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The problem with Scottish fitba


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As far as I'm concerned one of the major problems with Scottish fitba and the main contributor to poor crowds is the declining standard of the product on the park due to teams being too scared to actually try and win games.

 

Too many teams are more concerned with not losing rather than going all out to win. For example, Rangers playing with one up front in league games even at home and St Mirren holding on desperately to their point on saturday by wasting every minute possible. St Mirren have no chance of making the top 6 and no chance of being relegated so what fucking difference will 1 point make to their season now? Could they not have gone and out and tried to entertain their small band of fans?

 

I read a report of the Killie-ICT game that took place this weekend and they were praising the Killie style of play and wondering why it hasnt been evident for the rest of the season- cos Killie can play without the fear of relegation now. There are good players in the SPL but too many are being held back by the constraints of managers whose only concern is not to lose.

 

IMO if the SPL wants the standard to increase they have to try and eliminate the fear factor. The only way I can see this happening is if the league format is changed, with a 16 team league and two relegation/promotion places. Fans are getting more bored by the season and the Self Preservation League needs a good fucking boot up the arse to release the potential that exists.

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Totally agree, Even enlargening it to 14 would go some way to help this problem. They also need to introduce a play off system for relegation like they do in Holland. Say the team that finishes bottom gets relegated and the two teams above it fight it out between them for the last spot. In fact on Holland they even have a play off system as to who goes on to play in the Chumps league if they finish 2nd and 3rd. But that would mean the SFA would have to face the unthinkable that one of the gruesome twosome could fail to make it through to Europe.

 

The SPL has gone stale, despite it being probably the most contested league for a long time if not since its inception. Something needs to be done. I think introducing a play off system will increase the excitment of the league right to the end and entice players and managers to actually go for it.

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In fact on Holland they even have a play off system as to who goes on to play in the Chumps league if they finish 2nd and 3rd. But that would mean the SFA would have to face the unthinkable that one of the gruesome twosome could fail to make it through to Europe.

 

The league would take on a new dimension if this was introduced here, can you imagine the excitement if you knew that 3rd place meant a shot at the Champions League, you'd have about 5 teams really gunning for it from the word go. Question is; do the SPL have the balls to introduce such a scheme...... :hammer:

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Definately.

 

There should definately be more than one religation place, and adding a few teams will make it easier and better to add another religation slot.

 

Watching teams like St Johnstone, Hamilton and Dundee you do get the impression that they are better than certain SPL teams. Didn't seem right that St Johnstone didn't go up as well last season, after some terrific performances.

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1 automatic up and down, 2nd bottom playing 2nd top would add some excitement at the end of the season. Although I think is an idea that was tried in the 90's.

Like the idea of 2nd and 3rd playing for the champions league but what happens with the UEFA place? Does it go to 4th or Loser of 2v3?

I doubt the SFA/SPL would accept the idea of 1 of the bigot bros not in champs league.

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we all say that the SPL is stale and boring but a quick glance around the major European leagues will reveal the same dominance by a select group of teams, namely the ones that qualify for the Champions League every season.

 

France - Lyon 6 in a row

England - Man U, Arsenal and Chelsea every year for the last 15, bar 1.

Spain - Barca and Real most seasons

Italy - Inter, AC and Juve every year for last 16 bar 2

Holland - Feyernoord, Ajax and PSV every year since 81

Portugal - Porto, Sporting, Benfica every year since 46 bar 1

 

And I suppose we're the same as most other leagues in that the other teams are a much of a muchness. It would be very harsh on the Old Firm to have to play a team that finished 25 pts behind them for the right to a CL place, I suppose the playoff system in England is equally as unfair in the Coca-Cola leagues in that a team finishing 6th can go up when finishing 15 pts behind the team in 3rd but I'm not in favour for it with regards European qualification. You knock your pan in for the right to qualify for Europe through your league position and I think that is the way it should stay.

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I think most managers coach not to lose now for the sake of their job - gone are the days when managers get 3 or 4 years and if a team goes on a bad run then the manager loses his job. They coach not to lose because playing well and losing gets you sacked. Fans like exciting games but business is business and losing means lower league spot and less money.

 

I would love a 16 team league and have said that for years but it will never happen. No team can afford to only play the old firm twice, too much revenue lost. The SPL can be pretty boring playing the same old teams 4 times, plus the same again in the cups. I'd love 2 play 3 for the 2nd CL spot, 2 up two down - make it more exciting.

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Sorry forgot to mention, in Holland as it stands (I think anyway) that 3rd (loser of chumps league play off) and 4th get the Uefa cup spot. Yes it would be unfair on the infirm but to be honest I don't care. Just makes the league that bit more exciting.

 

Something needs to be done about the relegation first and foremost though. One down is just ridiculous, at least make it one down with the possibility of another after they play 2nd place of the league below (I think thats how the SFL do it is it not?).

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Part of the problem is English football being on tv too much. If Scottish football highlights were on tv instead of MOTD there would be less Chelsea, Man U, Liverpool and Arsenal "fans" who are born and bred in the Aberdeen area.

