League restructure

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TKOA
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League restructure

Post by TKOA » Wed Feb 05, 2020 7:29 pm

From Bath City’s website:

All three National League divisions to be 24 teams

04 Feb 2020
At the recent League EGM on 16 January at Walsall FC, it was confirmed that all three Vanarama National League divisions will comprise 24 teams for the 2020/21 season. This means that City are guaranteed to have two extra home league matches next season whatever happens in our promotion chase. The change in the league structure will be achieved with just two teams being relegated from each of National Leagues North and South, but four champions and four play-off winners rising up from the feeder divisions.

In further news, the league will kick off on Saturday 8th August, slightly later than this year’s 3rd August K.O. and there will be nine scheduled midweek fixtures across the season.

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Re: League restructure

Post by Darlo_Pete » Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:54 pm

That's a lot of midweek fixtures, which is tough on part-time players & fans as well.

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Re: League restructure

Post by AndyPark » Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:01 pm

Darlo_Pete wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:54 pm
That's a lot of midweek fixtures, which is tough on part-time players & fans as well.
We've had 8 already this season, 9 next week when we play Boston. Makes no difference.

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Re: League restructure

Post by theoriginalfatcat » Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:46 pm

Darlo_Pete wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:54 pm
That's a lot of midweek fixtures, which is tough on part-time players & fans as well.
Two more home games is fine by me, buy some Lucozade Pete to help get you through.
Mr Singh said this " I'm not expecting to get back any of the money I've already put in, I'm prepared to write it off for the future of the club. I'm not hanging in to make any kind of financial gain in the short or long term - if someone was prepared to come in and take the club off my hands, I'd be more than willing to discuss it"

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Re: League restructure

Post by Vokuhila » Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:27 pm

Does this mean they're going to try to cram even more games into the opening couple of months of the season? :problem:

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Re: League restructure

Post by Mister e » Thu Feb 06, 2020 12:50 am

I wonder if bury could end up in our league if they can finally get rid of that controversial chairman.

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Re: League restructure

Post by Darlo_Pete » Thu Feb 06, 2020 7:28 am

AndyPark wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:01 pm
Darlo_Pete wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:54 pm
That's a lot of midweek fixtures, which is tough on part-time players & fans as well.
We've had 8 already this season, 9 next week when we play Boston. Makes no difference.
But if you add in re-arranged games & there's bound to be a few because weather postponements & hopefully some games postponed due to us being involved in cup competitions. So in likelihood we'll have upwards of 10 away midweek fixtures which is an awful lot for a semi professional team.

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League restructure

Post by Quaker85 » Thu Feb 06, 2020 8:16 am

The NPL play 46 games a season albeit less travelling but is still extends as far south as Derbyshire/ notts. At least they did but not this season for some reason?

I thought we all knew only two teams were going down this season? It’s phase 2 of the restructuring programme.


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Re: League restructure

Post by lo36789 » Thu Feb 06, 2020 8:35 am

Quaker85 wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 8:16 am
I thought we all knew only two teams were going down this season? It’s phase 2 of the restructuring programme.
This. The introduction of a new league at step 3 has been known for ages as the next phase to move to a move 'balanced' pyramid...ie. each step has twice as many as the other.

Phase 1 is what lead to the "super-playoff" last season.

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Re: League restructure

Post by biccynana » Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:13 am

Darlo_Pete wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 7:28 am
AndyPark wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:01 pm
Darlo_Pete wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:54 pm
That's a lot of midweek fixtures, which is tough on part-time players & fans as well.
We've had 8 already this season, 9 next week when we play Boston. Makes no difference.
So in likelihood we'll have upwards of 10 away midweek fixtures which is an awful lot for a semi professional team.
Why would they all be away fixtures?

