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Thread: Third Tier Talk - A Championship Mk II

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    International Prospect sadloserkid's Avatar
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    Third Tier Talk - A Championship Mk II

    https://www.irishmirror.ie/sport/soc...dging-25385774

    What odds do we reckon? Fantastic in theory of course and I'd absolutely support it but there's a lot to figure out to avoid the mistakes of the A Championship. Which, for what it's worth, I enjoyed.
    The ball is round and has many surprises.

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    Youth Team Kiki Balboa's Avatar
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    The 'A' championship might have just been at the wrong time after the crash. I think as a whole now, the league seems to be in a good place (much better than the period of the 'a' championship), and this would help solve the gap between u-19s and Mens. Calling the LOI third tier might also be better than a separate 'A' Championship, and teams involved might see themselves more as a proper LOI club sooner.

    Also exciting to get a better geographical spread of teams in the league. Love the idea (without proper reasoning) of having the likes of Castlebar, Tullamore and Tralee in the league. My guess is that the teams in underage LOI will be included like Kilkenny/Carlow (or maybe Evergreen or Carlow IT) and a return of Monaghan United. Maynooth too would be a prime LOI team (without a stadium tho), and maybe a Malahide? or another Fingal team? Or UCC or DCU (I love guessing new possible teams...).

    You would think if the new clubs were able to enter a team into the LOI underage leagues, there might be a few larger Junior Dublin teams also interested. Maybe even a St. Kevins boys.

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Adding a third tier to a failed structure just gives a larger failed structure. That's a large part of why there A Championship failed.

    The only really interesting thing in this is the idea of LSL/MSL clubs being involved. That could be a first step to being a real game changer. Or not, if the LSL/MSL listen and then say "Nah"

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    Reserves Bucket's Avatar
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    If the FAI introduces anything resembling a pyramid structure they have to be firm with it. If a club earns promotion but turns it down they should be punished, either a fine or relegation. Also if a B team wins the league, we can't offer promotion to the highest placed non-league team. If they're not good enough to actually earn it then they don't deserve to go up. It would prevent another Salthill scenario.
    The prize money needs to increase significantly

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    International Prospect sadloserkid's Avatar
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    Just a few random thoughts on it:

    I think if it's going to be full of reserve teams again it's probably a waste of time.

    I'd be sceptical of throwing a bunch of University teams in too. I like UCD and I think they bring plenty to the league even if they're limited in how big they can probably become. There's a place for well-run, solid medium/small clubs I'm not sure how many places there are.

    I'd be curious to see if any of the old A-Championship clubs have any interest in trying again. Tralee and Mervue, in particular, were burned last time round and Fingal/Carlow have disappeared.

    Hard to see the incentive for clubs to sign up in a lot of ways but time will tell.

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    Seasoned Pro sbgawa's Avatar
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    While accepting my obvious bias if reserve teams are allowed in they should be allowed promotion to the first division but not Premier.
    If you aren't good enough to finish in the top 20 clubs in Ireland including probably a maximum of 2 or 3 B teams you belong in division 3

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    Youth Team Kiki Balboa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbgawa View Post
    While accepting my obvious bias if reserve teams are allowed in they should be allowed promotion to the first division but not Premier.
    If you aren't good enough to finish in the top 20 clubs in Ireland including probably a maximum of 2 or 3 B teams you belong in division 3
    I think its a good point that could be debated on. Personally, I would be against. What happens if half of first division becomes reserve teams? Or if the teams that get relegated from the First fold together with the league if that goes bust, and you are left a Prem and a First made half Prem reserve teams.

    I hope this does happen, and a lot of junior clubs are interested, and a new competitive league is formed. (But maybe that is too wishful thinking)

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    I think on the basis that part of the point of this should be to encourage clubs around the country to push themselves to step up to LoI level (most for the first time), then it would defeat the point to an extent by allowing B teams to be promoted to the FD.

    But if, say, Rovers B won the league ahead of Navan Town, I would let Navan Town go up (licensing permitting of course).

    slk's point about the incentive for new clubs to join is key.

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    Seasoned Pro NeverFeltBetter's Avatar
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    No B team promotion, offered to the to the next highest "A" team subject to strict licensing would be fine. But how to prevent another Galway/Mervue/Salthill situation. I don't know how you can mitigate against that, unless you add a requirement in the licensing about cachement area sustainability.

    I mean it's something. But the possibility of it being executed poorly and then crashing and burning is pretty high.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

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    The Cheeto God Real ale Madrid's Avatar
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    Id be surprised if any MSL / LSL clubs are part of it. If someone wants a team in the league then there is very little stopping them as it is.

