How to save Scottish football

Discussion in 'Scotland' started by Pedro's greasy do, Mar 18, 2009.

  1. Pedro's greasy do

    Pedro's greasy do Member+

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    OK here are my thoughts on what should happen to Scottish football and football to a degree everywhere.

    General points.
    1.6 + 5 rule put in place ASAP.
    2.All games to start at 3pm on a Saturday. (Traditionally times in other countries. I think in Italy it's a Sunday) TV only allowed to broadcast certain live games. ie cup finals etc. They can have as many highlights packages as they want.
    3.Only the champions of each league get into the European cup.

    Scottish football
    1.Consolidate who is running our game into association! Too many bloody people running our game. (I actually know one of them.. :D )
    2.Change the SPL to 16 teams playing each other twice a season.
    3.Bring back the winter break or..
    4.Controversial but the more I think about it the more I might actually be in favour of Summer football!

    Anyway when I have time I might come back and actually back up my points with reasons!


  2. Bluesfan

    Bluesfan Member

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    This rule may help the national sides (debatable), but I don't see it making the SPL more competitive.

    News Flash, Ideas like #2 and #3 will cost a lot of very powerful people too much money. Neither will happen. In fact the top clubs are still in some smoke filled room trying to organize a breakaway Euro Super League which would of course be televised.

    All just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Either will have no impact on the game or very minor. #1 is not going to happen, period.

    I do agree with #2, in principle (the schedule in the SPL is ridiculous) but how are you going to offset the loss in revenue to the smaller clubs? Salary cap? Revenue sharing? Plus if you had four more whipping boys for the Old Firm, they will just win the league by that many more points.

    The winter break would be good, but how would it 'save' Scottish football. As far as I can tell it just eliminate a good deal of rescheduling matches from bad weather.

    And when Summer football 'saves' Irish League football, then I will change my mind and say great job, you are on to something.
  3. Pedro's greasy do

    Pedro's greasy do Member+

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    It would be a combination of things that would make it more competitive. I believe the 6+5 rule would help.


    To the powerful people. I honestly say f3ck them. I hope Platini gets his way.

    The greed of Rangers/Celtic/SPL has ruined the league. All the football is based on fear. Fear of being relegated. It’s dull and playing each other four times a season is dull. A 16 team league might encourage some more attacking football. Ever noticed Scottish football stopped producing exciting footballers sometime around the late 80’s? Less live football should get people off their lazy arses and to the football generating more money and atmosphere which in turn will generate better atmospheres. The smaller clubs just have to attack more fans. No to salary cap and revenue share. Of course there is the question of Scottish society now as well. Are we as football daft as we used to be?

    Irish football as nothing to save to be honest. They have plenty of other sports to watch and most of them support English teams anyway. Better weather might encourage better football in Scotland.

    Something has to be done. I mean I find watching the EPL dull now as well. Nearly every team is defensive because of the fear of getting beat.
  4. Bluesfan

    Bluesfan Member

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    I don't think greed has killed football. Maybe short-sightedness is a better term. The funny thing is that everyone involved in Scottish football knows something is wrong, they just can't agree with each other and agree to kill or at least starve a few sacred cows for the greater good.

    Rangers and Celtic are not bad and I don't hate them for those clubs wanting to win the league every year, cash in on European football, and make tons of money. What they have done in their short-sightedness is slowly strangle their competition. The only problem is that they need that competition to get to Europe and do well. So by being the unqualified top dogs, they actually weaken their own teams in comparision to other 2nd tier European leagues.

    The answer to this is not to have them break away, but rather invigorate the whole league. As I previously stated, I am sorry but the Old Firm will have to voluntarily come down a notch to gain in the end. My idea of salary cap is unworkable (unless UEFA was to institute some type of cap for all of Europe and yes I know that won't happen). Revenue sharing would be the SPLs best chance. Hear me out.

    You will have to put aside the fallacy of zero sum thinking in regards to revenue sharing. I will simplify this down and try to show some logical progression.

    By Rangers and Celtic sharing some of their revenue, it strenghens the other clubs in the league (and allows 4 more members) which leads to more competitive football, which in turn leads to more supporters in the stands (and more merchandise and more TV revenue), this produces more cash, which in turn means that the Old Firm in the end will have more revenue and a tougher team. All leading to better results in Europe, the National Team qualifying for the WC, and winning the Euros. Okay. Maybe not all that, but hopefully you see my point.

    If you see revenue sharing as only a zero sum equation, then I can't help you. You need an economics professor to explain it. The only caveat would be that every club must operate in the black. No exceptions.

