League Reconstruction

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League Reconstruction

Postby weemart » Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:16 am

Please find below a copy of an email I sent to all the SPL clubs, the SPL, SFA and SFL. Also I sent the email to The Rangers and I think Dunfermline were still on my list from last season. I've also enclosed the reply I received from the RSA and the reply I gave them. It's still the case that only Rangers and the RSA have acknowledged my email. I would be interested to know what other people think of the current proposals regarding League reconstruction.
From: Martin Davis
Sent: ‎14‎ ‎March‎ ‎2013 ‎23‎:‎07
Subject: RE: The Rangers Supporters Association: Scottish football and league reconstr...

Hi John,

Thanks for your reply. So far only yourself and Rangers have acknowledged my emails, although it was late afternoon when I sent it. Last season’s email was only acknowledged by Dundee United and Motherwell.

A few seasons ago Celtic and Rangers met 7 times. A major problem that season was that round about March and April we met so often that bad blood spilled over from one game to the next and it’s not good for Scottish football and I’m guessing the police on those occasions. I had thought about other league structures with a revamped league cup which included groups in the early rounds. But the league cup holds little appeal to fans these days. A possible way round that could be by having an all-in knockout round, with the only teams getting a bye being those who’ve qualified for Europe. This would be followed by a group stage with all the teams who’ve qualified for Europe going into the same group and only 1 team from each group progressing. Since on most occasions this would put Celtic and Rangers into the same group with only 1 progressing it would open up avenues for other clubs to reach the final. It would also replace the loss of 2 Celtic-Rangers games from the league. I know you’ll always get people (especially fans of Celtic and Rangers) who want to win every game and every competition but in recent times the competition from other clubs has been so little that winning trophies has at times become rather devalued.

I also think it should be noted that my impression of recent years is that no1 is coming up with ways of properly marketing clubs. When Fergus McCann took over Celtic they’re average attendance was around 18000. At the time I was a paperboy in Cumbernauld and when Celtic had to play at Hampden in the 1994-95 season every day for about a month a Celtic season ticket application form fell out of the Daily Record. The Hampden season Celtic had around 23000 season ticket holders. We need clubs to start providing better (and bigger) facilities and start this kind of aggressive marketing. Perhaps it won’t work but at least they will have tried instead of just continuing to trundle along as they have done for the last 20 years.

To be honest I am not attempting a 1-man stand to try to get change in Scottish football, but in all the time I had a Celtic season ticket no1 ever approached me, either outside the stadium or by mail to ask what I thought of Scottish football and I get the impression that the current proposals haven’t had much fan input either.

Sent from Windows Mail

Sent: ‎14‎ ‎March‎ ‎2013 ‎20‎:‎11
Subject: Re: The Rangers Supporters Association: Scottish football and league reconstr...

Hi Martin
Thank you for your email. It makes for very interesting reading although I am not convinced that we have enough decent teams to make a top league of 18. I would be more in favour of 3 leagues of 14 teams, and although some would argue that there would not be enough fixtures, there could possibly be a revamp of the league cup to make up to make up the fixture list. I have been against the current SPL set up since it was started, and one of the main reasons was that clubs in the SPL met a minimum of 4 times a season and I can recall a few years ago when Rangers played either St Mirren or Hamilton 7 times in one season. No one will convince me that is good for the game in general. Over the years I have had discussions with Roger Mitchell, who was the first CE of the SPL, several meetings with Neil Doncaster, also meetings with David Taylor who was CE of the SFA (now in a high position with FIFA), Gordon Smith ex CE of the SFA and the present incumbent Stewart Regan and expressed my concerns about the Scottish Football in general. Another concern I pointed out to them was why there was a need for 3 professional bodies within Scottish Football, but they all argued their own corner. You are spot on when you say that the current proposals is not a revamp of Scottish Football but merely a small tweak. You make other very interesting discussion points and I will watch with interest what becomes of your efforts and if any of these clubs decide to take it further.


