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harry94 last won the day on 12 March

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About harry94

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  1. In all honesty, I actually think the b team in itself is a good idea in theory. There's been a lot of talk for years about the lack of the reserves etc but as much as we like to try and rejig the rules, most teams just can't afford to properly fund a second string and then treat a reserve competition that seriously apart from maybe a few of the bigger sides, this means that there just isn't a proper competitive structure for a lot of players to play in unless the caps on loans are dramatically lifted (and maybe you want them under your own development coach). I'm not really sure how you can implement it in Scotland without WW3 kicking off though. In Spain, you've got a regionalised third tier of 80 teams (moving to 100 next term) so it's much easier to find space for the teams who want to do it. Similar in Italy and Germany with the 3rd and 4th levels. If you introduced this in Scotland with the same set-up, it would cause a massive displacement of teams unless you did arbitrarily state that only the OF are allowed it. I think you'd really need to fundamentally rewrite the whole structure at those levels. As @BCram points out, the juniors have been moving over into the pyramid in big numbers and still are (I think we're a few years away from everyone being in the one set-up) so maybe once things get settle, there may well be a demand for rearranging things at this level which will allow some b teams to a more manageable level. There have been cases in the past with a few sides like Hibs, Berwick Rangers, Spartans etc fielding multiple teams in the set-up so it isn't totally unprecedented.
  2. The whole style of play was changed a fair bit as well, I don't think it was really just one or two players. The defensive players we have like Forster, Meekings and then Byrne and Callachan in front of them were just not asked to play football in their own half of the pitch any more and made a lot less mistakes.
  3. harry94


    For what it's worth, I know a guy who was often behind a lot of these protests in Dundee. Say what you like about him or question their reasons for gathering etc but him and his group have been arranging these sorts of protests for years to try and draw attention to various issues (e.g. Yemen civil war, oppression of Uyghurs by Chinese government). It's just that sometimes certain issues are much easier spread because they are things people are aware of and have a level of understanding of with the reporting of our press etc. There is a lot of noise about terrible things happening in the world and it becomes very difficult to really assess who the goodies and baddies are, especially with western governments often struggling on that question over decades.
  4. It's a bit sh*t on maybe ourselves who were on a decent run and the other 3rd/4th sides but as much as there seems to be a lot of anger at Hearts desperation in all of this, it is horrific for them and Thistle to be relegated in that way and also especially poor to Falkirk who narrowly missed out on the league. I think though it would be the least bad solution and not disproportionately hurt some teams and gift to the likes of Hamilton, St Mirren, Alloa, QotS, Peterhead, Forfar etc who were all in relegation battles. it certainly isn't completely fair but I think it's a lot better and I could live with the cost on Dundee and a decent chance for next term. If the cost of this is just a clock to then shift the burden of extra relegation/less promotion a couple of years down the line, that's pretty poor and not worth it. The top 6 are obviously not happy about losing a home game which is understandable if they have budgeted it but given the circumstances, it really doesn't seem like a huge sacrifice anyway given the issues with getting crowds in next term. It's also perfectly conceivable that Aberdeen could find themselves further down the table, they have been decent in terms of top 6 finishes recently but they've had years of being pish. I still think we could get it passed as a permanent change but it'll take a lot of maneuvering. Anything more than 14 really messes up the prize money distributions which I think is a bit too much of a problem given the margins right now and the full-time teams already relying on cash injections, you'd be looking at Celtic taking a 25% hit in prize money and still pretty much everyone losing near half a million. Too much of the budgeting for next term has been done and if it come with extra relegation, it's another fear factor for some teams near the bottom. It's a nice idea but I don't really see any route to it being seriously considered.
  5. I remember Baird coming through and playing against us a few seasons back and looking really solid. He really seems to divide opinion in Paisley these days though, maybe a move here would be perfect timing though as it would give him another season in this league entering his prime years. If there's a Nisbet type clause, I'd take Reagan Hendry from Raith. Looks like a really decent footballer and probably been the difference in Raith just pipping Falkirk this term.
  6. I think that would have us very happy, sure he'd be good for Hamilton (presuming still on the books) and Ferrie as well. There has always been talk though that he didn't like the traveling to Killie from Edinburgh, get the feeling he'll maybe end up at Livi or back at Hearts or maybe even Hibs.
  7. There's another reality where Hartley goes for him instead of Williams and we're dominating Europe IMO.
  8. There's a handful of young OF players with contracts expiring, Rangers also quite receptive these days to selling players on but putting in a first option on a buyback which I think is quite a decent bit of business for both parties. I think it's a really good market for teams like us if we're sensible with it and use trials/short term deals to test them out. There was a midfielder called Mark Hill who was on loan from Celtic to Forfar a couple of seasons ago and really looked the part and run the show. Went on loan to the US for a year after that and Celtic took him back and seems to have disappeared. Might be a decent player to get back on the right track, one of these boys that was touted absurdly from a young age (Hamilton tried to put him in the first-team squad at 13).
