T O P
[deleted]

I really dont understand why any country uses the ”split division in two” weird playoff system. So weird


Red_Dog1880

Likely the best thing to come out of this mess will be that the first league will go back to 18 clubs and no play offs, the standard system basically. One can only hope.


Gorando77

We had that and it was terrible. 18 teams in the highest division is way too many for a small country.


Red_Dog1880

Terrible ? Not at all. It wasn't ideal but it was far better than the mess we have now. Hell, even make it 16 teams if you want.


Hotfield

>too many for a small country The Netherlands is about the same size and i would argue 18 teams in the Eredivisie works just fine.


[deleted]

[удалено]


Hotfield

damn your right, i never realized, thats significant.


[deleted]

[удалено]


scopard

It doesn't, except the top 3 and maybe Vitoria, the other teams have no fans and staduims are empty


IBAIL

Sweden has a population smaller than Belgium yet I've never got the impression that the country is too small for their league. They have 16 teams.


Dear_Pumpkin

What on earth are you on? The Netherland has an economy twice their size and 7 million more people.... The way the netherlands is populated is also VERY different. The netherlands has over 30 towns with over 100k population or more that can "support" a club. Belgium is built along provincial roads. (lintbebouwing) The 32th largest dutch town would be nr 6 in belgium. They have no base for clubs to build on. Out of the 32 towns over 100k pop only 7 have no pro football club. Some because they are large suburbs of The Hague(zoetermeer,westland) amsterdam(haarlemmermeer) or rotterdam. Lommel has 35k people living in it. Lierse from Lier pop 32k.... you cant expect villages to support a professional football team.


Detective_Fallacy

> Belgium is built along provincial roads. (lintbebouwing) The 32th largest dutch town would be nr 6 in belgium. They have no base for clubs to build on. As if communal borders decide which team people support. Mechelen is a small provincial town of 80k people and KV had an *average* attendance of 13k on a total seat count of 16k last season. Many of those supporters come from surrounding towns. The amount of healthy clubs is hard limited by the country's total inhabitants and football fans, not whether they live all clumped up together in a city or spread around along the interconnecting roads.


wouter2000

In the Netherlands a lot of people also come from surrounding towns.


stella__art

Economy twice their size? Nah not true


Aggravating_Meme

Why would that be the case? There are more then enough clubs to fill in those spots


CenturionAurelius

Aren't play offs financially profitable for the clubs, anyway? More games between bigger clubs means more income through TV deals and tickets. Maybe having less teams would be better though.


Red_Dog1880

Depends. Money wise I'm sure it can maybe make a difference for the top clubs. But the way it's set up in Belgium is shit. Take the second division for example: Divided into two parts of the season so you can 'win' one part, then be shit for the rest of the season (despite also having a general league table for the season in total) and you still get to play the play offs final against the winner of the second part of the season. Its how my team got promoted actually. We didn't play too well in the first part, won the second part and won the final. We actually ended in third spot overall and got promoted while the overall league leaders got fuck all. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016%E2%80%9317_Belgian_First_Division_B


CenturionAurelius

Yeah, second division is shit 100%. No idea why Belgium only has 2 professional divisions though, even we have 3. Maybe have 14-16 teams in the top flight w/ relegation/european/championship play offs and a normal second division without the splits.


Help_me_im_stuck

What would happen if you won one part, and got last place for the 2nd part? Fighting both relegation and promotion? And the two teams that stay in 2nd division, they are in a playoff doe Europa League? Why would the newly promoted team not get that possibility?


Red_Dog1880

Because the idea is that they already got a reward in the form of promotion. But yeah, that was my point that in general it just doesn't make a lot of sense :)


BlakeNJudge

In this case I think they want to have a big single game with everything on the line since it leads to more drama and potentially an extra big game to put on TV. Leagues don't as often get final day excitement. In other cases like Scotland the split is to get the season length to roughly 38 games in a league that doesn't have 20 teams. International calendars and European schedules don't leave much wiggle room. If you have a 12 team league you can't do a 1 home + 1 away structure, that's 22 games. 44 games plus cups and European matches would be too much so they have to do something weird. Can't always increase the league size or you get loads of lopsided drubbings.


the_che

> In this case I think they want to have a big single game with everything on the line since it leads to more drama and potentially an extra big game to put on TV. But why not simply let the teams finishing first and second play this out? That at least would make a bit more sense.


atropicalpenguin

In South America the Libertadores used to last six months, now it lasts a year. One complain that I saw with the change was that now teams that would excel in the group stages would sell its players before the knockout stages, greatly weakening the team's aspirations. In that sense, I guess it makes sense for feeder leagues to have shorter seasons.


