A third set of team loyalties to be launched soon...

Which of the five ideas (participating team lists) is best?


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Scenario 2019:

Suppose two weeks of the prime football calendar are re-devoted not to clubs football or to national teams, but to new regional representative, borough or county teams, including all the top English players. To hell with derby rivalries. These weeks will involve assembling all the top players from all the clubs from all over the area to form a great new team (for the common good) for just two games per year, before they return to their usual clubs.



Suppose money is no object and contracts are no barrier: This has been agreed by the FA, by plenty of sponsors, broadcasters and wealthy financiers. The funding is sufficient to make these two weeks pay double what players normally earn in a week.

This idea gives each player the chance to shine in front of the home fans of the town, city or area where they came from, or, if they prefer, they may represent the area they have lived a long time more recently.



An ‘Exception credit’ system is used to narrow the gap between the biggest/strongest teams and the others, benefiting those who go up against the largest population opponent area by allowing them a wider choice of players. After every year’s play is over one team (the team that did most well this year of the three teams who were at the top of the rankings going into this year) is given a reduced allowance of exception credits the following year, and one team (with the worst performance of the bottom three going into the year) is given a bigger exception credit allowance. Both these adjustments are temporary & reduced (to fade away in four steps) in later years if the team is no longer top/bottom. If a team had no exception credits going into a year, where it wins the battle of the top three in the rankings, all its opponents in the status level gain 10 exception credits each ahead of the next year’s play.



Use of exception credits: A team with no exception credits must have five players under the age of 20 on the pitch at all times, four of whom are under 19, three of whom are U18, two U17 and one U16. It must also use no players who have lived less than 10 years in the area they are representing. Exception credits can be used in such a way that players who have lived less than 10 years in the area they are representing can be used, as long as one exception credit is used for each 6 months below 10 years of living there and one exception credit per month in the first two years, so 12+12+16=40 are required to use someone who has never lived there. Alternatively, any one of the U20, U 19 and U18 age restriction boundaries may be moved up by one month per exception credit used, and the U17 and U16 age boundary may be moved upwards (for this one year by this one team) by one week per exception credit used.



In year one, the two top level teams with the largest population have 10 exception credits each, the team area with the smallest population has 50, and all others are given an amount of exception credits between 10 and 50 in such a way that their allocation matches their population figure’s percentage of the way between the two (nr 2 & nr 10). Ideas involving more than 10 teams also have lower levels (with annual promotion and relegation of one team per year between each level): The lower level/status teams have 0 exception credits each, apart from any teams/areas who have finished as the worst performing of the bottom three in recent years (thus gaining up to 50 temporary exceptions credits).



Which of these five formats for this competition would you back if you were allowed to choose among these five shortlisted options? – please score each one out of 10:

Idea A) There are to be 40 teams, one for each of the 39 English ceremonial counties with the largest population and a 40th team to unite all the others behind one alliance team.

Idea B) The 12 official regions of the UK each have their own team (NE, NW, SW, SE, GL, West & East Midlands, Y&H, East, Sco, Wal N Ire) – please try not to evaluate this concept in 2016 terms, as Wales will not always be & has not always been better than all others.

Idea C) 20 teams: one for each of England’s top seventeen in population areas to have an elected assembly of its own, and the rest are all represented by one of the three other teams, one representing the rest of the Midlands, one for the rest of the North and one for the rest of the South (all to be given snazzy new names and designs)

Idea D) Each part of England is represented by the local council that receives the majority share of the council tax collected in the area – meaning that all apart from the two-tier councils are represented by the local borough council or unitary area. There are 100 teams, one for each of the 91 largest by population and a rest of region team for each of the nine regions

Idea E) There are 200 teams: one for each of the top 191 by population district or borough council areas, and a rest of region alliance team uniting the rest within each of the nine regions of England


Opponent allocation system:

In idea B there are 12 teams, each ranked according to recent performance ranking points (in year 1 they are seeded according to 40% population and 60% ‘sum of 25’ largest five recent official attendance figures for the top five players of each team method). The 12 games are (round 2) 1st seed versus 2nd seed; 3rd vs 4th; 5v6; 7v8; 9v10; 11v12 and (in round 1) 1v3, 2v5, 4v6, 7v9, 8v11, 10v12.



