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What Makes a League "Great"?

What Makes a League "Great"?   

10 members have voted

  1. 1. What Makes a League "Great"? (Choose One)

    • Talent across League
      1
    • Fans
      1
    • Competitiveness
      7
    • Super-Stars in League
      0
    • Country/Region/Location
      0
    • Other (Please State)
      1


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Was thinking about what YOU think makes a league great?

@Spike actually made me think of this with this status about the A-League better better to watch than the Bundesliga. 

I'm curious thought about what makes you believe that the league you follow or admire is truly a great league, or one of the best? 

Certainly a league with all of these is ideal, but what do you think is the MOST important factor? 

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Depends on what you're looking for. If you want competitiveness and title challenges, you might as well just skip Europe. If you want good football with little mistakes, then only standard matters.

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For me it would have to be the quality of football that is played across the league. So maybe as you worded it, the talent that is found across the league. In my opinion, the more "quality" teams you have in a league, the greater it is. At the end of the day, watching a high standard of football being played, is what is admirable. It's always nice to have competitiveness in a league as well, but that doesn't necessarily make it great. 

A good example of this is the Dutch league, it's competitive and exciting to watch, as there are plenty of goals scored. But the quality of football being played, is clearly not of the highest order, especially from the lesser sides in that league.

However, if you have a league full of quality teams, then I think that kind of league will inevitably be exciting to watch as well. So for me, the number of "quality" teams in the league is what makes it great.

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1 hour ago, Machado said:

The Bundesliga checks the most boxes so it would be the best, which in my opinion is.

Super star players, competitiveness, atmosphere, fans, talent across league. Yea yea, I know Bayern win it every time, which is the only real problem with it.

At least we have some variation in the European spots. 

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Prestige. 

It's the reason you watch the Champions League but rarely the Europa League. It's the reason you'd sit through a boring 0-0 of two teams you don't support. It's the reason you've never watched a League Two game. 

Prestige is what moves you, grabs your attention and gives you an emotional reaction to one game and not another when you're a neutral.

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I'm going to play devils advocate a bit.

Does competitiveness really make you become a "great league"? Fun to watch for sure, but it could either mean that the league has teams that are too forgiving or that each team is too close to each other... the former is honestly way more likely.

Take the PL for example. Besides the top spots, it's extremely competitive but all we hear is moaning about teams slipping up and how the standard is lower.

I personally watch South America for two reasons: the formats make the leagues extremely close (all of them) and also due to the region and prestige.

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Competitiveness, for me, at the top.

It's great to see leagues towards the end of the season where there are battles all over the place, consistently. I guess there is scope for the odd season to be an anomaly but it's great when there's an actual title race, European place battles, survival dogfights all going in to the final day. 

A perfect example is the Championship - not particularly great in standard but the competitiveness of it all makes it exciting. 

Then it's fans - football is nothing without fan which is why not that many people are enjoying the football in this post-Covid era. I think they enjoy football is back but it's nowhere near the same as before. A great atmosphere in the stadium can be everything - not only as a spectacle when you watch but for the effect it has on players and clubs. Quite a few clubs that thrive on the atmosphere their fans create initially suffered when football re-started without fans and struggled to adapt to the empty stands.

You can have all the superstars in the league but while that may be great for financial/popularity reasons when it comes to marketing, it's not essential to a league being 'great'. Look at PSG. Neymar and Mbappe at the forefront of an expensive team but is the French League great? Not in my opinion. 

Country/location has some kind of effect partly because of those marketing reasons but it's also accessibility. Unfortunately Europe doesn't provide much access or publicity to South American football unless it's an international tournament. Even when Copa Libertadores final came around last year with one of the biggest rivalries in the world it was almost as if TV companies had to be persuaded by fans' calls to show it because of the magnitude of it and have it free-to-air. Up to a few seasons ago the Brazilian Serie A was aired on BT Sport but I guess they stopped airing it because it wasn't worth the money to pay for with lack of viewers. Time difference obviously plays a part, too. I think these days FreeSports (which isn't a free channel) shows some Japanese football but only 1-2 games a week, if that. MLS gets more coverage via Sky Sports but again, it's predominantly subscription-based which restricts some viewers, in the UK at least.

