A pro/rel discussion

Discussion in 'MLS: Commissioner - You be The Don' started by SignGuyDino, Mar 8, 2010.

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  1. KCbus

    KCbus Moderator Staff Member

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    Apparently it doesn't promote spell-checking.

    The reasons why promotion and relegation don't make as much sense for MLS as it does elsewhere have been listed hundreds, if not thousands of times. The pro/rel crowd just refuses to accept they exist.


  2. Timon19

    Timon19 Member+

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    Why does it inherently do so? Show your work. It can be argued quite easily and with some ready examples that it ensconces big teams at the top when coupled with lucrative TV contracts. Hell, the EPL was basically a semi-breakaway from the rest of the Football League, all brought on by the interests of the big clubs.
  3. teucer

    teucer Member

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    Well, the extreme pro/rel crowd. There's also at least one person (I am aware of this fact because that person is me) who thinks pro/rel is a pretty neat idea, but not one that is as important in MLS as it is in Europe (or as important as other things the league could focus on).
  4. fcb1

    fcb1 New Member

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    It can't be argued quite easily. In fact if EPL would be closed system, the gap between D1 and D2 would be way more bigger than it is now.

    In itself, pro/rel is blamed for things that pro/rel is not at fault (the top 4 in recent years are getting away from the rest because they managed to block access to CL to other clubs, and being in CL means extra money, but anyway this looks like it's going to change now). And probably it's credited for things, which again is not "at fault".

    In my opinion, the basic distinctions between MLS and the rest of civilized soccer world, is not pro/rel, but single-entity/parity. IMO, under such strict system pro/rel doesn't make much sense, and without such system, pro/rel is more logical.

    But probably, there is another basic distinctions underneath. In US pro sports are just business enterprises, it's just business. No wonder the whole system is tweeked in such a way that guarantees owners max profit and minimum risks. While in Europe pro sports or better clubs are more than just businesses. Economic part is important, yes, but it's just one aspect of it. This distincion fuels the difference between US and Europe. I will keep it short, so I'll cite just two examples/arguments of this difference:

    +some clubs are not privately owned (outside of Britain), as such they don't function to make profit for the owners (as there are no owners, and the clubs are governed by fans). It's good that they bring as much revenue as possible, but the only use of this revenue is to make club better, all money is spend only for players, staff and infrastructure. From their point of view, profit is irrelevant, if there is any profit, it must be spend inside the club, their financial goal is positive zero at the end of the season.

    +When the clubs are privately owned, for a lot of owners loss is modus operandi. There are a lot of people owning clubs or sponsoring clubs, not because they expect any profit out of it (not now and not later), in fact they are happy with generating loss year after year. They accepted it, but think it's worth it. Such owners, donators or sponsors are spread accros Europe from top leagues (like Moratti in Inter) to medium leagues (like tycoons in Russia or Ucraine, who willingly throw money to their toys) to small leagues, where practically every club functions in loss. Where I live, I'm not sure if any club in the first division manage to finish even one year in profit in past decade. But whatever happens you can allways find a rich bozo, who thinks being rich bozo is not enough, but being rich bozo AND a president of football club is something special, something he's prepaired to pay for. Being rich is just being rich, being president means being a celebrity, and you automatically qualify in the public as SOMEBODY. You matter, media is interested about your opinon about homosexual weddings for example, being a president of football club means that you are somebody with qualified opinions even on such issues.


  5. Timon19

    Timon19 Member+

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    It's more than just the EPL, and the bolded part is speculation. There's no real way of knowing.

    Perhaps. But we're seeing the chinks in the armor of pro/rel. Listen, I actually like the idea of pro/rel. That doesn't mean it's a good way for our league to go.

    And what do you suppose 95% of the big Euro clubs are?

    If it was only about the business in US sports, we'd have the NFL, the Yankees, and a few scattered other baseball teams, maybe a basketball team or two. Sports lose money as businesses for the most part. Hell, even a lot of NFL teams have had issues in the not-too-ancient past.
  6. fcb1

    fcb1 New Member

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    Pro/rel doesn't ensonce big teams at the top, it's quite obvious. "Non-parity" and "non-singleentityness" (independence of clubs) does. The situation were the clubs are not limited in how high can they reach, some reach higher, some don't move, and some fell. And when you are high, you have an advantage, and if you are capable, you are abusing this advantage to stay at the top as long as it is possible.

    For the second part. There is a way of knowing, US proves an example. There is a big gap between NBA and some basketball minor league, pretty bigger than between division1 or division2 in any open system league. For example, transplant any minor league club to NBA, what would happen? You know how unimmaginable that is. Last year Hoffenheim got promoted to Bundesliga, and they fought for the championship in their first year, they were #1 at half of the season. This year newly promoted Montpellier is on second place in the standings in French first league. These are extreme examples, it's not a usual situation, I used them just to prove the point about the size of the gap.


