NY Times: "Toxic Culture" in US Soccer

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by Unimane, Jun 25, 2019.

  1. AutoPenalti

    AutoPenalti Am I famous yet?

    Sep 26, 2011
    Coconut Creek
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    So much for working for U.S. Soccer huh...
     
  2. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    NYC
    You'd be a great President!
     
  3. AutoPenalti

    AutoPenalti Am I famous yet?

    Sep 26, 2011
    Coconut Creek
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Oh boy wouldn’t that be something. :rolleyes:
     
  4. SamsArmySam

    SamsArmySam Member+

    Apr 13, 2001
    Minneapolis, MN
    NYT offers...

    1 Corroboration - they interviewed some of the Glassdoor posters and believed it was legit enough to print
    2 Distillation - they packaged it in an article format that is quicker to read than poking around Glassdoor
    3 Breadth of exposure - particularly to the passive sports fan who might not otherwise seek out this information and likely does not know our soccer federation is a swamp of nepotism
    4 Brand / credibility - this was published in the nation's most prominent newspaper

    And kudos to you for putting in your own legwork on Glassdoor. That's a whole other level of fan dedication.
     
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  5. FirstStar

    FirstStar Hustlin' for the USA

    Feb 1, 2005
    Time's Arrow
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It’s well established that people with an axe to grind are far more motivated and likely to take the time to fill out reviews online (thus they skew negative- I’m learning this while trying to help my son pick a college). To me, that’s where the NYT has done some good journalism by verifying and corroborating the story. Sounds like there’s a real problem internally.

    That said, there’s nothing new there. We’ve been able to see all this shit for a long time here on these boards. Guess it’s nice that a big paper is printing a story, but if USSF so clearly doesn’t give a shit what it’s biggest fans think, they aren’t going to change any because some junior employees are unhappy.
     
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  6. gunnerfan7

    gunnerfan7 Member+

    SJ Earthquakes/Arsenal
    United States
    Jul 22, 2012
    Pleasanton, California
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    ....Yikes.

    Non-profits not having "shareholders" has nothing to do with whether or not they are well-run, because the existence of shareholders does nothing inherently to make a company more or less capable.

    It's simply a way of corporate governance that entails certain rules. Much like how a non-profit has certain rules attached to it.
     
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  7. AutoPenalti

    AutoPenalti Am I famous yet?

    Sep 26, 2011
    Coconut Creek
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It’s funny because I was just imaging if USSF ever IPO’d — the amount of fall out there would be with those shareholders. I feel like only then would there be some sort of change to the structure.
     
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  8. gunnerfan7

    gunnerfan7 Member+

    SJ Earthquakes/Arsenal
    United States
    Jul 22, 2012
    Pleasanton, California
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Maybe. Not sure why USSF would do it, but really we could play this game by saying "What if the USSF [or any long-standing, intractable organization] actually listened to the whims of its employees/fans/customers?".

    If you're someone that needs to capitalize on those whims, like clothing or video games, then you're more responsive.
     
  9. chad

    chad Member+

    Jun 24, 1999
    chicago
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    As long as we get to just choose what to believe, I've now decided Greggggg did commit a handball against Costa Rica.

    Peter Prendergrast, I apologize.
     
  10. ipass

    ipass Member

    Jan 2, 2015
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    So...do you think articles like this have little to no influence in brining about change? If so, I wonder what Woodward, Bernstein and Bradley would say about that.
     
  11. Jazzy Altidore

    Jazzy Altidore Member+

    Sep 2, 2009
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    My friend, this is a naive take. Humans tend to slack off without oversight. They also tend to work harder when under scrutiny that can cost them their job. In a for profit company, the management will come under scrutiny by the owners if there is a major negative event (such as failing to qualify for a very large sports tournament.) If USSF was a for profit company, I'm betting Sunil and co. would have been shitcanned instantly upon the qualification failure.

    In contrast, working for a "non-profit" such as the real USSF is much more chill. There's no pesky shareholder with an ownership stake worrying about his investment. Just keep the board happy--who are your insider friends just happy to be there--and you will be fine.

    Of course, I'm not guaranteeing that a for profit company is always run better than a non-profit, only that everything else being equal, the oversight of management by shareholders/owners does a great deal to pressure management into working hard and making well-informed business decisions.
     
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  12. Editor In Chimp

    Editor In Chimp Member+

    Sep 7, 2008
    I'm...gonna need you to cite some sources here...
     
  13. onefineesq

    onefineesq Member+

    Sep 16, 2003
    Laurel, MD
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    So the article finally ran? I posted this information a week ago, as Jason Davis of the United States of Soccer had a piece on this on his show on Sirius XM FC. I dropped a couple of bullet points in an older thread about US soccer that hadn't been used in about several months, and was promptly rebuked for being "whiny" (I believe was the word) by the only person who responded. Anyway, this story should surprise no one. A poorly run organization results in unhappy employees. Brain surgery this concept is not.
     
  14. thedukeofsoccer

    thedukeofsoccer Member+

    Jul 11, 2004
    Youtube: Jimmy Dore, Secular Talk
    Club:
    AFC Ajax
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    #114 thedukeofsoccer, Jun 26, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
    Exceptions don't make rules, the system has gotten much more corrupted since then even thanks to the court ruling that money = speech and the media monopoly created by the Telecommunications Act, and substantively nothing changed by the impeachment of Nixon. His crony assumed office.

