By Dan Loney on Aug 29, 2017 at 3:26 AM
  1. Dan Loney

    Dan Loney BigSoccer Supporter

    Mar 10, 2000
    Cincilluminati
    Club:
    Los Angeles Sol
    Country:
    Philippines
    #1 Dan Loney, Aug 29, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2017

    Deloitte UK's Promotion and Relegation Report - Part 2

    By Dan Loney on Aug 29, 2017 at 3:26 AM
    Deloitte has an American branch of its Sports Business Group. So I wonder why DeloitteUK took the lead in this report. An outside view of American sports, like outside views of American society, can be illuminating and refreshing - but not when that view simply substitutes one set of prejudices for another.

    The DeloitteUK report combined all of the disadvantages of British perspective, with none of the advantages. A DeloitteUS report, for example, might not have simply assumed that promotion and relegation is the natural, or even a particularly sensible, form of standings structure. A DeloitteUS report might have examined why American sports leagues have been so successful without promotion and relegation, or addressed how the incredible monetization of youth and amateur sports has warped the American landscape in ways barely comprehensible even to those who work in youth and amateur sports. A DeloitteUS report would have realized that the question is not whether a soccer league should adopt promotion or relegation, but whether an American league should.

    Probably not, though. Nobody involved with this was particularly interested in seriously examining the issue, since the whole point was to put a Big Four brand name on a random pile of discredited Internet arguments. Now when Silva and Crowley go to Switzerland, they can say “Deloitte” instead of “Reddit.”

    There might be plenty of good reasons why promotion and relegation would be a good idea in the United States. It’s a shame DeloitteUK didn’t make the effort to find any. Instead, DeloitteUK made the following assumptions:

    1. Promotion and relegation battles are more popular and more interesting than anything else;

    2. Promotion and relegation makes money; and

    3. Promotion and relegation develops talent.

    The case for promotion and relegation is compelling indeed - so long as you assume what you’re supposed to be proving.

    Take, for example, the idea that promotion and relegation provides “compelling content.” Promotion and relegation makes games “mean something.” I think this sort of rhetoric is an unhealthy way to think of the game. (The fact that some of this rhetoric comes directly from the highest levels of FIFA is, to me, the opposite of refutation.) Soccer is the only sport that tells the fans that they are wasting their time watching the game for its own sake. I did hear somebody calling it “the beautiful game,” but I think we’ve given up on that marketing campaign.

    I’m not being disingenuous, at least not as much as DeloitteUK is being. The motivation is to make a game between bad teams more interesting for a neutral or partially invested observer. DeloitteUK is leading off its key section with the importance of “creating narratives.” Iowa and Illinois can play for no better reason than to see who wins - they’ll probably even have the nerve to charge admission - but that won’t work for professional soccer. There has to be a gimmick.

    Fine. But the question is, does the gimmick work?

    DeloitteUK says it does. And their word is going to have to be good enough, because Silva apparently didn’t pay for the report that comes with evidence.

    Here, look at this.

    Percentage of games with something at stake.PNG

    If bad charts were hit singles, this report would be “Thriller.”

    But never mind the technical incompetence - just consider the premise:

    Title secured (assumed same point for both leagues).”

    This is one of the times having an American in the room would have helped. The final matchday weekend in MLS is not the end of the season, any more than it is in the NFL, NBA or NHL. An American would have pointed out that after the regular season, those leagues keep playing games, and the blue dotted line goes all the way back to 100%, and stays there for a month or more.

    Come to think of it, a Mexican fan might also have pointed that out, too.

    You know, it’s almost as if it’s the sort of thing that professional accountants in an international firm wouldn’t even need to be told. But why would they leave out something like that on purpose?

    DeloitteUK’s methodology is problematic from start to finish, but their disinterest in making a coherent case in this section is particularly noticeable. Is the Case for Promotion and Relegation really so thin as to resort to Argumentum ad Unnamed Player in Anonymous ESPNFC poll?

    Maybe, when the actual numbers aren’t so friendly to the case. If DeloitteUK had dug a little, they would have found that the Chicago Fire has had 50% roster turnover since last October. That’s an actual number, and not “some guys just ride out the last couple months”. But, again, DeloitteUK wasn’t hired to do math.