John E Macmillan
General Secretary

In a message dated 14/03/2013 14:36:45 GMT Standard Time, writes:
This is an enquiry e-mail via [URL:509aedd4]http://www.gersnetonline.co.uk/rsa[/URL:509aedd4] from:
Martin Davis
From: Martin Davis
Sent: 14 March 2013 14:20
To: [EMAIL="tictalk@celticfc.co.uk"]tictalk@celticfc.co.uk[/EMAIL:509aedd4], [EMAIL="mfcenquiries@motherwellfc.co.uk"]mfcenquiries@motherwellfc.co.uk[/EMAIL:509aedd4], [EMAIL="admin@dundeeunitedfc.co.uk"]admin@dundeeunitedfc.co.uk[/EMAIL:509aedd4], [EMAIL="enquiries@perthsaints.co.uk"]enquiries@perthsaints.co.uk[/EMAIL:509aedd4], [EMAIL="kirstencallaghan@kilmarnockfc.co.uk"]kirstencallaghan@kilmarnockfc.co.uk[/EMAIL:509aedd4], [EMAIL="info@saintmirren.net"]info@saintmirren.net[/EMAIL:509aedd4], [EMAIL="feedback@afc.co.uk"]feedback@afc.co.uk[/EMAIL:509aedd4], [EMAIL="board@hibernianfc.co.uk"]board@hibernianfc.co.uk[/EMAIL:509aedd4], [EMAIL="enquiries@dafc.co.uk"]enquiries@dafc.co.uk[/EMAIL:509aedd4], [EMAIL="george.adams@rosscountyfootballclub.co.uk"]george.adams@rosscountyfootballclub.co.uk[/EMAIL:509aedd4], [EMAIL="enquiries@scotprem.com"]enquiries@scotprem.com[/EMAIL:509aedd4], [EMAIL="info@scottishfootballleague.com"]info@scottishfootballleague.com[/EMAIL:509aedd4], [EMAIL="info@scottishfa.co.uk"]info@scottishfa.co.uk[/EMAIL:509aedd4], [EMAIL="clare@homplc.co.uk"]mailto:clare@homplc.co.uk[/EMAIL:509aedd4]
Subject: Scottish football and league reconstruction
Hi everyone,
Please find below a copy of an email I sent in June last year. This explains what my view at that time was. I am again emailing the same organisations, but this time I have got an email address for Hearts FC. Rangers, Dundee and Inverness Caley Thistle have forms on their website to contact them so I’ll use those to forward this email to them.
I have read with interest the stories in recent months regarding League reconstruction in Scotland. In my opinion the proposed 12-12-18 system is not a satisfactory way to go. The fans do not like the current 12/10 team leagues so it seems pointless continuing with a similar system. What is currently being proposed is not a revamp of Scottish football, but a small tweak to an already unpopular system. Also, many people (myself included) bleated last year about sporting integrity having to be upheld, but by retaining The Rangers in the bottom tier this will not be the case. Similarly, leapfrogging them over other clubs into the 2nd tier will not uphold sporting integrity.
I therefore suggest that the leagues be modelled into an 18-18-18 construction with pyramid systems below. This would mean The Rangers going into the 2nd tier. It would obviously also mean 12 extra teams within the league structure. Clubs from outside the current structure should be invited to apply to fill these spaces. Also, Celtic, The Rangers and clubs from within the current SPL should be invited to put their youth (Under 21) teams into the 3rd tier. All the clubs who apply should then be given proper consideration. Without being disrespectful I feel that Celtic or The Rangers under 21s would draw bigger crowds vs the likes of East Stirling, Clyde, Stirling Albion than what those clubs draw against each other. It would also allow young players from the under 21 teams clubs to gain experience in a competitive surrounding.
I know that there is an argument against an 18 team top division because of how many “big” clubs Scottish football has, but as the 12 team top tier is proving unpopular and a 16 team top tier would reduce the number of games to 30 (4 home games less for each team) the 18 team league appears more viable.
Also, in recent years the SFA has on several occasions attempted to bring the European Championships to Scotland, but have failed due to the lack of 30000+ all seater stadiums in Scotland. It is my understanding that all clubs in the SPL currently have to pay a registration fee. In my opinion the Scottish football clubs should spread the wealth more generously. I know at present a lot of Scottish football clubs are not wealthy and don’t have a lot of money, but they have to look at ways of improving the product and making the game more appealing to the fans. I believe Scotland currently has a population of around 6m. I’d estimate that 3m+ of those people are football fans. If those figures are correct then Scottish league attendances in my opinion should be upwards of 600,000 per week. Scottish football clubs should be looking at ways to bring those people out to watch the games. This would mean reducing prices to a feasible amount for the fans to pay. But hopefully
this would lead to an increase in spectators attending matches, an increase of sales within stadiums and merchandising and increase in advertising as clubs would be advertising to more people.