    Rangers and Celtic both have annual revenues of 60-70 million pounds, whereas I can't find another Scottish club who has revenues in excess of 14 million pounds. In fact most others are below 10 million. Way below.

    So how much would the Glasgow boys have to part with upfront before recieving it on the back end? Depends how serious they are about getting to the next level in Europe. Both Old Firm clubs have more revenue than Ajax, Aston Villa, Dortmund, and Leverkusen. The only difference is that those clubs play in better leagues, much better league in some cases. But are still top teams.

    Chew on this. How many top quality players avoid playing for an Old Firm club because they know the league is crap? More than a couple I would guess. I would reason that if the SPL were a better league top to bottom, you could get a better class of player for less money. It isn't going to be the EPL, but we could at least aspire to be on par with the Dutch League.

    I could write a whole dissertation on this topic, but here is the outline of the premise. Of course the devil is in the details as they say.

    Fire away boys!;)


  5. frasermc

    frasermc Take your flunky and dangle

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    in what way? by cherry picking the best players from the other SPL teams? almost every big club in a professional league in Europe operates in the same manner. look at Lyon, Jean-Michel Aulas has been buying the best players in France for nearly a decade now. it's a major reason why his team has been top of the tree for the past 6 or 7 yrs. in that time i wouldn't say the French league has dropped in quality and neither has their national team.

    truth is, we're a small country in international terms. always have been. the rise of the two Glasgow teams hasn't affected that. and as for the buying of Scottish players. one could argue it's a good thing for the national team as the ones that make it at Celtic/Rangers will benefit and improve from the exposure to top flight European football. which in turn will benefit the national squad.




    why should a well run club like Celtic weaken itself intentionally? other teams pushed themselves into debt of their own accord. i'm fairly sure they had an inkling of what was round the corner but they kept pushing it anyway, even if they knew it couldn't last. maybe the fact that teams have to turn to youth will eventually benefit the national team and the league in general. look at Hamilton this season -

    Brian Easton
    James McArthur
    James McCarthy
    Jordan McMillan
    Rocco Quinn
    Paul McGowan

    all good young players that have the ability to have a promising future in the game and play for a club that are allowing them to play an attractive brand of football.

    perhaps Scottish football would be better served to remove the dinosaurs from the management and coaching side of the game rather than look at the Glasgow teams as the root of all evil. i see every team at Celtic Park and Kilmarnock have been consistently the worst and most negative side i've viewed there for the past three or four seasons at least. guys like Craig Levein and Billy Reid are at least attempting to allow their team to play a style of football that is pleasing on the eye and worth paying admission money to see. Jefferies and Billy Brown have Killie playing some awful stuff. so much so that it's the only side i have to drag myself to watch at Celtic Park on my season ticket.

    not all of the ills in the Scottish game have their roots in money.




    no arguments there.




    if the league was stronger then i'd imagine we(as a whole) would be able to attract a better class of player but weakening the two Glasgow clubs isn't going to make the league stronger. quite the opposite.

    again, maybe i'm not picking you up right but you seem to think the money that is associated with Celtic/Rangers is the main cause of the state of the SPL. doesn't coaching of players, size of the SPL, which is as much down to the other 10 teams as anyone else as others have stated, have a bearing on why our product is poor at times.


    Pedro is right in what he says about summer football. have you seen the condition of the pitches in the winter? and i'm not just talking about the beach - farmers field that is Fir Park. it is impossible to produce good quality, entertaining football in conditions such as that. summer football would bring about better conditions for players to perform. at the very least, a 2mth winter break should be seriously considered again.
  6. Bluesfan

    Bluesfan Member

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    You missed the whole overarching theme of my post. Revenue sharing creates a stronger SPL overall, thus a stronger Old Firm in the end.

    Any other changes would be window dressing. Go ahead and play in the summer if it is better, we do here in the States for the same reason. Neither New England or Scotland provide ideal weather conditions for football in January.

    But that is not going to address the untenable situation of two clubs who each have a revenue that more than doubles the rest of the ten clubs combined. If you want me to research France, Holland, and whoever else to determine if their leagues are as unbalanced, I will try. I doubt they are that unbalanced.
  7. frasermc

    frasermc Take your flunky and dangle

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    try and research Germany. i'm sure i read that Bayern out dwarfs every other team in the league combined. and yet the Bundesliga is one of the tightest leagues season after season.
  8. frasermc

    frasermc Take your flunky and dangle

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    from World Soccer -


    Bayern is a remarkable club and boasts regional pride on behalf of Bavaria in southern Germany in the same way Barcelona flies the flag for Catalonia in Spain, Marseille for the south of France and Milan in northern Italy. It also boasts more money - through fans support, sponsorship and television investment - than all the rest of the Bundesliga put together.
  9. st mirren till i die

    st mirren till i die New Member

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    send rangers and celtic to the atlantic league, or the atlantis league, or whatever you wan't to call it... as long as it's a league of two at the bottom of the ocean.
  10. The Tartan Hoop

    The Tartan Hoop New Member

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    If you want my opinion, I tend to agree with Fraser on this one.