    They did give math a cursory stab - they helpfully compared the final weekend of the 2015/16 season among MLS, France’s Ligue 1, and the Anglo-Welsh Premier League.

    ….Ligue 1? That’s an interesting cherry to pick.

    ….one season? That’s an interesting cherry harvesting limit.

    Even with the books cooking at 350F until golden brown, DeloitteUK still couldn’t get a satisfactory result without sleight-of-hand:

    Five of the ten Premier League matches have “something at stake”, with two games having UEFA Champions League places at stake, and three with UEFA Europa League places at stake; Five of the ten Ligue 1 matches having something at stake, even though Paris Saint-Germain had won the league with eight games to spare, with two matches having UEFA Europa League places at stake and three games of the final round dictating two of the relegation places. Across the final day of Major League Soccer, only two of the games had anything at stake for teams looking to gain a play-off berth.

    I’m not complaining that DeloitteUK doesn’t care about home field advantage - the last two MLS Cup winners did it on the road, after all. But I have to giggle at the Europa League counting as “something at stake.” If promotion and relegation is that wonderful at creating compelling content, why are we using the Consolation Cup as a crutch to get people interested in the middle-class teams?

    DeloitteUK seems offended at the idea of playoffs, for some reason:

    “Equally, promotion and relegation is by no means the only issue impacting interest, with competition format also potentially negatively affecting the competiveness of matches. For example, with 60% of MLS teams qualifying for the playoff (MLS Cup) this again reduces the number of regular season games with something at stake. Promotion and relegation would therefore make a higher percentage of games in a season of more importance to the final outcome and allow the league to sustain the appeal for spectators longer than is currently the case.”

    Again, would have been helpful to have an American fan, or a Mexican fan, or someone whose line of work involves compiling and calculating numbers.

    ….”competiveness”? This report is supposed to redefine the structure of American soccer, and it isn’t worth running through a spell-checker?

    Liga MX puts 8 out of 18 into its playoffs, and DeloitteUK doesn't even mention Mexico as a boring abomination, so it seems 44% is okay. The NHL will send 50% of its teams to the playoffs this season, and Deloitte doesn't bring that up. The NBA sends 53% of its teams to the playoffs. I think we can all agree that if MLS was genuinely doing as well as the NBA, the league would be doing JUST FINE.

    But 60% is too much...and, according to Deloitte, can best be solved by promotion and relegation. Instead of, to pick an example completely at random, expanding to 36 teams, which would give MLS the exact playoff percentage that Liga MX has.

    Ah, but Liga MX has relegation! Yes, let’s absolutely give serious consideration to the fairness and integrity of the Mexican promotion and relegation system. DeloitteUK avoids Liga MX like a pothole with a dead body in it, and you can probably come up with several reasons why.

    The cynicism in this report is breathtaking. DeloitteUK is willing to list its data, then pretend it says the opposite. The carefully selected example here is West Brom.

    WBA attendance.PNG

    The chart explicitly tells you that WBA had not managed to equal the attendance it had before its 2003 relegation, despite six consecutive years in the Premiership. DeloitteUK, however, wants us to take away the fact that WBA has not entirely squandered the fan base increase from its 2002 promotion.

    DeloitteUK concludes “Therefore promotion and relegation can be considered to be a driver of matchday attendances, and by extension matchday revenues.” Hold the phone, or as the say in the UK, the lorry. Wouldn’t it be helpful to have more than one club’s worth of data before we jump to this conclusion? Has being in relegation races done much for Aston Villa? When will Birmingham City start to feel the positive effect on attendance? Think Wolves look fondly on the boost their relegation races gave them? Doesn’t it seem like Walsall has a Championship hangover that’s lasted a while?

    That’s four counter-examples to WBA, and I didn’t even have to leave the god-damned West Midlands.

    Oh, and West Brom's attendance went down again last year, to 23,876. Sounds like they could use a relegation battle to spike attendance!

    It’s no surprise that Deloitte’s analysis quickly devolves into fanfiction. They start in an interesting, and familiar, place.

    Attendances.PNG

    That’s data from Kenn Tomasch, by the way. Kenn was not credited in the bibliography. You might be wondering why Deloitte is using data from expansion teams, as opposed to promoted teams.

