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Thread: Where might new clubs come from?

  1. #161
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    Quote Originally Posted by RathfarnhamHoop View Post

    Could do a scaling requirements like after the first season you need 2k covered, after 3rd you need 3k, after 6th you need 5k. So that clubs don't have to go all in straight away, they can build to it.
    See what you mean, but I'm not sure construction works like that?

    That is: have the builders in, do a bit, have them leave, then have come back again and build some more. Far neater (and more cost-effective) to do as much as you can in one go.

    Or if you had a winter season, it might be easy enough if you did it in stages over successive summers, when the weather's better.

    But with your way, you'd either have them in while you're trying to stage games; or, you'd try to get stuff done in winter while the weather's bad - neither of which is ideal.

    Might be better just to set a date by which the upgrades have to be complete (5 years? 10 years), on pain of relegation if not finished. That way, each club could tackle the job as best suits their own situation.

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  3. #162
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    Quote Originally Posted by oriel View Post
    Thats not a bad idea, then the league just has to work out a directive to force Dundalk to improve Oriel Park spectator wise, how about for clubs particpating in europe, 4k covered seats, I know there are limits already from UEFA, for eg DFC can only hold up to 2 rounds in CL/EL.
    Sounds ok until some little club goes on a great cup run some year, wins it and qualifies for Europe.

    They might never be able to afford eg 4k covered seats, or their ground may be physically unable to accommodate same. Nor would ever need such a stadium again after they were out of Europe (after 1st round?).

    In such circumstances you would have to permit them to use the nearest UEFA-compliant ground. And if that's good enough for them, it's only fair you do the same for bigger clubs like Dundalk.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EalingGreen View Post
    See what you mean, but I'm not sure construction works like that?

    That is: have the builders in, do a bit, have them leave, then have come back again and build some more. Far neater (and more cost-effective) to do as much as you can in one go.

    Or if you had a winter season, it might be easy enough if you did it in stages over successive summers, when the weather's better.

    But with your way, you'd either have them in while you're trying to stage games; or, you'd try to get stuff done in winter while the weather's bad - neither of which is ideal.

    Might be better just to set a date by which the upgrades have to be complete (5 years? 10 years), on pain of relegation if not finished. That way, each club could tackle the job as best suits their own situation.
    Yeah I was just pulling number out of the air to illustrate the point, maybe I should have phrased it better but the general idea would be that you'd have it on a scale so you don't have situations where clubs either go for broke straight away to meet standards they don't need or put it all off until the last minute then end up being behind because bad weather or whatever delays the build.

    The covered seats bit was just a placeholder for scalable standards of basically
    A good FD ground - > a top FD ground - > a good PD ground
    With the timescale scaling to be that first bit should mostly be remedial work that the club can do while not knowing if they'll go straight back down, second bit being the club put some investment in but not too much incase they go back down but by that stage they're looking to solidifying as a PD club and some planning permission may be involved, third bit being they're a solid PD club so should be doing proper work with detailed planning permission involved.

    Obviously clubs could speed up their own timelines but they wouldn't be forced into a position that might put the club at risk

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  7. #164
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    Quote Originally Posted by EatYerGreens View Post
    And a really minor point : I'd disagree with your analysis of the chances of a few clubs in the north there, but especially Harland and Wolff Welders. I'd say there's no chance of them ever being genuine challengers in the IL. They're the work's team of a company that nearly went bust a few month's back. And their 'stadium' is poor (even if they do hope to redevelop it). Where would they get support from - given that anyone in East Belfast with a connection to the shipyards is probably already a Glens fan, and the shipyard could feasibly close at some future point?
    Meant to come back on this one.

    The Welders are no longer a "works" team, nor do they depend upon the shipyard (I'm not sure they ever did in fact, except originally for their playing pool).

    Anyhow, they're now 55 years old and playing in the 2nd tier of the pyramid. Nor only that, but they have very impressive plans for a new stadium and training complex at Blanchflower Park, not far from their present ground at Tillysburn.

    Indeed, they were hoping for it to be ready for the 2021/22 season, though Covid-19 has caused construction to pause.

    Anyhow, here are the plans and a recent pic:




    (Above incs. steel structure in place for pavilion and changing room block)

    And as they pointed out last month:

    Stage One of the Blanchflower revamp will see the development of Harland and Wolff Welders' new stadium.

    Stage Two will see the remainder of the estate upgraded, with Stage Three focusing on nature trails and other community orientated projects.

    "We want this to be a community hub, like other football clubs are doing," David said.

    "We have received support from local churches, schools, community groups and also from other clubs who don't have adequate training and playing facilities."

    Work will progress on a new 550-seater pavilion stand, with another 200-seater structure also being installed.