    My view on the reasons for a player not wanting to play in Scotland is purely down the fact that EPL is over exposed and inflated in value for money.

    Most players that we want to purchase for example could triple their wages for playing down at the EPL mainly because money is flowing down there without as much as a second glance at actually how much is being spent.

    We have to also look at the fact that less than half the players in the EPL are not even english or something to that degree from hear say I think, when a really really good scottish player comes out the works english teams are sniffing around for a good deal because we can't turn away the amount of money they would offer, but to an english team it's like spare change. The reason I mention that is because the EPL is so exposed that players from all over the world want to ply their trade there to get on the grid and the money they could earn while doing it is mega!

    So, how does this apply to the topic? To save scottish football we would need that amount of investment and exposure, which is not going to happen in my eyes. When people think of football in Britian, they think Man United, Chelsea, Liverpool, all these teams that were bought and had money ploughed into them. Celtic might get a mention but there is no history lesson offered about any teams in Scotland.

    Say someone bought Celtic, put money into it and we were able to battle with wages and prices, that would recieve some attention and with a better chance of landing good quality players we could make a dent in europe. Then, chances are from that some rich people buy Hamilton next and does the same.

    As long as their name isn't Vlad we should be okay... :D

    I don't think giving more money to lower teams to increase the wage basket and a chance to win the league is going to help expose the scottish league anymore than what it currently is... we need exposure, news time in different places and money invested in making it more attractive visually then from there, better class of players might think ''Hmm, I might not do so well down in the big EPL so I will go to a team here where there is a chance of gaining some European football.''

    However, if they are only in it for the money we got no hope in hell.
  11. YankHibee

    YankHibee Member+

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    I don't really think Scottish soccer needs saving. I think it does remarkably well compared to most similar sized markets. If the fans in Edinburgh, Dundee, or Aberdeen wanted a team to challenge the OF so badly, it wouldn't be that hard to do.
  12. Pedro's greasy do

    Pedro's greasy do Member+

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    The brand of football is rubbish though.
  13. Parkhead_Faithful

    Parkhead_Faithful New Member

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    Dundee unt have at times been more interesting to watch than rangers this season, us too actually. So did hibs under Collins. Unsustainable over several seasons due to the need to sell players on but id say in the last 5 years the best football in this country hasnt been played in glasgow, we just have bigger squads and more match winners.
  14. Gordon EF

    Gordon EF Moderator Staff Member

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    Depends what you want to compare it to though doesn't it?

    I think YH's right. The last time I looked, no country smaller than Scotland had a stronger domestic league (according to UEFA coefficients) and the only smaller than Scotland which has a better international side (according to FIFA rankings) is Croatia. And very few country's have the same number of supporters per head that we do.

    We run ourselves down because it's too easy to compare our game to the English game for a lot of people. We can't compete because of numbers. They have 10 times the population we do and so their leagues have a lot more money than we do.

    Our big problem is that everyone loves football but the vast majority decide to follow the OF over local teams. Growing up in Kirkcaldy when Raith Rovers won a major trophy, got into the Premier League and had, arguably, their most successful spell ever, there were still far more Celtic fans and far more Rangers fans in the town than Rovers fans. It's not even as if these folk go to games.

    So the game at the top in this country has become devoid of competition and real interest and that's something which is not going to be easy to fix, if it's possible at all.

    I think a 16 team SPL would be a good idea. Getting back league sections for the league cup and having the final in November again, would be good. Slightly larger leagues in the SFL, although not 20 would make things more interesting. And take some time and set up a fair and workable pyramid structure.

    Also, let's get proper acadamies going for kids with talent, like the French did. the government should be helping SPL clubs to set up academies where kids can come and train full time and also go to school etc.
  15. Pedro's greasy do

    Pedro's greasy do Member+

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    I remember seeing something that said that per head of population more people go to watch football in Scotland than any other country in the world. I know we do really well in terms of our league. I’d just like to see more attacking football encouraged.
  16. Pedro's greasy do

    Pedro's greasy do Member+

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    Oh and I will say from a personal point of view when Rangers were playing a defensive brand of football last season and we were getting results. I could not care less about the football. But when we’re doing it this season and not getting results it doubles the pressure on Smith. I wish we’d stuck with PLG. His biggest mistake was underestimating Scottish football. His signings were not good enough. I’m sure he would not have made that mistake two seasons in a row.
  17. YankHibee

