Thursday, January 20, 2011

SPL: Banging The Drum For A Top Ten

Patrick Kavanagh on The Drum website has an interesting blog in favour of a ten team SPL, comparing it to the idea of "contraction" in US sport where the number of teams is reduced to increase the talent on show.

I don't agree with his theory or some his arguments and I'm not sure his idea of complete parity in the share of TV revenues will ever happen.

But it's healthy to get a different view and this is a more articulate argument that I've heard Neil "it just is better, right" Doncaster make. Kavanagh is a sports marketer and he has interesting points to make on the SPL brand:

Now is the time for change, to contract the league and increase the talent pool for fewer teams, to make the Scottish Premier League more competitive. But they need to do more than this: they need to promote the league beyond The Old Firm. They need to look beyond their shores and see how whole leagues are promoted, not how to promote individual teams. There is a raw beauty to the Scottish game, it’s a bit throwback, and this needs to be conveyed. There is a market for good honest football; there is a market for Scottish football.


There also needs to be greater community development, as it’s no secret that there is a reduction in street football in Scotland. And as it is in many other sports, this is needed to create skilled players. If we look beyond the borders again, we have Canadians playing street hockey, Caribbean people playing baseball in the sandlots, and Americans tossing the ‘pigskin’ anywhere and everywhere. Community outreach and areas for accessible participation in the sport are necessary.


Scotland needs to fall in love with football again, and the SPL and the Scottish FA need to be partners in making this happen. They need a strong community marketing strategy, a brilliant and strong league from top to bottom and to reinstate that chest thumping pride. And hopefully this contraction will be step one.

Read the full article.

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