    The Welders are also transporting a 200-seater stand from their current Tillysburn ground.

    "The seating capacity will be just over 900, and then there will safe standing. So the overall capacity should be a few thousand," David said.

    "This will be a stadium fit for Premiership football, and that's where we want this club to go.


    "We have also had positive feedback on the potential for the new stadium to host youth internationals and women's internationals.

    "Harland and Wolff Welders have come in for a lot of stick over the years, with people questioning our ambition.

    "But I think these plans answer a lot of that criticism."

    "This is going to be an asset for East Belfast, not just a new stadium for Harland and Wolff Welders."

    More here: https://weldersfc.co.uk/news/f/new-stadium-update

    Does that address your prediction in bold?
    Last edited by EalingGreen; 21/05/2020 at 10:37 PM.

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  9. #165
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    Quote Originally Posted by EalingGreen View Post
    Meant to come back on this one.

    The Welders are no longer a "works" team, nor do they depend upon the shipyard (I'm not sure they ever did in fact, except originally for their playing pool).

    Anyhow, they're now 55 years old and playing in the 2nd tier of the pyramid. Nor only that, but they have very impressive plans for a new stadium and training complex at Blanchflower Park, not far from their present ground at Tillysburn.

    Indeed, they were hoping for it to be ready for the 2021/22 season, though Covid-19 has caused construction to pause.

    Anyhow, here are the plans and a recent pic:




    (Above incs. steel structure in place for pavilion and changing room block)

    And as they pointed out last month:

    Stage One of the Blanchflower revamp will see the development of Harland and Wolff Welders' new stadium.

    Stage Two will see the remainder of the estate upgraded, with Stage Three focusing on nature trails and other community orientated projects.

    "We want this to be a community hub, like other football clubs are doing," David said.

    "We have received support from local churches, schools, community groups and also from other clubs who don't have adequate training and playing facilities."

    Work will progress on a new 550-seater pavilion stand, with another 200-seater structure also being installed.

    The Welders are also transporting a 200-seater stand from their current Tillysburn ground.

    "The seating capacity will be just over 900, and then there will safe standing. So the overall capacity should be a few thousand," David said.

    "This will be a stadium fit for Premiership football, and that's where we want this club to go.


    "We have also had positive feedback on the potential for the new stadium to host youth internationals and women's internationals.

    "Harland and Wolff Welders have come in for a lot of stick over the years, with people questioning our ambition.

    "But I think these plans answer a lot of that criticism."

    "This is going to be an asset for East Belfast, not just a new stadium for Harland and Wolff Welders."

    More here: https://weldersfc.co.uk/news/f/new-stadium-update

    Does that address your prediction in bold?
    I've been to watch Welders play. They had almost no fans at the game, and were significantly outnumbered by away support.

    Where are they going to get supporters from? Anyone in the east who likes local football already has Glentoran to identify with. If someone's never had any connection to the shipyards, why would they support them? And even if they did, most would probably already support Glens anyway. It's just unfeasible that Welders are going to achieve much in the game, because that requires support (and the money it brings). A new ground isn't going to address that. It may help them raise a bit more money. But that would only contribute towards success because the IL is so poorly supported.
    Last edited by EatYerGreens; 23/05/2020 at 11:07 AM.

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  11. #166
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    Quote Originally Posted by EatYerGreens View Post
    I've been to watch Welders play. They had almost no fans at the game, and were significantly outnumbered by away support.

    Where are they going to get supporters from? Anyone in the east who likes local football already has Glentoran to identify with. If someone's never had any connection to the shipyards, why would they support them? And even if they did, most would probably already support Glens anyway. It's just unfeasible that Welders are going to achieve much in the game, because that requires support (and the money it brings). A new ground isn't going to address that. It may help them raise a bit more money. But that would only contribute towards success because the IL is so poorly supported.
    You miss my point.

    The thread is entitled: "Where might new clubs come from?"

    If you look at ROI, outside the 8 or 10 established PD clubs, there is nothing doing much left in the FD. And beyond that, there is no pyramid from which to grow senior clubs either.

    Meanwhile creating new clubs (eg Fingal, Kildare etc) or asking existing lower clubs to step up (eg Monaghan, Cabinteely) has been seen not to work as well. Basically the well is dry.

    Whereas the situation in NI offers some small hope, if not in the near future. If you refer back to my post #125, I listed 8 x senior, stable, established clubs.

    Below that there are another 7 x clubs which, if carefully nurtured, might between them produce another couple of clubs which could step up. (Portadown? Larne?)

    And even below that, there is the same number again from which the most successful one or two might eventually hope eg to do a Larne or a Dungannon. Note the "one or two" and the "eventually" - you're never going to see all of them make it, in fact some of them probably won't even try.

