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Discussion Starter #1
Your thoughts please on this proposal for the restructuring of the SPL:

  • 14 Teams- Two more clubs would join the current 12.
  • League Split- Just like now the league will split. With this proposal the split will be after everybody has played twice, rather than the 3 times we play now. This would result in 26 matches.
    The league would then split into a top 6 and bottom 8. Each would then play each other twice. This would result in the top 6 playing an additional 10 games (36 overall) and the bottom 8 playing an additional 14 games (40 overall).
  • UEFA Cup playoff- The SPL hope to have five European places by season 2005-2006, the top two in the league would be given Champions League slots, with third and fourth going into the UEFA Cup.The winner of a play-off between the club finishing fifth and the side that tops the bottom eight would receive the final UEFA Cup spot.
  • Relegation playoff- One team would go down automatically and the side in second-bottom place would play the runners--up in the First Division for the right to SPL status.
My own view is I think it's a crap idea. It just seems like they are overcomplicating things. Going to a 16 or 18 team league would be so much simpler.

This system would also mean that the Scottish Cup would lose prestige as it would no longer give a team a European place. More importantly though everyone wants a change because teams are playing each other too many times in a season. This would not change that.
 

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If your guide is correct (and I have no reason to think it's not) it is one of the worst ideas ever. We've already got one essentially meaningless cup competition, we don't need two. They're also making a pretty big assumption on the number of European places we'll have. Based on this year, I think we should be underestimating rather than overestimating our future European performances.

If we're still going to be playing each other 4 times a season then what's the point. Would this new format happen to coincide with the renegotiation of the TV deal perhaps? I can't really constructively criticise the proposal's anymore because all I can think of is words like pish and crap. 16 teams or keep it the way it is.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The guide is correct but I'm not surprised you asked given how ridiculous it is. I'm not sure if it ties in with the tv deal but wouldn't surprise me if it did.They are trying to hard to make it more meaningful and all they are ending up with is somethin stupid and overcomplicated.

To be it looks like they are trying to change everything that doesn't matter and forgot about what does. Ultimately I want teams to only meet twice a season which would mean a 16 or 18 team league.
 

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FFS. So they've sat down, decided the current set-up is complete bollox. Fair Point. But to come up with this nonsense? They just dont cease to amaze do they?

Okay, maybe a 14 team league. Its not the 16/18/20 we all want but it would be a move in the right direction. However...

haven't they seen (if not learned) how meaninless the League Split is??
For the past few years we've had cases where teams play each other 6 or 7 times a season!! Other than making it boring and repetitive it emphasises how amatuer our governing bodies are. It should be a case of playing each club twice; home and away. (ideally in an 18/20 team league). The split also means we have bizzare situations where clubs with less points finish above those with a higher point tally, aswell as virtually withdrawing any meaningness left for the clubs in 7th - 10th place (given the nature of our league relegation* tends to be a fore gone conclusion well before the final kick off of the season).

* The team who should go down, but doesn't because the Div 1 winners dont have a big enough Stadium/no undersoil heating etc - u get the point!!

giving their entire European allocation to the league?
As you say, it's all that keeps cup competitions from being used as a run out for the reserves or youth teams. And a play-off for the final UEFA Cup spot? What a farce!! 5 or 6 European places is seeming less and less likely, but surely if we were awarded 5 places then 2 CL and 2 Uefa for the league, and one for the Cup winners is how it should be distributed.

Relegation playoff?
How many chances should clubs get? Playing 40 games a year, they know what'll happen if they're bottom come may!! And why should the team who've pushed the Div 1 leaders all they way to wire be denied direct acces to the "Prosperous" EssPeeEll?

Why? Because we live in Scotland. The Great Nation who can do things our own way, who are run by people who think they know how to take the country forward, and because we've got show we can (or we think we can) at least keep up with the Auld Enemy down South.
 

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20 team is the way forward. 2 divisions, one of 20 & one 22. Simple.
 

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I don't have the time to make any sensible suggestions to this "problem" right now but I would like to throw in two things in a similar vein.

