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Thread: All-Ireland League Thread

  1. #441
    First Team Buller's Avatar
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    On the contrary, I'm trying to put some structure on a meandering 22 page thread that has offered little in substance. It was my reading of it. I'm very interested in it and was blown away at the AIL meeting I attended and nothing I've read here for the against arguments really makes sense to me.
    I was not sneering at you.

    Can you please bullet point your own arguments against?

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buller View Post
    Arguments for All Island League proposal:

    [LIST][*]Modeling shows it could create a league valued 10 times higher than either league within 5 years
    What modelling has shown this? Is this based on random figures from Belgium/Holland (completely different countries)? Why would an AIL create such value when the Setanta Cup was largely a damp squib of an event? And what does league value mean anyway?

    Vague promises like this are one of the biggest arguments against an AIL tbh.

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  4. #443
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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    What modelling has shown this? Is this based on random figures from Belgium/Holland (completely different countries)? Why would an AIL create such value when the Setanta Cup was largely a damp squib of an event? And what does league value mean anyway?

    Vague promises like this are one of the biggest arguments against an AIL tbh.
    I never see where these potential big numbers come from, because the only tournament that gives real insight is the Setanta Cup, which faded away after initial moderate success.

    Perhaps there's merit to trying to hammer out a structure, then take it to a TV company and see how much they'll pay over a minimum number of years, then see if it's worthwhile.


    It would be interesting to see how much a TV company and other sponsors would pay for rights to say a 15-team AIL. My own speculation is that initially the money would be decent (for a short number of seasons - I can't see a TV company committing to a long-term deal straight away), but once the viewing numbers came in (and dropped, as they would), the TV money on offer would drop also.

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    Seasoned Pro ifk101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by osarusan View Post
    I never see where these potential big numbers come from, because the only tournament that gives real insight is the Setanta Cup, which faded away after initial moderate success.
    Basically. No concrete evidence an all-island league will work - or cross-border leagues for that matter. (eg The Royal League (Scandinavia's equivalent to the Setanta) didn't work as it ultimately did not attract the attendances or TV viewing figures that were earmarked.) Think there was a Baltic League that went the same way and for the same reasons.

    It sounds good in theory but personally don't think it is a runner and surprising to hear there is support for it in IL circles. How would IL clubs (and players) adjust to the travel, time and expense of games down in Cork and the like? And not to disrespect the likes of Dungannon, Glenavon and Larne, but how marketable are these clubs to a presumed wider audience? Because it is only the top of IL that would be considered an addition to the current LOI club make-up?

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    First Team Buller's Avatar
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    What modelling has shown this?

    Dutch sports data consultants Hypercube conducted a 5 month study on the entire concept. They're experts of going into a league, seeing how it is now, and through data and research, looking at what options there are to give the league a bounce.

    They reformed the Danish, Dutch, and Swiss leagues very successfully and pushed revenues up.

    Their projections in each of those cases was spot on. They dont pull numbers out of the air, it's backed up by metrics and real data.

    They do work on Champions League and Europa League structures for UEFA.


    Is this based on random figures from Belgium/Holland (completely different countries)?

    No, the entire project isn't based on Belgium and Holland. I'm not sure that had any weighting on any of their actual analysis at all. I was using it as my own example.


    Why would an AIL create such value when the Setanta Cup was largely a damp squib of an event?

    It turned into a damp squid when Setanta Sports went bust and pulled the prize money. It was a great competition in the early years when there was something to play for, but it became a bit of an afterthought for some clubs, a nuisance even, because they were focused on the league.

    The number of dead games in this split season proposal in minimal too, there is always something to play for. Successful competitions have as many moments of ‘glory and disaster’ as possible, and according to this format scores highly on that front.


    And what does league value mean anyway?

    The monetary value sponsors, broadcasters, and foreign clubs buying players, put on the league.


    Vague promises like this are one of the biggest arguments against an AIL tbh.

    It's about as concrete as a proposal as you could possibly have for a league that doesn't actually exist.

    It's not exactly a leap of faith to investigate it further when you have nothing to lose. It's a well researched proposition by a successful sports data company in Europe - it deserves a looked at further!


    How would IL clubs (and players) adjust to the travel, time and expense of games down in Cork and the like?

    The split season being suggested would mean the NI clubs in question would only have one trip down to Cork every year.
    Last edited by Buller; 22/05/2020 at 11:01 AM.

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  9. #446
    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buller View Post
    What modelling has shown this?

