The (Conference) North/ South Conundrum


Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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11 Responses

  1. Nathan says:

    Lucky Stortford have the benefit of a huge car park then…

  2. Chris P says:

    The Conference Midlands idea sounds good. In fact you could have a north, midland, south east and south west conference, champions of each getting promoted. You’re right that the same problem would occur, but with smaller geographical areas, clubs wouldn’t face the massive transport Bishop Stortford are going to face.

  3. Craig Burley says:

    I assure you, North American sportsmen and sportswomen (and fans too) think you are all a bunch of wusses.

    250 miles is *nothing* here, even in amateur competitions.

    (Of course, we also don’t have the strong tradition of large groups of travelling support, that make English football such a wonderful competition.)

  4. Jez says:

    Stortford’s car park is used as long-term parking for Stansted airport…any chance of a deal with the airport to fly to all far-off away games?

  5. Brian Davison says:

    Craig, I would just like to mention that Petrol (gas) is over £6 a gallon in the UK that is close to $10 a gallon. Do you still think we are wusses? Non league football in the UK needs a major rethink!

  6. John C. says:

    Have North, Midlands and South, with winners of each promoted. 2nd place teams and best 3rd place team play off for the 4th promotion spot.

  7. Steve says:

    You will have this problem wherever you split from a national to a regional league. As this article suggests you could go from one national to three or even four regions in one step but that of course limits promotion opportunities.
    In my opinion, regional football should start one level higher where clubs have the resources to sustain it. I.e. Make League 2/Conference National north/south leagues of equal standing then have four regional divisions at our level.
    Too many vested interests to make it happen though and too many rich dreamers chasing the fools errand of full time/league football

  8. Borys says:

    After a few years an originally neat three arrangement with three sections can be distorted again. But travel distances should still be lower than with two sections.
    So how about three sections with 14 teams each, playing triple seasons? That’s 42 clubs, close to the present 44.
    And 39 game seasons, again quite close to the current 42. Champions go up, runners-up +no.21 in Conference National play off for the last promotion slot.
    Cries of “unbalanced fixtures”? The simply pre-script the 3rd round of games – what fixtures you get depends on your finishing position after 26 games. You end up with 19H20A? Tough – next year finish higher after 26 games, then …

  9. steveh says:

    Easy this. Just have a look at how the germans organize their regional football. Every team has its own region. They stay in it. There is no swapping backwards and forwards. They solve the relegation/promotion problem with play offs. Only the Champions go up directly. Only the team that finishes last is automatically relegated. The rest is a variable with different numbers of teams per region going up and down each year to keep each league at the same size.

  10. Nathan says:

    Germany isn’t England steveh.

  11. Paddy says:

    The Midlands idea is by far the best IMO. Truro will always have a trek but thats the way the cookie crumbles, Plymouth still manage to play regular Football League football.

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