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Re: League restructure

Post by theoriginalfatcat » Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:42 am

biccynana wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:13 am
Darlo_Pete wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 7:28 am
AndyPark wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:01 pm
Darlo_Pete wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:54 pm
That's a lot of midweek fixtures, which is tough on part-time players & fans as well.
We've had 8 already this season, 9 next week when we play Boston. Makes no difference.
So in likelihood we'll have upwards of 10 away midweek fixtures which is an awful lot for a semi professional team.
Why would they all be away fixtures?
They won't. We've had 4 midweek aways up to now. This change will give us 2 extra away games - who says either of them will be on an evening?
Mr Singh said this " I'm not expecting to get back any of the money I've already put in, I'm prepared to write it off for the future of the club. I'm not hanging in to make any kind of financial gain in the short or long term - if someone was prepared to come in and take the club off my hands, I'd be more than willing to discuss it"

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Re: League restructure

Post by Emdubya » Thu Feb 06, 2020 12:34 pm

biccynana wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:13 am
Darlo_Pete wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 7:28 am
AndyPark wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:01 pm
Darlo_Pete wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:54 pm
That's a lot of midweek fixtures, which is tough on part-time players & fans as well.
We've had 8 already this season, 9 next week when we play Boston. Makes no difference.
So in likelihood we'll have upwards of 10 away midweek fixtures which is an awful lot for a semi professional team.
Why would they all be away fixtures?
They won’t.Its just the world of Dumbo Pete .

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Re: League restructure

Post by JE93 » Thu Feb 06, 2020 12:48 pm

No doubt mid-week fixtures are tougher for part-time sides. Potential player unavailability due to work, players at work prior to games so its harder to control their preparations in terms of food, hydration and activity.

Can also be a double edged sword. With more mid-week games, the league should be looking to shrink mid-week travelling distances for all teams, but that might mean playing clubs who are geographically closer to you mid-week, which then has an adverse effect on crowds in what you would expect to be some of the higher attended matches of a season which has knock on effects on the commercial side.

Just looking at it from a 'who we might get' coming into the league from the Northern Premier and Southern Central Prem:

Northern Prem: South Shields seem a class above the field and are continuing to invest in the player side so can't see past them being champions. Which would be welcome if their fans come down in numbers for the game. Of the rest of the league seems like it will be one from the rest of the top 6, as they seem to be gapping the teams below with games in hand. So one from Basford United, Lancaster, FC United, Nantwich or Warrington. From that list you'd probably want FC United. Decent following and ground and not too far away/difficult to get to in the scheme of things.

Southern Central Prem: Seems a much closer league in this side of things. Current top 5 of Tamworth, Bromsgrove, Peterborough Sporting, Royston and Rushden and Diamonds. With the likes of Nuneaton Coalville and Rushall just outside. None of them particularly inspiring. Wouldn't mind Peterborough or Royston, as a Hertfordshire exile would mean shortish trips to games for once, but opposite issue for the club and core fan base. All of them are absolute treks.

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Re: League restructure

Post by H1987 » Thu Feb 06, 2020 1:36 pm

We already knew this was coming, didn't we?

Personally, I think it's too much, but there's little point complaining about it.

I'm a little more bothered by the continual cramming of southern sides into the northern division. It's expensive for all concerned, and the cut off seems to move further and further south every year. 'Southern central' automatically feeding into the North is absurd, and it's going to make the problem worse.

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Re: League restructure

Post by LoidLucan » Thu Feb 06, 2020 2:12 pm

Looking at relegation from the National League, we could well be looking at Chesterfield, Fylde (whatever happened to Football League 2022 :D) and Chorley coming down into National North. I think South Shields will make it up this time from the NPL although they are making hard work of it despite again splashing the cash. They have several full-time players now and have about six strikers on their books.... the latest of which they bought on Monday from Stalybridge after he scored two goals against them last Saturday. Some of their fans are getting the jitters that they will blow it again this season because they keep leaking goals to lose points and can't get away from their rivals at the top.
Last edited by LoidLucan on Thu Feb 06, 2020 2:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: League restructure