    Dutch sports data consultants Hypercube conducted a 5 month study on the entire concept. They're experts of going into a league, seeing how it is now, and through data and research look at what options there are to give the league a bounce.
    That's not really the question I'm asking though. I'm not asking "Who's done the modelling?", I'm asking "What modelling has been done?"

    I've seen enough reports on Irish football by experts over the years which turned out to be utter bull**** once you had a vaguely critical read of them (Genesis, Conroy and Gabay three that come to mind). I remember also talking to Jim Roddy (Derry chairman) at the time of the Platinum One AIL proposal (which even featured on PrimeTime) and he was so far away in the clouds about the prospects it was unbelievable.

    The Danish/Dutch/etc leagues had a far more stable base to work off of. The LoI and IL are basket cases by comparison. It doesn't follow that what worked there will necessarily work here.

    So you'll have to forgive scepticism being a default position here, especially in the absence of a proper answer.


    Quote Originally Posted by Buller View Post
    Why would an AIL create such value when the Setanta Cup was largely a damp squib of an event?

    It turned into a damp squid when Setanta Sports went bust and pulled the prize money. It was a great competition in the early years when there was something to play for, but it became a bit of an afterthought for some clubs, a nuisance even, because they were focused on the league.
    I think that's a bit simplistic. Or certainly I don't think you've shown cause and effect. I could just as easily say it turned into a damp squib when the novelty wore off, when it was evident IL clubs were struggling to compete (only Linfield were at the races for the most part), and when the tournament was expanded to something closer to AIL levels and UCD v Lisburn Distillery became a fixture. That all started happening around the same time as Setanta getting into trouble. But would it have happened regardless of financial trouble at Setanta? I think it was heading that way anyway. The arguments posted about the Royal League and Baltic League would back that up. And I don't see why an AIL wouldn't veer that way too.


    Quote Originally Posted by Buller View Post
    And what does league value mean anyway?
    The monetary value sponsors, broadcasters, and foreign clubs buying players, put on the league.
    And again, how is this quantified though? It's all very easy to put something like that down on paper. Why's it going to happen? I'm seeing the underpants gnomes from South Park here, where they go from "Collect underpants" to "Profit!" Can you not see there's a big "scene missing" in all of this?

    I get that putting money into the league will improve it obviously. But the focus here is on why an AIL in particular would improve things. Why not put money into the LoI and grow league value?


    Quote Originally Posted by Buller View Post
    Vague promises like this are one of the biggest arguments against an AIL tbh.
    It's about as concrete as a proposal as you could possibly have for a league that doesn't actually exist.
    It's a format with no named sponsors or backers or media partners so far as I can see. Now I get that companies can't pony up cash now for something that doesn't exist - but there doesn't appear to be anything solid behind this. Is there even any solid expressions of interest for example? Or why can't these partners come onboard at LoI level first to show some initial commitment (at a lower price, naturally). Then you can get some confidence that something actually exists to build on. I just don't see that right now. And I also don't see what magic touch adding Glentoran/Larne/Crusaders is going to add (with all respect to those clubs) - that's the ultimate unanswered question here.

    I've no problems investigating it further btw. I've always said I'm in favour of an AIL on principle. I've said before that the KOTI format is interesting in that (a) it doesn't lose European spots and (b) it can easily be unwound if not a success. But I don't agree with this view that an AIL, Lucid or otherwise, is the sudden panacea it's being made out to be. I would like it to be. But liking something to work isn't how things happen in real life.

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  11. #447
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buller View Post
    What modelling has shown this?

    Dutch sports data consultants Hypercube conducted a 5 month study on the entire concept. They're experts of going into a league, seeing how it is now, and through data and research, looking at what options there are to give the league a bounce.

    They reformed the Danish, Dutch, and Swiss leagues very successfully and pushed revenues up.

    Their projections in each of those cases was spot on. They dont pull numbers out of the air, it's backed up by metrics and real data.

    They do work on Champions League and Europa League structures for UEFA.


    Is this based on random figures from Belgium/Holland (completely different countries)?

    No, the entire project isn't based on Belgium and Holland. I'm not sure that had any weighting on any of their actual analysis at all. I was using it as my own example.


    Why would an AIL create such value when the Setanta Cup was largely a damp squib of an event?

    It turned into a damp squid when Setanta Sports went bust and pulled the prize money. It was a great competition in the early years when there was something to play for, but it became a bit of an afterthought for some clubs, a nuisance even, because they were focused on the league.

    The number of dead games in this split season proposal in minimal too, there is always something to play for. Successful competitions have as many moments of ‘glory and disaster’ as possible, and according to this format scores highly on that front.


