Sunday, 24 June 2012

Yes, we can save Scottish football

1. Scotland should have a league which runs from March to October. This will allow us to strike a deal with British TV networks, which have little to show between May and August. Scottish TV networks will show Scottish football regardless. All television money should be split evenly between all teams in the league system, as should all general sponsorship money. It means that our season will be four months old by the time the UEFA games start, meaning we will not be going in cold to qualifiers and our teams have more chance of qualifying, with the exception of Motherwell, who could select the 1970 Brazil team and still manage to lose to a group of confused waiters from Montenegro. It means also that, rather than having some games through our extremely harsh Nordic winter with postponements, we play through the best weather of our year, attracting families to matches.

2. There should be a First Division of 18 teams. We play once at home and once away. This gives 17 home games in a 34 game season. With a March-October season like our neighbours in Ireland, Sweden and Norway, this gives us two entirely free weekends. Moving four matches to midweek, this gives us six free weekends, which allows us to fulfil international obligations (4) and allow the latter stages of the Scottish Cup to be played. Of the 18 teams, two ought to be relegated, and two enter a relegation playoff. 

3. A semi-professional Second Division of 22 teams running the same March-October season. Two teams promoted automatically, two teams to enter the 1st/2nd Division playoff. This gives the opportunity for the top flight to renew itself massively each season. One team to be relegated, one team into the relegation playoffs.

4. The Highland League, Eastern League, Southern League and Superleague champions to playoff in a pool stage. The winner is promotes to the Second Division, the runner-up plays-off against the team finishing second bottom of the Second Division. These regional leagues to be organised in further regions according to the needs of each specific region, with relegation and promotion to and from them based on defined SFA rules. 

5. The Scottish Cup to continue with no change. Except with that utter fanny Gordon Smith gone, we might get a sponsor for it. 

6. The Challenge Cup to be reformed into a competition the bottom eight teams in the First Division and top eight teams in the Second Division. We might do something with age limits, I guess. 

7. The League Cup to be a competition for both divisions. Eight pools of five teams played pre-season on a one-off basis, with the winners of each pool qualifying for the quarter-finals. The quarter-finals and semi-finals to be played as a one-off match in a mid-week, with the final being played on New Year's Day.

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