Post by HarrytheQuaker » Thu Feb 06, 2020 2:19 pm

LoidLucan wrote:Looking at relegation from the National League, we could well be looking at Chesterfield, Fylde (whatever happened to Football League 2022 :D) and Chorley coming down. I think South Shields will make it up this time from the NPL although they are making hard work of it despite again splashing the cash. They have several full-time players now and have about six strikers on their books.... the latest of which they bought on Monday from Stalybridge after he scored two goals against them last Saturday. Some of their fans are getting the jitters that they will blow it again this season because they keep leaking goals to lose points and can't get away from their rivals at the top.
Shields are only doing what we did in the early days of the Northern league trying to buy the best players.. Good on them and also they took over a 1000 fans to Morpeth granted it's not far but at least we would get one good attendance of away fans at the s*** hole next season if they get up

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Re: League restructure

Post by LoidLucan » Thu Feb 06, 2020 2:36 pm

It's a bit more than that with South Shields. They are operating with a full-time/part-time hybrid in the NPL with a view to eventually going completely full-time, the joint managers are full-time at the club and there are big plans to spend lots of money on the ground and eventually getting into the Football League. There must be some serious money going in there.

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Re: League restructure

Post by HarrytheQuaker » Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:03 pm

LoidLucan wrote:It's a bit more than that with South Shields. They are operating with a full-time/part-time hybrid in the NPL with a view to eventually going completely full-time, the joint managers are full-time at the club and there are big plans to spend lots of money on the ground and eventually getting into the Football League. There must be some serious money going in there.
I don't understand the jealousy, they are a well run club and wish them luck

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Re: League restructure

Post by LoidLucan » Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:11 pm

I don't recall saying I was jealous. They have been spending big for an NPL side because they have the financial clout from their backer. It would be a massive under-achievement if they were to fail in their promotion battle this time, given the extent to which they are funded compared to all of their rivals in the NPL.

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Re: League restructure

Post by lo36789 » Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:24 pm

H1987 wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 1:36 pm
We already knew this was coming, didn't we?

Personally, I think it's too much, but there's little point complaining about it.

I'm a little more bothered by the continual cramming of southern sides into the northern division. It's expensive for all concerned, and the cut off seems to move further and further south every year. 'Southern central' automatically feeding into the North is absurd, and it's going to make the problem worse.
That isn't quite true. At every step every season there would be a geographical review.

Whoever is at step 2 will be split between NLN and NLS
Whoever is at step 3 will be split between the four divisions etc. etc.

Automatic allocation from promotion doesnt ever apply because whilst you can guarantee two from each are promoted you can't determine what will be relegated.

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Re: League restructure

Post by H1987 » Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:56 pm

lo36789 wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:24 pm
H1987 wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 1:36 pm
We already knew this was coming, didn't we?

Personally, I think it's too much, but there's little point complaining about it.

I'm a little more bothered by the continual cramming of southern sides into the northern division. It's expensive for all concerned, and the cut off seems to move further and further south every year. 'Southern central' automatically feeding into the North is absurd, and it's going to make the problem worse.
That isn't quite true. At every step every season there would be a geographical review.

Whoever is at step 2 will be split between NLN and NLS
Whoever is at step 3 will be split between the four divisions etc. etc.

Automatic allocation from promotion doesnt ever apply because whilst you can guarantee two from each are promoted you can't determine what will be relegated.
Think about it logically. The step below in future is effectively going to promote 6 southern teams out of 8 each year. It is absolutely inevitable that the boundary moves further and further south. This year alone we are likely to lose Blyth and Bradford, and have them replaced by one Northern side and one Southern side.

This way is going to push more southern sides up the ladder, which in turn just means the geographical review is only ever going to move one way.

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Re: League restructure

Post by spen666 » Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:46 pm

H1987 wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:56 pm
lo36789 wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:24 pm
H1987 wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 1:36 pm
We already knew this was coming, didn't we?

Personally, I think it's too much, but there's little point complaining about it.

I'm a little more bothered by the continual cramming of southern sides into the northern division. It's expensive for all concerned, and the cut off seems to move further and further south every year. 'Southern central' automatically feeding into the North is absurd, and it's going to make the problem worse.
That isn't quite true. At every step every season there would be a geographical review.

Whoever is at step 2 will be split between NLN and NLS
Whoever is at step 3 will be split between the four divisions etc. etc.