    And what does league value mean anyway?

    The monetary value sponsors, broadcasters, and foreign clubs buying players, put on the league.


    Vague promises like this are one of the biggest arguments against an AIL tbh.

    It's about as concrete as a proposal as you could possibly have for a league that doesn't actually exist.

    It's not exactly a leap of faith to investigate it further when you have nothing to lose. It's a well researched proposition by a successful sports data company in Europe - it deserves a looked at further!


    How would IL clubs (and players) adjust to the travel, time and expense of games down in Cork and the like?

    The split season being suggested would mean the NI clubs in question would only have one trip down to Cork every year.
    Very well presented Buller. First I knew of Setanta Sports going bust thought it was Eir who bought them out?
    I think it could take off big time this new competition if they trial it this way by keeping the two competitions separate north and south and then merge it towards the end.
    The weakness with the Setanta sports cup is there was a mixture of small clubs and big clubs in it. In the first season we were in the group stages of it. I think that this competition can only work properly if the big clubs are in it regularly ie the likes of Linfield and Dundalk. So in this league concept the big clubs should rise to the top regularly.
    The more I think about it the more I like this concept imo.
    I wouldnt expect the government north and south to finance the prize money thats for the IFA and FAI to sort it out themselves maybe with UEFA chipping in also with this concept.
    Daire Doyles red and black army

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  13. #448
    First Team EalingGreen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buller View Post
    Vague promises like this are one of the biggest arguments against an AIL tbh.

    It's about as concrete as a proposal as you could possibly have for a league that doesn't actually exist.
    Brandishing a "How to Make Concrete" book with some photographs of some Belgian concrete in it is not the same as some actual, er, concrete.

    Fact is, clubs and Associations north and south have demonstrated their willingness to listen to what Lucid has to offer.

    By this stage, they must be entitled to see the concrete. In front of them. On the table.

    Quote Originally Posted by Buller View Post
    It's not exactly a leap of faith to investigate it further when you have nothing to lose.
    What exactly does Lucid have to lose?

    He informs us that he is comfortably off, so that he doesn't actually have to be doing this. In one sense, that must be a good thing, since it means he can be objective and long-term in his thinking etc.

    But in another, it must be a real cause for concern, since he (who admits himself he was never a fan of Irish club football before) could easily just walk away and indulge in the next project which takes his fancy should this one crash and burn.

    Now ask yourself what the club owners and supporters have to lose if it all crashes?

    Basically their clubs, that's what. Clubs which may be modest in many ways, but also clubs which they and their predecessors have usually invested in hugely over decades, often at considerable personal cost and for little or no thanks or reward.

    So that for the great majority of them, their ambition is not to win trophies or glory, or make great riches out of it - chance would be a fine thing! Instead, it's usually just to have a go at something they love, before handing it over to the next generation.

    And Lucid is asking them to risk all that on a promise, some smart graphics and "models".

    Personally I'd be more impressed were he putting in some of the money of his own that he tells us he's made.
    Last edited by EalingGreen; 22/05/2020 at 11:45 AM.

  14. #449
    First Team Buller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EalingGreen View Post

    Now ask yourself what the club owners and supporters have to lose if it all crashes?

    Basically their clubs, that's what. Clubs which may be modest in many ways, but also clubs which they and their predecessors have usually invested in hugely over decades, often at considerable personal cost and for little or no thanks or reward.

    So that for the great majority of them, their ambition is not to win trophies or glory, or make great riches out of it - chance would be a fine thing! Instead, it's usually just to have a go at something they love, before handing it over to the next generation.

    And Lucid is asking them to risk all that on a promise, some smart graphics and "models".

    Personally I'd be more impressed were he putting in some of the money of his own that he tells us he's made.
    No absolutely not correct. He's not asking anyone to risk anything.

    To reiterate, he's asking the IFA and the FAI to contact UEFA to seek approval to progress the concept.

    After that they can set a minimum figure for prize money that would be needed to persuade clubs. €2m pot was mentioned as a baseline minimum required, through sponsorship and broadcasters.

    He has been very clear, if this minimum figure is not achieved, the league does not go-ahead. Domestic leagues would not be suddenly scrapped while this progresses in the background. Clubs go on as usual if the minimum pot is not achieved.

    The argument that there is some sort of risk in trying to progress the concept isn't really justified.

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Buller - what happens if the €2m is raised, then leagues are folded and replaced with an AIL, but the whole thing doesn't work out and two years later the prize money is below the "requirement"?