    YankHibee Member+

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    Until Mixu, Hibs had several years of free flowing attacking going, and have produced quite a few very good players. That isn't to say there aren't problems, but I think "saving" is a bit overstated. I think the small clubs are always where the heart of the game was, and internationally the culture of the game is still adjusting to global tv markets and so forth. I think...er at least I hope that as tickets continue to get more expensive, the smaller clubs will have a sort of renaissance in support. I think that has happened to a degree in the States with other sports--I'm much more likely to attend an NCAA game for a reasonable price and with a raucous crowd than I am to pay out the nose to see an NBA or NFL game attended by our version of the prawn sandwich brigade.
  18. luciusmagister

    luciusmagister New Member

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    Some really good ideas posted here but I’ll agree with those that say Scottish football doesn’t need to be saved. I am for the more traditional KO times and I would like to see a TV blackout for non sell out matches. I don’t think a summer schedule would work but I would think about a return of a winter break. The league format may not be ideal but the alternatives put forward seem to be even more problematic if you ask me. I don’t think the 6+5 rule will solve any problems and will make most leagues a bit blander. I would like to see a champions only policy with regards to CL play. A salary cap would only work if the same amount was imposed on all of Europe and that seems unlikely. I am against Celtic leaving the SPL for any other league be it a Euro, EPL or whatever. Believe it or not I don’t think the next three or four clubs are that far behind the old firm.

    One of my main gripes about football these days is that big clubs have a ton of talent on the bench and in reserve that nobody gets to see play. Some of these guys would be huge stars on a lot of other squads. It is a shame to see talented players languish because of lack of PT on a big squad. I guess I am more interested in a player’s PT. I hate to see a player come through an academy of a selling club and be bought only for a contingency plan of a bigger club.
  19. Bluesfan

    Bluesfan Member

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    A tv blackout for nonsellouts seems reasonable and hopefully would not affect the fees that networks pay out too adversely.

    I would also agree that Scotland football doesn't need to be 'saved'. It is in decline, but there could very much be a turnaround in the works with some tweaks.

    The nut that needs to be cracked is how do you get folks to support a local side instead an OF club?
  20. Tankfantry

    Tankfantry Member

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    The problem with this is people hate to support a losing team or a team that doesn't win all the time, the reason why the Old Firm is supported is because they have a 50-50 chance of winning the league every year thus making their lives less stressful when it comes to football. Here in the States I have been following the Houston Texans (NFL) since they arrived in 2002 but have yet to have a winning season, sure it would have been easy to jump on the New England bandwagon when they won like 3 Super Bowls in 5 years or some crap but I didn't. As long as the Old Firm contiunes to win the league by a 15-20 point gaps almost every year you will be hard fetched to get people to support the local clubs. Same goes with any league I think thats why the MLS (Major League Soccer) is attempting to keep the teams on level terms at all cost.
  21. Gordon EF

    Gordon EF Moderator Staff Member

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    It's a catch 22. In 'provincial' Scottish towns, people won't support the local team "cos they're sh1t" and the teams are shit cos nobody supports them.

    It'll never change in Scotland.
  22. Tankfantry

    Tankfantry Member

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    thats sad because even those tier 2 teams need fans, I mean hell I am forced to live with the MLS (Major League Soccer) and it's "clubs" but you know what no matter what team it is every stadium has around 15-20 thousand people watching every week.

    Go Dynamo....
  23. Gordon EF

    Gordon EF Moderator Staff Member

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    A lot of clubs in the lower leagues are probably reasonably well supported, considering the size of town they're from and their vicinity to other teams. It's just that support/ people who like football in these towns is poor.
  24. st mirren till i die

    st mirren till i die New Member

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    Mate the MLS has what... 12 teams to serve a population of 300 million, Scotland has 42 senior clubs for a population of less than 5 million. You have to remember that outside of Glasgow and Edinburgh people are spread sparsely. Attendances in Scotland are skewed by the Old Firm, it's not that the other clubs draw small crowds it's because Rangers and Celtic draw freakishly large crowds.
  25. Tankfantry

    Tankfantry Member

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    I understand that but trust me here in the States while these 16 teams are in a country of 300+ million people 90% of Yanks could give a shit less about Football (that is unless you are talking about the NFL). Plus we do have tier 2 & 3 teams in cities but their stadiums only fill around 1500-3000 people per game, but I do see your point. On another note the MLS is also competing for fans against the NBA, MLB, NHL, NFL and not to mention ALL College sports (which draws more fans then any other sport here).

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