12th, 2012, 10:35
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Belgium football Why corrupt our beautiful league with that crap?
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post #14 of 41 (permalink) Old October 12th, 2012, 10:39
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Hmm but the stakes would be different then Slag.

NAC Breda - Lokeren would be a relegation battle style game where as a Groningen-Utrecht would be a mid table clash in the Eredivisie.
Noone in Holland even knows where places like Lokeren and Genk are. It would be a very... artificial league.
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post #15 of 41 (permalink) Old October 12th, 2012, 10:58
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Noone in Holland even knows where places like Lokeren and Genk are. It would be a very... artificial league.
true

Obviously heard of those places thanks to their football clubs, but I'd only be able to place Antwerp, Brugge, Gent, Zeebrugge, Knokke , Mechelen, Leuven, Brussels, Charleroi and Liege on a map if you asked me.
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post #16 of 41 (permalink) Old October 12th, 2012, 13:22
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And we're assuming Dutch people will understand the (non)difference between Bergen and Mons. I sense trouble.
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post #17 of 41 (permalink) Old October 12th, 2012, 13:37
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And we're assuming Dutch people will understand the (non)difference between Bergen and Mons. I sense trouble.
When I went for the first time to Brussels by train, I didn't understand where to get off. I needed to go to Brussels-South stadion, but they only called for Brussels-North, Brussels-Central Station and Brussels-Midi .
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post #18 of 41 (permalink) Old October 12th, 2012, 18:45
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Would love to see games in this league, but the ultimate factor for me is that the lower end of the Eredivisie would be ruined and clubs would die out, which is a shame. The only way this could be fixed is if the second league was popular too, in the same way the Championship might be here in England. Although this could be difficult to get proper recognition abroad.

Overall the mess that could become of this would definitely outweigh the prospect of some great football week in week out.
Another way of keeping some of the better mid-table teams could be to have 24 teams, however the Winter break is still important and could not be implemented with all of these games.


Why has this discussion come about? What sparked it?
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post #19 of 41 (permalink) Old October 14th, 2012, 06:41 Thread Starter
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Noone in Holland even knows where places like Lokeren and Genk are. It would be a very... artificial league.
Probably one of the main points for against the idea.

Definitely a con.

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Why has this discussion come about? What sparked it?
Its been around forever pretty much

The footballing ties between the two countries the main thing that "sparked" it more than politics i believe.
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post #20 of 41 (permalink) Old October 24th, 2012, 12:40
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First of all, an issue as contentious as this will always split public opinion, it would be a rather massive change for football in this country. If it does get instituted some day, expect many people to clamor for the return of national leagues, whereas if the situation stays as it is, many will keep calling for a BeNeLeague.

Secondly, the club one supports for plays a big role in moulding one´s viewpoint on this issue. As an Ajax fan, I might put more value on the international competitiveness of such a league than, say, a Heerenveen or Roda fan might. Keeping in mind that we are all subjective to some degree is prudent here.

Having said that, I am in favour of such a BeneLeague.

- There would be more strong clubs in the same league and a greater hinterland for each club. This would engender more competition, making it possible to attract and keep better players and benefit financially in a substantial way (TV money could be quite high with such a league, especially internationally).

- The artificiality of such a league is overstated IMO. Prior to 1956, we had no Eredivisie and people still took to it rather quickly. Habits can easily be replaced by new habits, traditions by new traditions. And I´m sure even the Dutch can learn that Mons is the French name for Bergen.

- If such a league comes into existence, we must do it the right way. For me, that means a league where promotion and relegation are done in an as natural way as possible. I´d put 11 Dutch teams and 7 Belgian teams in the unified BeNe first league, the other 7 Dutch Eredivisie teams and the other 9 Belgian Jupiler League teams in a unified BeNe second league and keep the rest as it is. Give it a decade and the ratio of Dutch vs. Belgian teams will be decided by quality alone, as it should be. I do not share your fears BTW that this would mean certain death for the smaller clubs: the lower leagues should be somewhat stronger in this scenario, and for instance Heracles-Cercle could be an interesting match in such a second league, especially if a place in the first league, with all of its´ financial and competitive benefits, is at stake.

I say bring it on.

Bring back the European Champions' Cup and Cup Winners' Cup please.

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