 

Roger Mitchell's fault

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Part of the problem is English football being on tv too much. If Scottish football highlights were on tv instead of MOTD there would be less Chelsea, Man U, Liverpool and Arsenal "fans" who are born and bred in the Aberdeen area.

 

I hardly think you can blame MOTD for the ills of Scottish Football.  The fact of the matter is that the product in Scotland is crap, and does not offer value for money.

 

Lower admission prices and perhaps better marketing for the SPL would go a long way, but i think we have to get out of the habit of blaming our shortcomings on the English. Just comes across as Small Country Syndrome. Poor choices made by those at the top of the game are to blame for where the game is now, added to the greed of the clubs.

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I hardly think you can blame MOTD for the ills of Scottish Football.  The fact of the matter is that the product in Scotland is crap, and does not offer value for money.

 

Lower admission prices and perhaps better marketing for the SPL would go a long way, but i think we have to get out of the habit of blaming our shortcomings on the English. Just comes across as Small Country Syndrome. Poor choices made by those at the top of the game are to blame for where the game is now, added to the greed of the clubs.

 

Precisely.

 

Improving grass roots will help, in every sense of the words. Look at EPL pitches, almost entirely immaculate, look at ours. It is fucking terrible, even Livi have a better pitch. At least give the players we do have the best opportunity possible to play attractive fitba.

 

The immediacy of the Scottish game is overwhelming most youth policies, that added to decisions made some 10 years or so ago are continuing to strangle the game.

 

Enlarging the league has fixture issues, it has issues with the cup comps and guess what, money too. I would like to see a 14-16 team league though as those problems are far from insurmountable. 

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I wouldn't exactly say clubs are being greedy. Most clubs are struggling to survive and, like ourselves, are servicing debt rather than rolling in money.

 

A 16 team league, playing each other twice, would be 30 games in a season. Add the Scottish Cup and League Cup (maybe a home and away 2 game semi again??) plus Europe, international fixtures etc and that is more than enough. We may play a few less games but that may help the injuries heal, the pitch recover etc. However, again, less games means less money for clubs so clubs won't vote for that. Something has to change though as the product is not good. A revamped league, plus a 2/3 champ league play off, 2 up 2 down would create a lot more interest in my opinion (even in a 16 team league have third and second bottom and second and third from the 1st div. play a semi and a final for promotion like in England). Something needs to change.

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I dont think that Scottish football would live on a 16/18 team league on the grounds that the insignificant fixtures would simply come earlier in the season.

 

We have seen for ourselves, and could well do again this season, what happens to attendances when you finish in the bottom six. In a 16/18 team structure all that would happen is that you end up like Middlesbrough in the EPL this season, can't go down, can't get Europe, crowds fall, plus you only have 1 game at home to each of the OF. At least at this point in the season teams have an incentive to continue playing to get into the top half.

 

Love it or hate it, the split manufactures excitement at this point in the season when otherwise no-one would want to turn up to games. Does anyone remember the bounce when Lovell scored at Inverness to pretty much guarantee us top 6 a couple of seasons back? How many people would have bothered their arse to get up there without the split?

 

It's something to aim for at the start of the season for lesser clubs as well. Falkirk would never aspire to get into europe this year but the top 6 has given them a realistic expectation, Inverness are the same, it makes a difference from saying that teams want to stay up which breeds the culture of not wanting to lose.

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I dunno if the SPL is the only league in the world to have gone down such a route. I remember reading somewhere that the whole top/botom split was based on the Brazilian league and the way they work(ed?). However, whether this was misguided thinking that copying Brazilian leagues might lead to Brazilian football i am not sure.

 

Having said that, have you seen Brazilian domestic football? Fucking murder. Maybe they're closer to us than i think.

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so what is the dutch league doing, with this silly play off, what is the point of the playoffs in the Championship etc, it's to manufacture excitement.

 

Watch the EPL between now and the end of the season, I'll be surprised if you see a single game between Boro and anyone outwith the top/bottom 4.

 

What is Grand Slam Sunday being in the EPL, surely that's manufacturing excitement?

 

Any sport/league has to promote itself and perhaps the way to do this is to have a unique selling point.

 

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but the point is that people do celebrate getting top 6, just like we all did at Inverness a couple of seasons back, otherwise it would have been dull.

 

Call us mugs if you will but thats the way it was.

 

And at the end of the day the Top 6 can generate cash as it means games against the Old Firm, bigger travelling supports, I'd still rather be in the Top half than the bottom half.

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I can see your point about manufactured excitement and there are certain aspects of it that I detest.

 

The manufactured excitement of four English teams being in the last eight of the Champions League, the highest financial reward in English football being for the winner of a game between two teams finishing from 3rd to 6th in Division 2.

 

Although, these are games that at the moment dont involve Aberdeen, if they did, I'm sure I'd get wrapped up in them.

 

How excited were you at the Copenhagen game, having drawn  3 and lost 2 of our previous 5 European games there would probably have been nothing to play for in that game in previous years but thanks to the revamping of the UEFA Cup (which in the past I have criticised) we had something to look forward to and we had one of the best nights that Pittodrie has seen in years.

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