  9. In fairness to the top flight teams, it's quite tough financially to see the financial distribution change. Football money is based on a power law type relationship where you have bigger gaps as you move up the league. Since teams budget for 2-3 years, it is really a dramatic change to absorb over night. Add 4 Championship teams in and up the prize pot accordingly. Say Celtic are nice enough to sacrifice 25% of their income and the 16th pot is set somewhere between our Championship football and top flight to compromise. From some very rushed calculations (and maths I've not used in a long time), a team like Aberdeen are now losing an additional £500k and every current top flight team is losing at least in the region of £300k + more. If you were a current top flight side and then got dragged into the relegation zone with a team who maybe have heavy benefactor power (i.e. ourselves), you could be facing financial ruin in the second season heading down a division if you've got a lot of playing staff signed up on those terms. You can always tweak things but more money towards the top flight pot then hurts teams down the set-up who would also be reeling from a couple of bigger away gates leaving, this is before we even consider implications of the change in structure impact on no of games + size of gates (which could be mitigated against in some way like you indicate - although so many express apathy re repetition and a lot of the league would still be living with that). I think if we're pushing past that 10-14 mark of teams, it's really got to be something that comes with enough time for it to be budgeted for. In all honesty, I'm personally skeptical of a lot of the reasons given in support but if a decent compromise of 14 could be made that didn't have a clock attached to it (which frees all the relegation threatened sides now but threatens us in a couple of seasons), I think it could be a good way of testing what the appetite is. As a country of 5 million, we're definitely not alone in gravitating towards the smaller leagues with a bit of experimenting, I think the comparisons re the English league on our doorstep are really unhelpful tbh.
  10. The prospect of the season only running with the current top flight as it stands, behind closed doors, and suspended football elsewhere seems horrific. Just taking a very rough estimate at £20 a head over the 19 games, the smallest team in the top division (Hamilton) would have slightly under £1 million coming in for the season. Livi £1.15 million, Motherwell £2.1 million, Hibs £6.4 million, Celtic/Rangers £20 million. In addition, the league sponsorship is ending removing £2.5 million from the prize pot moving another ~£150k. The full-time teams in this country generally operate with players contracted for multiple seasons (which is where pt is a bit more agile) and that seems to be the case pretty much everywhere apart from Dunfermline who are down to just a small handful. Pretty much everyone is running with losses already. If we were to resume with a shorter season, initial closed door matches, capped capacities etc, you could see how it is possible that every team is looking at finding at least 7 figures. The likes of us being exiled from football for a season would probably be over £3 million in losses and we've got a squad signed up. The only way to get out of that is to try and restructure the business in the time being (i.e. administrators) or pulling a Rangers, otherwise it falls on Keyes to source. Personally, I wouldn't be at all surprised if us and others have even had preliminary chats with administrators etc or at least sought knowledge, I think that's a responsible step. The well off benefactors who usually step in and put in the soft loans/share purchasing to meet this gap are also not necessarily 'cash' rich, especially right now and may not be enthused about throwing money into a void. Unless the gov comes up with a cheap way to borrow or a white knight comes in with a shitload of cash for the betterment of Scottish Football, very hard to see where the injections come from. I'm actually feeling more positive that we'll be in stadiums sooner than we think and also confident that our ownership is putting the backing in with extensions and pursuit of Callachan etc but I still don't think that Scottish Football as an entirety has really grasped just how badly this could go if a few circumstances line up in the wrong way. Re the early statements from Hibs and Motherwell, the context of 'the big picture' really needs to be resolved so we know what we're working with. I think if it were a case of teams on the brink and maybe a limit to 30 or so fixtures, we would see a massive change in the reconstruction narrative. It's very easy to avoid saving a rival team who have been sh**e at football for a year or a side who have been financially irresponsible etc but I think everyone is in the same boat and there will be more empathy.
