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  1. #61
    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    But "Others do it" isn't a cogent argument for changing structure again.

    I would like to see a more detailed analysis of how a restructure has, as you suggest, invigorated and refreshed other leagues.

    Because that sentence of yours in my entire problem in a nutshell. As is, it's meaningless marketing-speak without any substance whatsoever to back it up.

    And we've had that so many times before - launching the "new" league in 2006 being the prime example - that at this stage it's a cliche that deserves to be ignored.

    Every proposal for the league must start from the proposition that there is no magic fix. Gradual improvement is the aim, and that's only possible with increased commercial deals. More money = better players = better European campaigns = hold on to players longer = more money.

    Anything else - and we've seen this time and again in the LiI - is just doomed to nothingness. And that's not defeatist. It's commercial, logical reality

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    The Cheeto God Real ale Madrid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    But "Others do it" isn't a cogent argument for changing structure again.

    I would like to see a more detailed analysis of how a restructure has, as you suggest, invigorated and refreshed other leagues.

    Because that sentence of yours in my entire problem in a nutshell. As is, it's meaningless marketing-speak without any substance whatsoever to back it up.

    And we've had that so many times before - launching the "new" league in 2006 being the prime example - that at this stage it's a cliche that deserves to be ignored.

    Every proposal for the league must start from the proposition that there is no magic fix. Gradual improvement is the aim, and that's only possible with increased commercial deals. More money = better players = better European campaigns = hold on to players longer = more money.

    Anything else - and we've seen this time and again in the LiI - is just doomed to nothingness. And that's not defeatist. It's commercial, logical reality
    Jees Stu - I don't have the time to do a statistical analysis of the before and after of each league in Europe - I mean its just my opinion! Its probably your assertion that the league should do this type of analysis and present it and then thats fair enough. Sure if I'm wrong, I'm wrong. There is plenty anecodal evidence to suggest that this type of structure can be good. The leagues I listed above total 16. If you take out the big leagues and countries that only have 6 or 8 top flight teams then over half medium / small leagues in Europe employ this type of structure. Can they all be right or wrong? Have they all dropped the idea? Its going on for over 10 years in Belgium now. The first step in attracting the commercial investment required is to make the product more attractive. would this help in that - maybe yes / maybe no. I must admit I'm struggling to see the the reason for the vociferous nature of the anti-league split. I can see why people don't like it but I'm not sure of the harm this type of thing will do the league in the long term.
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    Heard the Cobh manager on GLITW making the point that forthe first divsion teams it is basically you are in the promotion playoffs (by making the top 4 so no change there) and you get to play bigger matches involving premier teams (last bit is mine) so from a first division POV you could see it as a positive......bit of a sprint at the beginning though !! makes every match vital.
    Could help crowds in general as the race to get top 6 and top 4 in both divisions is short and vital

    Theoretically possible (although very unlikely) for 4 premier teams to go down in one year.

  5. #64
    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    There is plenty anecodal evidence to suggest that this type of structure can be good.
    Is there?

    Does it counter the anecdotal evidence that the split was a disaster here when used? That it's more derided than welcomed in Scotland? That the Belgian play-off system is an overly-complicated farce (the Dutch experimented with something similar and dropped it)

    I know making the point on foot is different to actually presenting a proposal, when you have to have done research.

    But the bottom line is we're still ****ing fixated with a quick fix that simply doesn't exis, while ignoring the real problems - lack of money, no pyramid, betting issues, shrinking number of clubs, different bloody seasons - because they'd take money to fix and Delaney's rent is due. Changing league structure is the number one example of a short-term worthless fix. It's imperative we get away from that mindset.

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  7. #65
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    I don't disagree with you that moving the deckchairs will make a huge difference but it doesnt mean its not worth looking at ways to tweak things.
    As long as people don't think on its own it is going to make an appreciable difference

  8. #66
    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Absolutely agree with that.

    But tweaking has to be done with some sort of rationale behind it. Not "Others are doing it". But for example, looking at the previous umpteen changes to the LoI structure and asking if they delivered what they were supposed to? Why/why not? What lessons have we learned from going between 12 and 10 and 12 and 10 teams? Are we just proposing a split now because it's been 25 years and it's next in line, or is there a solid sporting and commercial reason for it? And why is a change of format so essential to Lucid (if indeed it is; again, I haven't read his details)? It was essential to Platinum One, and they were a crowd of shysters.