OleoleCholoSimeone

The Libertadores change has given the big clubs a big advantage, it is telling how many fewer surprise teams we have seen since the switch in format. Now if a Independiente Del Valle or a Guarani has a golden generation that could potentially go far in the competition they will just sell their best players before the campaign is over. They could keep hold of them before with the promise of staying a few months extra with a chance to win the cup, but persuading them to stick around for near a year is a big ask Just means that Argentina and Brasil will dominate


Bunde35

When it was implemented in Denmark, it was a result in bad European results, and the success of Belgian clubs. The league has been a disaster, and two seasons ago, a team lost on purpose because it would benefit them being in another group. Next season the league sees change yet again, and who know what then will happen. It has been a clusterfuck based on weird agendas.


SomeMightSayAHL

We use it in Scotland and it works quite well, to be honest. With 12 teams in the league, we play each other three times which gives a total of 33 games and then it splits into two small leagues of six but the points are retained. It means the end of season games are exciting as the teams at the top of the league are playing against each other in their last five games and the same for the bottom 6. We don't bother with any of the weird point splittings or resetting the table though. So that may be why.


edi12334

I dont get it either. It actually made me watch my own country s league way less as basically only the playoffs matter


TheDutchTank

I honestly wouldn't mind it that much. It basically makes it into two little seasons, both being important and exciting.


Badrap247

The South American format (split seasons) is cool as hell, but the way Scotland and Belgium do it seems needlessly convoluted. It’s somehow less exciting than North American playoffs while also pissing off Europeans who just want a clean double round-robin league.


Kolo_ToureHH

From what I've learned about Belgium recently, I'm really surprised that it actually manages to function as a country.


Krillin113

They function as two countries. Within one.


[deleted]

Actually 3 with Brussels being its own region


TarcFalastur

Four. There is a tiny German-speaking Community region as well.


[deleted]

I really wonder how this country still manages to still exist


the_che

Out of spite.


Aggravating_Meme

Meh, Germany is way more devided then Belgium but they work it as well. The main difference is that our system is dumb, stupid and expensive


Dear_Pumpkin

Because honestly they're afraid of the alternatives. Walloon alone is impossible. Flanders alone...they're just not ambitious enough for that or too scared to become part of the netherlands. So they pay off Walloons to keep belgium "together"; the Walloons know this so they extort as much money from Flanders as possible; the Walloon socialist party are amazingly good extortionists. The country has 8 ministers of health....eight...it is a complete madhouse.


[deleted]

Flanders could be its own country, and they would never accept to rejoin the Netherlands and there’s the Brussels issue. Wallonia indeed needs serious reforms to modernize their economy and to put it on par with the Flemish one. So, honestly as much as I like this country, it shouldn’t even exist. It basically exists because European powers wanted to create a buffer state to prevent France to invade Europe again. Belgium is one of the causes that France was so easy to invade during the two world wars. In an ideal world Flanders is independent, Wallonia part of France. Brussels well I don’t know.


Krillin113

Brussels should be made the capital of Europe, under direct jurisdiction of the EU.


LingCHN

> under direct jurisdiction of the EU. The EU is not a country.


WaNeKet

On what are you basing those assumptions? ​ Literally 40-50% of Flemish people vote for direct right-wing parties that advocate independence. Are Catalans not ambitious enough? No, the political system will never allow for it to become independent, unless a revolution is started. Same in Flanders. The Walloons are not extorting the Flemish in the way you are describing. If London/Flanders is rich, Newcastle/Wallonia is poor, and the rich pay more taxes than the poor, that means there is a net transfer of one to the other. Does that means London/Flanders are being extorted? The country should not exist, and is extremely inefficient, but your summary is extreme populism.


PinkFluffys

They vote for the right wing parties but not because they want to split the country. They vote right wing for their views on immigration and the economy.


WaNeKet

While I agree with you, still a large part of the Flemish people want independance. A 'recent' estimate was at 37%. (https://www.hln.be/nieuws/binnenland/4-op-10-vlamingen-willen-belgie-splitsen-maar-als-de-crisis-voorbij-is-hoeft-het-niet-meer~a9ced28f/)


Morganelefay

We'll happily take Flanders here in the Netherlands. We get a few decent teams that may hold their own in the Eredivisie and even vie for European spots (Brugge most notably, obv), and a larger talent pool for our national team to pick from. France and Germany can split up Wallonia.