    That's a clear risk. And the Royal League and Baltic League (which is more comparable to an AIL) both indicate it's a very real one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buller View Post
    No absolutely not correct. He's not asking anyone to risk anything.

    To reiterate, he's asking the IFA and the FAI to contact UEFA to seek approval to progress the concept.
    Obtaining UEFA approval is only a means to an end, that end being the establishment of a new concept which clubs are being asked to sign their whole future existence up to.

    This being a concept which has no guarantees as to who its backers will be, how much actual backing they will produce, or assurances as to how long they will stick around should their own required Return on Investment not materialise.

    So yeah, the FAI and IFA could get assurances from UEFA. But were I them, I'd be more interested in assurances from Lucid first.

    Quote Originally Posted by Buller View Post
    After that they can set a minimum figure for prize money that would be needed to persuade clubs. €2m pot was mentioned as a baseline minimum required, through sponsorship and broadcasters.
    Was this €2m for the first year? The first three years? Five? And why can't he point to a prior agreement of backing, at least in principle?

    I mean, when set against the attractive sums he is promising an AIL can generate through TV and sponsorship etc, €2m is piddling. Why doesn't he pony up at least some of it himself from his own resources? After all, if this is the surefire hit he tells us it is, then he'd soon get it all back, with handsome interest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Buller View Post
    He has been very clear, if this minimum figure is not achieved, the league does not go-ahead. Domestic leagues would not be suddenly scrapped while this progresses in the background. Clubs go on as usual if the minimum pot is not achieved.

    The argument that there is some sort of risk in trying to progress the concept isn't really justified.
    Why should the clubs and Associations spend time and effort on a project which its own proposers can't even progress?

    I mean, they already have more than enough on their plate just now, or haven't you noticed?

    Meanwhile, you might like to study a previous "Unstoppable Idea Whose Time Has Finally Come".

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITV_Digital

    If you haven't time, just skim down to the section: "Effect on football clubs":

    "ITV Digital's collapse had a large effect on many football clubs. Bradford City F.C. was one of the affected, and its debt forced it into administration in May 2002.

    Barnsley F.C. also entered administration in October 2002, despite the club making a profit for the twelve years prior to the collapse of ITV Digital. Barnsley had budgeted on the basis that the money from the ITV Digital deal would be received, leaving a 2.5 million shortfall in their accounts when the broadcaster collapsed.

    Clubs were forced to slash staff, and some players were forced to be sold as they were unable to pay them. Some clubs increased ticket prices for fans to offset the losses.

    The rights to show Football League matches were resold to Sky Sports for 95 million for the next four years compared to 315 million over three years from ITV Digital, leading to a reduction from 2 million per season to 700,000 in broadcasting revenue for First Division clubs.

    In total, fourteen Football League clubs were placed in administration within four years of the collapse of ITV Digital, compared to four in the four years before."


    No doubt ITV Digital had received all the necessary permissions etc, presumably after impressing the EFL and clubs with colourful charts, models and assurances...

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    The Cheeto God Real ale Madrid's Avatar
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    Using the ITV digital thing as a stick to beat this with is a bit harsh. What happened ITV could happen any company or any sponsorship.
    If a dog weighs under 50 lbs it's a cat, and cats are useless.

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    First Team Mr_Parker's Avatar
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    Oh, look what I have missed in the last 24 hours. Buller joins the party to debate all the points made over the last few months, yet only summarises then most recent portions of the debate. If a no intent going back over months of debate. Bottom line is, you don't build a house on sand, especially when the guy attempting to build it, has never built one, and can't even guarantee when or much sand there will be.

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    The debate about an all-island league is stuck in a circular hell.

    The main argument for it is that it will step-change football in the country, through attracting significantly more revneue. And the main argument against it is that there is no evidence that will happen.

    The only way to resolve this would be for both FAs to say to Lucid that if he can come back with proof of funding of X amount, then they will progress with the idea. And if he can't by a certain deadline, then they will consider it dead and disengage fully.

    That would then give Lucid what he needs to firm up on the funding (or not). It would bring to an end the pointless hypothetical debate in each direction, and mean that money could and would have to be brought to the table. It would also expose if there are other issues at play for either FA in opposing the idea. And if it wasn't a goer, then it would kill the idea for the foreseeable future and stop it hanging around endlessly as a distraction (which it otherwise will continue to do).

