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Who will we play next season?

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39 minutes ago, Il Pirata said:

I didn't realise that Italy had that depth of professional teams. I always though England had the most. 

It's a bit disingenuous to say Italy has more pro teams, some of the clubs in C3 have tiny grounds holding 2/3 thousand which wouldn't be good enough for the National League. 

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Posted (edited)

Perhaps we should have a top tier, a Championship and then a third tier of two divisions split into North and South with 1 from each promoted and then a play offs for 1 more between the two. 

It makes it cheaper for lower tier teams to operate and will boost away attendances. Can imagine it's a strain on the budget of Carlisle to have to travel down to Torquay and Gillingham, if it's midweek they need to book hotel rooms also. 

Obviously we will see a few clubs fold, but a few from national League can step up into that more affordable third tier. 

Could also renew interest in the cup competitions as it would be a novelty for say Colchester to get a game against Fleetwood with the north-south structure. 

Does feel like a good idea and I guess it's why Italy and Spain do this. League One South and League One North. 

Leaner and more environmentally friendly.

 

Edited by TeemuVanBasten

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, DraytonBoy said:

It's a bit disingenuous to say Italy has more pro teams, some of the clubs in C3 have tiny grounds holding 2/3 thousand which wouldn't be good enough for the National League. 

Why is it disingenuous? The original comment was that nowhere has more professional divisions than England. Italy has more professional divisions and more teams in those divisions.

Also, 19 of the twenty four teams in league 2 have an average attendance of below 5,000 this season (and one of those above is only 5,100). Macclesfield’s average attendance is 1,998. Six clubs have average attendances of below 3,000. Eleven have average attendances below 4,000.

Harrogate town who are second in the conference (so could well have been in league 2 next season under normal circumstances) have only 500 seats!

Edit: 19 of the 24 sides in the national league have average attendances below 3,000 as well - so not sure how you figure Italian teams with 3,000 capacity stadiums wouldn’t be good enough for the national league.

Edited by Aggy

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In fact, 13 of the 24 clubs in the conference have average capacity of under 2,000 this year. The lowest is Boreham Wood - 753. Reckon you’d fit them into a 2-3,000 seater!

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I'm not sure the idea of buying a season ticket to watch a game on TV will fly. I'm not spending £500 on something I can stream for nothing. Either that or go down the pub and watch it.

I think that we just need to accept that unless fans are allowed back into stadiums in some way shape or form then many clubs including our own will die.

No fans no football. 

 

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4 hours ago, sgncfc said:

I am sure that if the whole of next season is behind closed doors there will be some sort of TV season ticket available to buy, but that's not going to replace our £8m worth of gate receipts.

I think parachute payments are probably safe - if they weren't guaranteed I doubt that relegation could be enforced. Player contracts may well have wage reductions and buy outs, but these will have been set in different times and I suspect we may have to offload some of our talent for less than we might have wanted.

Conversely, some of our squad will be glad to have a contract and will be more than happy to honour it - they may be the less well fancied players but it will still give us a strong squad in comparison to others.

We might have to welcome a few more of our academy players into the first team squad.

 

It seems though that TV companies are seeking half price for beyond closed doors football as they won't have pub subscriptions and their exclusivity is under attack.  Surely that would impact on parachute payments?

Whatever substantial cuts in player and coach salaries are likely to be necessary.

 

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49 minutes ago, Aggy said:

Why is it disingenuous? The original comment was that nowhere has more professional divisions than England. Italy has more professional divisions and more teams in those divisions.

Also, 19 of the twenty four teams in league 2 have an average attendance of below 5,000 this season (and one of those above is only 5,100). Macclesfield’s average attendance is 1,998. Six clubs have average attendances of below 3,000. Eleven have average attendances below 4,000.

Harrogate town who are second in the conference (so could well have been in league 2 next season under normal circumstances) have only 500 seats!

Edit: 19 of the 24 sides in the national league have average attendances below 3,000 as well - so not sure how you figure Italian teams with 3,000 capacity stadiums wouldn’t be good enough for the national league.

I'm not convinced all the teams in C3 are truly professional Aggy, if you look at some of the average attendances they're well below 1000 so how could you possibly run a pro club with that sort of income?  

