I have basically created this thread to discuss my feelings towards the GC and suggesting possible reasons, for what I perceive to be it's demise. I then want to investigate the possibility of a solution (That has been suggested before, and rumours were in the pipeline about its potential).
When I joined SM, the Gold Championship was seen as the pinnacle of the SM community, everybody wanted to be a part of it and it didn't matter what team you had as long as you were in the GC.
This brings me onto my first point. The biggest 'buzz' for me about the GC was the build up to it. The chat on the forum generated a sense of excitement that meant everybody wanted to be a part of it. People were discussing who they were going for up to a week before it was created. Everybody wanted to be a part of the GC as it was unknown when the next one would be.
A potential solution to this would be to limit the ammount of GCs created and to make it at a set time again.
However, SM is a business and this isn't going to happen. If they have the opportunity to make as much money as they can by creating as many GCs as possible, then they would be foolish not to welcome this with both hands. So although the above is a potential solution this isn'g going to happen.
The buzz that the GC created ensured that even if a member didnt get their required destination, then the member would still take a club in the GC. Generally this meant that a forum division would be created e.g. English League 2. This would keep the GC alive and kicking, the banter would be flowing and the GC would be full.
Again however, this isnt happening anymore. If a member doesn't get their primary choice then they do not join the GC. They know for a fact that another GC will be created in the near future (probably 2 days time ).
A third reason for the demise of GCs is the actual people in the GC. At the moment you can have all managers of the top teams, in different locations all over the world. I currently participate as Bayern Munich in GC279. This is quite possibly the worst setup I have ever participated in! The majority of big team managers are from opposite sides of the globe. I can't negotiate a deal with anyone as they are never online when I am and vice versa.
This I believe is a fundamental issue with the GC format at the moment. Although it is good to have a bit of banter with people all over the globe, the activity of the setup suffers. What I would suggest would be the creation and locking of GCs.
For example, GC282 is created and locked. Then only members in the UK or a location - 2 - + 2 hours around GMT. This would ensure that all members will generally be on at the same time. Obviously I can hear other members saying, ''well I am not in this time bracket, what about me''. Well, the next setup could then be limited to a different 'time zone'. Of course, SM could still open a GC to the whole world, this doesnt need to be removed completely, but there are issues that could be rectified.
Moreover, this has possible been suggested before, but could we not try cash only setups? Soccermanager aims to be a realistic online soccer game. Where is the realism in doing 2 for 1 deals? Every, GC that I am in at the moment, whenever i make an offer for a player, I get countered a ridiculous 2 for 1 deal! I mean when is there any 2 for 1 deals in real life? I defy anyone to find a decent player who has gone for a 2 for 1 deal!
Potentially, a GC where you can only do cash deals could be developed?
Finally, I wonder what people would think about a Platinum setup? This has been discussed at length before but didnt come to fruition.
This would pretty much get rid of the main issue (that the GC is made to often) all at once!