  11. True, I think the SFA probably needs a bit of a reorganisation too. The original plan was 8 independent academies. The idea being everyone would have access to good coaching and facilities rather than just taking a bit of grant money, sending a volunteer and then culling everything at u17. We'd have a main 8 and then satellite academies off that which would cover roughly equal parts of the population (with a bit of geographic consideration). Honestly, in my mind that's a brilliant idea. I've seen a lot of stupid sh*t on the lower fringes of the set-up including moronic 'qualified' coaches who at best are maybe good intention volunteers and at worse pricks who are stealing employment and on a power trip. Obviously it hasn't worked out for him in first-team management but you do see people like Ian Cathro who are on a different planet in what they do and I'm sure there are others out there like him (who don't have any rep in the game) who would thrive if we had a more professional national and regional set-up that actually scouted for these people. It's all went down with kicking and screaming because when the clubs got involved, they couldn't stomach so what we got instead was a bunch of pissy compromises where some components of the plan were kept but now totally insignificant (i.e. the arbitrary definition of 8 wasn't envisioned to divide up existing clubs). At least it's been a boost to certification standards and the Fife clubs got a bit of assistance in their regional academy if nothing else I suppose but that didn't require such a big fuss. There is a bit of an opportunity though because the membership of the SFA is a bit different and it's not something which clubs could break away from at the top, not without ending up in court for a decade. I think there has maybe been an, understandable, attitude from some of the lesser shareholders to maybe let the bigger SPFL contingent get on with what they are doing as they perhaps don't feel they have the time/expertise to weigh into this stuff as much but in theory, they could actually be quite powerful. There's a far bigger stick there than is maybe realised and I think there's something wrong if time and money is spent on thoroughly researching a proposal like above and then see it quickly change form in that way.
  12. We just had this issue come up in the last decade and it was widely agreed that the fragmentation caused by the SPL breakaway didn't do anyone any good. There was a bubble there and a lot of apathy when the difference in prize money was 5x what it is now between the top two divisions (and it was also a bit of an abyss you were falling to, the second tier didn't have anything in the form of broadcasting apart from the odd ALBA game which was more detrimental than profitable to teams like us). Maybe we could have pushed all the full-time teams together with SPL2 or whatever which would have bridged the gap but even after the merger, but I'm not really sure what it's actually achieving locking them out of the room. Whatever issues we're facing, I don't really think it's because we've moved to a more inclusive set-up, very easy to bring up the drawbridge but unless you are proposing a closed set-up, you have to consider that you too may drop a level one day. I think a lot of the problems just stem from a disconnect in interests, the CEO we appoint for the SPFL is someone with a background in the commercial and broadcasting side. Whether the incumbent is doing a good or bad job at that, I don't think many will know the full details of the context he's acted in and what it would have been reasonable to describe he's missed out on. We've then thrown these other responsibilities into that role to be responsible for the league set-up. Invariably they are judged for revenue and are going to push for decisions which solidify their work in the short-medium term (longer and they'll likely be in another job....). The clubs have kind of acted with themselves and found consensus in 2012 and 2013 with Rangers and the league merger so we've not really been in this situation before. I think we perhaps need to devolve the league set-up committee to be a long-term set-up and perhaps overseen by SFA, it's a shitfest having to put one together in a time of crisis. There's also just the case as well that many of the changes proposed in Scottish football fans are just plain unpopular at boardroom level. It's not out of badness but it's asking a lot of people who are perhaps subsidising losses to revert to bigger leagues with a significantly reduced gate, potential hit to TV money and then an even bigger abyss for relegation (imagine Dundee getting relegated out of a >16 team set-up? we'd be dropping into a league majorly made up of part-time sides).
  13. I really have no idea what he's actually proposing tbh. He talks about clubs finding their level, the part time teams in this country generally operate sustainability to their gate income and don't have a huge dependence on subsidy, it's the likes of the mid sized full time teams like ourselves who are in disarray. On decision making, the regulations of league pass member votes with a bias to the top divisions. Having 22 or so full time teams is more than respectable for a nation the size of Scotland. I dont know if the suggestion is to just eliminate relegation from that. He also talks about these teams being meaningless youth development wise, Queen's Park would like to have words! Raith and Airdrie with recent internationalists too.
  14. I don't think it's an actual rule but there's a 'calendar' that they request so so many dates that are just blocked out for internationals + continental competitions (with a team reaching group stage, it's hard to see where it finishes). Internationals and continental must take priority for teams to compete so the leagues have to work round that. That pretty much brings us down to our 38 + another ~12 viable dates (cups and a bit of flex for call offs) after the LC group stage. You could maybe push it a wee bit but it's actually quite a challenge some seasons as a it is, I remember a few years back we had a postponed game V Celtic and we weren't far from a scenario that would have meant we'd also have to rearrange the last 5 games. FIFA have made requests to various leagues to try and cut down domestic matches. I think the EPL was meant to be 18 teams originally and when it wasn't, they were asked along with France, Spain and Italy to cut the size down. The leagues have so far just point blank refused. I think, on the back of it, there was maybe some plan tabled by Bolton to change the top 2 leagues to 16 (branding second tier as Premier League 2), abandon relegation from that, and bring the Old Firm but no one else supported it.
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