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    Seasoned Pro marinobohs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Real ale Madrid View Post
    Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Rep, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Isreal, Lithuania, Poland, Scotland, Serbia, Slovakia, Ukraine and Wales.

    All countries which have some form of split in thier league structure. I understand the argument re TV money investment etc but I'm all for anything that will add meaning to games. Yes we have done it before but nothing as radical as this - I'm looking forward to how it pans out if I'm honest. Will there be playoffs as well as the splits - can we,crucially - add an element of relegation to the bottom 6 Div 1 grouping, which will be important imo.

    Investment and money are not forthcoming into the league - a radical restructure can envigorate and refresh the league - as it has done in many other leagues accross Europe.
    The split idea is as nonsensical as the 4-3-2-1 points system was back in the 80s. it will favour currently 2 teams who could 'bank' on being top 6 (Dundalk and Shams) other clubs would have to budget on playing bottom teams for second half of the season, and that's what it is about - making the 'European qualifiers' stronger, nothing else.

    What mythical crowd increase do people envisage ? more Dundalk V Shams games ? once the novelty wears off so does the crowd. Bohs getting more customers in for another game V UCD (example* no disrespect) instead of a game (as current model) against Dundalk ?
    how many times have we 'refreshed the League' ? And yet still at first base.

    The most salient point is that virtually NO supporters are welcoming this idea.Any business that ignores the very clear views of its market is doomed to failure.
    We all want to see increased investment in the LOI, tinkering around with the format every few years is not the solution. a mid/long term business plan with clear targets and performance indicators is.
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    Not sure in our League anything could be taken for granted in terms of making top 6.
    Cork were second and Waterford 4th last year and both will finish bottom 4 this year.

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    Seasoned Pro NeverFeltBetter's Avatar
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    I really don't see how attendances will improve on the basis of this three tier idea. They'd be abysmal for the lowest tier, which would surely bring the average down from any benefit in the first or second, though the carrot of a Euro spot for the second tier might help. In the end, it's fair to say the reaction to the idea from actual fans has been resoundingly negative, but I fear that in these post-Delaney days where everyone is scrambling to "do something" to reform the various aspects of Irish football, the optics of this change outweigh its point.

    Don't think AIL attendances would be hugely better either, especially after a season or two of such an entity.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeverFeltBetter View Post
    I really don't see how attendances will improve on the basis of this three tier idea. They'd be abysmal for the lowest tier, which would surely bring the average down from any benefit in the first or second, though the carrot of a Euro spot for the second tier might help. In the end, it's fair to say the reaction to the idea from actual fans has been resoundingly negative, but I fear that in these post-Delaney days where everyone is scrambling to "do something" to reform the various aspects of Irish football, the optics of this change outweigh its point.

    Don't think AIL attendances would be hugely better either, especially after a season or two of such an entity.
    But we will probably change after a season or two so you don't have to worry about the fall off

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    Seasoned Pro marinobohs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbgawa View Post
    Not sure in our League anything could be taken for granted in terms of making top 6.
    Cork were second and Waterford 4th last year and both will finish bottom 4 this year.
    That's my point, with the possible exception of the top 2 all other clubs would have to budget on REDUCED crowds due to playing less attractive teams post break.This would necessitate lessening budget commitments to playing staff -shorter or more limited contracts.
    Anyone that believes the 'novelty' of playing some first Division team will draw bigger crowds than playing one of the top clubs is, quite frankly, deluded.

    I can see improvement for the first Division clubs 'promoted' to the middle division but that will not offset the losses in support to the premier teams downgraded in most cases. overcomplication also makes the league less attractive to prospective investors as it has to be explained to them what the hell is going on !

    The main point is I have seen zero evidence that the proposal will generate one cent extra for ANY club. If we accept that lack of investment is the primary problem I fail to see how this will address it. we need actual investment opportunities not mythical pie in the sky possible TV bonanza dreams before messing around with format.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    Absolutely agree with that.

    But tweaking has to be done with some sort of rationale behind it. Not "Others are doing it". But for example, looking at the previous umpteen changes to the LoI structure and asking if they delivered what they were supposed to? Why/why not? What lessons have we learned from going between 12 and 10 and 12 and 10 teams? Are we just proposing a split now because it's been 25 years and it's next in line, or is there a solid sporting and commercial reason for it? And why is a change of format so essential to Lucid (if indeed it is; again, I haven't read his details)? It was essential to Platinum One, and they were a crowd of shysters.
    Agree that there is no point changing for changes sake. The HSE are now on their fifth/sixth structural/organisational major change in 15 years, all under the guise of "reform", and look how that has turned out.