I may be the only person in Scotland who has seen some benefit in the late season split (you'd think I'd have got the hint :D:) but as far as I've seen, you have two teams fighting for the title followed by two neck and neck for a euro place, then what? There's never a week goes by where a player, coach, assistant, etc from a club from 5th downwards (unless they're hopelessly adrift at the bottom) doesn't make some reference to trying to clinch a top six spot. OK you may think it's a damn shame that this can be seen as some kind of badge of honour but what else do they genuinely have. We have gone into fixtures in the couple of weeks before the split with teams believing they have "something" to play for, which without the split they wouldn't have. Another thing that's come to mind is that if we were to add the current top eight from division one to the SPL we would include Queen of the South (am I right in thinking that they and Clyde are part time?), does it do us any good to have part time clubs in our top flight (might be no worse than astroturf, I hear you say :D:) and looking at the attendances, the Caley Thistle debacle aside, we don't seem to drop below the 4,000 mark, Clyde FC are currently in second place and had a crowd of 1,530 a their last home fixture, what would that figure be if they were 17th in the league.

Of course it's always easy to find negatives and like most of you I do feel we need another approach to freshen things up.
 

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i sort of agree with the judge on the split - it's not ideal but it does give teams something to play for and (i imagine) also raises the crowds at certain games that would otherwise not be attractive for more casual fans going to see.

as for the number of teams involved and the league structure, i don't think any option would have a significant impact on the standard of football - it's just fiddling while rome burns unless there are major changes at the grassroots level.
 

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Maybe UEFA have given the SFA a few prods to make things happen to get to a league structure similar to every other league in Europe? (I dont know of any other country where this double games happens).

They seem to impose singular rules nowadays regardless of the impact on that countries football. Prime example is the transfer window.
 

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Wouldn't 16 teams reduce the quality of the SPL? I thought the league had 10 teams, when did go to 12? Or was I wrong?
 

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The league went to 12 teams a couple of years ago, maybe even as many as 4.

And it won't impact on the quality of the league because there is VERY little difference in quality between the bottom 6 in the SPL & the top 6 in the First Division.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The 2000/01 season was the first to include 12 teams in the SPL. It had been 10 teams playing each other 4 times up till then resulting in 36 games a season. In the 1999/00 season Aberdeen finished bottom of the league and only avoided relegation due to restructuring. St Mirren and Dunfermline were promoted from the First Division. Peterhead and Elgin were invited into the 3rd Division to increase the overall amount of professional teams from 40-42.

The previous change was for the 1988/89 season when the teams were reduced from a 12 team league, 4 rounds resulting in 44 games, to a 10 team league. It seems to go in cycles with a change every decade so we are due one soon.

Before the league was reduced to a 10 team league for the 1976/77 seaon it had been an 18 team league. I'd like to see that again. It's not going to make the title race any closer but that's not the point as nothing will do that. It will stop alot of mundane fixtures though as teams would only play each other twice. 6 Scottish clubs would also be betting extra revenue. There would be a good dog fight at the bottom of the table too.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The proposal for a 14 club SPL has apparently been knocked back by the member clubs. Very little in the way of news has filtered out on this meeting but it was mentioned on the BBC site.
 

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From that, it seems they're happy with the current format. I thought the 14 club idea was a terrible idea, but I hope we won't be stuck with the current state of affairs for a long period of time.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I agree. It was definitely the wrong option but it still needs a change. Attendances in Scotland are crap and I think it needs a big shake-up all round. We need to introduce a feeder system, we need more cash injected into these clubs and we need less familiarity which can only be achieved by playing each team twice instead of 3-4 times.

They need to open this up to the people really. These suits haven't a clue and it should be the people's choice. If not then some kind of think tank consisting of respected players and managers from the past and present. Something has to change because the authorities are along the domestic game to die a slow death.
 

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Sensible decision to reject the 14-team proposal. I don't see how adding another 2 poor teams to an already poor league would benefit the setup to be honest.

I like the play-off idea though, that type of thing would generate some much-needed excitement in the season. The ones down in England have almost gained legendary status for some of the classic matches down the years.
 
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