    Which is where H&WW come in. They're just one example of a stable club which has been competing successfully at its own level for over half a century now. During that time they've gradually "upped their game", such that they're now hoping to attain senior, competitive status. And the new facilities, along with the community work they're doing on the ground etc, should give them a chance of doing so in the IL in the next 10 years, say.

    Which is not to say they've realistic prospects of achieving regular AIL status any time soon - that could take another half century, if ever. But my point is, that assuming eg the Glens could exploit an AIL place to get back to their former status as one of the island's top teams, then clubs like the Welders or Dundela might step up locally to take their place at the next level down in NI.

    And it is the same elsewhere in NI, where eg Carrick Rangers or Ballyclare Comrades might one day put in a challenge to Ballymena or Larne; or eg Portadown finally get sorted to make mid-Ulster football competitive again aganst Glenavon and Dungannon; or one of Newry or Warrenpoint put in a challenge from South Down.

    For if an AIL is to have any hope of achieving stable, long-term success, it won't do so solely on the back of a pool of 12 or 14 existing LOI and IL clubs - it will also need the firm foundations of a strong pyramid below, to keep it competitive and make P & R work etc. And frankly, if you're looking for additional clubs to make up such a pyramid, NI arguably offers rather better prospects than ROI right now.

  12. #167
    First Team EalingGreen's Avatar
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    Forgot to add to the above post, but some interesting background on the Welders here, though more recent events have since overtaken it:

    http://liberoguide.com/full-steam-ahead/

    (But I stress again, if the odds must still be heavily against any individual club like the Welders making the transition to genuine senior status, nonetheless they're only one of a number of clubs who hope to, meaning that one or two could still manage it.)

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    Seasoned Pro Nesta99's Avatar
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    There are always questions on what smaller clubs can bring to a league, UCD fans are worn out explaining their role, and giving younger players a chance at playing senior football is probably the most common angle. But if people are involved in a club then they will surely have some ambition to improve the club's standing, from just keeping the show on the road to trying to be competative at the highest level they can. It's laudable on one hand, but blind ambition on the other will end in tears eventually.

    From just the piece above it looks like a reasonably balanced plan as part of an overall community development, without the 'community' aspect it wouldnt make a whole lot of sense. There are 100s of similarly typed facilities, often only km's apart in GAA circles - stupid levels of duplication. If there is an unrealistic level of ambition at HWW especially on their ground development ye'd like to hope that public funding wouldnt be thrown at it, and that they'd be told to scale back. Duplication of amenities is an island wide issue, with every sport and respective clubs wanting their own patch only (not inexplicably in N.I. but still politically driven in RoI too). Which I can often understand tbh - ShelBohs will interesting to look back on in due course to see if concern was warrented, but groundshares and multi-use facilities should be looked at more often. If it is in some way to make sure that the numbers of clubs are kept up by the association its wishful thinking over the long run imo.

    As a hypthetical example that could come to pass, if Drogheda Town decided to join a regional setup in senior football, they could co exist reasonably well with Drogheda United. But it would have to be in different 'roles', level of ambition, and if possible not to try and just outdo another. It would be ridiculous for public money to go to a DTFC ground development of significant substance eg a 500+ seater stand. Clubrooms, floodlighting, pitch capacity etc. is fair enough. Play their occasional cup draw and/or senior games at a DUFC/community facility.

    People comment on Dublin having a disproportionate number of clubs in Loi, but it is to do with regional representation as population wise its probably par for the course. Belfast and district is looking a bit congested comparitively with senior IL clubs?
    Last edited by Nesta99; 25/05/2020 at 6:56 PM.

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    There are no shortage of clubs in Ireland that meet the criteria that Welders do, stable and successful over a prolonged period of time at their own level, good facilities, rooted in community etc

    If you are going to use them as an example of another team that could step into IL on that basis then you cannot simultaneously claim “basically the well is dry” as regards LOI.

    You are of course entirely right when it comes to the lack of a proper pyramid system / structure but if you are willing to stretch it to a local junior club the size of Welders the clubs would be there in every county.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EalingGreen View Post
    You miss my point.

    The thread is entitled: "Where might new clubs come from?"

    If you look at ROI, outside the 8 or 10 established PD clubs, there is nothing doing much left in the FD. And beyond that, there is no pyramid from which to grow senior clubs either.

    Meanwhile creating new clubs (eg Fingal, Kildare etc) or asking existing lower clubs to step up (eg Monaghan, Cabinteely) has been seen not to work as well. Basically the well is dry.
    While examples are embaressingly numerous, I'm not so sure that there is a direct comparison, or a precedence that failure is inevitable going forward. The FAI efforts were always a short term sticking plaster for a league that they didnt want anything to do with. Completely lost their way on why they existed, the development of the game nationally. The IFA were quicker to realise that improving the domestic top flight was the only sustainable way to improve the national side.
    There is little stopping the FAI following a similar blueprint if they have the will. That a structure was developed by the IFA in itself is showing that it possible in a small country/population.