    I don`t think that there is a lot wrong with the Premier division structure as it stands, with better fixture scheduling . If people are desperate to show that a change is being made, maybe a play off between third and fourth for a Europa League place ?
    First Division is the real problem, could be potential for more of the bottom half of the Premier Teams to be dragged into playoffs for relegation( three up/three down) against more of the top half of the First Division?
    With regard to North v South, a mid week champions league type format, with semi finals and finals on a saturday a la Setanta would be my preference.

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    Seasoned Pro marinobohs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dalymountrower View Post
    Agree that there is no point changing for changes sake. The HSE are now on their fifth/sixth structural/organisational major change in 15 years, all under the guise of "reform", and look how that has turned out.

    I don`t think that there is a lot wrong with the Premier division structure as it stands, with better fixture scheduling . If people are desperate to show that a change is being made, maybe a play off between third and fourth for a Europa League place ?
    First Division is the real problem, could be potential for more of the bottom half of the Premier Teams to be dragged into playoffs for relegation( three up/three down) against more of the top half of the First Division?
    With regard to North v South, a mid week champions league type format, with semi finals and finals on a saturday a la Setanta would be my preference.
    3 up 3 down madness in my view, would result in yo yo clubs (relegation/promotion/relegation...) The idea that MORE relegation would make the League more attractive to fans or investors is also flawed, who wants to support or be linked with an entity relegated every second year ?
    Again, bottom line, any change MUST have a more than reasonable chance of generating additional money into the game. Anything else is rearranging the deckchairs stuff and will in fact lessen the attractiveness of the game here to fans.


    I would like to see an AIL and think it would help (novelty and marketing), given the relatively small distances involved it is certainly viable but it seems a way off yet.
    Last edited by marinobohs; 15/10/2019 at 12:11 PM.
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    Capped Player nigel-harps1954's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marinobohs
    who wants to support or be linked with an entity relegated every second year ?
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  19. #75
    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dalymountrower View Post
    I don`t think that there is a lot wrong with the Premier division structure as it stands, with better fixture scheduling
    First Division is the real problem, .
    This is spot on. The First Division needs to go. When you've reached the stage of eastern European betting syndicates getting involved, you know you've a huge issue. And with clubs regularly dropping out and very little interest from new clubs, it'll surely reduce in size again before too long. 10 team Premier/8 team First anyone?

    That's why I've argued before for a 16-team Premier and a regionalised First Division based on MSL/LSL, etc. So you minimise the changes to the existing provincial setup, you have a clear pathway for any ambitious non-league side to progress, you encourage them into the Premier - not the First - with guarantees of big games from the off, and if they get relegated, it's back to where they were, not starting afresh in the Kerry District League.

    That's the structural issue to resolve in Irish football, and while we **** about with various ways of dividing 20 teams, we'll miss the bigger picture.

    That setup of course will take a lot of effort to achieve because of the FAI's extraordinary lack of foresight in changing two divisions to summer soccer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Real ale Madrid View Post
    Jees Stu - I don't have the time to do a statistical analysis of the before and after of each league in Europe
    The people coming up with these ideas should be doing that kind of analysis though. An actual analysis and argument support by evidence, rather than 'sure why not, might work'.


    Quote Originally Posted by Real ale Madrid View Post
    I can see why people don't like it but I'm not sure of the harm this type of thing will do the league in the long term.
    'Not doing harm' isn't really much of an argument though, it needs to be a bit more convincing than that. Leaving it as it is won't do any harm either.
    Last edited by osarusan; 15/10/2019 at 1:13 PM.

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  22. #77
    The Cheeto God Real ale Madrid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by osarusan View Post
    The people coming up with these ideas should be doing that kind of analysis though. An actual analysis and argument support by evidence, rather than 'sure why not, might work'.
    And I said that in that post to be fair. I'm just putting forward my own opinion here. Be it right or wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by osarusan View Post
    'Not doing harm' isn't really much of an argument though, it needs to be a bit more convincing than that. Leaving it as it is won't do any harm either.
    I guess the point I was making there is I'm struggling to understand the entrenchment on this issue. Its like poking the bear. Banners at games the whole lot. A revamp of the league might make it more attractive to sponsors, TV deals etc. If it doesn't then where is the harm in trying is all I'm getting at really.