TheNarrator23

The fact that we can't form a government every time we've had elections proves that it doesn't function at all.


[deleted]

Yea I read like 8-10 years ago the Belgium government was suspended for a long time and it didn't bother the Belgians. That was insane.


TheNarrator23

We celebrated when we beat the world record for having no government.


Krillin113

And you’re on course again right?


TheNarrator23

Technically we have one right now, but it's a) an minority government, and b) emergency government (because of this whole pandemic thing). Don't if we can count that as "not having a government". If we're counting from not having a majority government, then we're at 510 days.


stella__art

Werent the elections like a year ago? 510 days seems off


[deleted]

It sounds wild but it's not that different really from other federal states like the US or Germany.


Blaugrana1990

We function at least as good without a government as with one. We also hold the record of longest run without a government.


SpeedLinkDJ

We don't hold that record anymore. Northern Ireland does with a staggering 1000+ days without a governement.


chizel4shizzle

We still hold the record because Northern Ireland is not considered an independent nation


Blaugrana1990

Do they have a government yet? Otherwise we should try and break it again.


SpeedLinkDJ

yep they have one now. I'm all for breaking the record again


Detective_Fallacy

Not an independent country.


Aggravating_Meme

It doesn't help we have multiple ministers for every little thing. Might as well start using referendums to decide wether trash should be picked up on Wednesdays or Thursdays


damn_yank

That explains the bureaucratic nature of the EU.


[deleted]

Shit, someone realises the EU is our creation and our secret plan for continental domniation


damn_yank

Who needs military might when you can cripple a nation with bureaucrats and oppressive regulations?


[deleted]

It's a simple spell, but quite unbreakable


[deleted]

Its actually the worst hit by the coronavirus which is not mentioned at all in the media here.


whateverfloatsurgoat

Not in the slightest mate.


[deleted]

What part?


uiop789

We count extra deaths in nursing homes (so outside of the hospital) which other countries haven't been doing yet. When they start doing that you will see the rates converge. The way we count is probably closer to the "true" extra mortality this virus has caused.


[deleted]

I thought most did, we do in the UK, there is a massive debate here as the care home industry has been abused for years and is now front page news. https://www.newschain.uk/news/care-homes-account-40-all-coronavirus-deaths-week-may-1-ons-7795 But like other stuff once it is over it will be forgotten again.


uiop789

Ah didn't knew you did that too. That's the story I heard on our news that tried to explain the difference. I heard stories about underreported deaths in small villages in Italy a few weeks ago, don't know if those have been added or not. Also if you look at the curves we are further ahead than the UK so your deaths per million might catch up. I think we will only get the complete picture when this is all over and we can compare average death rates with the death rate during this pandemic.


[deleted]

I 100% agree on getting the final figure once it's all over and watching certain leaders try and talk there way out of it.


chizel4shizzle

The difference is that we also count suspected but unconfirmed cases as corona deaths whereas most countries only count confirmed cases


Rutger88

That is because we count pretty much everything as a corona death when it is suspected as such.


SubBanked

Tbf it's partly (mainly?) due to their counting system which includes a much, much wider range of deaths. Their estimate is probably more accurate than anywhere else.


Aggravating_Meme

If someone had a cough before it died they'll add it to the corona counter


[deleted]

We do the same with if you have coronavirus and get hit by a bus you die of covid 19


DelusiveNightlyGale

Who the fuck thought it would be a good idea to create an 8 team league with Apertura/Clausura in the 2nd tier of a Central European league??? I've always thought the format of the Portuguese 3rd tier is stupid but wow, this is so much worse


BroknToastr

Have you seen the plans for the new portuguese 3rd and 4th tiers?


DelusiveNightlyGale

I have. It's not perfect but I really like the idea of the 3rd league. Right now there's a few teams who haven't been able to secure promotion to the 2nd league but probably shouldn't be in such risk of getting relegated to regional level football (and competing in such a weird competition whose format changes every other year...). I don't really know enough on a financial level to be discussing if I'll actually work but I hope so.


BroknToastr

I hope so too, I really dislike the current format of the CNS, but I fear a lot of teams will struggle after going to what will be the 4th tier. It would be amazing if football culture in Portugal could shift a bit in favour of local clubs instead of everyone supporting the big three regardless of geographical location, and a less convoluted league is always better for that.


DelusiveNightlyGale

Definitely agree with all of that. It will take time for the culture to change though. I'm here with the flair of my local club and i support them but I've always been a Benfica fan as well. It's just really hard to not support one of the three as a kid when everyone around you does so. I'm also curious why you seem so interested in Portuguese football despite the PSV flair?


