11 Jan 2018 21:44:35
Wanted to rack the brains of the Ed’s if possible, not Liverpool related so I will understand if it’s not for these pages.
But with the current plight at Hartlepool needing 200 grand to stay a float for another week, will there ever be a time when the bigger clubs buy them/ invest and use them to bleed in younger players?
The smaller clubs seem to be struggling as the gulf between the prem and the rest grows, but those clubs are steeped in history and seeing them go out of business would be a travesty for English football. for prem clubs in particular 200,000 grand is some players wages for a week so surely there can be some solution. How would the Ed’s solve these clubs problems?

{Ed002's Note - At the moment no, in the future potentially yes. The solution to the problem is the reorganisation of the leagues to reduce the number of professional sides as the model there is now cannot be sustained.}

1.) 11 Jan 2018
11 Jan 2018 21:53:04
Great question mate!

2.) 11 Jan 2018
11 Jan 2018 22:02:28
Thank billy and thanks Ed002.

I know teams go from part time/ semi pro to professional (Guiseley have recently done it) but have many clubs done the opposite. If Hartlepool in particular made that decision could that keep the club a foot or are their issues much deeper then that?

Apologies for all the questions Ed002 but I have one more if I may, obviously with Jeff Stellings link to Hartlepool and I know sky have sponsored clubs previously, are they in a position to invest in a club and if they did would they then have the potential to have a club where they can broadcast all their games?

{Ed002's Note - I rather doubt that Sky have the budget to be wandering around saving clubs but the bigger issue is that there needs to be a change. I hold a reasonably strong view in terms of the need to restructure football in Europe in any case. For me an eventual a breakaway pan-European league would force the restructuring of many of the national leagues, possibly resulting in a British league with perhaps only a couple of professional tiers and then regionalised amateur leagues below that. Financially I do not see that so many pro sides can be sustained within the sport which, like it or not, will see more and more money going in to the highest levels of the game. Governments will ensure that grassroots sport get funding but everything in the middle (Southern, Northern, Conference, Division 2, Scottish Divisions 1-3, League of Wales will not get the funding needed to continue on any sort of professional basis. For me, clubs should already recognise this and put their efforts in to getting there finances in order to see if they can make it to a British professional league that will need to flourish without perhaps six sides that have gone down the pan-European route - and have gone for good. Clubs like Accrington Stanley will need to carry on as amateurs or face extinction (yet again).

The game has changed significantly and will continue to do so. Football at the highest level is big business and attracts the sponsorship it does because the sponsors wish to tap in to the disposable income of the fans and ride the back of the advertising that flows naturally from the success some clubs achieve. Long gone are the days of the cloth-capped, hobnailed-booted, chimney sweep making his way, rattle in hand, to cheer on his team at Anfield on a Saturday afternoon. I have explained that there will be changes, probably within the next 10 to 12 years, which will force the restructuring of all of the leagues in Europe and likely do away with the likes of UEFA. You will have the opportunity to see the likes of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Juventus and the other major European sides play in week-on-week regular competition at The Emirates, Stamford Bridge etc.. You will have the opportunity to visit Milan, Barcelona, Monaco, etc. every couple of weeks to watch your team play - if they make the "elite" cut. If you want to don your cloth cap, have a pint of wallop with your chums before going off to the local match, perhaps one of the sides from the suburbs will have survived so you can go and watch them?}

3.) 11 Jan 2018
11 Jan 2018 22:12:40
If you reduce the amount of professional sides, do you think fans would go and support rival teams? I'm not so sure. Would filtering down a larger slice of the pie not be a viable option ed? I realise the premier league has to vote on such things, but can the FA not help to decide how money from the Premier League can get distributed down the leagues.

{Ed002's Note - No more so than when sides drop out of League 2. If you start taking away money from the PL sides they will look to other deals and it won't help. The real answer is the radical one that sees a restructuring.}

4.) 11 Jan 2018
11 Jan 2018 23:00:48
I have a rather extreme idea on this. It is pretty clear that in the next 10 years, at least 4 of the UK's top teams will soon be playing in a European break away league. I suspect it will be all of Man U, Man C, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Spurs though.

The English football which is left behind will not be able to compete with this new competition if it maintains it's current format of 4 divisions in a pyramid, where every team is basically stuck at their level barring the rare exceptional ascendance or fall. It is boring. Football won't be able to sustain 92 professional teams.

My proposal would be to split the country into regional leagues. North, Central, South East, and South West (with the few best Welsh teams in this South Western division) . I would have 12 teams in each regional division, with the top 2 from each division qualifying for a series of 1 leg play offs. So 8 teams qualify, and then in knock-out style it is whittled down to a final 2. A single football game which decides the Champion of England and Wales; a soccer match to rival the super bowl in terms of viewing figures and global attention. 1 regional game a week for 22 weeks (no doubt with a handful of breaks and Cup weeks), and then a 3 week play off with the quarters, then semis, then final.

In order for this to be fair on the 48 pro teams left behind though, i would suggest a wage cap on every club to level the playing field. If you want to pay one player mega bucks, that's fine, but you will have to surround him with low paid younger players.

Very similar to the NFL in America. No teams in the 48 can be relegated, and you essentially get a regional Champion from each of the 4 regions, and then a national Champion.

For me, if we stick with a football pyramid, you may as well write off at least 60 professional clubs right now because the money is already spread too thin in the lower leagues, and it will get worse when the cream of English football are gone. They won't survive.

I would also keep the FA cup and invite all the non-pro teams to join the 48 regional sides in a traditional style cup Competition. You could then in theory keep the charity shield so the Cup winners can play the Championship winners.

Like i say, it's an extreme idea. However, something radical must happen or there will likely only be around 24 English teams survive after the break away happens, and they will most likely be the clubs with fan bases big enough to buy their own team.

{Ed002's Note - Right now only three look likely.}

5.) 12 Jan 2018
11 Jan 2018 23:31:09
As an American, I'm always amazed at how many professional football teams there are in England, especially in some of the realtively small cities.

6.) 12 Jan 2018
11 Jan 2018 23:34:40
City, United and Chelsea?

7.) 12 Jan 2018
11 Jan 2018 23:55:24
Ed is it City, United and Chelsea?

8.) 12 Jan 2018
12 Jan 2018 00:25:25
So MK would your NFL actually mean what it says when it says National Football League and not National Pads and Lids League? Lol.

9.) 12 Jan 2018
12 Jan 2018 08:21:23
Thanks ed002 appreciate the insight.