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Alternative Scottish Pyramid Ideas (FM16)

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As always I’ll be aiming to start a long term save in Scotland with FM16, however like most people I find the current structure rather boring. I’m aiming to make an alternative league structure for Scotland and thought it would be good to bounce some ideas around with anyone else interested.

My aim is to create a new more exciting but somewhat realistic new structure which looks to tackle issues effecting Scottish football, these issues are;

  • Staleness (playing teams at least 4 times per season in the league)
  • Too small a top league
  • Too many ‘league’ clubs
  • Regionalisation of smaller league
  • Teams poor form in Europe.

The Leagues

My initial idea is to turn the SPL and Championship into two 16 team leagues where clubs play each other twice, giving us 30 games, an even number of home/away games and no daft gimmicky splits.

2 Teams would be relegated to the division below and the 3rd bottom club would enter the relegation playoff system. These 30 teams would become the main league teams

Below this I’m thinking off merging League 1 and 2 into a regionalised League 1 (North & South), each league would have 10 teams who play each other 4 times a season.

The top team off each league would be promoted to the Championship while the teams finishing second in each league would meet in a two legged playoff with the winners facing the team finishing 14th in the Championship in a promotion playoff.

2 teams will be relegated from each division into the Highland/Lowland pyramid below. The idea of regionalising these leagues is to make the transition in expanding the league pyramid more finically manageable for smaller sides.

The League Cup

To address the loss of 8 league games for SPL sides and 6 for Championship sides I propose a new format to the League Cup.

12 clubs from the Highland/Lowland pyramid and 20 clubs from League 1 North & South will play 1 qualifying round, 16 teams from the Championship will then enter facing the winners in a second qualifying round.

The winners from the second qualifying round will then join the 16 SPL teams in a group stage with 4 teams to a group playing 6 games, all games will be played from the start of July to mid-August before the season starts. This is designed to give clubs match practise before playing European qualifiers, the games from the last 16, will be played throughout the season on weekend dates

The Scottish Cup and Petrofac Cup will retain their current structure.

B Teams

I’m also toying with the idea of ‘B’ teams lower down within the structure, my initial thoughts where that not all teams could finance a full time B team, however teams like Berwick Rangers and Peterhead have had B teams playing in the lower leagues. So do I give all teams B teams, just the top teams or no teams at all?

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Nice ideas mate

I too will be doing a Scottish Pyramid, My intention is this :-

SPL- 18 Clubs (3 Relegated)

SPL 2- 20 Clubs (2 up automatically, 1 via Play offs, 2 Relegated)

Demote 4 teams to regional feeders and i will split it into three (South/West, Eastern, Northern/Highland)- Several divisions below it

End of season play off with all Champions, Top 2 will go up.

Scottish Cup- All teams in Pyramid, normal thing with big teams coming in later etc

League Cup- Will be 9 groups of 4 with the winners and then the best Runners up into Last 16, will be starting in summer.

Challenge Cup- All SPL 2 teams plus 4 from each region to make 32 clubs and a straight knockout

B teams will be added, plus Under 19 with a Proper Youth cup too

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Is this easier implement fully?

I'd love to see two tiers of 20 with 3 up 3 down. But I do like the regionalised leagues, only not the 30 game top flight.

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Am I the only one that finds the prospect of upping the Scottish leagues to just another, boring, 30/32/38 game league unappealing in FM terms? I know some find the split gimmicky, but it at least gives some break up of the monotony of just churning through league games.

As a result, my ideas for revamping the leagues would be a bit more "out there"

Scenario 1 - The Vanilla

My main issue with the Scottish set-up is not having a proper direct route from bottom to top. Now that we have the relegation play-off, it's possible but it's still a bit meh. I'd keep the PRemiership and Championship roughly how they are, perhaps adding two teams to the lower tier. Then below that, every club I can find in the DB goes into a regionalised ladder system that gives a direct route from bottom to top.

Scenario 2 - Viva Brazil

I played about with this idea in the past couple of versions but never really bothered playing it much. In this, we try and mirror the Brazilian system, without its punishing schedule. Put simply, the first half of the season is taken up by State Championships. Not sure how they'd be divided (I'm sure I've got it worked out somewhere) but roughly 8-12 teams per group, all highly regionalised obviously, and fighting it out to be State Champion. Then once that's over, second half of the season is filled with a normal league campaign, but obviously cut down by half. Solves the problem of playing everyone 4 times, and adds a bit of spice in terms of rivalry early on.

Scenario 3 - Let's Just Merge

I did build a completely different Scottish database, removing all clubs and creating new ones loosely based on council areas. No more Celtic, Rangers and Partick Thistle, replaced by (if I remember correctly) two generally named Glasgow clubs. They were then involved in an amalgamation of the two previous ideas in terms of competitions, with a lot of opportunites to play local rivals in local cups, as well as the main leagues. Again though, I didn't really get much chance to play it once it was created.

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Some interesting ideas, I'll be sticking to a 16/18 team top flight as thats what I would like to see happen in real life, I had done a similar file for FM15 which split the league into 4 sections simiar to the Belgian set up but this did'nt seem to go down very well!

I agree about the lack of a proper pyarmid system and will look to create one with the East/South of Scotland leagues feeding into the Lowland league with East and West Junior league feeding into those. Along with the North Caladonian league feeding into tue Highland league and again North junior leagues feeding into that!