BroknToastr

I never really supported one particular club, but I love football and PSV is my mother's club so it felt appropriate. I guess I root for them but calling myself a fan is a bit much since I do not watch most of their games. My interest in the CNS started recently because of a friend I met that plays for a team there and because of Football Manager


DelusiveNightlyGale

Ahh that makes sense. I was really confused about a foreigner showing interest in the CNS ahaha


KneeDeepInTheDead

Teams like Leiria, Praiense, Beira Mar, Torreense, Olhanense etc should be at this new 3rd level.


emkael

> I've always thought the format of the Portuguese 3rd tier is stupid What exactly is wrong with it? I've tried to read up on it, and I can't see anything out of ordinary. Apart from the final play-off match being pointless, it's looks like a pretty standard system, maybe with some slightly unusual assumptions - I can imagine promoting only two teams being one, and giving 2nd placed teams a shot in the play-off another, but both of these could be explained by the presumed differences in play level between divisions and between league tiers.


DelusiveNightlyGale

I guess it's not completely out of the ordinary buy it's still not enjoyable. Out of 76 (currently) teams, only two get promoted... The format for promotion is also pretty weird, as you said. This year, the league was interrupted so they decided to promote the two teams with the most points, despite the 4 separate leagues. Obviously they're not at fault for the pandemic but this highlights how ineffective the promotion system is. Another problem, is the fact that the league keeps changing every other year... The Campeonato is not even 10 years old and it has changed 4 times or something like that. Other than that, it's simply the fact that it is huge and hard to follow imo. Football in Portugal doesn't get a lot of following outside of the top league but the Campeonato isn't helping the situation.


RN2FL9

The situation may sort itself because I think some clubs will go bankrupt if their finances are already bad. Then maybe you have 1 league with 18-20 healthy teams, but no longer relegation, which sucks as well. Didn't know it was that bad of a situation in Belgium. Nice write up.


OmeDeBoer

In your opinion, how much influence has had the weird play-off system on this? It seems to me that a smaller top flight league hurts smaller teams, which eventually will hurt bigger teams. The stupid people in the Eredivisie also wanted to implement the play-off system, luckely it was torpedoed by the smaller teams.


majestic7

The worst thing for small clubs was the introduction of 1B. It's a 8 team second tier league with only one promotion spot, which is decided in a playoff between the winners of both halves of the season. Low revenue, ultra competitive and you need to be lucky too to go back up by winning the playoff final. So relegation is basically a death sentence for most clubs.


Ben_Vendetta

Funnily enough, it seems to be what saved Antwerp (even though we were against the idea of the system)


Rutger88

Money saved Antwerp. And of course being the prime Flemish city to attract that money


Ben_Vendetta

Sure, but if the system wasn't in place we wouldn't have made promotion that season, and who knows how things would have gone from then on?


vertigo1899

In fact it's the crazy BAS-system - where clubs can appoint 1 out of 3 judges -that saved R.A.F.C. a few times, before the money from Gheysens started to come in.


JimPfaffenbach

What is so dumb about the play-off system is dat all the points are halved. So if you had a 10 point advantage over the team directly below you, you now have 5 points advantage. There have been upsets where teams were leading by a fair amount, only to see it halved and by having bad play-offs failed to win the title, or lose a champions league spot


KVMechelen

Remember that absolutely dreadful Sa Pinto Standard side which scraped 6th place by accident and then almost won the league? Had they won it I think it would have ended the play off system forever


feelgood505

> dreadful Sa Pinto side ahhh the memories


KVMechelen

Hey this also works for Besnik Hasi!


feelgood505

Wait, it actually does what is it with us and hiring horrible coaches with experience in Belgium?


[deleted]

I thought playing the Brazilian league in FM was a bit spicy, I'll have to give the Belgian league a go


stella__art

Start in the second division for ultimate confusion


Jeffzie

Honestly i've never spent more than 1 season in there, usually every club is kinda on the same level so they split points a lot, and if you're a decent enough fm player you'll win more than any other club. Never even had to play playoffs.


weegiewandering

Wow 9 factorial is a lot


tcsmits

It would literally take a lifetime to play those matches 9! = 362880 assuming 2 hours for a match: 362880 \* 2 = 725760 hours = 30240 days = around 83 years.


weegiewandering

Thank you for not letting me be the only nerd who noticed that.


ratedpending

I thought that USSF was weird but at least we have one season and 69 professional clubs


gucci-legend

Nice


migrate_to_voat

Last time I was in France I stumbled across a Jupiler League highlights show and thought it would be fun to look up the league placings to give some context to the games I was watching. What a terrible idea. I genuinely couldn't believe anyone could come up with such a pointlessly convoluted league system.