    Well, to be totally honest with you, I think Deloitte might have lost the thread a little at this point.

    Projected impact of pr.PNG

    The illustrative total attendance movement presented above assumes: Loss of 366,000 attendees due to relegation of one MLS club, generating an average gate of c.21,500 across 17 regular season home fixtures; Gain of 102,000 attendees due to promotion of one NASL/USL club, generating an average gate of c.6,000 across 17 regular season home fixtures; and Additional 102,000 attendees for promoted NASL/USL clubs, representing a doubling of total attendance achieved in the previous league. This is considered to represent the introduction of additional excitement for the promoted club’s local community, with the chance to participate in the top tier - as evidenced by the earlier analysis of the Seattle Sounders, Montreal Impact and Portland Timbers.

    The effect of promotion and relegation is a net reduction in the league’s total attendance of 162,000 attendees, arising from the loss of a MLS club with a higher average attendance relative to a promoted USL/NASL club.

    As near as I can tell, the crux of this argument is that a promoted NASL team would double its attendance, just because. And MLS would still lose fans.

    Credit, I guess, to Deloitte - since they’re conjuring numbers out of the ether, at least they conjured numbers that admitted relegating MLS teams would come at a cost. But those costs would be tiny, and quickly remedied. Why, you ask?

    Even if one accepts that promotion and relegation may struggle to have an immediate beneficial impact on total top division club attendances if introduced in the United States, there are some important factors to consider: The promotion chase and the inclusion of bigger relegated teams would likely raise the average in the league below, as excitement attracts fans, above the levels currently being seen and therefore the gap to the top division would decrease.

    Now, in fairness, Deloitte didn’t know that Chiapas FC was going to fold rather than field a team in the Mexican second division. But they certainly should have known that one possible remedy for relegation is simply buying the promoted club and rebranding it. Queretaro isn't a famous club, but it should be famous to those who study promotion and relegation. You won't hear about them from Deloitte, though.

    For example the average attendance for those clubs in the top six of the Championship in 2015/16 was 29% higher than the league average, whereas the top two teams on the 2015 NASL season were actually on average 12% below the league average in match attendance;

    Sorry - just wanted to pop in and say that the attendance leaders for NASL in 2015 were Minnesota United, whose MLS announcement came in 2015, and Indy Eleven, one of the teams vying for an MLS expansion spot despite not winning anything.

    Relegation battles could also sustain or increase attendance at the bottom of a league, for example the three clubs relegated from the English Premier League in 2015/16 had an average attendance slightly above the league average as a whole (with between 79% and 100% occupancy across the season);

    The three teams sent down that year were Norwich, Aston Villa, and Newcastle. Usually relegated teams aren’t in the top two or three in attendance. And as we saw in a previous link, relegation battles did not sustain or increase attendance for Aston Villa.

    Those clubs likely to be relegated may well be those that are struggling in terms of attendance anyway. For example the two teams that finished bottom of MLS in 2015 were ranked 18th and 20th in terms of attendance in that season.

    That’s a strange thing to say, since literally the sentence before we read about how relegation matches are supposed to bolster attendance.

    In any case, the teams in question here are Colorado and Chicago. Using real world examples sort of puts a damper on fantasies like this - it’s not very easy to picture how Chicago would be better off in USL or NASL this year than in MLS. Amusingly enough, Colorado is still well within a theoretical relegation picture - but so are DC United, whose new stadium plans sort of depended on them not ever being relegated, Minnesota United, whose relegation would defeat the whole point of expansion, and my beloved LA Galaxy. Next year, let’s face it, LAFC will be a strong contender to hold up the table. It would be amusing if Silva went to all this trouble to force promotion to MLS, only to have the Los Angeles teams end up in the NASL.

    The added dynamism from promotion and relegation in both the MLS and other levels of the pyramid, could be expected to increase interest and drive attendance growth across the game.

    Sounds like the sort of thing that could be measured and charted. Shame nobody seems interested in doing so.