Always found it weird that countries around the world can watch PL football on a whim without streaming services and have a pick of games but in the UK, it's a big fee to pay to have that kind of choice, legally anyway. 

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4 minutes ago, Stan said:

Country/location has some kind of effect partly because of those marketing reasons but it's also accessibility. Unfortunately Europe doesn't provide much access or publicity to South American football unless it's an international tournament. Even when Copa Libertadores final came around last year with one of the biggest rivalries in the world it was almost as if TV companies had to be persuaded by fans' calls to show it because of the magnitude of it and have it free-to-air. Up to a few seasons ago the Brazilian Serie A was aired on BT Sport but I guess they stopped airing it because it wasn't worth the money to pay for with lack of viewers. Time difference obviously plays a part, too. I think these days FreeSports (which isn't a free channel) shows some Japanese football but only 1-2 games a week, if that. MLS gets more coverage via Sky Sports but again, it's predominantly subscription-based which restricts some viewers, in the UK at least.

I would personally argue South America has the most "competitive" leagues in the world. That's for 2 reasons really.

1. The Apertura/Clausura split which makes it tougher for one team to run away with the league

2. Not as much money gap as in Europe.

Argentina was what a league defined as great. World class up until the 1990's. After that, they still have the fans passion, competitiveness, and talent across the league. I would argue though ever since the 30 team format was taken on it lost a bit because now it's easier for someone like Boca or River to run away with it, though that's excluding this year.

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Openness is usually an indicator of inconsistency rather than competitiveness. Competitiveness is where you know you'll get a challenge in which you can't afford to lose focus or you'll lose that game. Not where everyone takes points of one another.

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It's a mixture between the style that most of the teams play and whether it suits your taste and said teams quality. As for those mentioning competitiveness: one of the tightest leagues in Europe is normally the San Marinese one, don't remember anyone calling it great, though. That's not to say greater competition wouldn't add to the excitement of a league, as does the atmosphere, still in my honest opinion both ain't crucial. What helps a competitive league and a good atmosphere, if the players fall theatrically and teams surround the ref for minutes, whenever an opponent's player looks in their direction or a decision is made respectively, like in South America?

 

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6 minutes ago, Rucksackfranzose said:

It's a mixture between the style that most of the teams play and whether it suits your taste and said teams quality. As for those mentioning competitiveness: one of the tightest leagues in Europe is normally the San Marinese one

 

Not what's in question. If we're looking at it like that, only standard matters. Think the question was what makes it great from all points of view. Competitiveness and atmosphere in that case would be totally irrelevant.

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18 minutes ago, Mpache said:

Not what's in question. If we're looking at it like that, only standard matters. Think the question was what makes it great from all points of view. Competitiveness and atmosphere in that case would be totally irrelevant.

False, standard would be the only thing that matters, if the question had been, what makes a league good quality wise. Since the question is what it is what makes a league great, its answer can only be individual preferences.

I'm just questioning, whether those who claim it would be competitiveness are aware of their own preferences or just repeat the answers they're fed with for whole their lives.

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One of my favorite leagues to watch is the Championship. To me, it's the best league in the world (and I don't even have a team in the fight, but maybe I'll adopt Forest for @Stan). The fans are fantastic, the races for top (and bottom) are usually always a dog fight, and the quality isn't up to EPL standards, but it's certainly not poor at all. Right now you have famous clubs like Leeds and Forest battling each year, and you have rivalries like Swansea and Cardiff (and usually West Ham vs Millwall). Picking the winner before the season is virtually impossible, and each year we seem to get a team battling for promotion that we certainly didn't expect. 

