Hot Topic of the Day

Here on the BS "Home Page" we try to keep you up to date by providing you with the skinny, the word, the poop and the scoop.

So in the interests of keeping loyal readers on the cutting edge of the soccer scene, I humbly offer you the topic I predict will launch a thousand blogosphere articles and 50,000 BigSoccer posts:


Therefore, having given fair warning to site management that their servers are about to implode, I'll offer up a few germane comments of my own.

While the piece does contain the usual number of glaring errors that non-soccer devotees are prone to for some reason - Frank Marcos will be interested to hear that the USL is included in the list of "failed soccer leagues" - the main problem with this article is the same problem people have with similar Forbes features the year round: a good deal of it is simply spitballing.

Neither MLS nor SUM have numbers which are readily accessible to the public. So they glean what they can from public sources and reverse engineer their profiles.

That said, it's likely that, in a general sense, it's reasonably accurate, but the main point of MLS "ownership" (to use a phrase wrought with peril in this instance) is buried at the end.

The original investors - and to a certain extent the Cheketts-come-latelies - like owners of most other major league sports franchises in the US, don't own the teams primarily for the purpose of generating profits enabling them to buy, in the immortal words of Eddie Murphy, "the G.I. Joe with the Kung Fu grip" for their kids at Christmas.

Rather, it's the spiraling value of the investment itself which has always been the real pot of gold in franchise ownership. Art Modell bought an NFL team in the '60's for five million bucks. In the '70's you could buy a MLB team for $20-30 million. As recently as the '80's you could pick up an NBA franchise for $10 - 20 million.

MLS teams were sold as appreciating assets, not dividend producers, and the other major US leagues were used as the poster boys for the sales pitch.

There's lots more that can be said, and likely will be said, on a midweek topic of this magnitude. There'll be crowing and chest beating (Toronto and Dallas) and hooting and baiting (KC and Columbus) and all-in-all a splendid time to be had by all.