    To recap - Deloitte used one club's attendance to wrongly assert that promotion and relegation helped more than it hurt the average team. They then chose to use the success of Major League Soccer expansion as an argument in favor of promoting teams that don’t draw well and relegating those that do. All based on numbers and assumptions that Deloitte frankly made up.

    I can think of several reasons Deloitte would advance an argument like this. I just can’t think of any honest ones.

    Next chapter: we consider why in the conclusion to Section 5.2.2, Deloitte cites broadcast television ratings and merchandising efforts that won’t be brought up until Section 5.2.3, 5.2.4 and 5.3, and make some value judgments about how many revisions this thing went through.

    We also address the question of why MLS has to be involved in promotion and relegation at all - because DeloitteUK doesn’t, and really, somebody should.
     
    gunnerfan7 repped this.

Comments

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Dan Loney, Aug 29, 2017.

    1. barroldinho

      barroldinho Member+

      Aug 13, 2007
      Ex-pat in HB, CA
      Club:
      Manchester United FC
      Country:
      England

      Deloitte UK's Promotion and Relegation Report - Part 2

      By Dan Loney on Aug 29, 2017 at 3:26 AM
      Why are they ****ing well using England??

      Their attendances in D1 AND D2 are nowhere near typical.

      It's like telling someone that designing, manufacturing and selling smart phones is a foolproof business idea, based on data gleaned from Apple's 10K.

      How about comparing MiLB's third tier attendance and below, to the same levels of France's soccer pyramid?
       
      The Franchise repped this.
    2. Paul Berry

      Paul Berry Member+

      Apr 18, 2015
      #3 Paul Berry, Aug 29, 2017
      Last edited: Aug 29, 2017

      Deloitte UK's Promotion and Relegation Report - Part 2

      By Dan Loney on Aug 29, 2017 at 3:26 AM
      "Relegation battles could also sustain or increase attendance at the bottom of a league, for example the three clubs relegated from the English Premier League in 2015/16 had an average attendance slightly above the league average as a whole (with between 79% and 100% occupancy across the season);"

      That's not surprising as two of clubs with the biggest fan bases in the country went down. If the report had been written a year earlier it may have concluded.

      "Relegation battles could also sustain or decrease attendance at the bottom of a league, for example the three clubs relegated from the English Premier League in 2014/15 had an average attendance 23% below the league average as a whole (with between 79% and 100% occupancy across the season);"

      That's not surprising either as the teams that went down had 3 of the 4 smallest stadiums in the league.

      To calculate a realistic average you would have to average out the impact of relegation over 4 or 5 seasons. You'd also have to assess when the relegation battle actually started, and compare attendances before and after.

      Finally, West Brom have about 16,500 season ticket holders, so a drop in total attendance of 7% over the last 2 seasons could represent a 20% drop in non-season ticket holders.

      Also take into account that many Premier League stadiums have capacities which do not meet the demand for tickets, so even if the demand for tickets fall by 10%, or 20% the attendance itself may still be close to capacity.

      Oh, and at least 6 games will be sellouts (against the top 6), more if there are any local derbies, so you have to measure attendances to understand the real impact of relegation on attendances.

      I'm not saying my stats are right and theirs are wrong. Sunderland and Newcastle fans for instance have an amazing reputation for loyalty and will watch whatever shite is put out in front of them.

      All this proves is that there are lies, damned lies an statistics. But it took 20 minutes to write up those caveates is probably way more time than a couple of Deloitte UK grads spent on the whole report.

      Dan, please deposit the $9,690 including taxes for this analysis in my Paypal account before the end of the month.
       
      Kejsare, BalanceUT, gunnerfan7 and 8 others repped this.
    3. Paul Calixte

      Paul Calixte Member+

      Orlando City SC
      Apr 30, 2009
      Miami, FL
      Club:
      Orlando City SC
      Country:
      United States

      Deloitte UK's Promotion and Relegation Report - Part 2

      By Dan Loney on Aug 29, 2017 at 3:26 AM
      +1000 for the Querétaro reference.

      Btw: what will it take to get everyone in the pro/rel crowd to understand that LEAGUES DON'T RUN PRO/REL SYSTEMS? Federations impose them, and the USSF let that ship sail in '93, so hounding Don Garber about it is utterly pointless.
       
