South Scene - plans for system revamp

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SCOTTISH football is consulting all member clubs regarding massive proposals to completely revamp the system following consultations between the various bodies of the Scottish Football Association, Scottish Premier League and Scottish Football League.

The SFA’s Professional Games Board has provided the opportunity to plan changes on how football in Scotland is run and administered. The proposals include having one body to govern all competitions and a system put in place which would allow member clubs to be given the opportunity to compete at all levels through a pyramid system.

The main proposal which would affect South of Scotland League clubs is the one regarding the pyramid system. This would see the formation of a Lowland and Highland Super-League and at the end of season 2013/14 suitably licensed clubs who were at the top of their respective leagues would be invited to form the Super-Leagues. The new leagues would start in season 2014/15 with selection being based on final league positions in season 2013/14 and would be administered by the same rules as in the professional leagues. At the end of that season the winners of the two Super-Leagues would play off for the right to play the bottom placed team in the third division with the winner taking their place in that division. Thereafter the winners of the South of Scotland League and the East of Scotland League would play off against the bottom placed Super-League side in an attempt to enter the higher league. Consultation papers have to be submitted by member clubs by the middle of January where after the Games Board will decide on the best way forward taking into consideration the comments of the clubs.

To be part of this new system clubs will have to meet a joining criteria which will be approved by the SFA which means that the five Southern Counties clubs, Threave Rovers, Dalbeattie Star, ST Cuthbert Wanderers, Wigtown and Bladnoch and Newton Stewart would have to meet this criteria in various departments such as suitably approved grounds, youth development and coaching qualifications.

Meanwhile some good news has been received by member clubs in the South of Scotland League who again have each received a payment in an annual handout from the governing body, the Scottish Football Association.

However, the SFA have given a warning that this is the final payment that will be made without consideration of meeting certain performance related, youth development and ground development requirements. The payment this year was the biggest ever made to clubs with the south members receiving £15,000 each. Allocations of other amounts have also been made to other affiliated amateur clubs and certain affiliated Associations.

Your Correspondent wishes everybody the compliments of the Season and a Happy and Sporting New Year