NY Times: "Toxic Culture" in US Soccer

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

  1. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    NYC
    To be fair to mahtzo1, I cut and pasted his comment from another thread without noting it. my bad.
     
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  2. Mahtzo1

    Mahtzo1 Member+

    Jan 15, 2007
    So Cal
    That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
     
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  3. MPNumber9

    MPNumber9 Member+

    Oct 10, 2010
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    They're different kinds of entities with different oversight mechanisms, is the point. Some non-profits, for instance, have membership boards that can effectively function like shareholders.
     
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  4. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    NYC
    #154 DHC1, Jun 27, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
    I think the big picture is that a small cadre of people make the decisions and there is very little transparency; therefore, this ties into the “tin-foil” conspiracy that Garber and MLS wield undue influence in USMNT matters even when a conflict exists.

    Does this mean (as some frothy posters claim) that there’s notes passed from the front office to the USMNT managers on what to do? Nah, only the Mets would be that inept.

    Given that potential managers, employees, journalists, etc. know what these decision makers want to hear, how can it be surprising that when applying for a position, they favor the things that this small cadre want? And how is it surprising that they get picked as employees? And then once picked, they act upon what they said they would do?
     
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  5. sXeWesley

    sXeWesley Member+

    Jun 18, 2007
    Club:
    Portland Timbers
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    What?

    The CA2016 reported $190 million in revenue in 2016 (specifically $189,681,375). CA2016 reported providing a grant of $64,941,805 to the USSF (Schedule I, Part ID, d). USSF 2017 IRS 990 (PDF) reported receiving $50,000,000 from CA2016 (p. 68, Part V (1)).

     
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  6. Mahtzo1

    Mahtzo1 Member+

    Jan 15, 2007
    So Cal
    To add a bit more...
    I think the real significance of the articles is that it may get the FBI and or some other law enforcement agency involved. the only two ways I can see USSF being forced to change are 1. legal/criminal action 2. potential loss of non profit status.

    I am a teacher in a school district that got nationwide fame (infamy?) a few years ago when our superintendent was charged with serious crimes. the catalyst wasn't teacher outrage or even citizen outrage (both of which existed), but a news story by a local paper that was then picked up nationwide. https://www.pulitzer.org/winners/rob-kuznia-rebecca-kimitch-and-frank-suraci (if you are curious).

    Once the FBI or other criminal investigations begin, change will occur. What I say, or what you say isn't nearly as important. That is one of the most important reasons to protect the integrity and freedom of the press.
     
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  7. Mahtzo1

    Mahtzo1 Member+

    Jan 15, 2007
    So Cal
    You may be right...the only thing that I would say is that the real power behind the decisions isn't always what is obvious. Sometimes the real decision makers don't want to be known. trying to make a definite decision on who is pulling the strings is more difficult without real investigation. Follow the money is always a good approach and one of those money paths leads to MLS but does it stop there? Are there other paths more important? I don't know.
     
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  8. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    NYC
    I am less concerned about nefariousness and not sure it’s illegal but I am concerned about undue influence that I believe favors MLS in subtle but clear ways and is detrimental to the USMNT.

    To be clear, the majority of MLS’ interest align with the USMNT but there’s an important area where they don’t and that where the undue influence exists IMO.

    I still see that many posters (zhe fundito, etc) are still poking fun at “conspiracy theories” but that could be a reaction to overzealous posters on this side of the aisle.
     
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  9. MPNumber9

    MPNumber9 Member+

    Oct 10, 2010
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I guess my point is, I don't know that there's that much of a story here. I'm not covering for the USSF; it sounds like a terrible place to work with shitty leadership but you can find reviews like this about many large companies, especially in this economy. Companies like Uber and Amazon have been considered toxic workplaces. I don't know that we can draw more conclusions than I wouldn't want to work there.
     
  10. Mahtzo1

    Mahtzo1 Member+

    Jan 15, 2007
    So Cal
    Isn't that all pretty much the same thing? If, indeed, USSF is a tool of MLS to present their interests wouldn't that potentially affect their nonprofit status? that is on the most basic level. It wouldn't have to go much beyond that to become criminal.

