I've been unable to spend much time here, so I'm sorry for the lateness of the reply. Nearly a year ago, a Cowboys NFL blog had an excellent series of articles on the finances of the NFL and revenue sharing -- because of the similarities in the systems, in some respects it was an even better critique of MLS. Here are the relevant portions: The breakdown in MLS following the 2002 restructuring is nearly identical as to what constitutes shared revenue and what is retained revenue. The piece continues: http://www.bloggingtheboys.com/2011/2/21/2004505/nfl-lockout-2011-revenue-gap-problem Actually, I suspect the NFL will partially solve this problem because the new projected national TV deals are so huge that they will infuse a massive amount of shared revenue into the system. MLS seems less likely to see that happen only because so much of its rapidly growing revenue isn't shared. Even if the new TV deals geneate a lot more money for MLS, slice the 19 or 20 ways and they will still pale next to stadium revenue, shirt deals, local sponsors and, yes, some local TV deals. As for some of your other comments, I'm sympathetic or in agreement. Yes, big market teams have to spend more to be relevant. Yes, big market teams can drive revenue to the league in a manner small market teams often can't. As the blog I quoted put it, "unlocking these revenue streams is easier for big market teams than for small market teams." All of that is persuasive IMO. Which is why part of me -- the cold hearted part -- believes that this might all be inevitable. That as MLS matures, if it is going to grow dramatically, almost by definition small market MLS teams are destined to have a hard time because it's simply too expensive to fund them comparably to big market teams (where I think the growth will be) or share the revenue needed to allow them the same opportunity to compete. I've said as much in the past, much to the consternation of small market fans. Then I consider Columbus and Salt Lake City and Kansas City -- well run teams that have worked hard to keep up and fund new infrastructure IMO -- and part of me believes strongly that I'd like them to have a decent chance of both existing and competing in the MLS circa 2032. But when RSL GM Garth Lagerwey says of the newest tweaking of the DP rule touted to help small market teams, “It’s a great rule for the league. [But] it’s a bad rule for us as a small-market team. It’s yet another that the big markets can dominate,” I think it's worth pausing to see if perhaps the scales aren't tipping more than intended thanks to non-shared retained revenue. http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/artic...used-youth-development-despite-dp-initiatives Since the restructuring ten years ago, the focus has been on retained earnings and just like in the NFL that's done some good things -- new stadiums for starters. But disparity in income can be destabilizing, both on the field of play and in the boardroom, which is why I'd put broader revenue sharing rules in place now if parity is important in the future because once teams have these retained earnings, they'll be reluctant to part with them and, unlike the NFL, the national TV money won't be enough to provide a similar counter-balance. Could that cost some growth in big markets? Yes, I suspect (and fear) it could -- just as the Giants or Bears would doubtless be worth much more if they hadn't shared so much revenue. But it also might insure that smaller markets are competitive. Is there value in that? Again, I'm conflicted. I think MLS could grow faster if teams were allowed to retain money and spend an unequal amont on players -- that the fate of a few small market teams isn't critical to MLS any more than it was to the early NFL -- but for lack of a better term I think there is a fairness issue here too that needs to be part of the discussion, and meaningful shared revenue is at the core of that.