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CPL League Future Format and Table Structure

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4 hours ago, Impactsupporter said:

I think this makes sense for D1 and D3.  I am ambivalent about D2 because I am not sure that some of these teams in that division will be able to withstand travel costs from coast to coast.  In a recent interview with Alex Bunbury he stated that he sees the CPL at 20 teams and he himself is ambivalent about pro-rel because of the money investors have put in.  Maybe if they used a split format as they do in Scotland for the SPL that could simulate relegation.

https://bleacherreport.com/articles/1596665-scottish-premier-league-in-defence-of-the-split

Both the Ukraine and Poland have the same sort of split into championship and relegation rounds. But to make it work you would need a league that works in multiples of 4, so after the split you don't end up with clubs with bye weeks. The Canadian climate is such that each team has to maximize the weeks available for play and shouldn't be sitting idle. Therefore the first Division would have to have either 8, 12, or 16 teams.  8 feels too small and 12 or more feels too big. But then some of those articles mention a rumbling from owners that they want to protect their investments and might not be as amenable to Pro-Rel as they first thought.

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One other realization I made is the length of our season. I'm assuming that there will be no indoor stadiums in this league, so the league would only be able to use the outdoors from around mid-April to just before the November International Break (Which leaves us with an over 3-month long off-season, but that's another topic). That's about 30 weeks, but international breaks in September and October and the 3-4 weeks in June/July for international tournaments (World/Gold Cup) means the CPL season has to fit within 24 weeks. I *think* 24 regular season games would be enough for player development, since CPL teams are guaranteed another 2 mid-week games as part of the Voyageurs Cup competition from June to August and there will be more midweek games for CONCACAF League matches from August to October. But I feel the rhythm of the season should be a league game every weekend (barring international dates) and the occasional friendly/cup game every couple of mid-weeks. What's your view on the seasonal window?

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How I see it, lets say in 10-20 years:
D1: National, 10-14 teams

D2: 16-20 teams, 2-4 conferences

D3: provincial or regionale (Ontario, Québec, BC?, Maritimes, Prairies, West?)

 

That would be the CPL managed pyramid. The reserve teams of D1-D2 would play in D3

What do you think about it?

 

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48 minutes ago, mtlsab said:

How I see it, lets say in 10-20 years:
D1: National, 10-14 teams

D2: 16-20 teams, 2-4 conferences

D3: provincial or regionale (Ontario, Québec, BC?, Maritimes, Prairies, West?)

 

That would be the CPL managed pyramid. The reserve teams of D1-D2 would play in D3

What do you think about it?

 

If we have 20 teams that can afford it, I'd much prefer a single 20 team nation wide top division than two divisions of 10 teams; and I'd be totally fine with our second division being split into regional leagues. I can't see a second division being profitable enough to afford the travel necessary in Canada. 

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I personally believe that a national D2 is a pipe dream and we should not even think about it. Or at least, CPL should not. What we need is for the provincial associations to get their acts together to set up equivalents of what we see in Ontario and Quebec, so you have a high level of semi-pro soccer in every province, or in regions (Maritimes).

I also do not believe we will ever get to promotion-relegation in Canada, sorry to say. Unless we have major and ongoing initiative from the CSA to oblige it. 

As for division size, since 8 seems like a reasonable minimum, if we get to 10 that sets us up well, you enable a balanced schedule of 36 matches in a season. That does put pressure on scheduling, and makes midweek games inevitable (maybe up to 6-7). But it is a full season.  

You start a bit earlier and end a bit later. You eliminate playoffs and have an overall table winner at the end, in a single table.

They table of the league can be used for seeding the Voyageurs Cup, to keep a bit of incentive up late in the season for weaker squads. If they decide they really do need playoffs, to keep all teams competitive until the end, and to give added revenue streams to the better teams, I am not sure how you are going to have enough dates. The minimum number of playoff games would be 3 (4 best play semis home and away and a final at the best team's stadium), and a maximum, saying 6 make the playoffs, would be 6 games, where 2-6 and 3-4 home and away, and then semis, and then a home and away final. 

In a ten team league, with V Cup and playoffs, the CPL sides would be looking at upward of 45 games. That is hard on what are going to be limited rosters with no forecast of feeder or B teams. 

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Honest question though - is the difference between a 2-4 conference D2 and provincial/regional leagues significant or is it largely just semantics?

If you go to the high end of the conference system, you could end up with 4 - West, ON, QC, and Atlantic (and for everyone saying Maritimes, you are omitting Newfoundland).  That is a legit conference system - unless you just want to go East/West, though the clusters of ON and QC both in the East make that a bit awkward.  

Personally, I don't think legitimizing that sort of D2 structure as teams are able to come on board is over-reaching.  When you look at the list of communities noted in the "new teams" thread, there are a ton of places where a D2 level franchise might be viable.  Revenue would be limited, but lets not forget that the budgets would be appropriately low.  Maybe it is a bit of a stretch, but I don't think it is entirely out of the question over the next 10-20 years..  And given that the league officials have talked about pro-rel as an end goal, it seems like they are open to that sort of mechanism.  

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Here are some of my thoughts.

1. D2 won't work if it's not split up, at least into 2 geographical areas.
2. D2 probably won't work without the promise of pro/rel.
3. It will be hard to fill up more than 10 or 12 teams at the D1 level without D2.

Reasons for number 1. Obviously, it's cost reduction. You can only reduce player salaries so much, so there has to be another way to make smaller cities viable.

Reasons for number 2. In addition to reducing the cost, it would also help a lot to give these cities a reason to care, and the chance of promotion would be the best possible motivator. It would also give them something unique over, say, their local Junior hockey team.

Reasons for number 3. There are probably about 10 (give or take) cities that are large enough to consistently sustain a pro team in whatever sport. To get more than that I feel like it probably has to be done by committee. Maybe there are 10 (for the sake of argument) more candidates to make up the next few spots, but it's hard to know which 10, so it's tough to pick 2 and get rid of the other 8. Plus, if a team is struggling, rather than having year after year of being in the basement of the league, losing fans along the way and eventually folding, you can replace that team with a ready team that is on the upswing. Honestly, in 2012 as a TFC fan I was wishing TFC could get relegated so that we could maybe be competitive the next season. It would have been better than watching them lose virtually every game.

All that being said, I have no idea if we will actually be able to accomplish a D2. It's fun to speculate what the pyramid could look like, but the reality is we have to make the CPL (and L1O and PLSQ) a success first!

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I was playing around with the Scottish method of a Championship Round and also thought about the player quality argument for CPL teams and the issues regarding travel. I did like the idea that Rugby League had of splitting and combining the bottom/top halves of their 1st and 2nd divisions into another group to decide who gets promoted for the following season. So I've made a new structure as noted below. It's a 24 game season, there is no cross-conference games at the D2 Level, and the "Sorting Round" gives qualifying D2 teams a taste of what Div 1 play would be like, and decide if they can handle the additional transportation and operating costs or not. If the Sorting D2 team qualifies for Div 1, but doesn't think they have the financial means to afford it next year, the CPL would be able to ask the next-lower team on the table until they find a club that could take their place. At worst, both relegated Div 1 clubs just return to Div 1 the following year. They might have to rebalance the 2nd Div conferences before the end of each season, which might lead to an Ontario team playing in the west.

FutureCPLStructureChamp.PNG

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