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4 hours ago, sgncfc said:

I am sure that if the whole of next season is behind closed doors there will be some sort of TV season ticket available to buy, but that's not going to replace our £8m worth of gate receipts.

I think parachute payments are probably safe - if they weren't guaranteed I doubt that relegation could be enforced. Player contracts may well have wage reductions and buy outs, but these will have been set in different times and I suspect we may have to offload some of our talent for less than we might have wanted.

Conversely, some of our squad will be glad to have a contract and will be more than happy to honour it - they may be the less well fancied players but it will still give us a strong squad in comparison to others.

We might have to welcome a few more of our academy players into the first team squad.

 

Three new signings entering the fray too! 

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34 minutes ago, DraytonBoy said:

I'm not convinced all the teams in C3 are truly professional Aggy, if you look at some of the average attendances they're well below 1000 so how could you possibly run a pro club with that sort of income?  

The initial point was about professional leagues. Italy has five. Some clubs within those five might be smaller than the ones in our fourth. Reggina are in Serie c and have a 27,000 capacity stadium. Bari are down there due to financial reasons but are playing Serie C football with a 57,000 seater stadium!

Rimini FC, who are bottom of Serie C group B have a stadium with a capacity of 9,786. Modena FC, mid table in Serie C group. b - 21,000 seater stadium. Siena fc mid table in Serie C group A - 15,000 capacity.

So yes there might well be some smaller teams in the 60 Italian sides who play in their third tier (three divisions) than in our fourth tier. But there are some equally as big and bigger. To suggest Serie C isn’t a professional division is nonsense. 

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I would advocate a Premier League of 16 clubs. That gives them plenty of scope for their beloved European football. Funny how pundits don't say "Chelsea are doing well they are fourth". Instead its "Chelsea are in the last CL spot".

25 teams in each league in the EFL and that gives a team a week off during the season but an extra home game.

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For what it's worth, attendances in Italy are pretty poor because more than 70% of the country identifies as a fan of one of the big three and not a lot support their local team. I live in the province of Lecce, and I think there are more Juventus fans in this area than Lecce fans, which is ridiculous considering that Turin is actually closer to London than it is to Lecce. Also, there's no rule regarding TV blackouts on Saturday afternoons so lots of fans stay at home to watch games. This is why the Championship's average attendance last season was treble that of Serie B, and even League One had a higher average attendance than Serie B.

As for stadium sizes, Lecce's holds 40,000 at maximum capacity (although it's reduced to just under 30,000 for safety reasons) but its average attendance of 10-11,000 was the highest (or maybe second highest) in the whole Serie C two years ago, if I'm not mistaken. But then again, Palermo are in the semi-pro Serie D this season and have had an average attendance of nearly 16,000 but that's obviously an anomaly as they're a big club.

The third tier of Italian football is officially fully professional, even though some play in 2,000 capacity grounds and probably have budgets similar to those of National League, and the average attendance across all three leagues is roughly 2-3,000, although this obviously covers clubs 41-100 in the pyramid so it's like a mixture of clubs between lower-Championship and high-National League.

I would agree that English football doesn't need five national divisions though- it's insane. Germany and France have three; Spain and Italy only have two. England only really needs three, and I think the benefits of that would outweigh the drawbacks. It doesn't seem to have ever been seriously considered though, for some reason.

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8 hours ago, Aggy said:

The initial point was about professional leagues. Italy has five. Some clubs within those five might be smaller than the ones in our fourth. Reggina are in Serie c and have a 27,000 capacity stadium. Bari are down there due to financial reasons but are playing Serie C football with a 57,000 seater stadium!

Rimini FC, who are bottom of Serie C group B have a stadium with a capacity of 9,786. Modena FC, mid table in Serie C group. b - 21,000 seater stadium. Siena fc mid table in Serie C group A - 15,000 capacity.

So yes there might well be some smaller teams in the 60 Italian sides who play in their third tier (three divisions) than in our fourth tier. But there are some equally as big and bigger. To suggest Serie C isn’t a professional division is nonsense. 

Chill out Aggy, my point is that although C3 is officially seen as a pro division the reality as Wacky has said is somewhat different and England does have more recognised professional clubs than anywhere else.

