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Alternative required for serial winners

Thursday 2nd February 2017
In football, there are few certainties. The grass is green, the ball is round and Celtic will win the Scottish Premier League. Wait, that's not right. Well it shouldn't be, yet some leagues just aren't competitive – but what can be done about it?

Football is supposed to be a competitive sport; where any team have the chance to win a game of football and henceforth a league title. Yet sometimes that doesn't seem to happen. Celtic are the very culprit of this. They've won the last five league titles; with seemingly no opposition. They are also on for a sixth title, a mere twenty-two points ahead of second placed Glasgow Rangers.
Unfortunately, the only home of Scottish Silverware.

Then, however, that's not quite as bad as FC Basel from Switzerland. They've won SEVEN titles in a row and look odds on favourite to win another title this season with a twelve-point lead ahead of the nearest opposition.

It's clear this isn't quite right. Followers of other teams in the respective leagues must resent the league itself and the serial winners. Supporting another team would either feel like: a loveless relationship: knowing that it'll never get better or a quest to finish second best below the omnipotent champions who never lose. Neither of which are particularly favourable; the respective footballing associations should take action, to stimulate competition in the leagues.

Forced internal loan transfers



When a side establishes dominance in a league, the FA could step in and ensure that the champions talent is spread amongst the rest of the league. For example, the same side will have won the Nth time with a strong contingent of players.

The FA could single out specific top performers, and ensure they spend time away from the serial winning side. For example, Marc Janko wins his third league title with FC Basel at the end of the season. The Swiss FA will then select him as a non-FC Basel designated player for the next season. Basel can choose to loan him out to another top-level Swiss team for one year. He would then return to Basel after his time away, and he would be exempt from future forced loans. Yet players may opt back in should they want.

Should the team and/or player refuse, then the Swiss FA would imply a one-year ban on the player in the league, meaning he wouldn't be able to compete and would force him out of the league entirely. The league may select up to four players to move away from the serial winning club; as not to completely disrupt the championship teams.
Let's say we see this at the end of the season, and next season - then the FA would step in and make Chelsea loan out some of their stars.

Whilst a drastic move, this wouldn't need to be the case forever. It could be stopped when the league systems have balanced out. After all, if all the clubs are around such prolific winners; over time their fortunes will change as the youth systems will be exposed to the league's best players.

Incoming Transfer Ban



One of the key aspects of the aforementioned teams is their ability to re-invest; because they always win the title and appear in the Champions League they always have money to buy new quality players. How about if they weren't allowed to? Should the champions win the title more than twice in a row, they can't re-invest in their senior playing staff.

Whilst this doesn't directly help the other sides, it at least provides them with the opportunity to get ahead of their more successful rivals.

This most certainly couldn't happen every season, as it may seriously hamper the glory-laden club and leave them short and eventually turn them into a very poor side. Ultimately that would work against the prime directive of stimulating competition.

Emphasis on Youth



The overly successful clubs; should have a decent youth system due to their stature. Why not make them prove it? Every game they must field four or more U21 players. If the teams are as great as they want as to believe, then their youth prospects will have no problem with the clubs they regularly beat.

This would also encourage and pro-actively better the country's youth. Celtic could be at the forefront of Scottish football's development, with this approach. Not only better their league product but producing the Tartan Army for the future by exposing them to real first team opposition.

Whatever approach is taken, if anything – something needs to change in the locked leagues, whether it be Bundesliga, SPFL or the Swiss Super League. If their winning streaks go on as long as Bill Goldberg's then German, Scottish and Swiss football fans might not exist. Supporters of Ross County, Werder Bremen and BSC Young Boys may prefer to just watch the Premier League; as their home leagues disintegrate into unwatchable walkovers.
Warren Smith

A British and J.League soccer enthusiast, now local to Yokohama, Japan. A keen Arsenal supporter. Has been known to play the game every once in awhile, once likened to Xherdan Shaqiri. 


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