Tuesday, December 14, 2010

SPL Reconstruction: Everything Changes, Everything Stays The Same

Much more to write on SPL reconstruction when I get the time. Unscientific in the field polling suggests that Rangers' Martin Bain loves the proposals he helped write. Derek Longmuir of the Scottish Football League doesn't like them and doesn't think his clubs will either.

Many fans seem to think the new proposals are a bit of a muddle that fail to address the real issues. "Rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic" and "Revolution? I suppose you can revolve backwards" are a flavour of the comments I've heard so far.

A couple of quick points: when people (like me) argued for a streamlining of football administration in Scotland they probably weren't advocating the SPL land grab that these proposals would deliver.

Why the rush? Surely the SPL didn't want to get their ideas out before the second part of the McLeish Report delivers a different set of findings based on much wider consultations? We'll see.

And given the state of many of our SPL clubs and their rickety finances why are their chairmen and chief executives the best people to decide the future of the national game? It's like making Bernard Madoff chancellor.

Right, that's enough for now.

But no apologies for pointing you in the direction of a couple of articles on the Scottish Football Archive:

Scottish Top Division Reconstruction: Championships

Statistically, in terms of non-Old Firm dominance, the 9 year period of the 16 team format between 1946-47 and 1954-55 was the best.

The league has been through twenty reconstructions and this is only the 113th season and both stability and change have shown varying degrees of success in terms of breaking the Old Firm dominance over the league - but the Old Firm dominance appears to be something that Scottish football fans have to live with, while hoping for brief periods of change.

Scottish Top Division Reconstruction - Attendances

Four of the seven seasons after a reconstruction, the attendances have dropped.

So, as well as highlighted in the earlier post than the 9 year period of the 16 team format (30 games a year) were the best for non-Old Firm dominance, that 9 year period was also one of the most successful for attendances.

It would also point towards the fact that less games (only 30 in a 16 team format) actually causes higher attendances, in terms of simple supply and demand perhaps?

Lied, damned lies and statistics? Possibly (and I'm quoting selectively but I think give a flavour of their findings) but some interesting theories nonetheless. Football, and society, have changed to such an extent that comparisons can only tell us so much. But it does provide a counter argument to the idea that a ten team league has delivered our nearest brush with footballing utopia.

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