    There are no chinks in the armor. I checked the dictionary to see what chink means, and I can say for the second time, no chinks. Maybe you read something somewhere, but you probably read that Nessy ate some Scottish fisherman too. Believe at your own peril. Closeness of the system is unimmaginable to normal European mind. Every other idea from US (like more profit, less expenses, more revenue, more profit, limit salaries, control spending, no violence, families on the stands and not angry young men, more profit, merchendise, just to mention some ten of them) we pretty much get, but this one is unimmaginable.

    As I said, not just business. England is the mostly like US regarding ownership and business model, but the landscape on the continent is more complex. I'm not saying they disregard the economic part, but the economic part is just part of the reason of club's existence. In many cases the economic part is only the means to get more on-field success, this undoubtedly holds true for non-private clubs (like Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich) and clubs that are financed by fan-like owners (like Milan, Inter, Juventus). I think I mentioned enough big Euro clubs, which make more than 5%.


    I can't reply to this, I don't know much about NFL or baseball. But the structure of MLS, which I got to understand pretty well thanks to BS, it's in EVERY DETAIL designed having in mind "max profit-minimum risk" maxime. So, I'm doubting a bit that it is not just business. If nothing else, you have college sports, which cover other non-business aspects of sport, which an average European club encompasses.
  7. DCU1996

    DCU1996 Member

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    Why people keep bring up only Europe in relation to pro/rel? It's not specific to Europe, it's all over the world regardless of length of history, culture, geography, etc.
  8. fcb1

    fcb1 New Member

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    Are you talking to me? (said with the voice of de Niro in taxi driver).

    I'm bringing up Europe, because I know pretty well how things function here. My knowledge of Asian football is limited to wikipedia, I wouldn't use it in discussions.
  9. HailtotheKing

    HailtotheKing Member+

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    And vice versa. The "normal USA mind" is in that boat in regards to an open system. But, it makes sense coming from your end .... and we're just arrogant, stupid Americans with entitlement issues.

    Sorry, each coin has two sides. Same problem different perspective.
  10. DCU1996

    DCU1996 Member

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    However the thing is MLS is in football business, and its primary marketing target is already football fans who watch EPL LaLiga FMF UECL and come out to fill 70K stadia when big clubs come by (ie normal football minds), not normal USA minds.
  11. Yoshou

    Yoshou Moderator Staff Member

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    And if MLS ever wants to be anything more than a niche league, then they need to appeal to the "normal USA minds".
  12. DCU1996

    DCU1996 Member

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    I predict MLS will looking more like NHL with more of hardcore fans.
  13. HailtotheKing

    HailtotheKing Member+

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    That's where you're wrong.

    Those are the 4,451 people that show up to Columbus and watch CCL action against Toluca. The people you're talking about are already going to watch the matches.

    It is "casual/normal" USA mind/fan that they are working on.
  14. DCU1996

    DCU1996 Member

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    You are dead wrong.
    It's obvious you haven't paid attention to MLS's direction.

    That was exactly what they thought in the early years that if we build it, the soccer fans will automatically follow, so we concentrate our attention on the "casual/normal" USA mind/fan. Hence the introduction of backward clock, shootouts, etc...

    Dead Wrong and MLS openly acknowledged the failure, and it's switching attention to soccer fans in US. Whenever they have chance they say, "we'll bring genuine soccer to US/Canada/MLS".

    It's pretty well known facts. If you don't even have that much background understanding... well...

    So it's the EPL LaLiga FMF UECL watchers and Chelsea, Barcelona, RM, ManU, AC Milan game goers they are woking on who currently don't care about Columbus vs Toluca in CCL.
  15. Yoshou

    Yoshou Moderator Staff Member

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    No... MLS made the mistake of going after the soccer moms and at points tried to actively suppress the hard core fans. It is only when MLS realized that the hard core fans is what improves the atmosphere at games and attracts more casual fans that things started to get better.

