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EFL to be Regionalised?

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Could be extremely cost-saving for clubs who already run small bank balances. 

Having said that, it's purely a north/south split, you could still get long trips for anyone who has to travel to Plymouth, like Gillingham or Ipswich - must be a good 5-6 hours one-way? Although I guess the frequency of a long trip is much less if it's regionally split. 

How would it work at end of season? Both regional winners get automatically promoted, and then 2nd/3rd places go in to play-off? 

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I can see the merit in this for a couple of seasons maybe, anything that helps lower league clubs back from the oblivion many of them will end up staring at is only a good thing for now.

Longer term? Of all of the proposals we've seen over the years, this isn't the worst. I probably wouldn't actively support it, but similarly I wouldn't be raging if it happened.

What we need shot of though is midweek treks and TV companies having the power to fuck fans at short notice. Two examples here - I did Wycombe v. Accy on a Tuesday night last year, I was one of about 40 in the away end. Not good numbers for either team involved. Not the worst example distance wise, but you get my point. Secondly was Coventry v. Sunderland this year, a lovely Saturday 15.00 until Sky came in at about a month's notice to move it to Sunday 12.00. Hotels, plans and travel wasted, and not actually possible by train on the day. Shameful.

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13 minutes ago, Stan said:

Could be extremely cost-saving for clubs who already run small bank balances. 

Having said that, it's purely a north/south split, you could still get long trips for anyone who has to travel to Plymouth, like Gillingham or Ipswich - must be a good 5-6 hours one-way? Although I guess the frequency of a long trip is much less if it's regionally split. 

How would it work at end of season? Both regional winners get automatically promoted, and then 2nd/3rd places go in to play-off? 

This is a fair point, even if you planned the fixtures to minimise distance for midweek games (for example), the geographic outliers will still mean someone gets an awkward trip. You also for the fixtures that do work potentially end up with derbies midweek and have the police kick off.

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18 minutes ago, tlr said:

I can see the merit in this for a couple of seasons maybe, anything that helps lower league clubs back from the oblivion many of them will end up staring at is only a good thing for now.

Longer term? Of all of the proposals we've seen over the years, this isn't the worst. I probably wouldn't actively support it, but similarly I wouldn't be raging if it happened.

What we need shot of though is midweek treks and TV companies having the power to fuck fans at short notice. Two examples here - I did Wycombe v. Accy on a Tuesday night last year, I was one of about 40 in the away end. Not good numbers for either team involved. Not the worst example distance wise, but you get my point. Secondly was Coventry v. Sunderland this year, a lovely Saturday 15.00 until Sky came in at about a month's notice to move it to Sunday 12.00. Hotels, plans and travel wasted, and not actually possible by train on the day. Shameful.

Pretty sure Newcastle fans had to travel to Plymouth for a televised midweek game when they were in the Championship (09/10 season I think). 

Regardless, that sort of travel expectation midweek is ridiculous really. 

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Posted (edited)

I'd be up for it as a temporary measure but long term, no way. I enjoy the long away trips - you make a day of it. You wake up excited to hit the road. You get in the car with mates and chat football all the way. You navigate a town/city and find somewhere to park. Pints start flowing in the pub and the tension and excitement builds. You get to the ground and join the many others of you who've made the trip. And then, the game finishes and you either have that drive home buzzing at an away win, upbeat about a close draw, or you travel back knowing your team were shit but excited for the next away day.

Maybe midweek matches could be somehow scheduled so they are regional-ish. 

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I’ll be honest, I think the article is shit. Is travelling east to west actually any cheaper than travelling north to south? There’s nothing written there that indicates it is. It’s based off assumptions and no actual credible evidence. 

You’ve also got the grey area around the “invisible line” through the country somewhere. Take non-league football for example, Hereford and Gloucester are deemed to be northern and Bishop’s Stortford spent two crazy years in the Conference North, costing them and extra £10,000 a year. 

 

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4 minutes ago, Smiley Culture said:

You’ve also got the grey area around the “invisible line” through the country somewhere. Take non-league football for example, Hereford and Gloucester are deemed to be northern and Bishop’s Stortford spent two crazy years in the Conference North, costing them and extra £10,000 a year. 

 

The problem in the Midlands is that it's all got to done proportionately. As a 'Midlander' from pretty much the bang-on centre I'd class a team like Burton Albion as more northern, yet with the share of teams in Manchester alone they'd likely be pushed into that southern bracket. Meaning a trip to Plymouth and Gillingham. I guess you could say it'll cut costs for the majority having the leagues regionalised for a while, but there's always going to be greater costs for others.

 

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41 minutes ago, Deco said:

The problem in the Midlands is that it's all got to done proportionately. As a 'Midlander' from pretty much the bang-on centre I'd class a team like Burton Albion as more northern, yet with the share of teams in Manchester alone they'd likely be pushed into that southern bracket. Meaning a trip to Plymouth and Gillingham. I guess you could say it'll cut costs for the majority having the leagues regionalised for a while, but there's always going to be greater costs for others.