EpoxyD

On one hand I'm somewhat happy that I might get to see OHL-Leuven in first tier football next year. Besides that, the corona crisis is a big issue that should be resolved by the Belgian Football Administration, and it should not be left to the clubs itself. Personally I wouldn't say Belgian football is fucked. There are a lot of issues, but most of them are unrelated to each other and have been brewing for years. Even before the playoff system, tier 2 clubs were complaining that a club could not stay afloat without foreign money if it wanted to be competitive. Two clubs going together has happened often as well, here are those in first division: \- Genk : Waterschei and Winterslag \- Eupen: Jugend Eupen and FC Eupen 1920 \- AA Gent I'm not even gonna bother \- Kortrijk: Stade Kortrijk and Koninklijke Kortrijk Sport \- Mouscron: RE Mouscron and RRC Peruwelz \- Oostende: AS Oostende and KV Oostende \- Sint Truiden: FC Union and FC Goldstar \- Waasland-Beveren: KV Red Start Waasland and SK Beveren \- Zulte Waregem: Zultse VV (already a merger) and KSV Waregem I think most of your post can be boiled down towards the following three points: 1) First division club owners see money as a primary objective over the actual game. 2) The Play-Off system is a result of (1) and only benefits the few. 3) The lack of protection for Belgian players is a result of (1) and leads to Belgium being a haven for foreign players. **My two cents: for next year:** Wait things out and finish the current season when possible. This gets rid of the ridiculous "who gets relegated, who gets promoted" nonsense. There is one game left, I bet we can manage. Once this game is finished, give the teams some time to prepare for the next season, which is played exactly as it was this year: 16 teams, 32 games. Except for one rule: no playoffs. The last team is relegated, the first one is champion. This would shorten the competition by about 2 months, nullifying the late start of the season and getting thing back on track for the season that follows.


[deleted]

What do you mean with "AA Gent I'm not even going to bother"? Genuinely confused about this one.


SimonDeeHaa

I’m confused as well. As far as I know we’ve never fused with another team, only a name change from La Gantoise to KAA Gent. KRC Gent on the other hand is a fusion of a lot of clubs from the region, but they play in the second amateur divion I think.


EpoxyD

I found a lot of stuff about athletics clubs and stuff. Just couldn't be bothered reading further. It's probably not that complicated. :)


SimonDeeHaa

That’s all part of the athletics division (which all still exists today). The football part has always been the same since it’s foundation in 1900.


[deleted]

Hm ok. Ghent should not be in your list of "Two clubs going together to stay in the higher tiers".


EpoxyD

True! I just started adding all merged clubs, removed the "higher tiers" part


KVMechelen

> My two cents: for next year: Wait things out and finish the current season when possible. This gets rid of the ridiculous "who gets relegated, who gets promoted" nonsense. There is one game left, I bet we can manage. Very brave of you to say this as a Beveren fan cause you guys are fucked


EpoxyD

Yeah I know. But rules are rules. The last one needs to go. And I'm not sure what I prefer: a 50/50 chance of Beveren winning games in 1B, or trash football in 1A.


uiop789

1B in it's current iteration is a death sentence. We only got out through massive spending and winning the crucial games at the end (god bless you Tainmont). If we hadn't won that we would probably be close to bankruptcy.


stella__art

Geloof me het is leuker om slecht te spelen in 1A dan goed te zijn in 1B


Jeffzie

2e klasse was plezant 1b is ne grote mesthoop


EpoxyD

Apparently you guys now have a shout at 1A! Good luck!


Jeffzie

I'm not getting my hopes up tbh haha


Finniemc

At the very least provide proper context for the mergers. Only Mouscron, Waasland-Beveren and Zulte-Waregem are recent ones. * RC Genk: merger was in 1988 * Eupen: merger was in 1945 * AA Gent: ? Not sure what this is about. Is possibly getting confused with KRC Gent? * KV Kortrijk: merger was in 1971 * Oostende: merger was in 1981 * Sint Truiden: not even a merger but was founded in 1924 (!) when the two clubs mentioned folded


emseakaysea

STVV merger was over 96 years ago!! Can hardly use that as an example mate


EpoxyD

Since the Belgian division is over 100 years old, it still feels relevant. It's not because it was a long time ago that the reasoning behind the merger was any different from what it is today.


