The Pyramid

The place to discuss Scottish football
bluedragon
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Re: The Pyramid

Post by bluedragon » Tue Apr 26, 2022 8:59 am

Banks o’Dee have become the first Junior club to be promoted to a Senior League and will play in the Highland League next season. Other Senior clubs were formerly in the Junior ranks but they applied and were elected to join a Senior league. The creation of a Pyramid in the north for this season with three leagues feeding into the Highland League now, with the Lowland League, gives Scotland a structure covering the whole country.

Although equivalent in pyramid terms, the standard of football in the six feeder leagues will not be. However, the need to have an SFA club licence, win their league championship and then win a play-off competition will naturally filter the clubs progressing into the Highland or Lowland Leagues.

When Kelty Hearts joined the East of Scotland League for the 2017-18 season there were only three Junior clubs with SFA club licences. Today that equivalent number (including now former Junior clubs) is 23 and that is before the results of this season’s applications are known. That represents a huge amount of work for club officials and the most visible sign for supporters is the appearance of floodlights.

The 2022-23 season will see the structure of the East and West of Scotland Leagues below the premier divisions change from conferences to divisions.

BMCCOLL
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Re: The Pyramid

Post by BMCCOLL » Tue Apr 26, 2022 9:49 pm

The Pyramid still has a fair way to go, Douglas. The North has its problems due to its population spread and the south certainly has a bottleneck. The Lowland League is in a state of self preservation as the powerful ex-junior clubs in the leagues below it are certainly better. The current promotion set-up is no good given the calibre of clubs at the top of the feeders and it needs a re-dress. Automatic promotion/relegation between the the lowland and the EoS and the WoS and SoS (with a possible P/O) to accelerate the much needed overhaul of its membership. Given that, England is still tinkering with their set-up after 30 years!
http://sfha.org.uk/

bluedragon
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Re: The Pyramid

Post by bluedragon » Wed Apr 27, 2022 10:56 am

Brian I think your sentence “The North has its problems due to its population spread and the south certainly has a bottleneck” sums the current position up perfectly. Yes, a long way to go but at least the basic structure is in place.

A couple of points:

1) There is a fixation in thinking of North & South and forgetting the clubs immediately either side of the boundary. Indeed, the latest tinkering of the English Pyramid was to try and address this issue.

It is good that the SJFA Midland League is part of the Pyramid as a feeder league to the Highland League. However, I wonder if there should be some flexibility. SPFL League 2 clubs now can select which of the Highland or Lowland Leagues they would choose to go into if they were relegated. Could it work in reverse for Midland League clubs to name the league they would choose to be promoted to. There would be many issues for clubs to consider before coming to a decision. A champion club selecting to go to the Lowland League would take part in the play-offs with the West, East and South of Scotland Leagues.

2) The one signifcant difference at present between our Pyramid and the English version is the amount of direct control by the football association. The SFA exert influence on arrangements but the FA directly manage it through its Leagues Committee. Leagues within the English Pyramid run their own league and cup competitions but numbers promoted/relegated and where to is decided by the committee. They also deal with geographical issues and occasionally move clubs between leagues to keep numbers in balance.

Rob R
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Re: The Pyramid

Post by Rob R » Wed Jun 29, 2022 6:05 am

Would like to see a 3 regional league structure below the SPFL , Highland , East of Scotland & West of Scotland and the doing away with the Lowland League. That way the 3 winners and the bottom SPFL club could take part in a Semi Final & then final for a League place. The West of Scotland League taking in the South of Scotland League.

bluedragon
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Re: The Pyramid

Post by bluedragon » Fri Jul 01, 2022 4:08 pm

I agree with you although I would suggest another way to get the same outcome.

Ignoring reserve teams playing in the pyramid leagues beneath the SPFL then the spilt is currently:

Highland - 80 clubs

Lowland -164 clubs

It is fair to argue that there would be better proportional representation if three clubs (two Lowland & one Highland) were in the play-offs to play “Club 42” in the SPFL rather than the current two.

One way would be to create from the current Lowland League a Lowland League (West) and a Lowland League (East) with 16 clubs in each. On my definition of West and East for the current Lowland League clubs then 11 clubs from the West of Scotland League (WoSL) would need to move up to the new Lowland League (West) and 5 clubs from the East of Scotland League (EoSL) to the Lowland League (East).

You would be right in saying what’s the difference? I think there are three advantages of doing it this way:

1) I cannot see the SFA agreeing to the elimination the Lowland League.

2) Inevitably the new arrangements need to time to bed and it is possible that there might be a better geographical spread of leagues devised in the future beneath the Lowland League. For that reason I would keep the EoSL, WoSL and South of Scotland League (SoSL) feeding into an expanded Lowland League.

3) It keeps the pyramid, both Highland and Lowland, looking the same with each Tier 5 League having three feeder leagues that between them cover the whole of Scotland. Football, i.e. the play-off results, will decide if the SoSL is weaker than the EoSL or the Midland League is stronger than the North Region Juniors rather than having to take an arbitrary decision to rank leagues.

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