Should the worst team in SEL be relegated?
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05-15-2010, 08:47 PM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Originally Posted by
I think for Swedish hockey to progress and thrive you need to have a closed league that provides stability.
No. Closed leagues go against everything European sports stand for.
The system of promotion and relegation has 150 years of history behind it and has proven itself over time to be the best system for European sport, leagues that have closed themselves in the past have almost always eventually gone back to the old system a few years later.
Switching to a closed league system would seriously cripple all the leagues below Elitserien and would be devastating for Swedish hockey as a whole in the long term.
I think those in the league need to meet requirements for things such as arena size. Until you have that, it doesn't matter about the relegation.
There are already regulations in terms of rink quality, teams with insufficient rinks have to find somewhere else to play or they do not get promoted. Arena size in itself is irrelevant.
The teams with the larger arenas will always have the opportunity and capacity to have significantly higher revenues than teams with smaller arenas. Frolunda averages over 11,000 people per game. How can a team whose arena doesn't even hold half that amount compete economically with that type of revenue stream?
Swedish hockey does not work like that. Ticket sales is not the most important source of revenue, the TV rights and sponsorship are. The small town teams beat big city teams like Frölunda, Djurgården and AIK on the sponsorship side because they don't have to compete with association football for sponsorship. Frölunda has to fight for sponsors with 4 professional football clubs while Djurgården and AIK fight against not only their own, much more exposed football sections but also with the football section of Hammarby.
The small town clubs do not have this problem, since nearly all of them are from strong hockey towns with no competitive football teams to speak of.
Frölunda may have the best average attendance and the largest arena, but since Scandinavium is owned and operated by the City of Göteborg teams from smaller towns with arenas half the size can generate higher revenues because they get to own and operate their own arenas, something that will never be a realistic option for the teams based in Stockholm and Göteborg.
The performance on the ice will always have some teams, regardless of revenues, arena size, etc, suck because the general manager gets players just to get a name instead of worrying about chemistry playing balance of the team. Injuries also play a part.
Which is exactly why we have promotion and relegation.
The European sports system is social Darwinist in nature, the weak and incompetent get punished with relegation and get replaced from below by a strong and competent team.
European sports is not about what team has the largest fan base or the biggest stadium, it is what is actually performed on the playingfield that matters.
I think that you could also go into a review process as well. Every years teams are evaluated. If you find a team always putting an inferior product on the ice, then maybe you just relegate them and bring a team that has shown consistent winning at the lower lever up.
The only review process needed is is what is already provided by the promotion and relegation system, if a team is good enough to win the second tier they deserve a shot at Elitserien, if they do not possess what is required to play there they will just get relegated again next year.
The every year up and down is disruptive and not reflective of a good organization. Let's say MODO had 6 or 7 players injured and done for the year this year. Let's say they finished in 11 spot and because all their star players were hurt, they got relegated. How would something like that be beneficial to Swedish hockey as a whole>
A big part of being a good organisation is to recognise the chance of significant injury problems and be prepared to deal with them, a team that gets relegated because it fails to do so deserves no sympathy, regardless of how famous that team is.
Again, the entire European sports structure is built around the concept of "survival of the fittest", our leagues are not quasi-socialist ventures where poor performance is rewarded with access to highly skilled players and revenue sharing to maximise profits for the owners like the North American leagues, we reward success instead. If you then wish to be able to hold a straight face towards the fans, you need to punish big teams just as harshly as you would do to a small team, regardless of whether or not doing so would be benificiarly for the league as a whole.
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