    It doesn't make a difference to me to be honest. If it was a 5 team league with 10 rounds of 4 - id still go. Most, if not everyone who posts here are regular LOI fans - I think creating more meaningful matches has a chance to pull in more casual fans on a temporary basis and the product then needs to keep them there. There is of course no question that tinkering with the format won't make any difference on its own but investors and TV companies are not exactly queuing up and I'm prepared to listen to anyone who thinks they might have an alternative with a view to improving the product. This is one potential way that we might improve it for little investment which doesn't exist anyway.
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    Seasoned Pro oriel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    This is spot on. The First Division needs to go. When you've reached the stage of eastern European betting syndicates getting involved, you know you've a huge issue. And with clubs regularly dropping out and very little interest from new clubs, it'll surely reduce in size again before too long. 10 team Premier/8 team First anyone?

    That's why I've argued before for a 16-team Premier and a regionalised First Division based on MSL/LSL, etc. So you minimise the changes to the existing provincial setup, you have a clear pathway for any ambitious non-league side to progress, you encourage them into the Premier - not the First - with guarantees of big games from the off, and if they get relegated, it's back to where they were, not starting afresh in the Kerry District League.

    That's the structural issue to resolve in Irish football, and while we **** about with various ways of dividing 20 teams, we'll miss the bigger picture.

    That setup of course will take a lot of effort to achieve because of the FAI's extraordinary lack of foresight in changing two divisions to summer soccer.

    This would be my choice, 16 team league, call it Super League or whatever, 30 games, nice even split of 15 home and 15 away games, mid week games kept to absolute minimum.
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    The Cheeto God Real ale Madrid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    This is spot on. The First Division needs to go. When you've reached the stage of eastern European betting syndicates getting involved, you know you've a huge issue. And with clubs regularly dropping out and very little interest from new clubs, it'll surely reduce in size again before too long. 10 team Premier/8 team First anyone?

    That's why I've argued before for a 16-team Premier and a regionalised First Division based on MSL/LSL, etc. So you minimise the changes to the existing provincial setup, you have a clear pathway for any ambitious non-league side to progress, you encourage them into the Premier - not the First - with guarantees of big games from the off, and if they get relegated, it's back to where they were, not starting afresh in the Kerry District League.

    That's the structural issue to resolve in Irish football, and while we **** about with various ways of dividing 20 teams, we'll miss the bigger picture.

    That setup of course will take a lot of effort to achieve because of the FAI's extraordinary lack of foresight in changing two divisions to summer soccer.
    MSL and LSL will only end up with Cork / Dublin teams and the rest of the country would become disenfranchised pretty quickly. Do you put in a regionalised structure in the MSL / LSL - what about Connacht / Ulster? The top clubs in Limerick / Tipperary and Kilkenny wouldn't even enter the new pyramid. It’s a massive stumbling block.

    The MFA run a champions cup competition which takes all the winners of the regional leagues and is run on a knock-out basis. Some sort of short season competition might work with the winners getting a place in the League, but even in its current format it’s hard to know how seriously it is taken.
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  25. #80
    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Real ale Madrid View Post
    A revamp of the league might make it more attractive to sponsors, TV deals etc. If it doesn't then where is the harm in trying is all I'm getting at really.
    It won't though. Citation - all the other times we've tried this. The harm in doing it again is that it takes focus away from the real issues.


    Quote Originally Posted by Real ale Madrid View Post
    MSL and LSL will only end up with Cork / Dublin teams and the rest of the country would become disenfranchised pretty quickly. Do you put in a regionalised structure in the MSL / LSL - what about Connacht / Ulster? The top clubs in Limerick / Tipperary and Kilkenny wouldn't even enter the new pyramid. It’s a massive stumbling block.
    It is a massive stumbling block, I agree. But nowhere else in Europe as far as I'm aware has this daft fixation on county leagues. Limerick has two leagues FFS! The top clubs in Limerick, Tipp and Kilkenny shouldn't be given an option about entering a revamped MSL (for all Munster clubs). They can decline promotion to the Premier if they want, but the entire non-league structure - of lots of big fish in small ponds - is holding the game back by restricting proper competition (because a proper Munster league would be way stronger) and not encouraging clubs to take a step up to senior level.

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