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Possible 4th Division
Posted by Allan Sellers on Sunday, Aug. 7th, 2011 at 11:45 PM

Hi All,

I'm considering starting a 4th Division.   Initially I'd like it to be more of a "place to get full time managers for the 1st-3rd divisions".   Later, it could be more fully integrated...but I'm open to discussion on all this including: "I don't think we should do it and here's why" comments.

If we do it, it would be used as a:

 

1) A system to provide managers to the top 3 divisions (none of you guys ever leave though!)

2) A way to provide Two more COMPETITIVE teams in the FA, AP, and Youth Cups

3) A way to get new folks involved in the game.

Possibilities would be the 4th division playing:

a) Their own league schedule of 18 games

b) Two of them playing in the FA Cup (the other 8 in their own non league FA Cup).

c) Two of them playing in the AP Cup (the other 8 in their own non league AP Cup).

d) Two of them playing in the Youth Cup (the other 8 in their own non league Youth Cup).

Again, if we have 10 managers I think this is workable initially but we'd have to develop some details like:

 - Can they trade?

- Should they be in auctions?

- Will they have a simular number of games as the 1st-3rd div? (assuming 18 league games)

- SHOULD the bottom team in the 3rd div be relegated and the top team in the 4th be promoted

- SHOULD 8th/9th in the 3rd and 2nd/3rd in the 4th be swapped (or play a playoff session which would be for place only and not for extra CP/Youth usage or QNL?).

 

So that's just a few thoughts to get the debate going.    Please post ideas so we can determine how to proceed here.

Thanks,

Al

Readers Comments

ï»What a fantastic idea to create a 4th division. However I think the rule around it should be different. It could be used for New managers to learn the rules and regulations of United and a breeding ground for potential take over of a top side. I think that 1 team should come up every season and the bottom team being relegated for the forst 2 seasons with full integraion in season 3 maybe??

ï»I would like the idea of maybe each league 1-3 side being able to loan players to a div 4 side. Perhaps each club could send a max of 2 players out on loan?? I think this could help alot of rebuilding teams.

ï»The auction would need to have more lots if they could bid!! Perhaps they could be able to buy 2 age 1 level 10's at the end of each season to help them come closer to the top divisions?

ï»Would love to see a non league cup a little like the fa vase??

ï»Each new manager should get a mentor as well so they can turn to someone for experiance however no trading between the mentor and the new club??

ï»Hope it all makes sense

Graham Wilkes on Monday, Aug. 8th, 2011 at 9:02 AM
 

1       I assume 2 non-league clubs would start off the new division.

2      Why not bring them into the Cups as they are?  The AP Cup could have 8 sections of 5 teams a la Europa (diddy) Cup, and the FA Cup could have a 1st round whereby the 10 new teams plus the bottom 6 from the 3rd division the previous season would play in the 1st round, giving 8 winners to join the 24 teams who received a bye in the 2nd round. The Youth Cup could be an all-in draw with 8 x 1st round ties and 24 byes - the Plate would be an all in for all 20 teams who lost their 1st match in the FA Cup.

3

David Blair on Monday, Aug. 8th, 2011 at 7:55 PM
 

So I accidentally pressed the button twice - actually I did not mean to press it at all...

Nice to have 10 new managers in the 4th division but realistically one or two teams may need to be computer run or caretaked (if that is a word) by existing managers.

More items in an auction will be needed (25%) to maintain the number ratio - being pedantic if you add one third new teams (30 to 40) then shouldn't the auctions have one third added to them?

 

David Blair on Monday, Aug. 8th, 2011 at 8:00 PM
 

Had a nice long walk today and thought about this a little bit.

I think the best solution would be to just add a 4th division, no non-league or anything, if this is the route which decides to be taken. Otherwise you have a sub-league for United just to take care of a solution to a problem which doesn't exist - the non-league teams not having a manager in the cups.

However you'd need to have a new preliminary session where games get played along with an auction.

You'd have 5 teams per group in the AP Cup with top two advancing.

You'd have the FA Vase as a third cup competition.

Here is how it would work.

Preliminary round would feature the following matches:

FA Cup preliminary round (bottom 16 teams qualify)
AP Cup Group Match 1 (of 4)
FA Cup prelim round winners go to the FA Cup 1st round where the losers qualify for the Shield. Losers from the prelim round play in the 8-team FA Vase. The first round of the FA Vase would be home and away in order to keep the number of games fair.