 

I make it as follows: 

North (23) - Rotherham United, Fleetwood Town, Sunderland, Doncaster Rovers, Blackpool, Lincoln City, Accrington Stanley, Rochdale, Tranmere Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Crewe Alexandra, Port Vale, Bradford City, Salford City, Grimsby Town, Carlisle United, Oldham Athletic, Scunthorpe United, Macclesfield Town, Morecambe, Mansfield Town, Shrewsbury Town, Burton Albion. 

South (24) - Portsmouth, Wycombe Wanderers, Ipswich Town, Gillingham, Bristol Rovers, MK Dons, AFC Wimbledon, Southend United, Swindon Town, Plymouth Argyle, Exeter City, Cheltenham Town, Colchester United, Northampton Town, Forest Green Rovers, Crawley Town, Newport County, Cambridge United, Leyton Orient, Stevenage, Walsall, Oxford United, Peterborough United, Coventry City. 

Biggest losers are probably Walsall and Coventry but on the current 47 teams, they’re slightly further south than a couple of the other sides in that area. 

Any immediate change makes finishing the season redundant and pointless and the same goes for the bottom end of the Championship, too. To fill the 24th space in the northern league, I suppose promoting Barrow makes sense. 

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Smiley Culture said:

I make it as follows: 

North (23) - Rotherham United, Fleetwood Town, Sunderland, Doncaster Rovers, Blackpool, Lincoln City, Accrington Stanley, Rochdale, Tranmere Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Crewe Alexandra, Port Vale, Bradford City, Salford City, Grimsby Town, Carlisle United, Oldham Athletic, Scunthorpe United, Macclesfield Town, Morecambe, Mansfield Town, Shrewsbury Town, Burton Albion. 

South (24) - Portsmouth, Wycombe Wanderers, Ipswich Town, Gillingham, Bristol Rovers, MK Dons, AFC Wimbledon, Southend United, Swindon Town, Plymouth Argyle, Exeter City, Cheltenham Town, Colchester United, Northampton Town, Forest Green Rovers, Crawley Town, Newport County, Cambridge United, Leyton Orient, Stevenage, Walsall, Oxford United, Peterborough United, Coventry City. 

Biggest losers are probably Walsall and Coventry but on the current 47 teams, they’re slightly further south than a couple of the other sides in that area. 

Any immediate change makes finishing the season redundant and pointless and the same goes for the bottom end of the Championship, too. To fill the 24th space in the northern league, I suppose promoting Barrow makes sense. 

I'd definetely be willing to see this played out. When you look at the teams this way, you really realise how little the gap is between the leagues. I think it'd be quite positive for the teams as well. A lot more derbies too, potentially enticing more fans to watch games.

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21 minutes ago, Deco said:

I'd definetely be willing to see this played out. When you look at the teams this way, you really realise how little the gap is between the leagues. I think it'd be quite positive for the teams as well. A lot more derbies too, potentially enticing more fans to watch games.

Looking at Fleetwood’s attendances, because their chairman has been quite vocal on this, their attendances look like: 

10 home games against southern teams. 
2 of those home games have been on Tuesday nights. 
1 game was a Sunday between Christmas and New Year. 

Overall attendance against 10 southern based sides = 28,702 (average of 2,870). Highest attendance was 4,312 vs Ipswich, lowest 2,319 vs Wycombe (a Tuesday night). 

8 home games against northern based sides. 
1 game was on New Years Day, the rest Saturday’s. 

Overall attendance against the 8 southern based sides = 27,640 (average of 3,455). Highest attendances v Blackpool (4,884), lowest vs Shrewsbury (2,797). 

Two of their attendances of under 3,000 were against northern sides, the other 8 against southern sides. 

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Regionalisaion can be good and bad. In the United States all their leagues are regionalised because of the size of the country, when you live a country the size of a continent and not a island, you can't just get in a bus and end up in LA when you live in NY within a few hours. So the leagues are split into two, three, sometimes four different regions and they have Play Off's. English football has resisted this atttempt because we are a small country and pardon the pun, but we are more united between north and south. If say Leyton Orient want to play PReston North End then they will do, and they will enjoy it. When Manchester City were in League One some of our trips away to south were some of the best trips of the season. It's the journey thats the best part not just the match. I think if we had to Stockport and Oldham all season and no one else due to regionisiation those days would be even darker for the City lads.

A regionalisation league would likely consist of a regionalised system of

Premier League - National (20 teams)

Championship North (20 Teams)

Championship South (20 Teams)

League One North (20 Teams)

League One South (20 Teams)

Then those leagues would feed into the conference. 90 teams in total, only two less than the 92 in the football league and has Bury have gone bankrupt they'd just have to kick one teams out.