In regards to B teams I want to include them and have 3 ideas to do this!

1. Create B teams for all sides and scrap the youth Leagues

2. Create B teams for the top 20 clubs and keep the youth Leagues in place.

3. Create B teams for all sides and only have a youth League for the SPL and Championship

What are peoples thoughts on this?

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Some interesting ideas, I'll be sticking to a 16/18 team top flight as thats what I would like to see happen in real life, I had done a similar file for FM15 which split the league into 4 sections simiar to the Belgian set up but this did'nt seem to go down very well!

I agree about the lack of a proper pyarmid system and will look to create one with the East/South of Scotland leagues feeding into the Lowland league with East and West Junior league feeding into those. Along with the North Caladonian league feeding into tue Highland league and again North junior leagues feeding into that!

In regards to B teams I want to include them and have 3 ideas to do this!

1. Create B teams for all sides and scrap the youth Leagues

2. Create B teams for the top 20 clubs and keep the youth Leagues in place.

3. Create B teams for all sides and only have a youth League for the SPL and Championship

What are peoples thoughts on this?

What i would be doing is creating B sides for all 42 clubs plus maybe the current Highland and Lowland and scatter them around my pyramid, as i will be bringing in Senior, Junior, Amateur and Welfare teams into this so there will be enough scope.

Youth league would Under 19 plus a cup.

Go with option 3 and the computer will auto-generate the rest of the under 19s anyway :)

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I wouldn't create a B team for everyone. Just seems a bit unrealistic to expect, say, Clyde to be running a B team alongside their senior team. Hell, it's probably unrealistic to think Thistle would run one, and they're top tier.

If it were to happen in real life, I'd expect Rangers and Celtic to run one for definite. Beyond that, probably Aberdeen, perhaps Hearts and Hibs. You could make an argument for the rest of the top flight clubs, but I think it'd be stretching reality slightly.

I guess it depends what you want - I'd have no problem with seeing a B team for every club, but I wouldn't call it realistic. In my own opinion of course, and league reconstruction on this scale is hardly realistic to begin with!

We should have some kind of "Remodel Scotland" competition for FM16. Points for artistic impression, and prizes given out by Nicola Sturgeon's pal's husband's dog.

EDIT: On thinking about it, would the creation of imaginary feeder clubs kind of get around the unrealism part? I know I've made that up in my own head, and I'm just talking/typing out loud here, but give the big clubs their B teams, then a club like Partick Thistle gets a feeder club from the local area, either real or imagined. If you're just trying to pad out, create a smaller club that can act as a kind of B team. Ross County wouldn't - IMO - have a B club, but they could have a feeder club called Dingwall Diddies or something.

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I liked a lot of that rabcp, but I'll probably make my own this year. I just want the league slog changing to 30 games (16 teams). Keeping the same cups, I like the U20s set up too, one slight extra may be a winter break but I'm not sure on that yet. What really annoys me is when people mess with prize money or league rep, just leave it be!

I do like that little regionalised 10 team tier 3.

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I wouldn't create a B team for everyone. Just seems a bit unrealistic to expect, say, Clyde to be running a B team alongside their senior team. Hell, it's probably unrealistic to think Thistle would run one, and they're top tier.

If it were to happen in real life, I'd expect Rangers and Celtic to run one for definite. Beyond that, probably Aberdeen, perhaps Hearts and Hibs. You could make an argument for the rest of the top flight clubs, but I think it'd be stretching reality slightly.

I guess it depends what you want - I'd have no problem with seeing a B team for every club, but I wouldn't call it realistic. In my own opinion of course, and league reconstruction on this scale is hardly realistic to begin with!

EDIT: On thinking about it, would the creation of imaginary feeder clubs kind of get around the unrealism part?.

That was my thiking too however Berwick Rangers have a B team that play in the east of scotlad league, so it can work. However there B team will probally be the same as there youth team, In my mind these teams could run B teams but not alongside youth teams.

My idea was to go with option 2, place B teams for bigger teams in the highland/lowland league to make up the numbers as I'll be promoting 10 teams to League 1 to make up the numbers.

The other B teams could be in leagues at the very bottom of the pyramid with promotion places into the juniors etc..

Obviously such a change to a structure would take decades so yeah all these changes at once are not realistic, but I want the changes to seem realistic, e.g. As 1967 increasing reputations and money would be realistic which I wont be doing

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I'm an avid Scottish Lower league manager and fully support some kind of fantasy set-up as the real one is very stale. It's a shame Brora didn't make it in real life last season; in my FM15 save every single season the 10th-placed SFL2 side survives.

So, opening the system up to allow Highland/Lowland league clubs into the Football league - yes!

But for me, rather than create fictitious B teams, I'd like to see firstly all the semi-pro/amateur sides in the database included in the pyramid, and then further real wee clubs such as Rothesay Brandanes and clubs from Orkney and Shetland added. Finally, some fictitious sides like one of you guys created for FM14 - AFC Jura and suchlike, where (in my fantasy) the starting CA of every player in that level is 1.

How 'bout that??!!

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Just a quick heads up guys - like last year, I'll be activating the Highland/Lowland leagues (let's hope it works this time!!!), and the level below the Lowland. Might make things a wee bit more interesting!

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Hey Morrissey,did u manage to activate the Highland/Lowland leagues? if so can u share it with me please ? :cool: ty

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