In A, D & E: there are several status levels and there is annual promotion/relegation, with only the top level teams playing top opponents all over the country with a similar opponent allocation system as above, and with all other teams playing their two nearest neighbours when all teams are traced to their nearest point on a coast or border and each team finds its two nearest neighbours on this rectangle/circle/shape:

In idea A each team is in one of the five status levels: 12 > 10 > 6 > 6 > 6 teams

In idea C each team is in one of the four status levels: 8 > 6 > 6 teams

In D each team is in one of the four status levels: 40 > 20 > 20 > 20 teams

In E each team is in one of the five status levels: 10 > 40 > 40 > 40 > 40 > 30 teams

Each game is hosted by the area with the bigger stadium available.



Year 1 status levels are determined by 40% population and 60% ‘sum of 25’

One team moves up and one down between each status level between each year, based 90% on the ranking points gained in this year’s performances and 10% from last year’s.



Please let me know your thoughts, your preferences, your predictions, your suggested changes, and your scores. I probably have not made this complicated set of ideas all that clear to all you readers, but if you give the matter some thought you may find that it is very enjoyable to imagine that you are giving feedback now that will lead to your improvements, adjustments, and preferences being built in.
 

shoddycollins

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I can't really see this attracting many spectators, I don't even really think the England team generates a lot of passion among the English. Maybe in somewhere like Manchester that would get it's own team and has a huge sense of civic pride and two top Premier League teams, there would be curiosity and even a mild buzz about something like a Manchester v Liverpool match, or matches between Lancashire or Greater Mancheter and one of the Yorkshires but I guess from my Cumbrian perspective there is little to be interested in as none of the ideas represent us.

A) We're represented by a mongrel team that includes the likes of Cornwall and Northumberland and therefore excites no-one, and more-so are probably permanently stranded in the bottom division.

B) We're represented by a Northwest England team that we don't really feel we belong to, we feel no more part of a region that includes Manchester and Liverpool than we do part of a region that includes Newcastle and Sunderland and the only reason we're part of it is that we're too small to be a region of our own and since the regions are named for compass directions we better be in the Northwest.

C) We're represented in the rest of the North alongside other non-urban parts of Yorkshire, the North-east, Lancashire etc. It's marginally better than A but still a bit of a nothing mongrel team, a team that can't even lay claim to Northern pride as most of the population of the North is represented in other teams, and again probably stuck in the bottom division.

D) I'm guessing this means that in two-tier areas, you're represented by a county rather than a district team. This is certainly more appealing but it looks like we end up in a rest of the north-west team again aligning us to a team representing a region we have no real cultural ties with.

E) Carlisle is the largest district in Cumbria and just misses out on making the cut so the outcome for Cumbria is the same as D.

If it were to work it may be better to hand-craft the boundaries in order to represent locations people have cultural ties to rather than relying on a set of criteria.
 
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Hi ShoddyCollins from Cumbria

I'm very pleased that you have read my ideas and given it a fair commentary of fair response remarks. This puts all of the ideas A to E still with 0 votes each for now.

Maybe a new Idea F should be launched in which all the 22 (or just the top 10) local authority areas (with boundaries determined by where the majority share of the council tax goes for expenditure) in the NW are each give a team of their own. With a population of 498,000 Cumbria starts out in third place (behind only Lancs & Manchester). 4th is Liverpool. 5th & 6th are Cheshire E & W and 7th to 10th are Wigan, Wirral, Stockport and Bolton.

And even more simplified but I feel realistic and fun set-up would be to have 4 teams play a 6 game round robin group at Old Trafford for the NW Trophy: Manchester, Lancashire, Cumbria and Cheshire. This might catch on big time and become a big draw. If any one of these teams wins the event four times in five years, then it is given a more restrictive quota of young players it has to have on at all times from then on (and maybe the weakest team gets to pick one of the players from the strongest team for 2 years?). Expanding the idea from 4 to 8 teams would mean that after year 1, one of the 4 teams from Pool B (Liverpool, Wigan, Wirral, and either Bolton or Stockport) would gain promotion to Pool A, and similarly every year thereafter.

This kind of idea appeals to me quite strongly. Its technical details could be tweaked until perfection is found.

I think before long a new rivalry would emerge between the two most successful teams, maybe this would be Lancs and Cheshire?

KM from Norwich
 

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