VVinterkind

I'm a massive supporter of the PO system compared to a regular league system. Why? I've seen our level of football taking heights the last ten years. Transfer fees have taken a massive jump and we went from 14th to 8th place on the UEFA rankings. Allowing our champion to qualify directly to the CL. I don't think these are mere coincidences and should not be overlooked. However, I acknowledge the fact some clubs can't seem to survive. And the 1B model is not ideal. And dividing the points in half isn't necessary for me aswell. I would prefer, considering we have atleast 24 profclubs next year. To split our competition in two times 12. 22 games untill the winter break, in which one can only sign three players per team. 3 Play off poules. PO I continuing the current point totals, playing for european places and the championship. PO I with the bottom for of the first division and the top 4 of the second division. They start from zero and have to fight for for spots that lead to the first division. Bottom 8 of the second division should battle for nothing but relagation and prize money. That's my view.


stella__art

No offence but this is absolutely dreadful


VVinterkind

It's an idea which will probably make it so don't bother haha. I fear a regular league system will make our league less competitive in years to come, generate less money, its general level decreasing and we will have fewer European Tickets.


Stirlingblue

I moved to Belgium in January and looking to find a team, ideally one that’s not a bunch of dicks and where the fan base are mostly French speaking as I have no Flemish/Dutch. Any recommendations? I live in La Hulpe, southeast just outside Brussels. So far I’m thinking Saint-Gilloise as they’re a bit of a sleeping giant, not too far away and French but the way you describe the second division makes me question that.


MajoorAnvers

Union are a nice historical team and fairly well liked by everyone, or at least not disliked - though I feel that anyone can quickly become disliked when they move up to be direct competition for the same spot. I'd like to see them make a move to 1A again. However, they don't seem to really be very close to make that jump. So far, the competition in 1B is murderous despite so few teams. I feel like they need something of a boost. Should Beerschot-Wilrijk and OHL both promote due to legal reasons they'll have a better shot than they will have in years coming season though. Second class might look very different next year. They a real "working people's club" though the newer ownership by Tony bloom (Brighton hove Albion) might have changed that a bit - not sure.


stella__art

Union!! They have a cosy stadium and a nice fanbase, just go to the stadium for a game, buy a ticket in the standing section and see if you like it


Coast_watcher

MLS fan, 'I stopped reading after he said playoffs are dumb" ;)


edi12334

Damn that is rough. Here in Romania we have the playoff system too (fuck that) but at least our second division is a normal (and hilariously tight this season,seriously,look it up) 20-team league. I had no idea Belgium has less professional teams than we do. And by such a wide margin too


TheNextBattalion

What a mess. Honestly might want to consider closing up the pro league at that rate. For all the talk about a "Super League" among the big countries, it's really the smaller countries that need one-- Belgium, Scotland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, etc; can send two or three or however many pro clubs each, and the rest of their clubs go amateur/semi-pro. No automatic relegation, but it doesn't have to be a fully closed league--- it could be open via election, like a lot of leagues used to do. I know that football culture and the UEFA poobahs might not like or allow something like this, but from a question of flat-out economic sustainability I don't know if there's any other way forward.


stella__art

Yeah let's just make 22 of the 24 Belgian pro clubs semi-pro because neutral twats want it that way


Coast_watcher

Why not a superleague of smaller ones combined from, say, those countries you named. If the issue is travel time to away matches, I mean they're much closer than, for example, games in the Russian league or MLS, where you actually have to cross multiple time zones.


TheNextBattalion

Yep. And the clubs involved would be used to European travel anyways.


[deleted]

Great write up, thanks for sharing! Horrible to hear that this is happening.


Captain_Ludd

Second tier needs to be massively bigger, and absolutely FUCK having one promotion per season.


stella__art

Problem is there are not enough professional clubs


Kornelijus13

While I was playing FM I found it wild that a team from 2nd division could qualify to europa league via playoff. And the final game for that spot is 1 leg only. I dont know how you can come up with this


damn_yank

With only 24 teams, is pro/rel even a good idea? Why not just have one league. Are Europeans so enamored with pro/rel that they insist on having it even when it makes no sense? Or why not form a BeNeLux league where those three nations could form a league that might have better financial resources overall and provide more competition to the top teams. I could think of a few regions that would benefit from a unified league. Central America and the Caribbean come to mind.