      BalanceUT repped this.
    4. USRufnex

      USRufnex Member+

      Tulsa Athletic / Sheffield United
      United States
      Jul 15, 2000
      Tulsa, OK
      Club:
      --other--

      Deloitte UK's Promotion and Relegation Report - Part 2

      By Dan Loney on Aug 29, 2017 at 3:26 AM
      Will bigsoccer allow for a counter argument on it's blogs?
      Or are we stuck with twitter spamming Dan Loney's anti-Pro/Rel tantrums in perpetuity?
      .... asking for a friend.

      [​IMG]
       
      mschofield repped this.
    5. TroubledFC

      TroubledFC New Member

      Oct 26, 2009
      Club:
      Toronto FC

      Deloitte UK's Promotion and Relegation Report - Part 2

      By Dan Loney on Aug 29, 2017 at 3:26 AM
      Forgive me if this idea has already been brought up and dismissed, but as a compromise, hypothetically - would it be possible for NASL to pony up the loot for a couple of MLS "slots" and have their own internal promotion/relegation system in and out of those slots?

      Pros: MLS gets paid, there's no risk of real MLS members being relegated, smaller clubs can earn a taste of MLS competition, NASL and their promoted clubs somehow split some added revenue, could serve as a demonstration of MLS readiness for permanent MLS spot suitors. NASL becomes slightly more sexy...yadayadayada....sparks NASL growth boom (new teams + new fans). It's relatively low risk compared with full-blown pro-rel. If it succeeds NASL could consider buying more slots in the future. If it fails....kick them out with a partial refund (predetermined).

      Cons: Logistics- financing the MLS membership fees, determining the pro-rel format, revenue splitting between promoted clubs and NASL, promoted NASL clubs maintaining MLS standards (soccer quality, stadium size/safety, presentation, salary cap rules etc.) Lots of logistical hurdles obviously....but might be worth it.
       
      BalanceUT and Unak78 repped this.
    6. barroldinho

      barroldinho Member+

      Aug 13, 2007
      Ex-pat in HB, CA
      Club:
      Manchester United FC
      Country:
      England

      Deloitte UK's Promotion and Relegation Report - Part 2

      By Dan Loney on Aug 29, 2017 at 3:26 AM
      I don't know if it's still NASL's mission statement, but under Peterson they intended to eventually compete with MLS as a rival D1. From that standpoint this might be a non-starter.

      Setting that aside though, how about a larger "independent conference"? Teams in that group can be promoted and relegated. To mitigate the single-entity situation, these clubs would not become part of that (hence "independent") would not share revenues (or costs) or have their main roster funded by the league, have access to the draft. Conversely, they wouldn't be subject to things like cap restrictions and could sign free agents.

      Of course, such teams could still apply to be expansion franchises and join permanently, whereas you could allow former expansion clubs to go "independent" if they so wished.

      You get pro/rel and clubs have the choice of opening themselves to more risk for theoretically greater rewards, versus the stability of single entity but greater restriction.

      Yes, a lot of this is off the top of my head.
       
    7. barroldinho

      barroldinho Member+

      Aug 13, 2007
      Ex-pat in HB, CA
      Club:
      Manchester United FC
      Country:
      England

      Deloitte UK's Promotion and Relegation Report - Part 2

      By Dan Loney on Aug 29, 2017 at 3:26 AM
      Europe's "ladder of opportunity" led to this status quo.

      And parity doesn't equate to equal distribution of titles across the league. It simply prevents financial resources from being an overpowered factor in team success. It also mitigates teams becoming so independently rich and powerful that they can dictate terms to the governing bodies, let alone smaller clubs.

      Odd that a bigsoccer supermod didn't strike your presented "counterpoint" from the face of the website. I guess the Anti-Pro/Rel Illuminati dropped the ball on this one...
       
      Kejsare, gunnerfan7, AndyMead and 5 others repped this.
    8. Zoidberg

      Zoidberg Member+

      Jun 23, 2006

      Deloitte UK's Promotion and Relegation Report - Part 2

      By Dan Loney on Aug 29, 2017 at 3:26 AM
      In net land the cries we see when one doesn't get their way, or facts and reality are to hard to deal with, are usually along the lines of....I am allowed my opinion, you are repressing me, you are paid off/part of the conspiracy, a sheep, yada, yada, yada....

