Rick Silva is back in soccer news. And it's not because anyone is paying attention to his team, weirdly enough.
The guy can't get the Miami metro area to care more about his actual team than David Beckham's Chinese Democracy FC. So, naturally, he has four billion dollars to buy up the media rights for all pro soccer until the sun goes out. This is Paul Kennedy's response to some of the many problems with Silva's offer, I encourage you to read it. Once you have done so, you may consider the following additional topics:
1. The World Cup bid. You know, the thing that by 2026 will probably be the biggest sporting event on the planet. It's possible that USSF and MLS might wanna tie themselves to that in some way, assuming USSF/FMF/CSA win the bid.
2. This offer would be negotiated and take effect during the inaugural seasons of the next set of MLS expansion teams. Whither thine expansion fees?
3. There's no way on God's neon green Sounders jersey that USSF would be able to impose this on MLS without a court order, probably a Supreme Court order. I'm not saying the legal fees for such an adventure would be four billion bucks all by itself...but I'm not NOT saying it.
I have been, if I say so myself, eloquent on the topic of whether promotion and relegation in the US is a good idea. Spoiler: it ain't. Every argument in favor can and should be dismissed out of hand - well, unless you happen to own a second division team without the financial resources to join MLS, short of devaluing every existing and future MLS franchise through some catastrophic act of bureaucratic seppuku.
This isn't Silva's first attempt to convince American soccer to apply the promotion/relegation suppository willingly. Last year he commissioned Deloitte UK's sports section to produce an infographic and an executive summary on the topic. This is part of what Deloitte gave Silva, and this is part of what Silva and Deloitte saw fit to release to the public.
A more pressing emergency would seem to be the fact that four out of nine fans don't have arms, legs, or torsos. And that nine out of nine fans don't have faces, but since nine out of nine fans are also floating in a featureless void, there's nothing to see or hear. But anyway - 8 out of 9 fans like pro/rel. Strange we're asking fans, and not owners, whose privates are actually the ones in the vice, but okay. 8:1 ratio. Got it. Anything else?
When I read this, I asked myself what the difference was between thinking this would be "beneficial for club soccer in the USA" and "in favour [sic] of introducing it." I asked myself this, because I am an innumerate clod. Eight out of nine is eighty-eight percent. This was the same factoid, reworded and given a different picture.
Apparently Deloitte's synonym budget for the third quarter of 2016 had sharp limits, though:
Yes, that is literally the same sentence with yet a third picture. If you ask me, the wrong finger is being extended.
Oh, look, a source for these statistics. "Survey of 1,058 US soccer fans (September 2016)."
So we don't have three useful numbers. We don't have two, or even one. Without knowing who these fans were, and how the poll was conducted, this information is worthless. Maybe these numbers are statistically valid, maybe they're not. We would have to wait until the full report was produced.
We're still waiting.
A college student who tried this amateurish padding would have it thrown back in their face by a disgusted teaching assistant. But a professional accounting firm produced it, and a media billionaire paid for it. Either they're really stupid, or they think somebody else is.
There are two types of soccer fan in America: those that accept that promotion and relegation isn't going to happen, and those that are just going to have to learn to accept it. The only reason I'm wasting my dignity on his is (a) well, Soccer America felt they had to pay attention to it, too and (b) what else am I going to do, write about the Gold Cup final? That's WAY easier to do after the final game is played.
Since Silva and Deloitte can recycle, so can I. Promotion and relegation is like changing the national anthem to "Anaconda" by Nicki Minaj. Maybe you think it's a great idea, or maybe you think it's not such a great idea. But it ain't gonna happen.