I’d also suggest that some form of grant system (from the SPL registration fund) be introduced that would allow some of our bigger clubs to redevelop (or build new) stadiums in order to increase their capacities to 30000+. Some of the smaller clubs could also benefit from this system to bring stadium capacities to 15000+. By doing this it would mean that the SFA would have a stronger case to bring the European Championships to Scotland and the revenue created by this could be shared back amongst the clubs. I realise that this may take 20+ years to reach completion, but for the last 20 years the top 2 clubs (Celtic and Rangers) have been finishing 20+ points ahead of their nearest rivals. It would be hoped that by proceeding in such a way the gap between clubs can be closed and there would be a wider spread of trophies and much closer league championships. This would hopefully lead to an increase in TV and advertising income and a better performance by Scottish clubs in E
uropean competition.
I am aware that other countries in Europe have seasons were 1 or 2 clubs run away with their championships, but I’m not aware of any other countries having the problem were the same 2 clubs have run away with their championships every season for such a prolonged period.
In my opinion it is time for a proper revamp of Scottish football and not just some tweaks and I hope you will take my opinions into consideration.
As before I do not represent any organisation within Scottish football. I do intend to send a copy of this email to both the Celtic and Rangers supporters associations and post a copy of this email on some Celtic and Rangers fans forums on the internet which will hopefully start some intellectual input to the future of Scottish football and stop the nonsensical arguing about what has gone on in the past. Decisions have been made about the past and it’s now time to move forwards.
Kind regards
Martin Davis
Sent from Windows Mail
From: Martin Davis
Sent: 16 June 2012 01:31
To: [EMAIL="tictalk@celticfc.co.uk"]tictalk@celticfc.co.uk[/EMAIL:509aedd4], [EMAIL="mfcenquiries@motherwellfc.co.uk"]mfcenquiries@motherwellfc.co.uk[/EMAIL:509aedd4], [EMAIL="admin@dundeeunitedfc.co.uk"]admin@dundeeunitedfc.co.uk[/EMAIL:509aedd4], [EMAIL="enquiries@perthsaints.co.uk"]enquiries@perthsaints.co.uk[/EMAIL:509aedd4], [EMAIL="kirstencallaghan@kilmarnockfc.co.uk"]kirstencallaghan@kilmarnockfc.co.uk[/EMAIL:509aedd4], [EMAIL="info@saintmirren.net"]info@saintmirren.net[/EMAIL:509aedd4], [EMAIL="feedback@afc.co.uk"]feedback@afc.co.uk[/EMAIL:509aedd4], [EMAIL="board@hibernianfc.co.uk"]board@hibernianfc.co.uk[/EMAIL:509aedd4], [EMAIL="enquiries@dafc.co.uk"]enquiries@dafc.co.uk[/EMAIL:509aedd4], [EMAIL="george.adams@rosscountyfootballclub.co.uk"]george.adams@rosscountyfootballclub.co.uk[/EMAIL:509aedd4], [EMAIL="enquiries@scotprem.com"]enquiries@scotprem.com[/EMAIL:509aedd4], [EMAIL="info@scottishfootballleague.com"]info@scottishfootballleague.com[/EMAIL:509aedd4], [EMAIL="info@scottishfa.co.uk"]info@scottishfa.co.uk[/EMAIL:509aedd4]
Subject: Why The Rangers Football Club should not be admitted to the SPL
Hi everyone,
I have decided to send this email to all the clubs in the SPL. The clubs I have not sent this email to are Rangers, Hearts and Inverness Caley Thistle. This is because I can't find any "contact us" details on their websites. I hope that all clubs will ensure that my opinions are passed on to the relevant people with regards to the matters I raise. I would also be grateful if someone could pass these comments onto these clubs if they have relevant contact details. I have also sent this email to the SPL, SFL and SFA.
I would 1st of all like to introduce myself. I am a Celtic supporter currently living in Inverness. I had a Celtic season ticket for 15 years. My partner had a Celtic season ticket for 5 years. Unfortunately due to my partners deteriorating health and rising costs we had to give up our season tickets in 2009. Now we are reduced to watching Scottish Football on Sky TV or ESPN.
I would however like to make you all aware of my opinions on the current saga regarding The Rangers Football Club who are soon to face a vote as to whether they should be playing in the SPL next season or not.
The Business argument
The obvious argument for The Rangers Football Club participating in the SPL in season 2012/13 is that the current TV rights owners (Sky/ESPN) have said that they will withdraw their coverage of SPL games if they don't have 4 'Old Firm' games per season. Since the SPL has a split after 33 games therefore only guaranteeing 3 matches between any 2 clubs, also added to the threat of relegation due to a clubs poor performance over the course of a season I find it ridiculous that any person from the SPL could have negotiated such a deal and still be in a job within the SPL. Clearly noone can guarantee this to a TV company no matter how unlikely the alternative option of a season where the 'Old Firm' don't face each other 4 times was. I would also like to state that if Sky continues to show SPL games next season which include The Rangers then I will cancel my Sky subscription. In my opinion I'd rather not be able to watch games due to Scottish football upholding sporting integri
ty than watch games on Sky which are effectively corrupt.
Also, if The Rangers are accepted into the SPL then what affect would this have on clubs attempts to negotiate future transfer deals. If, for example, Celtic wanted to sign an 18 year old player from Barcelona. In these circumstances the terms of the signing would usually include future terms which take into account how many games the player plays for Celtic, whether the player should break through into their national team and whether Celtic were to sell the player in the future for a profit.