I watch the MLS, RPL, and Bundesliga and the first two are certainly competitive, but unless my team is playing, I find it rather boring, and the Bundesliga is won by the same team year in and year out and that just almost ruins it for me. 

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If people genuinely cared about competitiveness, we wouldn’t have many fans of English and quite possibly, European clubs here. The advent of the Champions League and even to a lesser extent, the UEFA Cup/Europa League, has led to more dominant sides and fewer winners of the top division in England and I imagine, the rest of Europe, too. 

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1. Competitiveness: None of the top leagues in Europe have parity, and are actually structured in a way that rewards success with success. Outside of bizarre circumstances clubs that aren't backed by constant investment win nothing, making most clubs an excercise in futility existing only to continue exising. I will applaude the British culture of playing the entire 90mins, whether that is a cultural phenomenon or a side-effect of goal differential, it is good to not see clubs go belly up (most of the time)

2. Passionate fans: Every fan thinks they are the best and everyone else the worst. I don't give a fuck what other fans do unless it is spontaneous.

3. Big stages: Unless I'm there, I don't care where the game is.

4. History and Rivalries: Every single team has history (and it's just all talk) and every single team has rivalries; and not all rivalries are permanent. Look at Chelsea v Liverpool, Arsenal v Man Utd, they used to be rivalries people would look forward to in the mid/early 00s, now they just another match. Looking back at football history is fascinating especially when chatting with other's about it but I'm not one for wanking over what someone else did the past and living vicariously through it, and I've always felt the English are especially bad for that.

5.Quality Football: Depends what you like.

The only good football is football watched with people you care about, not to sound sentimental or sappy but unless you're sharing it with someone you care about, it means nothing. Why do you guys think we always come on here to talk about the games? I'd rather be having a pint with my mates at a shitty Chicago Fire game than be alone at an epic Champions League Final.

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Talent in terms of players and collective teams and quality football are about equal at the top. 

Fans and competitiveness are buzz word Facebook article nonsense that people use despite them being utter rubbish and meaningless. 

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I don't know what to say.

I like the EPL more than Spanish league but I'd argue that's because cultural affinity.

I'd argue the A-league is competitive but is lacking in quality, and the lack of history hurts the fans passion.

I think I could give many different answers to this question depending on which example I had in mind at the time.

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On 12/07/2020 at 06:45, Harvsky said:

Prestige. 

It's the reason you watch the Champions League but rarely the Europa League. It's the reason you'd sit through a boring 0-0 of two teams you don't support. It's the reason you've never watched a League Two game

Prestige is what moves you, grabs your attention and gives you an emotional reaction to one game and not another when you're a neutral.

Speak for yourself :whistling: although I get what your general point,

For me a great league is made up of the competitiveness and the quality of the football on offer. 'Top' players do not automatically make a league great at all. Putting Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar etc in League Two wouldn't make it a 'great' league. It would make for two of three teams looking decent and walking it. 

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On 12/07/2020 at 06:07, Eco said:

I'm curious thought about what makes you believe that the league you follow or admire is truly a great league, or one of the best? 

For what it matters, I don't think that most of the leagues I like to watch are great at all, doesn't change the fact that I enjoy it and even prefer them over other, arguably much "higher profile" leagues.

It's definitely a combination of factors and personal preferences, and the more I think about your question, the less certain I am of the answer to it. If I had to describe what I'd personally consider a "great league", I'd probably say a highly competitive league with attractive style of football and good fan culture/stadium atmosphere in a country/culture I have affinity to. I like my football tribal, thank you very much.

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I like my football tribal is another way of saying we are the superior race

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On 12/07/2020 at 10:45, Harvsky said:

Prestige. 

It's the reason you watch the Champions League but rarely the Europa League. It's the reason you'd sit through a boring 0-0 of two teams you don't support. It's the reason you've never watched a League Two game. 

Prestige is what moves you, grabs your attention and gives you an emotional reaction to one game and not another when you're a neutral.

I agree that goes for sports in general, it's because of the prestige we associate with sports that make them important

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