    It is very early for any major leap of faith on the FAI, but its a lot more plausable now that things could get a proper shake up. Clubs were coming and going from a disgracefully neglected LoI, maybe even being bled to subsidise someones expenses. I dont think that this precludes the development of a structure that will allow clubs make a more sustainable step up in the future. I say this tentatively considering the financing issues in Abbotstwon currently....
    Last edited by Nesta99; 25/05/2020 at 7:20 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DCWA View Post
    There are no shortage of clubs in Ireland that meet the criteria that Welders do, stable and successful over a prolonged period of time at their own level, good facilities, rooted in community etc

    If you are going to use them as an example of another team that could step into IL on that basis then you cannot simultaneously claim “basically the well is dry” as regards LOI.

    You are of course entirely right when it comes to the lack of a proper pyramid system / structure but if you are willing to stretch it to a local junior club the size of Welders the clubs would be there in every county.
    Same point I was going to make really.

    I know of, at least, Fanad United that were all set to join what was initially touted as a First Division North a couple of years back when the FAI disbanded the A Championship. There was chat at the time of regionalised second tier, and Fanad had ambitions to go into that. They have a grand little ground, albeit lacking seating, well embedded in the community, far enough away from Harps or Derry to cause much bother there, and would probably have got 200-300 people attending games easy enough.

    The same story could be told of many junior and intermediate clubs across Ireland.

    There's certainly potential for many clubs across Ireland. But each one of them would be mad to want to join the LOI as it stands without any pyramid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EalingGreen View Post
    Basically the well is dry.
    The well is far from dry.

    It's the pump to bring the water to the surface that's the problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nesta99 View Post
    From just the piece above it looks like a reasonably balanced plan as part of an overall community development, without the 'community' aspect it wouldnt make a whole lot of sense... ... If there is an unrealistic level of ambition at HWW especially on their ground development ye'd like to hope that public funding wouldnt be thrown at it, and that they'd be told to scale back.
    BCC aren't throwing money at a stadium for the Welders, just so they can fulfil their ambition to become a senior professional club.

    The Council is developing Blanchflower Park, which they own, to provide a wide range of enhanced community facilities for the whole of the area.

    H&WW are joining in to help develop the community aspect and bring in their own resources, also those of the IFA, who are also supportive. (And they will, I assume, be paying rent?)

    As such, Welders are more like the sporting equivalent of a "flagship store" in a Retail Park, than a Council vanity project, or vote-building ruse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DCWA View Post
    There are no shortage of clubs in Ireland that meet the criteria that Welders do, stable and successful over a prolonged period of time at their own level, good facilities, rooted in community etc

    If you are going to use them as an example of another team that could step into IL on that basis then you cannot simultaneously claim “basically the well is dry” as regards LOI.
    I am not in any position to contest your point that there is "no shortage" of clubs like Welders in ROI.

    But if so, I can't help wondering why they're not already embracing senior status via the FD?

    For it is now 5 years since the FAI lowered the bar to admit Cabinteely (no offence to them, btw).

    And since then things have only got worse, to the extent that in order to fill the FD this season, they frigged the system by retaining basket-cases like Galway and Athlone, whilst being fortunate to have an outlier in UCD (i.e. University-supported).

    And even after all that, they still had to allow Shamrock Rovers Reserves in to get it up to 10* clubs.


    * - It's 12 in the NI equivalent btw, ditto the top tier = 24 senior IL teams vs 20 in LOI.

    Quote Originally Posted by DCWA View Post
    You are of course entirely right when it comes to the lack of a proper pyramid system / structure but if you are willing to stretch it to a local junior club the size of Welders the clubs would be there in every county.
    Welders are not a "Junior" club, they're not even an Intermediate one.

    And if anything, the lack of a pyramid in the ROI only serves to help new clubs with ambitions of senior status.

    For in NI, Intermediate clubs have to meet minimum standards re. facilities and administration etc before they will be considered for Senior status. And these standards, which are being continually upgraded*, are assessed on an objective basis, rather than on the whim of the CEO and his cronies at HQ.

    Whereas the Shams Reserves example illustrates the desperation of the FAI to accept any half-decent looking application from a new club, without having to bother with any of that Intermediate/pyramid business.


    * - See: https://www.irishfa.com/irish-footba...ucture-project
    Last edited by EalingGreen; 26/05/2020 at 1:02 PM.

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