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January 7th, 2011

Lot’s covered on Monday’s podcast and listening through it I was biting my tongue wanting to cut in, haha. Good craic and brought up good points, but my thoughts on the SPL reform which garnered a fair bit of discussion…

I’ll start off by saying I’m not at all in favour of a ten team SPL1 yet must say the argument *for* from Doncaster is compelling… A 16 team league would:

Mean 4 less home games per club (bums on seats accounts for around 33% of a clubs income)
Spread the TV money over 16 teams (as opposed to 10/12/etc)
Mean less guaranteed Old Firms and therefore decrease potential value to TV companies
and if I could add, dilute the core quality of the Premier league
Doncaster also claims relegation to an SPL2 would come with improved financial implications as opposed to the current *disastrous* financial terms that come with relegation.

These points mainly deal with the financial side of things. But you only need to look at Dundee FC, Airdrie, Dunfermline and Livingstone to see what a knife-edge these clubs exist on. Quite simply TV deals are the lifeblood of our clubs and while the priority should be developing Scottish youngsters with a view to improve the league and sell on for big money, this needs to be achieved unfortunately while keeping in tow with the demands of television.

Is there a happy medium? Previously mooted was a 14-team SPL. 26 games then split into a top 6 and a bottom 8. (36 games top, 40 for bott.) Maximum games for bottom teams, more teams in the top tier and I would definitely like to see value added through 2 play-offs – one for the 4th European slot (2nd Europa League slot) and one for the 2nd relegation (and 1 for the second promotion from SPL2)

As much as I despise how our countries FA has been run for the past… ever, what’s certain is whatever path they choose is going to be incredibly difficult and there are going to be some distraught parties. Just hope they can make the most of what we have.

Also wanted to speculate Eremenko is out of the Jambo’s price bracket (hear he was on 20k/week at Metalist) and also to defend big Georgios *nudey* Samaras but I’m running out of steam here. I’ll be listening with interest next week!


January 7th, 2011

Cheers mate, loads covered there, thanks for the comment.

I can totally see the points about the financial side, and in some ways I agree. However surely those points are all short term and don’t improve the current state of the game in any way. Well apart from looking after the second ten teams.

I think with a 16 or 18 team league you are basically starting from scratch, build the product back up. The old firm would still dominate but you’d have smaller clubs given a chance to enjoy the big games with OF, Hearts, Hibs, DU etc and they can build themselves up as well.

Playing each team 4 times surely has gotten very stale, even Killie fans are bored of watching Rangers. Most other leagues in Europe run a similar 18/20 team leagues and they manage to maintain themselves pretty well.

But as I said that would have to be a long term project and eventually the TV companies would come back stronger if the overall product was better, which I think it would.

Problem is as you said, teams would be worse off to begin with and how many can afford that. I think surely ESPN and BBC etc would still back the league as the games would be as good as they are now.

There’s no perfect answer and it’s a debate that will run and run.

David H

February 4th, 2011

Hey guys, having an Android phone, I don’t do iTunes, but want to subscribe to your podcast. Is there an RSS link available to do so? I mean, apart from the general RSS subscription for the blog overall. I can download it to my phone, obviously, but subscribing via Google Reader & Google Listen on my phone would be great. Keep up the good work.

David H

February 4th, 2011

Check that — found it!


February 5th, 2011

excellent, glad you found it Dave cause I had no idea

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