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31 minutes ago, DraytonBoy said:

Chill out Aggy, my point is that although C3 is officially seen as a pro division the reality as Wacky has said is somewhat different and England does have more recognised professional clubs than anywhere else.

Very chilled, until you started suggesting people were being disingenuous 👍

I don’t see that Wacky has said there are more professional clubs in England. My guess would be that there is very little difference within the top flights.

Only three clubs out of the 60 in Serie C have a ground with capacity below 3,000. Only one club in Serie C group C has a ground capacity under 5,000. 19 of 60 (1/3) sides in Serie C have stadia with a capacity over 10,000, whilst League 2 only has 3 out 24  (1/8) sides with stadiums that large. As Italy has eight more sides in professional divisions than here, I’m not convinced there will be very much difference at all. How do Macclesfield compare with those smaller sides in Serie C? 
 

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The wider original point though , not to get sidetracked too much focussing on Italy, is that we do have more professional leagues than everywhere else (other than Italy) in Europe. 

I have to say, and perhaps someone can explain to me, how getting rid of League 2 (for instance) or making it semi professional would make much difference? Is there a rule which says you have to be a professional club to play in league 2? The only membership criteria I could see relates to ground capacity. Is there anything stopping League 2 clubs from turning semi pro now if finances dictate?

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53 minutes ago, Aggy said:

The wider original point though , not to get sidetracked too much focussing on Italy, is that we do have more professional leagues than everywhere else (other than Italy) in Europe. 

I have to say, and perhaps someone can explain to me, how getting rid of League 2 (for instance) or making it semi professional would make much difference? Is there a rule which says you have to be a professional club to play in league 2? The only membership criteria I could see relates to ground capacity. Is there anything stopping League 2 clubs from turning semi pro now if finances dictate?

This may have already been said but one suggestion during all of the stupid suggestions put forward by those in power was that they make the lower leagues more regional based to reduce travel and therefore expenses incurred of overnight stays.

That seems to make sense and would potentially support a continuation of pro football at League 2 would it not?

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Football is unlikely to go back to what it was, in my opinion.

I wouldn't be surprised if this makes a Euro League of the biggest Euro teams far more likely and the rest of us can go back to football on a much more sensible scale.

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27 minutes ago, Rich T The Biscuit said:

This may have already been said but one suggestion during all of the stupid suggestions put forward by those in power was that they make the lower leagues more regional based to reduce travel and therefore expenses incurred of overnight stays.

That seems to make sense and would potentially support a continuation of pro football at League 2 would it not?

As in have league 2 more regional? Potentially so - suppose overnight stays does get fairly expensive if you’ve got 20-30 people (15 rooms maybe?) staying in a hotel eight or nine times a season. Not sure that saving alone would be enough at League 2 level to make much difference though would it? 

 

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1 minute ago, king canary said:

English football has too many professional clubs- it isn't sustainable to run.

A) why is it not sustainable?

b) is that as a result of the league system, having too many “professional” leagues? 

c) if so, how does reducing the number of “professional” leagues help? 
 

I’m not sure anything stops clubs in league 2 from paying players on a semi pro basis already.
 

So does the change need to be driven by the football authorities (changing league structures etc.) or the clubs themselves? I guess that’s really my question.

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The reality is football needs to have a wage cap. Its been introduced in many sports over the years with success.

The problem in top level football is that the rewards are potentially huge for thsoe employed by the clubs, especially those actually running the club ( not the owners).

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11 minutes ago, Aggy said:

As in have league 2 more regional? Potentially so - suppose overnight stays does get fairly expensive if you’ve got 20-30 people (15 rooms maybe?) staying in a hotel eight or nine times a season. Not sure that saving alone would be enough at League 2 level to make much difference though would it? 

 

Maybe not but it has to help reduce the outgoings if the games can be travelled in the same day, all helps.

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31 minutes ago, Aggy said:

A) why is it not sustainable?

b) is that as a result of the league system, having too many “professional” leagues? 

c) if so, how does reducing the number of “professional” leagues help? 
 

I’m not sure anything stops clubs in league 2 from paying players on a semi pro basis already.
 

So does the change need to be driven by the football authorities (changing league structures etc.) or the clubs themselves? I guess that’s really my question.

It isn't sustainable as so many of them are losing money.

