Regional Leagues - QUESTION


Jul 8, 2013
At the moment, I don't know much about how to customise leagues but I want to learn when FM17 comes out and I would like to create a British Isles Football League that operates on a pyramid system, like this:

- TIER 1: Premier League
- TIER 2: Championship
- TIER 3: Saxon Football League (England & Wales); Gaelic Soccer* League (Scotland & All-Ireland)
- TIER 4: Division One North; Division One South; Scottish Division One; All-Ireland Division One
- TIER 5: Division Twos to match the above
- TIERS 6-8: Further regionalisation at "Conference Level" which will include separate sections for English North, English South, Wales, Scottish Highlands, Scottish Lowlands, Northern Ireland, Eire (T6) and Leinster, Munster and Ulster (T7 & T8)
- TIER 9 & below: To be confirmed once I have the above working, but my aim will be to accommodate every single team in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland using regional/local splits similar to those that already exist.

I have worked out the number of teams per division and the numbers in regard to promotion (including play-offs) and relegation. I have also worked out the formats for a number of cup competitions, including the British Isles Cup that enters 16 teams finishing in certain non-relegation lower league positions across four divisions into a Preliminary Round to leave 8 qualifiers. Then teams from progressively higher tiers enter the competition at Rounds 1, 3 and 5 that will result in a total of 32 teams going into the draw for Round 6.

My question is: How can you set-up geographically split divisions to accommodate differing numbers of teams each season?

For example, I intend to begin with Aberdeen, Dundee United, Hibernian, Heart of Midlothian, Derry City and Linfield all in the 24 team Championship (Tier 2) where there are 5 relegation spots (Celtic and Glasgow Rangers will start in the Premier League). At Tier 3, the Saxon League Premier Division and the Gaelic Soccer League Premier Division will provide 2 automatic promotion winners each, with that 5th spot taken by the winners of a single promotion play-off competition contested by the 4 teams that finish in the 2 x 3rd and 2 x 4th positions.

If Linfield, Derry City, Hibernian and Dundee United were to all get relegated from the Championship in the same season, they would all have to go into the Gaelic League. But there can only be a maximum of 3 teams - and probably more likely only 2 if the stronger Saxon League teams usually win the play-offs - promoted from the Gaelic League. The Saxon League, meanwhile, could easily promote more teams than get relegated back into it. So it would send my numbers per division out of whack - too few in the Saxon League, too many in the Gaelic League - and that could impact disastrously on my byes-by-tiers cup competition arrangements. Likewise, the Saxon League could relegate too many Welsh clubs into Tier 6... if Llandudno, Ton Pentre, Cefn Druids and Airbus UK Broughton should come off worse against the likes of Dover Athletic and Forest Green Rovers.

- How can you overcome this?

- Can you set up parameters, such as stipulating that there must be no fewer than 18 teams in a given division but also no more than 24?

- Can you manually adjust your cup competition rules to allow for differing numbers of teams at each tier from one season to the next, as you progress your save?

I don't want teams to survive relegation or to be granted a promotion they haven't earned for no other reason than geography. I'm happy for teams to switch between the English North and South sections but it wouldn't make sense for a Scottish team to enter the All-Ireland section or for a Welsh club to not be in the Welsh section. Any help or advice gratefully received.

*I don't like the word "Soccer" either, but you can't call it the Gaelic Football League because that's another sport!
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