    Although a LOI Division 2 clash of North Sea FC v Yola FC may be enough on its own.

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeverFeltBetter View Post
    But how to prevent another Galway/Mervue/Salthill situation. I don't know how you can mitigate against that, unless you add a requirement in the licensing about cachement area sustainability.
    The problem is we're still extending a broken system by inviting anyone into the LoI who wants to join, rather than uniting the whole league system.

    Say the MSL/LSL/USL/CSL were four regional third tiers. (I know there's no CSL/USL at the moment; you'd have to invent them back into existence). Two promotion spots - so the MSL/USL/CSL/LSL winners would all play off for two promotion spots. Would Salthill/Mervue be strong enough to get promoted to the First Division? And would they be strong enough to stay there then, bearing in mind they would have been relegated every year they were in the FD if there had been relegation?

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    Youth Team GUFCghost's Avatar
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    Catchment area sustainability needs to be added to licensing requirements. I can see the Galway debacle repeating itself very easily in Limerick between Treaty & Limerick FC, that would be a complete disaster.

    Setting up this division is a start, after this we need proper intermediate leagues. As it stands the LSL and MSL have poor geographic spread and no link to their junior leagues. West/East/South intermediate leagues linked to their respective junior leagues need to be set up.

    There's also the issue of when is the season going to be played. You can't win the Western league in May, then wait til February to play in the new second division.
    oh boy I'm not good at football forums

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    Reserves Bucket's Avatar
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    How will a catchment area clause affect Phibsborough?

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    First Team EalingGreen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeverFeltBetter View Post
    No B team promotion, offered to the to the next highest "A" team subject to strict licensing would be fine. But how to prevent another Galway/Mervue/Salthill situation. I don't know how you can mitigate against that, unless you add a requirement in the licensing about cachement area sustainability.
    You could have a system whereby if the division was won by a LOI "B" team, then to get promoted, the"A" team in second place would be required to have finished within a certain distance of them.

    For example, if they finished within 3 points or fewer, then they'd go up automatically,

    If they finished 4, 5 or 6 points behind, then they'd have to win a play-off against the bottom 1st Division team.

    And if they finished 7 points or more adrift, then they stay where they are.

    You might also add a proviso that regardless of the points differential, they finish at least third (or fourth?) in the table i.e. no more than two (or three?) LOI "B" teams ahead of them, otherwise they don't go up.

    As for the "catchment area sustainability" angle, I can think of three aspects to this.

    First is facilities/stadium etc. In order to enter the third tier in the first place, clubs should be expected to meet minimum standards appropriate to that level. And after, say, 5 years in the third tier, they should be required to have improved the standard to nearer the standard required for the 1st Division and Premier. This latter would prove they're serious about progressing to their maximum level and not just content to amble along where they are, or worse, simply lash money on players in order to get promoted and to hell with playing in a kip;

    Second is financial stability. This basically means not spending money they don't have - which should apply to every club in every tier btw;

    Third is attendances. Quite frankly, so long as a club is meeting the first two criteria, while also proving themselves on the pitch, it shouldn't matter whether they're getting crowds of 50 in the back of beyond, 500 in some town in the Midlands, or 5,000 in inner-city Dublin.

    For teams like Finn Harps or Sligo prove that it is not population or catchment which counts, but how well a club is run. Similarly, if the smaller clubs in Dublin can get by just up the road from Shams or Bohs etc, then fire away.

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    First Team EalingGreen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    The problem is we're still extending a broken system by inviting anyone into the LoI who wants to join, rather than uniting the whole league system.
    Indeed. If the example of the IL is anything to go by - and God knows, we're crap at a lot of other things - then at least we're making progress on this front
    And if we can do it, then there's no good (emphasise) reason why the LOI cant.

    That said, you might bridge the gap by having no relegation from the third tier for, say, the first five years. So long as there was a genuinely rigorous application process to join up initially, then such a grace period would encourage clubs to invest in infrastructure, facilities and management etc, knowing that it wouldn't all get wasted if they were relegated in a season or to.

    It would also give ambitious teams which weren't quite ready initially time to plan and prepare for when they were.

    And, of course, it would give the FAI time to organise the structure below the three tiers such that there was a proper feeder system to grow the game generally.

