Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Livsy's Plan for Welsh Football

I picked up this post from the Bangor City Citizen's Choice forum .It contains my old mate Livsy's ideas to improve the Welsh Premier League. Now Livsy has been travelling around following Bangor for the past 20 years, the last twelve of which have been played in the Welsh Pyramid. He knows his stuff. So here is the blueprint:

  • winter football
  • 10 team premiership
  • £300K "grant" to each of those ten clubs.
  • no promotion or relegation for three seasons to ensure a bit of continuity
  • all teams play each other four times so giving 36 league games
  • league cup includes the two feeder leagues and Premier clubs come in at third round
  • regular audits of all teams accounts to ensure no one is going bust
  • clubs limited to a squad of 26 players enabling all clubs to have a fair chance at getting decent players
  • no transfer window for Welsh Premier
  • Welsh Premier club to get an allocation for each Wales international (like what they do in Rugby) to enable us fans to more easily get tickets and this to be based on 20% of average home attendance
  • all clubs to agree admission charge at the beginning of the three year period and fix prices accordingly.

I can't argue too much with any of that, but there are some interesting points raised.

Winter Football - I'm 50/50 on this one. Sometimes when we have a lovely day in May and the coats are off, the kids are playing while we sun ourselves on the terraces, I think that Summer football can't come quickly enough. And there would be undoubted benefits for those who struggle in European football played in June. But there would be ramifications further down the pyramid, and after a World Cup, I've had a gutsfull of football quite frankly.

10 Team Premiership
This makes me very uneasy. I'm a bit of a fascist when it comes to my own ideas about the ideal make-up of the Welsh Premier. I see Livsy's point, in that money would be spread around some elite teams. And those teams would qualify regularly for Europe, and hopefully succeeding, raising our co-efficient and so giving us a bit of an easier ride in the early rounds against lesser teams. I'd like to see the following teams make up the League, but I would rather that it was done through evolution than cherry picking the towns with the highest populations.

Aberystwyth, Bangor City, Barry Town, Bridgend Town, AFC Cardiff, Haverfordwest, Llanelli, Merthyr, Newport, Newtown, Pontypridd Town, Port Talbot United, Rhyl,
AFC Swansea.

14 teams, and unfairly no place for Caersws, or TNS. I'm just not sure that we can support that little triangle of teams in such a sparsely populated area. Merthyr and Newport should come into the Welsh Premiership - there's no doubting that in my mind. But they would disagree strongly, and who can blame them ?

I would hope that Cardiff and Swansea could support a successful junior side, but it would have to be a new side with no existing loyalties. So out go West End and Grange Quins for example.

Apart from that, I agree with Livsy - spread the money around fewer clubs to improve facilities and play European games at home. Games might get a bit stale with no relegation, so I would allow relegation if the feeder team could offer a financial guarantee. And it would be a free-for-all after 3 seasons.

I agree with the ticket allocation. Rugby club members get ticket opportunities from the WRU. It should be the same for football. But don't forget that Cardiff etc. are all members of the FAW, and would expect the Lion's share of tickets.

All in all, a good plan. Livsy for President !

1 comment:

Ian Edwards said...

Remember the Romania game well! Gutted doesn't even come close to describing it. Who knows where we'd be now had we qualified.