Automatic allocation from promotion doesnt ever apply because whilst you can guarantee two from each are promoted you can't determine what will be relegated.
Think about it logically. The step below in future is effectively going to promote 6 southern teams out of 8 each year. It is absolutely inevitable that the boundary moves further and further south. This year alone we are likely to lose Blyth and Bradford, and have them replaced by one Northern side and one Southern side.

This way is going to push more southern sides up the ladder, which in turn just means the geographical review is only ever going to move one way.

Southern Central Premier is (meant to be) despite its name a Midlands based League, it is just administered by the Southern League, hence the name of the league

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Re: League restructure

Post by lo36789 » Thu Feb 06, 2020 7:47 pm

Hate to say this but "what Spen" says.

It's basically not really driven by the name of the league. At each step the country will be divided into effectively by the league's at that level.

Step 2 - 2
Step 3 - 4
Step 4 - 8

The boundaries will be redrawn each season to effectively be in the best balance.

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Re: League restructure

Post by Darlogramps » Thu Feb 06, 2020 8:14 pm

The point is surely the promotion structure entrenches the Midlands-ifcation (a word I've just made up) of the league, in that it guarantees two Midlands sides a promotion each season, providing equal weight with the NPL which is for actual Northern sides (geographically speaking). This becomes problematic when you have geographic Northern sides, such as for example Blyth Spartans, being promoted into the same division as Hereford, Gloucester and so on.

I take the point that, in time, the four relegation spots in the NLN could be taken up by Midlands teams, or even that four actual Northern sides could come down from the National League, thereby causing a redrawing of the boundaries. That is a valid point. However none of this is guaranteed. You could just as easily have four Northern sides drop down to Step 3, or four South Coast teams relegated into the National League South, forcing Braintree, Oxford City and so on into the National League North. Indeed, had Gateshead not been demoted last season, we would have seen one of those moved into the NLN, as Aldershot would have taken the final National League relegation spot.

But, given there are more Southern sides than Northern sides in the National League, and likewise for League Two (the division which provides teams for the National League), on the balance of probabilities, we'll see more seasons like last year where predominantly Southern sides get relegated from Step 1 National League, thereby moving the NLN boundary further south. It's why we have the nonsense of King's Lynn, Hereford, Gloucester and Brackley etc being North sides. In fact it's pretty widely accepted that Step Two has gradually seen it's North division shift further and further south.

Guaranteeing two promotion spots for Midlands sides into the National League North therefore serves only to push the boundary further south. And bear in mind currently, sides in the East Midlands are already in the NPL (e.g. Matlock) not the Southern Central. The Southern Central predominantly serves sides in the West Midlands, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire and so on. It's much further south already.

Now it's all well and good shrugging your shoulders and saying "That's geography, what can you do?", but this has a real knock on effect for clubs. Next season, we've got, guaranteed, two additional long trips as a minimum that need paying for. It'll be worse for sides like Blyth, or if someone like Morpeth or a Cumbrian side got promoted to this level.

That's a bit of a ramble, but in a nutshell, the structure the FA have created serves only to entrench the shifting south of the National League North boundary, causing problems for the more Northern of these clubs.
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Re: League restructure

Post by H1987 » Thu Feb 06, 2020 8:59 pm

Darlogramps wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 8:14 pm
The point is surely the promotion structure entrenches the Midlands-ifcation (a word I've just made up) of the league, in that it guarantees two Midlands sides a promotion each season, providing equal weight with the NPL which is for actual Northern sides (geographically speaking). This becomes problematic when you have geographic Northern sides, such as for example Blyth Spartans, being promoted into the same division as Hereford, Gloucester and so on.

I take the point that, in time, the four relegation spots in the NLN could be taken up by Midlands teams, or even that four actual Northern sides could come down from the National League, thereby causing a redrawing of the boundaries. That is a valid point. However none of this is guaranteed. You could just as easily have four Northern sides drop down to Step 3, or four South Coast teams relegated into the National League South, forcing Braintree, Oxford City and so on into the National League North. Indeed, had Gateshead not been demoted last season, we would have seen one of those moved into the NLN, as Aldershot would have taken the final National League relegation spot.