    So why wouldn't the FAs agree to this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ifk101 View Post
    How would IL clubs (and players) adjust to the travel, time and expense of games down in Cork and the like?
    If only there already were clubs and players on the island having to make even longer/more difficult journeys on a regular basis that they could learn from. Like in Derry or Donegal. Such a shame that there aren't. As for players having to adjust - they're not flying onto space FFS. How do players adjust when travelling from Southampton to Newcastle, Kilmarnock to Inverness, barrow to Yeovil etc for example ? You'd think we were talking about creating a league covering the greatest physical distance on the planet or something

    Quote Originally Posted by ifk101 View Post
    And not to disrespect the likes of Dungannon, Glenavon and Larne, but how marketable are these clubs to a presumed wider audience? Because it is only the top of IL that would be considered an addition to the current LOI club make-up?
    That's a silly question really. How marketable are the likes of UCD or Bray or Cobh to a wider audience? How marketable are Barnsley or even Bournemouth to a wider audience? What does that actually mean, and why does it even matter? We're not trying to create a league of global importance. No Irish club seems able to make themselves particularly attractive even to the people on their own doorstep at the moment sure, as attendances prove. Teams like Dungannon would probably not be perennials in any AIL top tier anyway, so wouldn't have to worry about this too much.
    Last edited by EatYerGreens; 23/05/2020 at 10:56 AM.

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    Will Waterford's attendances increase if they were to play in this proposed AIL?

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldfan View Post
    Will Waterford's attendances increase if they were to play in this proposed AIL?
    I think it would decrease imo. If it was in their heyday in the 60s/70s there would have being huge interest.
    Daire Doyles red and black army

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    Indeed. 2 or 3 thousand extra people aren't going to turn up to see Crusaders or Coleraine !

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    Quote Originally Posted by EatYerGreens View Post
    If only there already were clubs and players on the island having to make even longer/more difficult journeys on a regular basis that they could learn from. Like in Derry or Donegal. Such a shame that there aren't. As for players having to adjust - they're not flying onto space FFS. How do players adjust when travelling from Southampton to Newcastle, Kilmarnock to Inverness, barrow to Yeovil etc for example ? You'd think we were talking about creating a league covering the greatest physical distance on the planet or something That's a silly question really. How marketable are the likes of UCD or Bray or Cobh to a wider audience? How marketable are Barnsley or even Bournemouth to a wider audience? What does that actually mean, and why does it even matter? We're not trying to create a league of global importance. No Irish club seems able to make themselves particularly attractive even to the people on their own doorstep at the moment sure, as attendances prove. Teams like Dungannon would probably not be perennials in any AIL top tier anyway, so wouldn't have to worry about this too much.
    What's with the hyperbole? And comparisons with full-time UK clubs? Relax. It's a quite simple point made that's not too taxing on comprehension levels. The IL is concentrated to Belfast - the furthest away game is an hour or so away - fine for a semi-pro club and player, similar to the LSL. If an all-island league is the future, the addition of the top of the IL to an expanded LOI would be preferable imo rather than trying to accommodate a greater number of IL clubs into a structure that pars the IL and LOI.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ifk101 View Post
    What's with the hyperbole? And comparisons with full-time UK clubs? Relax. It's a quite simple point made that's not too taxing on comprehension levels.
    Agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by ifk101 View Post
    The IL is concentrated to Belfast - the furthest away game is an hour or so away - fine for a semi-pro club and player, similar to the LSL.
    Not really.

    Like the LOI, the IL is concentrated to the east. And obviously this "concentration" is exacerbated by NI being so much smaller in area than ROI.

    But if you look closer, the 12 IL teams in the Premiership are divided between 9 towns/cities, whereas the 10 LOI clubs in the PD encompasses just 7 towns/cities. (And one of those is in NI! )

    Quote Originally Posted by ifk101 View Post
    If an all-island league is the future, the addition of the top of the IL to an expanded LOI would be preferable imo rather than trying to accommodate a greater number of IL clubs into a structure that pars the IL and LOI.
    Agree that in terms of competitiveness, professionalism and status etc, you wouldn't want a 50:50 split.

    So that as things stand*, if you started off with eg the top 8 or 9 LOI clubs, then logically you would only select the top 4 or 5 IL clubs to join them. But this would produce two further problems in turn.

    First, any new AIL would have to be a genuine combination of the two leagues, rather than just the old LOI with a few Nordie teams added.

    Second, 12 or 14 teams is not enough to sustain such a league, especially if there is to be a proper pyramid below, with P & R.

    And frankly, if you're going to add additional teams to take the league up to 16 or 18 teams, then you might arguably find at least as many extra candidates in the rest of the IL Premiership than in the LOI FD.


    * - Tbh, the IL clearly needs time to catch up, the 'good news' being that some clubs do appear to be making progress on that front.

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