In the example I have give above why would the selling club (Barcelona) accept such terms from Celtic (a club from a country were football clubs don't pay their debts but the only sanction taken against them were that they had to put "The" at the start of their name). Clearly if I were the chairman of Barcelona I would insist on full payment up-front because of this risk.
Also, I think that when it comes to bankers or any other lenders, why should they lend money to a Scottish football club since they will face the threat that they will never see their money again and no sanction will be taken against the club to which they lent the money except that they have to put "The" at the start of their name.
Clearly this will have a much more detrimental affect on Scottish football in the long term than the withdrawal of the Sky TV deal.
Sporting Integrity
Now, as far as sporting integrity goes, where do I start?
Clearly as a Newco The Rangers have not yet shown that they have any reason to be above any other club within the SFL with regards to a position in the SPL. Also, in the event that Rangers are found to have given dual contracts to players and not paid taxes to HMRC over a period of 12 years then they have clearly cheated.
If a participant at the Olympics were to win the gold medal in an event then be proven to have cheated they would be stripped of their medal because of this then all other participants would be moved up 1 place and the cheating partcipant would be regarded as a non-participant. They would receive no award. If this rule were to be applied to Rangers over a 12 year period then there would be the impact of which clubs should have participated in the SPL over that period, which clubs should have participated in Europe etc. I believe that normal rules for cheating Olympic participants are that they are banned for 3 years. When you consider that they have cheated in 4 different competitions (3 domestic and 1 european) for each of those 12 years does it not therefore span out that the minimum ban on Rangers should be 144 years. This is longer than Rangers have even existed.
In my opinion, taking into account the affect that such a lengthy ban on Rangers would have on Scottish culture as well as Scottish football I think that there should be a 1 year ban on The Rangers participating in Scottish football in order to draw distinction between the now defunct Rangers and the new The Rangers.
The future and League reconstruction
As far as league reconstruction applies I have always been against extending the current SPL because of the fact that why would Old Firm fans want to give up 2 games against each other to be replaced by games against the top clubs from the SFL 1st division. However, we now live in an age were the Old Firm no longer exist. In my opinion what should now happen is that 2012/2013 season should progress under the current construction of the leagues with a new team being invited to replace the now defunct Rangers at the bottom of the leagues and all other clubs being moved up 1 place. I think that 2013-14 onwards the leagues should be organised into 3 divisions of 18. The Rangers could be invited to join the league at the bottom at this stage. There should be a proper pyramid system integrated into scottish football in which all of the clubs from regional divisions, junior football, highland league etc can be promoted to and from the Scottish Football League
I know that the Scottish football leagues used to be organised in such a way and they were re-shaped into the current model because people felt they were uncompetitive. My argument against this would be that if you take the gap of last season between Celtic and 3rd placed Motherwell (31 points). By reducing the number of times Celtic play their nearest rivals then Celtic's ability to take points off of them would be reduced from 12 to 6. Also without being detrimental to clubs currently in the 1st division of the SFL the chances are that the club who ends closest to Celtic will have more chance of taking points off of the clubs who come up than they have of taking points off of the likes of Hearts, Dundee United, Motherwell, etc.
In my opinion this would lead to a more competitive league without The Rangers and these circumstances could be re-assessed in a few years time when The Rangers have climbed up the leagues as expected.
I hope that you will all take my opinions into account before you make your decision on where The Rangers should be playing football. I do not, and do not claim to represent any organisation within Scottish football. I'm only a person who is now 35 years old and has followed scottish football since the age of 4 and I think that under these extraordinary circumstances I feel that it is now time that the bosses within Scottish football and it's clubs started listening to the fans as we are the paying customers and in my opinion we have been ignored too long.
Kind regards
Martin Davis

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