The problem is the same as it is across all football- there is no collective sense of duty to the sport, just clubs operating on a model of doing what they see as best for their individual business. You're right a team could pay players semi pro but if you're the only team that does it, you'll very likely get relegated.

The Independent did a really good piece on it here.

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2 hours ago, Aggy said:

Very chilled, until you started suggesting people were being disingenuous 👍

I don’t see that Wacky has said there are more professional clubs in England. My guess would be that there is very little difference within the top flights.

Only three clubs out of the 60 in Serie C have a ground with capacity below 3,000. Only one club in Serie C group C has a ground capacity under 5,000. 19 of 60 (1/3) sides in Serie C have stadia with a capacity over 10,000, whilst League 2 only has 3 out 24  (1/8) sides with stadiums that large. As Italy has eight more sides in professional divisions than here, I’m not convinced there will be very much difference at all. How do Macclesfield compare with those smaller sides in Serie C? 
 

The ground capacity isn't an easy comparison to make as the grounds are so basic in Italy. Some of them may hold 40,000+ but they are basically just concrete structures with a piece of plastic stuck down for a seat. 

 

44 minutes ago, Aggy said:

As in have league 2 more regional? Potentially so - suppose overnight stays does get fairly expensive if you’ve got 20-30 people (15 rooms maybe?) staying in a hotel eight or nine times a season. Not sure that saving alone would be enough at League 2 level to make much difference though would it? 

 

It would run well into five figures a season though, and possibly get close to six for some clubs like Carlisle and Torquay. Every little helps at that level and some clubs have called for it in the past.

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I go back to my theory of re-aligning finances.....

1, Have a set number of players in the Squad at the end of the transfer window, say 25 players max. Anyone at your club and over 23 years old to be allowed to find a different club.

2, Utilise your under 23 teams for any additional cover needed during that season.

3, No mid season transfers, settled squads for a full season.

4, Salary cap for each division to work under for the first team squads. Anyone breaking the cap would automatically lose points the following season.

5, Bonus payments can only be a maximum of 20% of the salary, stopping clubs paying massive bonuses to get over the salary cap.

I know lots will find fault with my ideas, but this would reduce the big teams being able to turn out a third team better and higher paid then the lower teams in the same league. It would level the playing field to certain degree as some players would have to find new clubs rather than sit on their backsides at Chelsea of Man City earning more than they would elsewhere.

 

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25 minutes ago, Indy said:

I go back to my theory of re-aligning finances.....

1, Have a set number of players in the Squad at the end of the transfer window, say 25 players max. Anyone at your club and over 23 years old to be allowed to find a different club.

2, Utilise your under 23 teams for any additional cover needed during that season.

3, No mid season transfers, settled squads for a full season.

4, Salary cap for each division to work under for the first team squads. Anyone breaking the cap would automatically lose points the following season.

5, Bonus payments can only be a maximum of 20% of the salary, stopping clubs paying massive bonuses to get over the salary cap.

I know lots will find fault with my ideas, but this would reduce the big teams being able to turn out a third team better and higher paid then the lower teams in the same league. It would level the playing field to certain degree as some players would have to find new clubs rather than sit on their backsides at Chelsea of Man City earning more than they would elsewhere.

Whilst I agree that finances need to be managed more carefully and a salary cap would be lovely in principle, it's worth pointing out that:

1. The 25-man squad rule is already in place.

2. This already happens.

3. This would be detrimental. Some clubs need to sell to survive and this blocks them from doing so. Also, a lot of League One/Two can't afford to have a large enough squad to do this; they have a settled core and then loan players to cover gaps due to injuries because its more financially viable.

In addition, some players who didn't get much game time in the first half of the season would be stuck for even longer without playing, which does neither the player nor club any favours (see Heise, Srbeny etc.)

4. We'd love to see it, but it would probably need some directive from UEFA/FIFA because no country would choose to restrict their own clubs' spending power as they'd be less competitive in Europe and the league as a whole would be less attractive as top players would move abroad, which in the long term would be to everyone's detriment.

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36 minutes ago, Indy said:

I go back to my theory of re-aligning finances.....

1, Have a set number of players in the Squad at the end of the transfer window, say 25 players max. Anyone at your club and over 23 years old to be allowed to find a different club.