stella__art

pro/rel is absolutely vital for football, something Americans just can't seem to grasp


damn_yank

Why is it vital? What does it have to do with the game on the field? In a nation with only 24 teams, why have it at all? Pro/rel is just one way of many to run a league and has nothing to do with the product on the field, something Europeans can't seem to grasp.


stella__art

Pro/rel is what keeps anything below the top6 interesting, it is the only way to run a league and the MLS is a disgrace for not having pro/rel, no offence but it seems to me that you don't really understand European football culture


damn_yank

Playoff races make the middle of the table interesting. Rather than getting drama from the worst teams in the league, we get it from teams that are good enough to upset better teams. I understand European football culture just fine. Lots of great traditions such as racist abuse hurled at players and fan violence. Decades or mediocrity as so many teams are good enough to stay in the middle of the table, but not rich enough to buy the players needed to actually win the league. Fans stuck with decrepit and dangerous stadia because team owners have to choose between investing in facilities and investing in players that will keep them from getting relegated. Massive debt carried year after year. Teams recklessly spending on talent in desperate bids to stay above the relegation line followed by bankruptcy. Watching the same teams repeatedly get promoted and relegated like stubborn turds that won’t stay flushed. There are other ways to do things. The US and Canada have very different realities such as geography and several older, more established , and richer sports leagues to deal with. Travel costs nearly killed baseball over 100 years ago, which is why our sports leagues are closed. It’s better to vet potential owners for the sake of stability. We don’t have a second division stable enough to promote from. Teams like Charleston and Rochester and El Paso couldn’t afford the expense of MLS play. MLS was kept alive through massive investment and losses in the late 90s. It makes sense team owners want to reduce risk. Had pro/rel been implemented then, we wouldn’t be talking about MLS today as it would have folded. It’s pretty arrogant of you to insist that there is only one way to do things. Closed leagues with a salary cap and competitive balance have made the NFL and NHL more interesting. It beats seeing the same 2-5 teams win year after year.


stella__art

I recommend you to go to a few games in Europe and your narrow and negative view about European football will be more nuanced


moffattron9000

Honestly, I'm not sure if the National League model is working for smaller countries. This pandemic has shown that once you go below the Big 5 Leagues, European leagues are houses of cards, and someone has just removed a card. I just wished that there was a magical fix for this. I don't know, merge some of the smaller national leagues? Even then, that probably just moves the problem.


RN2FL9

It does work. It's mostly CL money that fucks everything up. The lowest 8 teams have budgets in the range of 5-15.5 million EUR. Brugge received over 30 million EUR for just taking part in the CL, which creates massive gaps. It's the same in many leagues outside the top 5-7 or so. It will only get bigger as well if the setup stays the same.


KVMechelen

Tbf parity of all things isn't an issue in Belgium at all. Other than a few outliers we rarely have 1 or 2 teams steamrolling all the others, it was much worse in the peak Anderlecht era


MajoorAnvers

Yeah, we have a broad subtop and a fairly competitive league regardless. I do think that play-off 1 has helped with this. The race for sixth place is always exciting and the halving of the points might be very unfair, it does make things very tight. I mean, the champion often does steamroll the rest a bit, but never twice in a row. Play-off 2 and 1B are disasters though.


RN2FL9

Not parity, I used Brugge because they were in CL this year. The teams at the top are fine, they are regularly in CL/EL and can get that money. They can market in the larger cities and have some international pull as well when they play in Europe. Past the number 8-9 the budget gap increases and it becomes harder to run a pro team. 5-6 million is the bare minimum now and that's far from competitive. That money needs to be sourced locally as 2nd team of a larger town or small town team that loses quite a bit of games. That's why there's only 24 pro teams left. Netherlands has the same issue with teams slowly disappearing or barely able to climb back up.


KVMechelen

Beneliga is happening isnt it... fuck


dashauskat

Meh I always get hate for this but I think a BeNe (joint Dutch and Belgian) league would really work well, it's a tiny area so travel wouldn't be an issue, there would be a good spread of top tier clubs and with a combined population of around 30 million that produce a ton of quality players. It would be for sure the 6th most popular league in Europe.


damn_yank

I think the Caribbean nations and Central America would benefit from a regional league rather than national leagues as well.


kolomania

Out of topic, any anderlecht fan here? Hows jeremy doku looking? He's a beast on my Fifa career save, reaching 85 overall rating now.


IBAIL

Didn't I read something about the Belgium league joining up with the Dutch league?