    Like I said before. Follow the money. It may lead to MLS and stop. It may lead through MLS to a person or entity beyond MLS or the most important path may be independent of MLS. No doubt MLS has immense power but youth soccer is a huge "nonprofit" industry as well. They bring in huge sums of money and have been entrenched with USSF far longer than MLS. AYSO is probably one, if not hte largest organization. Perhaps they are completely above board and beyond reproach....perhaps not. There are plenty of people that make large sums of money in "nonprofit" soccer jobs inside and outside of USSF board members. I don't have the ability or inclination to do the research so I won't make any speculation on what I think is the case but very little would surprise me. If Balzer's shenanigans didn't surprise me I don't think anything else will either.

    By the way, I think that many of the "old boy" issues that we have in USSF are partially the result of it's origin as an organization associated with one of the most corrupt organizations in the world (FIFA) in a sport which received almost zero attention in the US. Who even knew the USSF existed in the US 15 years ago? Not the general public. How about 50 years ago? even fewer. If it wasn't
     
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  11. manfromgallifrey91

    Swansea City
    United States
    Jul 24, 2015
    Wyoming, USA
    Club:
    Southampton FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Great point and one I dont think gets enough time when talking about why things are the way they are in the USSF. I mean look at the last USSF presidential election, that was the most it had ever been covered and they didnt look like they liked it. Now their stuff is being called out and its harder to sweep those favors under the rug.
     
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  12. Mahtzo1

    Mahtzo1 Member+

    Jan 15, 2007
    So Cal
    Accountability only happens when people that care can affect those that make the decisions. the US soccer fanbase is growing but I'm not sure it has reached the point where it is large enough to effect change on it's own. What is needed is a "crossover" scandal that will engage those that are not hardcore soccer fans. The potential for that scandal lies in continued investigation into financial, legal and or criminal matters. The "people that care" and can affect those making the decisions is the US and or state governments in the form of criminal prosecution or revocation of non profit status. My guess is that Chuck probably has some friends that are still employed with USSF. That could be the fuel for the fire.
     
  13. Mahtzo1

    Mahtzo1 Member+

    Jan 15, 2007
    So Cal
    #163 Mahtzo1, Jun 27, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
    you like to categorize people don't you? I didn't know I was any of those.

    Am I a USSF backer? Where did you get that? Berhalter? where did that come from? I have often said that I am reserving judgement....

    The closest to being accurate is being an MLS backer. If feel that a strong MLS is absolutely critical for our future success. I feel that the criticism of MLS is unfair but don't think it is perfect. I do disagree with posters that believe we would be better off without it and disagree with blanket response and insults toward MLS and its fans.


    sorry for the derail.
     
  14. Paul Berry

    Paul Berry Member+

    Notts County and NYCFC
    England
    Apr 18, 2015
    Nr Kingston NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    USSF receives money from MLS, not the other way around.

    And if the audited accounts and tax returns are incorrect then aren't the auditors commiting a crime?

    There was $14 million in accounts payable which looks similar to the amount you did was missing. I didn't look into it too much.
     
  15. Mahtzo1

    Mahtzo1 Member+

    Jan 15, 2007
    So Cal
    I didn't mean to say or imply that USSF was giving money to MLS or AYSO or any other organization. What I am trying to imply is that it is possible that USSF is being paid/kickbacks/bribes or something of that nature to unfairly benefit an organization(s). I don't know about tax law or anything like that but if it can be shown that USSF is too closely intertwined with MLS, SUM, AYSO or some other organization so that it is a defacto part of that outside entity it could possibly affect their tax exempt status. Or I could be completely off base.

    If, indeed, MLS or some entity is directing USSF, then I would expect that both sides are getting something. USSF is getting paid in some manner ($ or something else of value to them?) and the outside entity (MLS? AYSO? Some other entity?) would also be benefitting. What is the most common form of benefit in a business situation? I would guess money or something that allows increased profits/access to money?
     