For me the promotion and relegation would be as follows

Championship

  • Winners of North & South promoted
  • 2nd-5th in both North & South Proceed to play off's
  • 2nd v 5th and 3rd v 4th in both regions, highest ranking team has home advantage in one off match. Play QF and then SF. Final alternated between the Etihad (North) and Wembley (Final)
  • Bottom three in both North & South Relegated

League One

  • Top two in both North & South promoted
  • 3rd to 6th in play in play off's. North final played at Etihad. South Final at Wembley

 

The simple way of deciding which league each team will be in is by looking at a map and going from north - south.10 teams furthest north are in north division, the rest south. Some rivalries in the midlands could be forever split up but that's the way this will have to be done.

For example if done by the PL, it would be

North: Newcastle, Burnley, Everton, Man City, Man United, Liverpool, Sheffield United, Wolves, Villa, Leicester

South: Norwich, Watford, Arsenal, Chelsea, Palace, Tottenham West Ham, Southampton, Bournemouth, Brighton

Wow, look how strong that north league is. I guess that's the problem with regionalisation, you could get one region that is far stronger than the other one.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, CityTheBest said:

Regionalisaion can be good and bad. In the United States all their leagues are regionalised because of the size of the country, when you live a country the size of a continent and not a island, you can't just get in a bus and end up in LA when you live in NY within a few hours. So the leagues are split into two, three, sometimes four different regions and they have Play Off's. English football has resisted this atttempt because we are a small country and pardon the pun, but we are more united between north and south. If say Leyton Orient want to play PReston North End then they will do, and they will enjoy it. When Manchester City were in League One some of our trips away to south were some of the best trips of the season. It's the journey thats the best part not just the match. I think if we had to Stockport and Oldham all season and no one else due to regionisiation those days would be even darker for the City lads.

A regionalisation league would likely consist of a regionalised system of

Premier League - National (20 teams)

Championship North (20 Teams)

Championship South (20 Teams)

League One North (20 Teams)

League One South (20 Teams)

Then those leagues would feed into the conference. 90 teams in total, only two less than the 92 in the football league and has Bury have gone bankrupt they'd just have to kick one teams out.

For me the promotion and relegation would be as follows

Championship

  • Winners of North & South promoted
  • 2nd-5th in both North & South Proceed to play off's
  • 2nd v 5th and 3rd v 4th in both regions, highest ranking team has home advantage in one off match. Play QF and then SF. Final alternated between the Etihad (North) and Wembley (Final)
  • Bottom three in both North & South Relegated

League One

  • Top two in both North & South promoted
  • 3rd to 6th in play in play off's. North final played at Etihad. South Final at Wembley

 

The simple way of deciding which league each team will be in is by looking at a map and going from north - south.10 teams furthest north are in north division, the rest south. Some rivalries in the midlands could be forever split up but that's the way this will have to be done.

For example if done by the PL, it would be

North: Newcastle, Burnley, Everton, Man City, Man United, Liverpool, Sheffield United, Wolves, Villa, Leicester

South: Norwich, Watford, Arsenal, Chelsea, Palace, Tottenham West Ham, Southampton, Bournemouth, Brighton

Wow, look how strong that north league is. I guess that's the problem with regionalisation, you could get one region that is far stronger than the other one.

(My bold) Norwich are further north than Villa! That's why you can't just draw a line on a map!

Fuck regionalising the Championship though, plenty of clubs in there who can more than hold their own as it stands (in theory at least, every team regardless of size or league is going to take some getting over of this). 

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On 22/04/2020 at 11:36, Smiley Culture said:

I’ll be honest, I think the article is shit. Is travelling east to west actually any cheaper than travelling north to south? There’s nothing written there that indicates it is. It’s based off assumptions and no actual credible evidence. 

For trains it's worse. It takes 2 hours more to get from Newcastle to Liverpool on the train than it does from Newcastle to London. The UK's infrastructure is argubly split east and west rather than north and south.

It makes more sense for Sunderland to be in the same league as Peterborough than Shrewsbury. For Peterborough to be in the same league as Sunderland rather than Bristol Rovers. How many train changes is it for these fans to cross country?

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44 minutes ago, Harvsky said:

For trains it's worse. It takes 2 hours more to get from Newcastle to Liverpool on the train than it does from Newcastle to London. The UK's infrastructure is argubly split east and west rather than north and south.

It makes more sense for Sunderland to be in the same league as Peterborough than Shrewsbury. For Peterborough to be in the same league as Sunderland rather than Bristol Rovers. How many train changes is it for these fans to cross country?

At least 1 or 2 heading to Bristol from Midlands/Northern parts of country. Either going to Paddington and getting a train west towards Temple Meads (and then changing or getting other public transport to Memorial Stadium/Ashton Gate.

Or through Birmingham which goes direct to Bristol but again, probably changing within Bristol itself again. 

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Simon Hughes was on the Ornstein podcast talking about this and he came across like an absolute prat.

They regionalise some of the lower divisions and every year theres decisions made that are absolutely baffling. Some teams get really screwed over. The same thing will happen if they introduce it to other leagues  

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