WhatsTheGoalieDoing

Belgium are ranked as the #1 best team in the world at the moment and have an insane amount of talented players who are continually being pumped out by Belgian clubs. Could things be better? Yes is always the answer to that question. I appreciate the effort you've gone to here but calling the situation *dire* is not based on any sane reality. Calling Belgian football *fucked* is completely delusional. Football administration is fucked in Somalia. The football situation in Malawi is dire. The administration and situation in a European, first world country, ranked #1 in the world, who play football as their national sport is neither.


[deleted]

You realise expectations are relative, right? It’s retarded to compare Belgian football administration to Somalia or Malawi. This type of argument is terrible, the ,,you can’t be sad because people in Africa have it worse” type of thinking.


RobinXoxoxo

>Belgium are ranked as the #1 best team in the world at the moment and have an insane amount of talented players who are continually being pumped out by Belgian clubs. What are you even trying to compare here? There is no argument. It's not our world ranking as a National Team that would be relevant, but our world ranking as an association of clubs/competition which is 8th in the world. But even that doesn't matter. How much talent Belgium has, produces, ... is totally irrelevant to the judgment of the system they have to partake in. The system is rotten, terrible and corrupt. Are you also going to defend poor and homeless people in 1st world countries shouldn't complain because there's 3rd world countries where people have it even worse?


WhatsTheGoalieDoing

What has it got to do with poor and homeless people? I'm saying that OP has no perspective about what is *dire* or *fucked*, not that no problems exist. If we go along with your shitty strawman about poor and homeless people in first world countries, then here: would you rather be poor and homeless by Belgian standards or poor and homeless by Somalian standards? We both know which you'd choose precisely because you know which one is more *dire* and *fucked*. Even comparing those situations is laughably ignorant because it's so obvious what *dire* and *fucked* actually means.


RobinXoxoxo

Ok, you have literally no idea what perspective and relativeness means, lol


MLPChaos

You're literally using the same argument when no one can argue back 'You can't be poor, people in Africa are poor!' 'You can't be in pain, people who have been shot are in pain!' Just because one country has it worse, can't mean anything in a 1st world country can't be dire and fucked.


loveandmonsters

What a dumb argument which completely ignores context. In the context of Belgium being a modern Western & European country (and ESPECIALLY considering the quality of their players), their shitshow of a league system is pretty bad. Oh wait, bRo hAvE yOu eVeN sEeN SoMaLIa iT's eVeN fUcKedEr


[deleted]

Its about their awful fucking club system. And also of course things are more fucked in a failed state like Somalia. Belgian football can still be fucked


WhatsTheGoalieDoing

Yes, of course they're more fucked in a failed state. That's the point. OP has absolutely zero perspective on what *fucked* actually means. The problems of the number one ranked nation in the world are embarrassingly miniscule. An earthquake is a tragedy, a landslide a horror and the situation of football in a failed state like Somalia is *fucked* and *dire*. To even think Belgium has remotely dire problems is just plain wrong.


TheDutchTank

Just because one thing is worse doesn't mean the other isn't bad. Can't believe this still needs to be said.


[deleted]

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RandomName01

Yeah ok, but this is a post about club football in Belgium.


PinkFluffys

Don't think we're able to challenge for the Euros or 2022 anymore unless our youth steps up big time. Our aging defence is crumbling to a point where we can't make up for it in attack anymore. 2018 was our chance and we missed by 1 goal.


KVMechelen

Euro 2021 is our last shot, these defenders have 1 more decent tournament in them if we're lucky. Don't forget Daniel van fucking Buyten was one of the best centerbacks of the entire 2014 World Cup


TheNarrator23

Yeah, another year on the ticker for Kompany, Vertonghen and Vermaelen is the last thing we needed. Alderweireld still gets to a high enough level, and Boyata has proven solid when needed, but it's absolute dire for the rest. The fact that Mechele and Cobbaut are being considered is just dreadfull after the talent we had the last few years.


KVMechelen

You only need 2 good CBs, Alderweireld + wildcard, we can do worse


TheNarrator23

If we play with 2 CBs, we need a RB and a LB too. We've got Meunier, but who will we put at LB?


PinkFluffys

We've basically only got Alderweireld left as a top level CB, so the two other spots need to be filled by an old Kompany, Vertonghen or Vermaelen, or by a worse Boyata, Mechele, ... We don't have any fullbacks that are good defensively either really, so switching to 4 at the back won't improve much. Yes Van Buyten was good, but he was also surrounded by a young Kompany, Vertonghen and Alderweireld. Quite a difference in quality with the young defenders we have now.