How about a North Atlantic League Cup

Discussion in 'Scottish Premiership' started by RoryFSmith, Feb 5, 2016.

  1. RoryFSmith

    RoryFSmith Member

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    North Atlantic League Cup


    How about a North Atlantic League Cup played between the top four clubs sides of the four nations of the Netherlands, Belgium, Scotland and Portugal?

    At the end of each season the top four placed teams in the respective leagues qualify for the North Atlantic League Cup.


    Structure of trophy:

    The North Atlantic League Cup will be a group stage trophy with four groups of four. The top 2 teams of each group qualify for the single leg quarter final. There is then a semi final and final.

    The top teams in the group stage have home advantage in the single leg quarter final.

    There are then single leg semi finals and final.

    The home teams in the semi final and final will be decided by the luck of the draw. In the group stages, teams will keep 100% of home gate receipts. In the knockout stages teams will share gate receipts 50 / 50.

    The home group stage games will be sold as part of the season ticket. The games will be played at the weekend. Plus to ensure the integrity of the trophy, any team who field a second team in the North Atlantic League Cup, will have 3 points deducted in the national league.


    Domestic TV rights are negotiated by the leagues of each nation with national rights shared between the four domestic teams. International rights are shared equally among the 16 clubs.


    Reform of domestic leagues:

    Each of the four nations top divisions will be changed to a 16 team, 30 games a season, league. Freeing up weeks in the season for these extra games from this trophy.

    Teams who did not qualify for the North Atlantic League Cup, but are in the top division of their national league will be given a place in the group stage of a domestic national league cup to play extra games.


    Justification for the trophy:

    The four countries need to create trophies that can attract bigger domestic and international audiences, and support. This trophy would provide elites teams like Celtic, Rangers, Aberdeen, Hearts, Ajax, Feyenoord, Utrecht, Sporting Lisbon, Porto, Benfica, Anderlecht, Standard Liege..

    The current European trophies are good, but do not guarantee games against big Western European nation sides.

    I love European football. I enjoy playing teams from all over Europe. It is fun to see my favourite teams travelling to Eastern Europe and playing teams with exotic names and players, but we would love more games against Western European nation sides too. This trophy would ensure every top 4 Scottish Premier side could be playing a top western European side.


    We need to play teams from other countries:

    I am fed up with only playing Scottish sides every year, during poor times for the side. Inverness CT have only played two non Scottish teams in competitive matches in their entire history. That is ridiculous in this day and age. Aberdeen went half a decade playing only Scottish sides in competitive games. That is ludicrous in this day and age. Teams should be guaranteed group stage games against top sides every year. Imagine adding to the history of clubs with games against teams from other countries.

    Scottish clubs need to look outward to play teams from other countries.


    Scotland is a small country: An internal reorganisation does not alter that.

    I would like a 16 team domestic league simply to free up weeks in the calendar to have a cross border tournament. All this talk of 16, team, 12 team, 10 team leagues is meaningless, if we just play inward looking games, of reorganising the same teams. We are limited to two massive clubs in Scotland, and no amount of internal reorganisation will alter that. We need ambitious cross border reorganisation that allows Scottish clubs with ambition to play European group stage football every year against massive names in European football. This trophy ensures that.


    This would be a market of countries with a total population of

    10.7 million Belgium.

    16.6 million Netherlands.

    10.6 million Portugal.

    5 million Scotland.

    42,9 million Total population of participating nations.


    Criticisms of trophy.

    Fake trophy complaint

    Some would say this a fake trophy. But that is a rubbish reason to complain about the trophy. Anything can be seen as a fake trophy if you want to get all existential about it. Look at the American sport leagues where there is no relegation, franchises, league names that do not conflate to the region of America they are from. Teams moving thousands of miles away. World leagues that only contain the USA and Canada.

    We already have national leagues which I support maintaining, but adding guaranteed games against massive sides in a new European trophy is a massive advantage.

    Imagine games like Rangers v Ajax, and Celtic v Sporting Lisbon, and Aberdeen v Porto.


    Travel is tough.

    I disagree, look at the trips taken up by teams in Australia, Russia, and China. A trip to a Western European nation is relatively easy.


    Scotland would not be invited to such a trophy.

    I disagree. Scotland has Celtic and Rangers two of the biggest clubs in the world, plus decent sized sides like Aberdeen, Hearts, Hibs and Dundee United, plus Scotland speaks English, so Scotland would open up the Dutch, Belgian and Portuguese clubs to the English speaking market.



    UEFA would not allow it.

    UEFA have allowed other countries to have cross border cups such as the Royal League, and the cup played by teams from the League of Ireland and the Irish League. There is a club from Liechtenstein in the Swiss League. There are clubs from Wakes in the English league and a club from England in the Scottish League.

    UEFA refused permission for a North Atlantic League but they did not refuse permission for North Atlantic League Cup.

    UEFA do not want to destroy the national league system. But this idea works in tandem with the national league.


    Only the big clubs would benefit.

    I disagree. Look at the success of Inverness CT and Ross County. ICT were formed from a merger of two Inverness Highland League sides. While Ross County, a club who 25 years ago were a Highland League Side are now challenging for top four places in the Scottish Premier. With the right backing behind them any club in the Lowland or Highland League could work themselves up to the top four in the Scottish Premier. Celtic and Rangers have had tonnes of entries into the group stages of the Champions League, and UEFA Cup or Europa League. Aberdeen have had one, Hearts have had one, both in the UEFA Cup. No other Scottish sides have played in the group stages. This trophy would guarantee every year, two teams outside the Old Firm having European group stage football against glamorous teams every year.
     
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