  16. DHC1

    DHC1 Member+

    Jun 3, 2002
    NYC
    I think you’re a good faith poster but tend toward defending status quo and MLS/Berhalter so I wanted to get your opinion. Sorry if I bunched you with others who are more strident.

    I also disagree that MLS has been bad for the USMNT and with blanket responses and insults toward MLS and its fans.
     
  17. Paul Berry

    Paul Berry Member+

    Notts County and NYCFC
    England
    Apr 18, 2015
    Nr Kingston NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    What benefits is MLS getting from USSF?
     
  18. Patrick167

    Patrick167 Member+

    Dortmund
    United States
    May 4, 2017
    Of course MLS gets money from USSF.

    SUM is the MLS owners. SUM has been given the marketing rights to the national teams. SUM pays anywhere from $10-30 MM for those rights. Most in the industry value those rights at $90-100+MM.

    USSF gives SUM/MLS $60+ MM per year.
     
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  19. Paul Berry

    Paul Berry Member+

    Notts County and NYCFC
    England
    Apr 18, 2015
    Nr Kingston NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    NHL gets $200 million from US networks including the Winter Classic and Stanley Cup.

    Give me an example of someone in the industry who things US Soccer home games are worth half that?
     
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  20. gunnerfan7

    gunnerfan7 Member+

    SJ Earthquakes/Arsenal
    United States
    Jul 22, 2012
    Pleasanton, California
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Nope.
     
  21. Patrick167

    Patrick167 Member+

    Dortmund
    United States
    May 4, 2017
    Kartik Krishnayer. Erik Wynalda. Neil Blackmon. Anyone who covers sports media. It isn't really debatable. It is part of the USWNT's lawsuit.

    That hockey number is from 10 years ago. It is going to be higher.

    NBC pays $167MM to broadcast the EPL in the USA. The women play 20 games a year, the men 12-14, 34 events to 38 weekends. They play mostly in prime time versus morning. And you are seriously thinking the TV rights are worth 1/6th off that?

    But we don't know the market value because they have been given to SUM for 17 years.

    You have to agree that SUM wouldn't take that deal for 17 years if they weren't making a good profit on it, right? So, MLS is getting money from USSF.
     
  22. gunnerfan7

    gunnerfan7 Member+

    SJ Earthquakes/Arsenal
    United States
    Jul 22, 2012
    Pleasanton, California
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yes, and NBC wouldn't pay that if they weren't making a profit. EPL games outdraw USMNT and USWNT games by the way.

    I don't like SUM always being the only bidder, but you're just making up numbers.
     
  23. Patrick167

    Patrick167 Member+

    Dortmund
    United States
    May 4, 2017
    Nope, as in, "SUM has been taking a deal for 17 years they are losing money on"?

    Is that your position? Find me one quote from anywhere that SUM doesn't turn a profit and the MLS owners want out of the deal. You can't.

    USSF gives SUM something worth more than SUM has to pay for it. That is the same as giving them money.
     
  24. Patrick167

    Patrick167 Member+

    Dortmund
    United States
    May 4, 2017
    So, you are saying the EPL rights are worth more than $167 MM. But SUM is not profiting off the NT rights they pay $10-30 MM for. Right...I got a bridge you can buy.

    And no, the ratings are comparable. It is MLS ratings that are 1/8th the NT and EPL ratings. Because, they can pay $30 MM for the rights, make Fox and ESPN lose money broadcasting MLS, and still make a hefty profit.

    Again, you are arguing SUM has been losing money for 17 years. We all know that is not the case.
     
  25. gunnerfan7

    gunnerfan7 Member+

    SJ Earthquakes/Arsenal
    United States
    Jul 22, 2012
    Pleasanton, California
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    No, it's not my position. My position is that we don't know what USSF rights are worth. For one, USMNT and WNT and NWSL games are packaged together. For another, there's TV and merchandising, which aren't the same thing, nor valued the same.

    Your position, that SUM making a profit means that the USSF is selling at 1/10th to 1/3rd the "true" value, is entirely fabricated.
     

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