      The pro/rel thread has tediously shown every angle. When one asks to show an example of how to make it work right now we never see it, or it is so naive or outlandish that it is easy to poke holes through it....then the "hater" yell, help, help I'm being repressed lines start a comin in waves.

      Barroldinho, off the the top of his head, made an argument that actually could be thought about. Of course the individual who has waxed on, in every said stereotype mode, for thousands of endless posts, hasn't come close to doing even that. Very telling.

      Unfortunately for pro/rel, even Deloitte can't make a sound/coherent argument for it at this point.....even though they were paid to do it. Speaks volumes. It won't stop the usual crowd from doing the usual things, but we knew that.

      Also, if people are willing to piggy back on someone as shallow and obvious as Silva, that also speaks volumes.

      When someone can make sound reasoned arguments I'm all for it. Until then .... yawn.

      Let the yelling and typical indignation and indictments commence.
       
      DanGerman, Cavan9, song219 and 1 other person repped this.
    9. barroldinho

      barroldinho Member+

      Aug 13, 2007
      Ex-pat in HB, CA
      Club:
      Manchester United FC
      Country:
      England
      #10 barroldinho, Aug 29, 2017
      Last edited: Aug 29, 2017

      Deloitte UK's Promotion and Relegation Report - Part 2

      By Dan Loney on Aug 29, 2017 at 3:26 AM
      I believe Ted had a reference to the "$4bn offer" as his pinned tweet for a while...
       
    10. Paul Berry

      Paul Berry Member+

      Apr 18, 2015

      Deloitte UK's Promotion and Relegation Report - Part 2

      By Dan Loney on Aug 29, 2017 at 3:26 AM
      The original vision of NASL was to be:

      "the best possible second division that it could be"


      From that article:

      "The focus would be on helping every club become relevant and grow in their own market. The league would target cities and owners who couldn’t support or fund an MLS club, existing independently of the first division, but not in opposition to it."

      “It’s a different proposition than MLS. The NASL’s goal is to be the No. 1 professional soccer in-stadium experience in Atlanta or in Miami or in San Antonio or in Tampa or in Minneapolis…To convince people of that and get their per game attendance from an average of 3,000-to-4,000 to 6,000-to-7,000, that would make them financially healthy. And that’s a pretty easy proposition.”

      As you already know, Bill Peterson had different ideas.
       
    11. Cavan9

      Cavan9 Member

      Nov 16, 2011
      Silver Spring, MD
      Club:
      DC United
      Country:
      United States

      Deloitte UK's Promotion and Relegation Report - Part 2

      By Dan Loney on Aug 29, 2017 at 3:26 AM
      Dan, your stomach is stronger than mine.

      I suspect that Deloitte UK did this terrible cut and paste of an espnfc comment thread because nobody in main Deloitte wanted to touch this job. It would be a career stain for anybody in the U.S. In the UK, it's just superfluous noise that will be promptly forgotten.
       
      AndyMead repped this.
    12. Beau Dure

      Beau Dure Member+

      May 31, 2000
      Vienna, VA

      Deloitte UK's Promotion and Relegation Report - Part 2

      By Dan Loney on Aug 29, 2017 at 3:26 AM
      Ted has actually insisted for years that the federation has to impose it, and he has been silent in the face of my evidence to the contrary (everything from the original Football League pro/rel in England to the USISL doing it here in the 90s).
       
    13. Dan Loney

      Dan Loney BigSoccer Supporter

      Mar 10, 2000
      Cincilluminati
      Club:
      Los Angeles Sol
      Country:
      Philippines

      Deloitte UK's Promotion and Relegation Report - Part 2

      By Dan Loney on Aug 29, 2017 at 3:26 AM
      Coincidentally, that's exactly what I charge to hit the thumbs up button. Who said you can't put a price on BigSoccer rep?
       
      FalconFan and Paul Berry repped this.
    14. Dan Loney

      Dan Loney BigSoccer Supporter

      Mar 10, 2000
      Cincilluminati
      Club:
      Los Angeles Sol
      Country:
      Philippines

      Deloitte UK's Promotion and Relegation Report - Part 2

      By Dan Loney on Aug 29, 2017 at 3:26 AM
      He also had "Open leagues never collapse" up there for way too long.

