Here We Go Again

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Here We Go Again

Post by Aten » Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:35 am

Yet again we have another brouhaha brewing with fixture anomalies following the split. Anyone with a basic understanding of maths will know that splitting the league into two halves anytime before or after the half way point will cause anomalies. For a League official to come out and say that any fixture list is not perfect is complete nonsense. The fixture list is not perfect because the clubs created the contrived arrangement in an effort to squeeze out as much money as they can for themselves. Now that there is the potential for an imbalance that could affect the final outcome of placings, come the squeals.

If the top six remain the same when the split comes then the remaining five fixtures should be as follows: -

Aberdeen: Home to Hearts, Hibs and Rangers (2012). Away to Celtic and Kilmarnock
Celtic: Home to Aberdeen, Kilmarnock and Rangers (2012). Away to Hearts and Hibs
Hearts: Home to Celtic, Hibs and Rangers (2012). Away to Aberdeen and Kilmarnock
Hibs: Home to Celtic, Kilmarnock and Rangers (2012). Away to Aberdeen and Hearts
Kilmarnock: Home to Aberdeen, Hearts and Rangers (2012). Away to Celtic and Hibs
Rangers (2012): Away to Aberdeen, Celtic, Hearts, Hibs and Kilmarnock

It is not the first time this has happened and it certainly will not be the last whilst the present set up remains. In reality the fixtures after the split should remain as above but then greed kicks in and a team, in this case Rangers (2012), gets the advantage of playing some of their rivals three times at home. Having extra home games could make difference between them finishing second, third or fourth.

Whatever contrived solution is forthcoming, someone is going to squeal about the unfairness and no doubt voice the overworked sporting integrity argument. Well too bad. You the same clubs created this Frankenstein’s monster, so live with it.

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Re: Here We Go Again

Post by Vasco » Tue Feb 27, 2018 7:34 am

Whilst agreeing with your point about the stupidity of the split, the clubs likely to be in the top six are not, in the main, the clubs to blame. It was the middle tier of Scottish clubs who voted for this stupidity, desperate, if they were in the same division as the ugly sisters, to squeeze as much money as possible out of the system by guaranteeing a third match against both.

Its inception was not the first time that such folly had been introduced to Scottish football. The 39 match programme for each team in the First Division after reconstruction in 1975 threw up similar, if fewer, problems.

In a tight three horse race (Morton, HMFC and Dundee) in 1977-78, the Hearts certainly had to play a third match at Cappielow, albeit winning 1-0. I think Dundee also had to go to Greenock for the third match. My memory tells me that this anomaly proved more crucial in other seasons. When I get home tonight I'll double check.

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Re: Here We Go Again

Post by HibeeJibee » Tue Feb 27, 2018 3:13 pm

None of the alternatives are optimal either...

... stopping after 33 games is imbalanced and too few; clubs don't want to downsize to 10 playing x4; or expand to 16-20 playing x2; other splits have their own issues.

For its foibles this model has actually lasted the longest of any in Scottish top-tier history (18th season currently), except 18 from 1956-1975 (which lasted 20 seasons).

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