Sunday, 19 December 2010

The way forward for Scottish Football


The festive season is the time for gifts and the plans for the new leagues and the combining of the SFL and SPL to one governing body could be the best gift giving to Scottish Football in years.

Although not every point in the plan is a new one and a few like the SPL 2 have been floating around for years, these plans if they are passed will be a great move for Scottish Football.

There are many positives in the plans that will improve the current state of Scottish Football:

-Changing to two top leagues of ten and making the First division the SPL 2 will increase revenue in Scottish Football. It has been said that the teams could earn up to ten times more money than they do right now which would be a great thing for the teams and will lead to more competition to get into the SPL or even the SPL 2 and this will be exciting for the fans with teams doing all they can to get promoted and who doesn't like watching exciting football?

-Regionalised leagues will be financially beneficial to the teams in the lower leagues as they won't have to spend crazy amounts of money travelling every week and regionalised lower leagues would lead to more local derbies which will lead to bigger turnouts.

-Colt teams or top teams playing their reserve sides in the lower leagues will also lead to bigger turnouts as Stranraer vs Rangers B woule attract more fans than Stranraer vs Annan Athletic with no offence to Stranraer and Annan intended.

The Winter break is a must for the Scottish game again and would be a great away to avoid so many call offs. It would also help let teams try and make more money by going to different countries or inviting teams over to play glamour friendlies. The Old Firm will try and play big teams like Rangers did a few years ago against AC Milan, however what would stop other teams going over to do a mini tour of countries and play a few games to make a bit of money as well as keeping the players in top condition.

These are just a few positives in the plans however there are some other things that could be done to help increase revenue or even the quality of the Scottish game:

-Friday night football would be possible if Friday night Rugby is. Even if it is not the Spl 1 the SPL 2 or the regionalised leagues would easily be able to host at least 1 game on a Friday and STV's sports centre could show it live and would increase attention to the SPL 2 as well as giving more money.

-Tv deals should be looked for for all divisions of Scottish Football. STV in the past had a highlights show for divisions 1-3 and If the SPL stays with Sky and ESPN the SPL 2 could easily try and look to have a highlights show on BBC or  STV.The lower leagues highlights could also be on this show like the Football League show for England's lower divisions.

The outcome of the vote on Scottish Football is important for the game to improve and if they are done properly, the plans put forward by Neil Doncaster and later( which was convenient ) in Mcleish's Scottish Football report would definetly pave the way forward and could one day lead to a top tier with 14,16 or even 18 teams in it.

Lets hope the plans are given a chance and are not just thrown on the scrap heap like many other proposed changes.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Super Bolton

Injury comeback: Holden missed all of Bolton's March fixtures
Oh Bolton, Bolton. Bolton, how things change.

A boring side with players such as Johan Elmander who couldn't hit water if he fell out a boat!

That statement would not have been a surprise to see last year as that is what was the view of most peolple when talking about Bolton.

A year on and Owen Coyle has worked wonders at Bolton and in the process Bolton under Coyle have turned into a force to be reckoned with in the Premier League with their attacking flair and style that rivals any in the Premier League at the moment.

Johan Erik Calvin Elmander has also gained a new lease of life this season and is starting to show the quality of a player with a great middle name like Calvin!

As the clubs record signing in 2008 for 8.2 million a lot was expected of  Elmander however until this season he only showed his quality in small doses. This season he has been on fire in front of goal and his goal against Wolves is one which is definetly a goal of the season contender.

Another Player on top form this season is Stuart Holden who since joining in January has became a fan favourite and if he keeps performing like he is, will no doubt find himself on the shortlist of candidates for player of the season.

Long serving captain Kevin Davies has been on top form as have many others such as Martin Petrov,sitting Bolton just behind Tottenham in 6th place which would be a dream scenario at the end of the season, however with Bolton's uneasy defence which rarely ever keeps a clean sheet, Bolton will have to stay on top form all season to make sure they stay in the position they are in.

Owen Coyle has done a fantastic job at Bolton and if the attacking flair continues, Bolton will be a very happy side come May time.

Surprise dismissal of Sam Allardyce

Sam Allardyce

Sam Allardyce has surprisingly been sacked as manager of Blackburn today.

The 56 year old and his assistant Neil McDonald were relieved of their roles at the club by the club's new owners, the Venky's Group from India.

Allardyce has expressed his shock at the decision and you can see why.

Allardyce took over in December 2008 as the club was struggling and managed to turn the club's trouble around in the last few years and make Blackburn a solid mid table side in the Premiership, however a recent loss of form and the sale of the club to new owners has led to Allardyce's dismissal.

Recent results such as the 4-2 defeat by Spurs and the 7-1 defeat by Manchester United have seen Blackburn slip nearer to the relegation zone and has left the new owners with the belief that Allardyce was not the man to bring the club success.

The decision was even more surprising as when the Venky's group took over in October they promised to give Allardyce funds to spend in January to improve the team and the board could have at least waited to the end of January to give Allardyce a chance to turn the team around.

The Owners however if they hire a manager quickly could be thinking of letting the new manager create his team or start to in January and if this was the thought and it works out then not many Rovers fans will complain.

There is no doubt Allardyce will be back in work sooner than later however the Blackburn job will already have a few candidates with Phil Brown and Alan Shearer to name a few who will most definetly be mentioned.

An outside bet would be Chris Hughton who unfairly lost the Newcastle job last week and he could be the man who could take the club forward.

Lets just hope the owners treat Hughton better than Mike Ashley did as he deserves it.