      Being wrong doesn't make you a bad person, he's just insanely devoted to being both at once
       
      AndyMead and barroldinho repped this.
    15. USRufnex

      USRufnex Member+

      Tulsa Athletic / Sheffield United
      United States
      Jul 15, 2000
      Tulsa, OK
      Club:
      --other--

      Deloitte UK's Promotion and Relegation Report - Part 2

      By Dan Loney on Aug 29, 2017 at 3:26 AM
      I completely signed on to that vision after a 45 minute phone conversation with Aaron Davidson.

      You see, only a few short months earlier, I had a weird 30 minute phone conversation with the USL's Director of Franchise Development. Within the 1st five minutes of conversation, he stated point blank that "Oklahoma will NEVER get an MLS team."

      My thoughts?
      1) I'm not the guy you need to tell this to.
      2) The people I'd want to get on board with this include those in both OKC in Tulsa who tried to get into MLS in the early 2000s and I'm not so sure you'd want to needlessly insult their previous efforts.
      3) If there's zero chance, at some unspecified day in the future, of getting into MLS, good luck getting anybody with substantial money in either OKC or Tulsa off the fence to start a team in your league(s).

      The new NASL provided a contrast in that they weren't reflexively dismissive of prospective owners who also had interest in one day joining MLS. The downside was that they gave me the impression they'd like to see a team in either OKC or Tulsa, but not both. I liked the direction the league was going in with the addition of Commissioner Downs. I was happy with the Miami rebrand to Ft Lauderdale Strikers and thrilled at the initial announcement of the new NY Cosmos joining. I never understood why new commish Peterson (and the Cosmos) failed to give a reasonable counter offer to MLS on affiliations... press for those affiliations to always be optional and then allow MLS to place all their "2" teams in a 3rd divsion USL... or be more shrewd and say the NASL will agree as long as they have their version of a "right of first refusal" after which an affiliation that is unacceptable to all NASL teams will then be offered to a USL team.

      I started to change my thoughts on Pro/Rel after finding out MLS was seriously considering expansion past 24 to 28 teams. Especially after Garber told us MLS would "pause" at 20 teams.... I mean, how long was the pause? Five minutes?

      At about the same time Garber and Co. were considering expanding past 24, the NASL spurned MLS while USL embraced affiliation and changed their sales pitch from a version of "this is as good as it gets" to a new Orlando-style template to use USL as a "springboard to MLS." This motivated Energy FC investor Bob Funk Jr out of multi-year limbo, while also motivating another OKC group to sign up for a PDL club with the full intention of prepaying their way into USL Pro D-3 while simultaneously exploring the NASL as Plan B--- a plan which eventually resulted in Rayo OKC. I was told by Tulsa A's owner that their initial decision to buy into NPSL the summer of 2012 was influenced by the knowledge that two OKC groups wanted to seriously pursue MLS and use lower division clubs to achieve that aim.

      The ensuing NASL/USL soccer wars and MLS's official announcement of going to 28... as well as the skutlebutt in markets like OKC and St Louis theorizing that if MLS expands to 28, they'll also likely expand to 30 and then to 32 teams led me to the conclusion that a truly strong 2nd division was no longer possible. Ironically, I didn't like the NASL's decision to sell their owners on a head-to-head competition with MLS (ala ABA/AFL) and also didn't like USL taking all MLS2 teams AND affiliations into the same league, with that ENTIRE league applying for D2 status, which they eventually got. I also didn't like Peterson's lipservice to Pro/Rel and found threatening an NASL lawsuit against MLS to be unrealistic and unwise...

      MORE TO COME.
       
      tigersoccer2005 and Paul Berry repped this.
    16. mschofield

      mschofield Member+

      May 16, 2000
      DC
      Club:
      Union Berlin
      Country:
      United States

      Deloitte UK's Promotion and Relegation Report - Part 2

      By Dan Loney on Aug 29, 2017 at 3:26 AM
      This section of this article, at least, isn't addressing creating promotion or relegation in the US as much as noting that it is a bit under fire from the top of the top European leagues, though.
       