    There is literally nothing MLS can do to win over the EPL, La Liga, FMF, etc watchers that only go to the friendlies. Even if MLS implemented pro/rel those soccer fans will still hold up their noses at MLS and just find something else they don't like about the league and use that as an excuse not to go to games. Its the epitome of the 80/20 rule. MLS can either spend their money trying to attract the 80% of "soft fans" and have some modest success, or they can spend even more money trying to attract the 20% of "Euro/Latin posers" and by and large failing.
  16. Timon19

    Timon19 Member+

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    It's more nuanced than that, Sport. Under Doug Logan, yes, they tried to pander because they figured they had to Americanize it in order to attract the casual fan. It indeed did not work, but that doesn't mean they completely abandoned efforts to bring the casual fan in. Under Garber, they realized that pandering and insulting the intelligence of potential fans sucks just as bad as alienating people who already enjoy the game for what it is. So in an effort to avoid alienating soccer fans, they dropped the gimmicks, but they didn't stop trying to bring the casual fan in. They just dropped most of the pretense and pandering and presented the game as it is and marketed in different ways that didn't affect the way the game was played.

    It's trying to cultivate the soccer fan market, but also still trying to appeal to casual fans. It's broadening the net without pissing people off. That's different than your mutually exclusive, black-and-white scenario.

    :rolleyes:

    Actually, they're not actively working on the fans of Euro leagues, because they've come to the realization that it's pointless to try to change their minds, as they will always find a reason to not follow MLS league play. They're actively working on non Euro-snobs who are skeptical fans and casual fans. They know they've got the hardcore MLS fans and they know Euro-snobs are nearly a lost cause, so they don't pay a lot of special attention there. Now when it comes to scheduling friendlies, that's a different story, but there all they're doing is using the big clubs as a payday and it has absolutely nothing to do with the league.
  17. HailtotheKing

    HailtotheKing Member+

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    So it was the casual 4K that showed up for Columbus/Toluca ... riiiiiiiiiiiiight

    Clearly I haven't paid attention.

    That's why I don't know that they tried to Americanise the game in order to spark interest for a start up league. That's why I don't know that they went "oh shit" because the underestimated the casual fanbase. That's why I don't know that they had to re-group and market the game correctly in order for the casual fanbase to pay attention. That's why I don't know that even though they're casual the soccer fanbase here isn't stupid and didn't appreciate being treated as such. That's why I don't know that the marketing/advertising has switched to an approach that other leagues in the US use to capture 'fringe' fans.

    Yup, that's what those family four pack of tickets is aimed at. That's what kit sponsorships like Best Buy/Amway Global/Glidden/Amigo Energy scream out ... there's nothing casual/everyday about those things at all. Community "meet your 2010 (insert MLS team here)" events aren't aimed at the casual fan either.

    Is the league taking steps to get the "real" soccer fans to notice ? Sure, RBArena is one of those type of steps. Hosting internationals and events like InterLiga are those kind of steps. But the marketing/sponsorship of the leauge right now is certainly much more casual ...

    but hey, i'm just not paying attention.
  18. DCU1996

    DCU1996 Member

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    well, that's your personal argument, and it's a fair one that comes up on threads once in a while. Winning NBA/NFL/MLB watcing average joe sixpack, or EPL/LaLiga/FMF watching eurosnobs/latinsnobs - Which is easier?

    While it's a fair question, MLS decided to go with the latter who at least already understand and are fans of the sport.
  19. DCU1996

    DCU1996 Member

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    Of course they don't need to abandon anything.. but the point is MLS's primary marketting target and the concentration - it's the soccer fans who are not yet MLS fans.

    I see a lot of the term 'casual fans', I'm not quiet sure what it means, but "soccer fans who are not yet MLS fans" this is it.

    If you are a soccer fan, but not yet a MLS fans, what do you watch??
  20. Timon19

    Timon19 Member+

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    To be honest, I think evidence so far shows that the former is easier because euro/latin snobs will never ever be satisfied.

    They didn't "go with the latter" insofar as marketing the league goes. They went after the latter to get a payday from touring big clubs' fans, and jack shit to do with the league and its play.
  21. Timon19

    Timon19 Member+

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    But you're not understanding that there are two groups of "soccer fans who are not yet MLS fans":
    1. Euro/Latin snobs who are married to their Euro/Latin clubs and that style of play, and
    2. less assholish, more general people who a) grew up with the game, but may have given it up later in life, b) play the game as adults but have no strong affinity for foreign clubs, c) primarily US National Team fans who have no strong foreign affinity, or d) people who plain old like soccer at all levels and are open to just about anything.
  22. DCU1996

    DCU1996 Member

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    well, I must clarify that 'not all soccer fans who are not yet MLS fans' are hardcore Euro/Latin snobs.
  23. Timon19

    Timon19 Member+

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    I addressed that directly above.
  24. HailtotheKing

    HailtotheKing Member+

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    clearly you weren't paying attention :p
  25. DCU1996

    DCU1996 Member

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    Have you people noticed that MLS website started put score and news info about EPL LaLiga FMF etc on it's homepage while ago? They are trying to make that connection and appeal that we are part of it.
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