2, Utilise your under 23 teams for any additional cover needed during that season.

3, No mid season transfers, settled squads for a full season.

4, Salary cap for each division to work under for the first team squads. Anyone breaking the cap would automatically lose points the following season.

5, Bonus payments can only be a maximum of 20% of the salary, stopping clubs paying massive bonuses to get over the salary cap.

I know lots will find fault with my ideas, but this would reduce the big teams being able to turn out a third team better and higher paid then the lower teams in the same league. It would level the playing field to certain degree as some players would have to find new clubs rather than sit on their backsides at Chelsea of Man City earning more than they would elsewhere.

 

You'd need to combine the 25 man rule with some strict restrictions (or the outright removal of) the loan system. 

The situations at clubs like Chelsea and Man City, where they have an entire squad or two out on loan is absurd and allows them to stockpile players they've got zero interest in actually using. 

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Just now, king canary said:

You'd need to combine the 25 man rule with some strict restrictions (or the outright removal of) the loan system. 

The situations at clubs like Chelsea and Man City, where they have an entire squad or two out on loan is absurd and allows them to stockpile players they've got zero interest in actually using. 

Sorry that’s pretty much what I mean when I said the rest over 23 would be forced to find new clubs, no loan but better players actually signing through the teams in all leagues.

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2 hours ago, king canary said:

It isn't sustainable as so many of them are losing money.

The problem is the same as it is across all football- there is no collective sense of duty to the sport, just clubs operating on a model of doing what they see as best for their individual business. You're right a team could pay players semi pro but if you're the only team that does it, you'll very likely get relegated.

The Independent did a really good piece on it here.

Yes agreed loads are losing money but I’m not sure restructuring the leagues is the answer.

There’s nothing stopping conference sides (or below) being professional if they choose. Would sides currently in League 2 just suddenly stop being professional if they were forced to play outside of the EFL structure? I doubt it - most would retain professional status to attract the best players to try and get promoted. So at bottom end I don’t see that restructuring the leagues makes much difference and I don’t see that restructuring/rethinking League 2 makes any difference for championship clubs either for instance. 

That’s the thing - we’re not just talking about the very poorest. If the Huddersfield bloke reckons 50 out of 72 EFL sides might go bust (or was it 50 out of 92 - still over half) there must be plenty at the top end of the EFL structure affected as well. I don’t see how restructuring the league/reducing number of professional teams helps sides in the top half of the championship...

Didn’t read the article in full yet - seems interesting so will read fully later - but did skim  it and saw they suggest lower league clubs need to review their business model. That seems the more likely way of dealing with things throughout the whole pyramid - one we as a club have done in the last few years with some success. 

 

3 hours ago, Rich T The Biscuit said:

Maybe not but it has to help reduce the outgoings if the games can be travelled in the same day, all helps.

Would agree every little helps . Probably not enough enough on its own to justify changing the whole league structure I don’t think. Especially as my guess would be that interest in clubs playing in a regional, rather than national, competition would decline even more, potentially having a knock on effect to ticket sales and shirt/merchandise sales which might balance out the savings made from the fewer hotel stay overs in the first place.

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4 minutes ago, Indy said:

Sorry that’s pretty much what I mean when I said the rest over 23 would be forced to find new clubs, no loan but better players actually signing through the teams in all leagues.

Fair suggestion, although some might argue that lower league teams can afford better players on a one season loan than they could buying permanently. Also a lot of the players currently being shipped out on loan by the likes of Chelsea, Man City etc would just go abroad rather than moving down the English football pyramid I’d imagine.

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4 hours ago, duke63 said:

Football is unlikely to go back to what it was, in my opinion.

I wouldn't be surprised if this makes a Euro League of the biggest Euro teams far more likely and the rest of us can go back to football on a much more sensible scale.

Obviously there would be people with strong objections to this but at the end of the day probably a pragmatic way forward.

The Big Six or so could have a squad in the Euro League, perhaps relegate 1 and promote 1 from time to time and an up and coming squad in the Top National League which could be split into 2 Divisions with the other members being predominantly the larger provincial teams such as ourselves. There could then be a Euro knockout competition based on the National Leagues and excluding the Big six.

Then a structure underneath that broadly equivalent to existing Leagues 1 and 2 but with more of a part time focus.

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