In the preliminary round:
You cannot spend CP on players (but could you spend CP on EL?)
NO CP rollover rule, but you CAN collect CP. So if you roll over 50 CP from the last season and win your first game and don't use up any CP for EL, you have 60 CP for Round 1, not 15 CP.
EL levels and cards work like normal, but if you only play one match (FA Cup non-qualifier) the players which sit out do not get an EL bonus.
NO youth players get QNL bonus in this round
Additional auction takes place

The only other problem is you now must have to add on a qualifier to the youth cup as well. Admittedly I don't know how you do this - the start of the season could work (where if you are in the Vase you don't get a youth cup match, or you also qualify for the FA Youth Vase. However that is somewhat unfair.)

I had the thought of qualifying all D4 teams plus the six clubs relegated from D1 and D2 in the youth cup qualifying round, not sure if that is a good idea or not, but a prelim round for the youth cup could be an unfair advantage for some teams.

John Holden on Wednesday, Aug. 10th, 2011 at 5:34 AM
 

Also computer broke so I'm using Ben's, so if that doesn't make sense you'll have to wait around for an explanation.

John Holden on Wednesday, Aug. 10th, 2011 at 5:35 AM
 

One of the best things about this league is how hard it is at times to balance trying to develop youth players with playing the best lines.  Better lines = more wins and more CP.  No youth = no team worth investing CP into next year or the season after.  Better youth = great future team.  No wins = lousy future team because the current stars can't get enough CP to go around and everyone becomes mediocre.  Finding the balance and trying to develop youth AND win is what separates the consistent winning managers from the one-season wonders and the perpetual also-rans.

Adding a 4th division would not affect that.  Adding in an extra session's worth of games most definitely would.  Now you can sit an apprentice for an entire session at some point in the season with no adverse future effects.  You also create extra games which means extra wins for the better teams and wins directly effect T11 rating in this league because wins = CP.  The rich get richer for every additional qualifier round you add onto the league.

Loans between divisions would also destroy the challenge.  I can ignore youth development in my lineups because I got two 4th division clubs to train up my 4 apprentices for me?  So I get to start next season with 4 shiny new Age I, SL 10 players on the roster without ever having to suffer through playing them in even one match last season?  I don't care what the cost of transfer is, it is worth it!

The season's length balances out perfectly right now in terms of youth development, CP earning, and cash coming in.  Let's not mess with that.

Adding a 4th division would work under Al's proposal without screwing up what is already going great in this league.  I do like the idea of 3rd division last two places being relegated.  4th division winner comes up, and a one-game playoff for the 2nd and 3rd place to see who promotes would add some fun to the mix.

For all the Cups then, you take next season's divisions and then add in the 4th division teams who finished in 3rd (or 2nd if the 3rd promoted in the playoff) & 4th place to replace the current non-league teams.  Teams relegated from the 3rd division are out of the main competitions.  The remaining 8 teams (5th-10th in 4th division last year and the two relegated squads) can do their own 8-team brackets for those same competitions to add some extra games and get managers used to 3- and 4-game sessions instead of just having 2 league matches every week and nothing else.  Adding a few extra games to the sessions has no impact on the rest of the league; it just makes the later games have a higher number as there would now be 4th division AP matches and FA matches adding a few earlier match numbers to the scores pages.

In terms of revenue, keep the income scale as it is.  The 15k difference between each division would add just 45k per session to a Div 4 roster.  Cash awards for the alternative Cup wins could be set really low, like around 50k or less.  Just like in the real leagues, any team can bid in the auctions for a free agent.  Just like in the real leagues, it's going to take a whole lot of saving up cash to be able to make a splash and grab one of the top players available.  With the tax in place though, you won't have a team sitting in Div 4 for three seasons and selling off a bunch of top players to amass 10,000k and buy themselves promotion for the next two seasons with 4-5 auction wins or trades.

I'm all for adding a 4th division, bringing in new faces, adding a relegation from the third division to spice up the challenge of rebuilding without dropping yet again, and replacing the non-league teams with live managers actually trying to win with developing teams.  Give 'em the full 18 games for league play in addition to their own Cups.  I'm not for adding any more games to the current 1st-3rd division slate because the boost in revenue and CP for the top teams would increase and mostly because it would require either an extra session to schedule (thus eliminating the greatest burden of youth development - finding the playing time every single session) or would create the chance of a 5-game session for some team, which the current rules on Fitness and roster sizes would make very difficult without either killing your Fitness for a match you didn't really want or throwing a match with your bottom 11 on purpose just to survive the other 4.  If everyone is dead set on adding another round to each Cup, then the schedule would have to be seriously overhauled even if you added a session for some qualifier matches.  Nobody wants to face a 5-game session.