But, given there are more Southern sides than Northern sides in the National League, and likewise for League Two (the division which provides teams for the National League), on the balance of probabilities, we'll see more seasons like last year where predominantly Southern sides get relegated from Step 1 National League, thereby moving the NLN boundary further south. It's why we have the nonsense of King's Lynn, Hereford, Gloucester and Brackley etc being North sides. In fact it's pretty widely accepted that Step Two has gradually seen it's North division shift further and further south.

Guaranteeing two promotion spots for Midlands sides into the National League North therefore serves only to push the boundary further south. And bear in mind currently, sides in the East Midlands are already in the NPL (e.g. Matlock) not the Southern Central. The Southern Central predominantly serves sides in the West Midlands, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire and so on. It's much further south already.

Now it's all well and good shrugging your shoulders and saying "That's geography, what can you do?", but this has a real knock on effect for clubs. Next season, we've got, guaranteed, two additional long trips as a minimum that need paying for. It'll be worse for sides like Blyth, or if someone like Morpeth or a Cumbrian side got promoted to this level.

That's a bit of a ramble, but in a nutshell, the structure the FA have created serves only to entrench the shifting south of the National League North boundary, causing problems for the more Northern of these clubs.
Exactly, and better put than I managed.

While the ‘southern’ is a ‘midlands’ league, I agree, it’s also pretty much a south midlands league. Guaranteeing two of those sides coming up each year is going to create an imbalance over time, which they will either need to change, *or* it will force the more northerly clubs out of the division through funding inequality, as more and more of the ‘north’ is actually in the south of the midlands. Yes, some years that might shuffle a bit because of who comes down, but when you are continually inserting at least two southern sides into this league, year after year, this is inevitable over time.

It’s a nonsense. The northern premier alone should promote to this division. Those other clubs should all be going into the south. The way it is now smacks of short termism, which will need fixing at some stage when all clubs in the north end up complaining about it.

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Re: League restructure

Post by jjljks » Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:14 pm

Surely travel will not be a problem now that Teesside International airport is expanding routes and HS2 & Northern Crossrail coming.
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Re: League restructure

Post by lo36789 » Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:18 pm

I don't really know if there is an easy answer. If you make the Northern Premier League go straight into Conference North you give step 3 Northern sides a 1 in 12 chance of getting to Step 2 whilst giving the rest of the county a 1 in 36 chance - not sure that will be interpreted as fair.

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Re: League restructure

Post by Darlo_Pete » Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:30 pm

biccynana wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:13 am
Darlo_Pete wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 7:28 am
AndyPark wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:01 pm
Darlo_Pete wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:54 pm
That's a lot of midweek fixtures, which is tough on part-time players & fans as well.
We've had 8 already this season, 9 next week when we play Boston. Makes no difference.
So in likelihood we'll have upwards of 10 away midweek fixtures which is an awful lot for a semi professional team.
Why would they all be away fixtures?
They won't be, but there is the potential for extra midweek away games.

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Re: League restructure

Post by polam » Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:54 pm

lo36789 wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:18 pm
I don't really know if there is an easy answer. If you make the Northern Premier League go straight into Conference North you give step 3 Northern sides a 1 in 12 chance of getting to Step 2 whilst giving the rest of the county a 1 in 36 chance - not sure that will be interpreted as fair.
There isn't an easy answer. Almost half of England's population live in London and the South East, and when you add in the West Country it's inevitable that teams from the northern home counties will creep into National League North. Expect away trips to Oxford City, Hemel FC and Chelmsford City in the next few years.

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Re: League restructure

Post by biccynana » Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:07 pm

Darlo_Pete wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:30 pm
biccynana wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:13 am
Darlo_Pete wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 7:28 am
AndyPark wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:01 pm
Darlo_Pete wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:54 pm
That's a lot of midweek fixtures, which is tough on part-time players & fans as well.
We've had 8 already this season, 9 next week when we play Boston. Makes no difference.
So in likelihood we'll have upwards of 10 away midweek fixtures which is an awful lot for a semi professional team.
Why would they all be away fixtures?
They won't be, but there is the potential for extra midweek away games.
So why say they would be? :?

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