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    International Prospect Nesta99's Avatar
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    Cant there just be a common sense clause....??

    if a number of clubs in the same catchment apply as per the Galway example, then each application is assessed and a club selected on merit or have the one with the best DVD and the others just have to suck it up without mention of judicial reviews or CAS. Ironically in a proper pyramid meritocracy system, this sort of scenario is quite possible where clubs from the same areas end up in the same division, particularly in the denser populated areas.

    We all hate it when club mergers are suggested by non LoI people like the rugby provinces stuff, but league representative sides could be a consideration if this is to be railroaded through before clubs have the structures in place for promotion not to be damaging, but would need buy in by clubs that often just want to tear each other apart at whatever level they play at (a mentality that has held us back an where they FAI lacked a backbone to manage). A good starting point before this level of discussion happens is for the FAI to mandate an aligning of seasons with the senior game (excluding specifically designated winter leagues). If ever there is a point that there is a fully integrated system in place across the game there will inevitably be the 'ambitious' types that will do things like pay players at the amatuer levels for all sorts of reasons and there will be other messing so there needs to be greater maturity in the oversight of the leagues that feed in to the pyramid. Im not sure that that can be done easily so in the interim working more from the top down could be the better method, incentivise being involved so people want to be involved rather than pushed over a period of time where mindsets can change.

    Its an aside issue but some levels of the game need to be designated as purely recreational - it has happened in the UK were participation (and clubs) fell away usually due to a small number taking enjoyment out of playing by being ummm serious and overly driven.

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    A common sense clause is wildly open to abuse.

    If there's relegation, then there's little to fear from Salthill or similar.

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    International Prospect Nesta99's Avatar
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    'Promotion and relegation between the current First Division and the new third tier is on the cards but the reserve sides of existing League of Ireland clubs won’t move up or down' - strange sentence but maybe just the way its phrased, implies that B sides could be in the 2nd and 3rd tier with no promotion or relegation for them so get 'em in to the 1st Division quick before the 3rd is introduced.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    The problem is we're still extending a broken system by inviting anyone into the LoI who wants to join, rather than uniting the whole league system.

    Say the MSL/LSL/USL/CSL were four regional third tiers. (I know there's no CSL/USL at the moment; you'd have to invent them back into existence). Two promotion spots - so the MSL/USL/CSL/LSL winners would all play off for two promotion spots. Would Salthill/Mervue be strong enough to get promoted to the First Division? And would they be strong enough to stay there then, bearing in mind they would have been relegated every year they were in the FD if there had been relegation?
    I agree with you completely on what the league structure should look like. But for whatever reasons it doesn't seem like that is going to happen any time soon and definitely not by the 2023 season. Building from the top down is the next best thing.

    The bigger the LOI bubble is, the stronger it is. I think we've seen that with how the underage leagues have taken shape. The clubs who aren't involved are on the outside looking in.

    A lot will depend on what the makeup of the teams are. Hopefully there'll only be a few reserve sides and we can see an establishment of the regional sides (Kerry, Carlow, Monaghan, etc.) which exist at underage level in the senior ranks.

    A 10-team third tier is envisaged, split on a north-south geographical divide to help reduce the various costs associated with long distance travel.
    Two 5 team divisions sounds kind of underwhelming but no point throwing shade at something which we have absolutely no details on yet.

    Agree too with the point that new clubs should be given a time frame to get structures in place. It'll take time for these teams to put any proper roots in the community and these should be seen as 10 year projects rather than 18 months.

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    Capped Player nigel-harps1954's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    The problem is we're still extending a broken system by inviting anyone into the LoI who wants to join, rather than uniting the whole league system.

    Say the MSL/LSL/USL/CSL were four regional third tiers. (I know there's no CSL/USL at the moment; you'd have to invent them back into existence). Two promotion spots - so the MSL/USL/CSL/LSL winners would all play off for two promotion spots. Would Salthill/Mervue be strong enough to get promoted to the First Division? And would they be strong enough to stay there then, bearing in mind they would have been relegated every year they were in the FD if there had been relegation?
    Agree with a lot of this. The current system is broken. Adding a third tier, for me, is a start though.

    FWIW, there is an USL, Monaghan United joined it this year too, so at least it's spread further than Donegal for once. There's five teams in it this season, and two of them are reserve sides of Harps and Derry. The other three sides could all potentially step into a LOI Conference North.

    I think this time we avoid a Galway/Mervue/Salthill situation by simply implementing promotion and relegation properly.

    The same playoff system and one up/one down that exists between Premier and First Division, should also exist between First and Second Divisions North/South.

    With a decent bit of prize money, and the right supports, there's no reason this can't be a success.

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