Kevin Martin on Wednesday, Aug. 10th, 2011 at 3:42 PM
 

Only a thought and it goes against all conventional cup draws but if you had 40 teams in the youth cup then play rounds of 20v20, 10v10, 5v5 and then ballot 3 teams to the semi finals (highest ranked or lowest ranked teams in their respective divisions, whatever) and play 1v1 = 4.

That way nobody gets an early advantage and 24 teams don't receive a bye up front, only 3 at the end.

Okay - back to bed!

David Blair on Thursday, Aug. 11th, 2011 at 8:07 AM
 

I'm going to do my best not to interject my personal feelings on this matter until it goes to vote.  That being said and considering Dr. Martin has provided ample and logical details above, here are some thoughts and question I have regarding expansion:

- Simple is always the best approach, but you already knew that.

- A newly created 4th division should operate as much as possible like the existing three divisions. Concerning promotion and relegation, seems best to promote two (2) D4 teams up and relegate two (2) D3 teams down as this would maintain consistency with the 32 teams needed for "major" cup play.

- The idea that poor quality teams in D3 would have a consequence is intriguing.  No longer could a team simply languish in D3 for multiple seasons, though I suppose they might then languish in D4....

- The addition of a fourth division would make the game a bit more realistic as there are leagues/divisions beyond the Premier/Championship/One.  And having two competitive teams to replace non-league sides would certainly remove the near automatic byes two teams get in the first round of each cup each season.

- This game is easy to pick up once you have played a session or two.  Is there a need to have a "developmental-like" 4th Division where 80% of the teams will not compete for a serious cup and/or award?  Might this not create greater turn over for those managers that do stay in D4 for a couple of seasons?

- Is it possible the low turnover rate in MSWL-United adds to the overall enjoyment for many of us?  It seems, so far, a bit more exclusive than some other leagues due to the fact people don't seem to want to leave.  Once you join, you don't want to drop out.  This is a question to ask ourselves I imagine as some might see this as a "pro" while others might see it as a "con".  The social aspect of this game seems as important to some as the game itself.  Higher turnover might have a negative impact on that part of the game.

I look forward to readin more comments and ideas from the league in the coming days and weeks.

Brian Beerman on Friday, Aug. 12th, 2011 at 11:36 AM
 

The alternative is doubling the league to 60 teams and just adding 3 new cups for lower-division sides, but that would be strange considering there are only 3-4 interested managers.
 

If you want to make this a training league, give two managers a chance to actually manage the non-league sides.

John Holden on Monday, Aug. 15th, 2011 at 4:36 AM
 

Still thinking about this.

I don't think adding one additional session wouldn't "make the rich richer".

All that would happen is one extra qualification round for the FA cup, and maybe one extra group game for the AP Cup (to have 8 groups of 5 teams).

And the qualification round would be simple. With 40 teams, the top 24 teams in the league wouldn't even play in that game. So the opening session would be 1 game for 24 teams and 2 games for the other 16.

The important thing is to disallow teams from spending CP in this round, and to also disallow youth players from gaining QNL from this round, and possibly doing anything with EL in this round as well.

In the odd chance the league grows again, say to 50 teams, you could split the AP Cup into two separate competitions and not add any matches. The FA Vase and Youth Vase would now have 18 teams from 8, which is strange, but would still fit nicely into 5 rounds. So one additional qualifying round doesn't actually help Tranmere if at all. In fact, it may actually hurt (if only slightly) the big squads as the worst team in the competition will already have won a match.

Also, increasing the AP Cup groups to 5 from 4 will add some not-very-good teams, but the top 5 teams in the league could theoretically be competing for 2 advancement spots, which also doesn't necessarily help the big squads. Of course, they could be drawn into a group with 4 D4 teams as well, but that's why it's random.

I still think three up three down is the way to go if this is still going to happen.

The team that finishes bottom of D3 wouldn't get to partake in the youth cup, but the teams relegated from D3 in 8th and 9th will, to add a little bit of spectacle to that division. Also, the team that finishes 4th in D3 won't get promoted, but they will be able to avoid the sub-par FA Vase competition as the 24th best team in the league.

So it would take some work, but I think it's worth it.

John Holden on Sunday, Aug. 21st, 2011 at 9:49 PM
 
 
 
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