    17. Paul Berry

      Paul Berry Member+

      Apr 18, 2015

      Deloitte UK's Promotion and Relegation Report - Part 2

      By Dan Loney on Aug 29, 2017 at 3:26 AM
      Interesting that Downs mentioned these cities, "Atlanta or in Miami or in San Antonio or in Tampa or in Minneapolis".
      3 have already achieved MLS expansion slots, the other two are bidders.
       
    18. barroldinho

      barroldinho Member+

      Aug 13, 2007
      Ex-pat in HB, CA
      Club:
      Manchester United FC
      Country:
      England

      Deloitte UK's Promotion and Relegation Report - Part 2

      By Dan Loney on Aug 29, 2017 at 3:26 AM
      If MLS is able to accommodate 32 clubs, why is it better to have those clubs in D2?

      They'll get better coverage, venues, attendances, and of course players and coaches, by being in a perceived top flight, than a second tier, pro/rel or not.

      I say flesh out D1 to capacity and if there are still enough teams like Cincinatti and Sacramento emerging in the second tier, an appropriate scenario for pro/rel is organically established and far more likely to be successful.
       
    19. AndyMead

      AndyMead Homo Sapien

      Nov 2, 1999
      Seat 12A
      Club:
      Sporting Kansas City

      Deloitte UK's Promotion and Relegation Report - Part 2

      By Dan Loney on Aug 29, 2017 at 3:26 AM
      There is pretty much no reason to artificially create a second division for the reasons you state.

      There are over 100 NCAA D1 FBS football teams. And we're talking about "too many teams in MLS, must create MLS2". Why?

      There are over 300 NCAA D1 Men's Basketball teams.

      There is no reason, whatsoever, to artificially limit the size of MLS. None.

      The are business interests, sponsorship and broadcast revenue interests, but there's no magic number.

      The instant you divide MLS in half, you're basically killing the half that get ghetto-ized into MLS2
       
    20. Paul Calixte

      Paul Calixte Member+

      Orlando City SC
      Apr 30, 2009
      Miami, FL
      Club:
      Orlando City SC
      Country:
      United States

      Deloitte UK's Promotion and Relegation Report - Part 2

      By Dan Loney on Aug 29, 2017 at 3:26 AM
      That's no way to talk about the East! You'll notice its the stronger conference this year, and that's without KC and Houston :D
       
    21. Cavan9

      Cavan9 Member

      Nov 16, 2011
      Silver Spring, MD
      Club:
      DC United
      Country:
      United States

      Deloitte UK's Promotion and Relegation Report - Part 2

      By Dan Loney on Aug 29, 2017 at 3:26 AM
      It was the stronger conference last year too. Not that it really matters except to some Seattle and Portland fans who blather on about it nonstop in MLSsoccer.com threads.
       
    22. Dignan

      Dignan Member+

      Nov 29, 1999
      Granada
      Club:
      FC Dallas
      Country:
      United States

      Deloitte UK's Promotion and Relegation Report - Part 2

      By Dan Loney on Aug 29, 2017 at 3:26 AM
      This is what most people miss about the US sports landscape. Its massive and dwarves any other one in the world.
       
      Kejsare, tigersoccer2005 and barroldinho repped this.
    23. Dan Loney

      Dan Loney BigSoccer Supporter

      Mar 10, 2000
      Cincilluminati
      Club:
      Los Angeles Sol
      Country:
      Philippines

      Deloitte UK's Promotion and Relegation Report - Part 2

      By Dan Loney on Aug 29, 2017 at 3:26 AM
      Yikes! One of my Twitter followers pointed out that I wrote: The final matchday weekend in MLS is not the end of the regular season...." I've changed that to "The final matchday weekend in MLS is not the end of the season...." I apologize for the error, and I apologize if anyone was misled.
       
    24. AndyMead

      AndyMead Homo Sapien

      Nov 2, 1999
      Seat 12A
      Club:
      Sporting Kansas City

      Deloitte UK's Promotion and Relegation Report - Part 2

      By Dan Loney on Aug 29, 2017 at 3:26 AM
       
      Ball Chucking Hack repped this.

Share This Page