    Like I said, the pressure will likely be minor, and in all likelihood they'll ultimately make a change for nothing more than optics like when they had a presidential re-election + instituted the gm position. Nothing will really change until there's a overhaul or a new organization, supported by the players, that springs up to replace the USSF. The latter would be the more reliable/controllable way.
     
  15. gunnerfan7

    gunnerfan7 Member+

    SJ Earthquakes/Arsenal
    United States
    Jul 22, 2012
    Pleasanton, California
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You are the pot calling the kettle black here. "Scrutiny" exists in private firms without "shareholders" in the form of "stakeholders", or a "board". You keep those people happy, you will be fine. You are arguing that a different version of oversight has magical business-improving properties. It doesn't.

    Public companies "go public" as a form of brand exposure and a revenue-raising activity.
     
  16. gunnerfan7

    gunnerfan7 Member+

    SJ Earthquakes/Arsenal
    United States
    Jul 22, 2012
    Pleasanton, California
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It actually makes me far more sympathetic to the organization. The top level being rotten is old news. Now I'm sympathetic to employees that are being ground down by those executives. USSF isn't responsive? Well, paying a pittance for employees doing the work of 3 people will do that to you.
     
  17. Jazzy Altidore

    Jazzy Altidore Member+

    Sep 2, 2009
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    There’s nothing magical about it. If I have an investment at stake, I will act more aggressively to monitor that investment than a BOD made up of friends of management (like USSF), without any investment at risk.

    Also, public versus privately held companies isn’t really the distinction I’ve made. It applies to privately held companies as well. I’m not sure why you are harping on that.
     
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  18. Jazzy Altidore

    Jazzy Altidore Member+

    Sep 2, 2009
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Do you also ask people to cite sources when you agree with them?
     
  19. gunnerfan7

    gunnerfan7 Member+

    SJ Earthquakes/Arsenal
    United States
    Jul 22, 2012
    Pleasanton, California
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You think shareholders aren't "friends of management"? You think profit-seeking from those individuals will always be to the best interests of the USMNT/USWNT/soccer/USSF employees?

    Does wanting money make me a better leader inherently?
     
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  20. russ

    russ Member+

    Feb 26, 1999
    Canton,NY
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    We as American soccer fans demand to see evidence of the third arm growing out of Greg's chest!
     
  21. Editor In Chimp

    Editor In Chimp Member+

    Sep 7, 2008
    If your statement is that private companies with shareholders are MORE likely to make well-informed business decisions than companies that don’t have shareholder “oversight”, then yeah, I’ll need some sources because there’s about 50 years worth of evidence to the contrary that pretty clearly shows shareholder run companies pretty much only give a damn about short term profit. That’s not really the same thing as you’re describing.
     
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  22. Jazzy Altidore

    Jazzy Altidore Member+

    Sep 2, 2009
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Is your average shareholder a "friend of management"? Absolutely not. I don't know any of the CEOs running the companies I invest in. Likewise, I would fire anyone who was putting any significant investment of mine unreasonably at risk.

    "Does wanting money make me a better leader inherently?"

    This question will allow me to nicely illustrate my point. In general, yes, "wanting money" keeps people performing their jobs well. Nearly everyone is motivated by wanting to keep his or her job (also known as "wanting money"). That includes Jay Berhalter, Sunil, etc.. But under USSF's non-profit structure, it has been shown that leadership feels very little pressure to perform well in order to keep that job. They only need to satisfy their friends, and there is no stated expectation to maintain or grow value for USSF.

    In contrast, a company president or CEO who fails so miserably will almost certainly see his ass shitcanned by an upset BOD/shareholder action. And you should believe the management will feel that pressure, so it should cause better job performance.
     
  23. gunnerfan7

    gunnerfan7 Member+

    SJ Earthquakes/Arsenal
    United States
    Jul 22, 2012
    Pleasanton, California
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    IDK if the evidence is that they are less likely to make well-informed decisions either.

    Shareholders are a mechanism to introduce monetary incentive into private companies. Whether or not that makes companies "better" (however you define "better"), or helps the company last longer (because maximizing profit would seem to help companies last longer), is something else entirely that requires some serious study.
     
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  24. Jazzy Altidore

    Jazzy Altidore Member+

    Sep 2, 2009
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    So your argument is that non-profit companies are run more effectively than for-profit companies (and you have 50 years of evidence for this)? Just trying to make sure I understand what you are saying.
     
  25. gunnerfan7

    gunnerfan7 Member+

    SJ Earthquakes/Arsenal
    United States
    Jul 22, 2012
    Pleasanton, California
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You think the "average shareholder" is actually putting pressure on companies?

    I have a bridge to sell you! You can have 1 share of that bridge out of 100 million shares. Don't worry shareholder, I'll listen for sure! I mean, there's 2 shareholders right now, my friend who has 999,999,999 shares, and you. But I'll be sure to make you both equally happy!

    No. "Wanting money" can just as easily turn into personal profit-maximizing, which is exactly what the USSF top brass are doing. If I can do my job and get 100 dollars, what is keeping me from trying to do half the work and get paid 200 dollars? It's natural for the incentive to turn to doing less work for more money, whether or not you're listed on the NYSE.

    It's really not that hard. Humans are naturally selfish. There are different ways to motivate that selfishness to generate productivity, which you would hope would contribute to the overall health of the business/entity. But, considering that we're talking about incentives, the change in one of the incentives from a private board to a board of "stockholders" does absolutely nothing.
     

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