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Discussion in 'MLS: General' started by psveindhoven, May 21, 2007.
The Wolves were just sold for £10.
And I don't mean £10M.
The best players in the world usually ends up in one of these clubs:
Real Madrid Spain revenue:$373.4 million FC Barcelona Spain $331.1 million Juventus Italy $321.0 million Manchester United England $310.1 million AC Milan Italy $305.0 million Chelsea FC England $282.3 million Inter Milan Italy $264.0 million Bayern Munich Germany $261.6 million Arsenal FC England $245.7 million Liverpool FC England $224.9 million
Even if the EPL has the highest total revenue by far only four of the top ten are English. The clubs in Europe usually have a salary budget of 60% of revenue (40% in Germany). These are the numbers MLS clubs have to reach to compete over the top players in the world. But with a DP rule where you use much of the salary budget on just 1-3 players MLS clubs might be able to attract some world class players with a much smaller salary budget. MLS clubs may allso need money for a transfer fees as few players go on a free transfer.
Yes, but the buyer has to commit £30M to improving the team.
The team values are not irrelevant. They matter quite a bit. Because along with increased franchise values comes an increased salary cap. And if we get to the NHL's level we're looking at around 50 million for each team. You probably didn't see my first post in this thread. The post you quoted was sort of an extension on that one. If MLS gets to that level (NHL's level with 30 teams each with a 50 million dollar payroll), then we're looking at perhaps the best league in the world.
And don't try to tell me that we're not going to get any of the top 100 players in the world. Thierry Henry thinks we've already done it once (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/internationals/6679543.stm). I guarantee you that top South American and African players will play here just as soon as we can afford to get them here. I'll bet you right now that within 5 years we'll have Brazilian and Argentinian national team players in our league.
I can see MLS becoming a top 10 world league in the next 30 years. It will probably be big in the US and Asia but Europe will reject it. So i cant see it ever being bigger than the top 3 leagues. But even if it were big in the U.S.A. thats still big enough, but im afraid i wont be tuning in to watch Galaxy vs D.C, not because the quality of the play but those god damn commentators are awfull.
Financially maybe, not in footballing terms perhaps. There are gulf-state teams willing to pay mega bucks to top players, but they only go there when they're retired. Even the MLS DP rule only managed to lure Beckham after his England career was finished. Top players want to be playing for top teams in top competitions, not for a mid-table team in a league full of mediocrity.
Your problem is you're equating team value with spending power. Football teams have low values because they spend everything they get, and have to build their own stadiums.
From next season, even the poorest Premiership team will be able to afford a wage bill 50% higher than the NHL salary cap. At the top end, Man United's net profit is enough to pay the wagebill of any NFL team. That should put things in perspective when you think that the MLS has an easy road to domination.
To me, it says that most of the money in American sport is already tied up in huge, established sports, leaving MLS fighting for the crumbs.
Suprisingly, you'd be wrong.
Why? If there are one or two teams in Russia with $25 million then they are capable of financially competing with other teams who also have $25 million, even if the rest of the teams in their leagues are dogs. And this $25 million we're talking about, whilst spare change in Europe's top leagues, is over ten times the paltry MLS salary cap.
Where is the explosion of money going to come from? MLS would need THIRTY TIMES its current salary cap in order to compete with the poorest Premiership team. And even if you could financially compete, that doesn't mean you could do so in a footballing sense. South American teams are competitive in the world club cup despite being dirt poor, beating far wealthier European opposition.
And you're assuming that as the MLS grows, Europe will stand still. With the eastward expansion of the EU, the European market is only going to grow. Throw in the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine, and who's to say that Eastern Bloc leagues won't also grow at the same rate as MLS? That's not even mentioning Australia, a country that isn't short of a bob or two, and has a growing interest in football.
If America wants its league to succeed, the answer isn't to compete with Europe financially, but to produce your own players. All the top European and South American leagues gained their reputations via home grown players, and used that to build their financial muscle. It rarely works the other way round. Build academies, fill the league with top quality Americans who can compete at the top level, and suddenly MLS is a respectable, competitive league with the finances to hold onto their best players.
Before MLS will get huge, the media must accept the league. Look at Australia: The media pays attention to their new professional A-League and the clubs draw huge attendances. Melbourne had 50.000 fans against Sydney, Sydney FC and Queensland both had 30.000 fans in big games. Those clubs only excist for two (!!) years!!! But the media gave it attention because the country became soccer-mad after their success in the World Cup and since they have a new professional league and play against the best Asian countries instead of weak Oceanian football teams. So if things change, it can go pretty fast. The question is: Will things change? I believe it's possible, but USA needs more than Australia. They have to be World Champion or come far in World Cups, must have American super stars, the clubs must play in their own stadiums in stead of 80% empty NFL stadiums. THEN i believe the US media will pay attention to the sport. Beckham is a big step, just like the new soccer-specific-stadiums and the WC success in 2002. If this progression will grow and grow, MLS will be on American television, get more attention --> more fans --> more money --> better players --> more fans --> more money etc.
The big question: What must change till MLS will be on American TV?
Platini doesn't want to shrink the CL. His idea was actually to spread the places around more countries. Which may have the potential to actually increase the depth in European football.
Actually, it would. Lower level Premiership teams look crap because they're playing against a high level of opposition. Put Wigan in MLS and they'd look like Brazil.
Even if you could compete financially, a player would rather play in Europe unless the American wage is significantly higher.
In Moscow he can play in the Uefa cup or Champions league, where he can put himself on the shop window against all of Europe's top teams. In Miami he can play against the Kansas City Wizards or Deportivo Saprissa...
And if players chose which team to play for based on the city, why can't PSG attract better players? You're talking as if every European city is a hellhole whilst every American city is a utopia. LA is home to the worst gang violence in the developed world. DC can only be described as a giant ghetto. Boston is practically in the arctic. I'd rather live in Milan than Chicago, Madrid than Utah, Berlin than New Jersey, Paris than Denver.
50 milion per team is most certainly not going to make you the best league in the world. Not even close. Ajax are 25. in the revenue list with 81 million. And there are many rich clubs not listed in the top 25. Benfica, Marseille, psg , hamburg, fenerbahce, galatasaray , spartak, cska, zenit, schaktar...
50 milion makes you about the 50. or so richest club in the world. Being outside of the champions league means that you would have to overpay players that you would be competing for. Going outside of Europe is seen by most as a dead end for your career. Doing that basically means you’re giving up on serious football and just want to cash in as much as possible before you’re done.
Not to mention that mls is nowhere near 50 mil. a team.
No way. Mexican league offers very good money and they don’t have any African stars, and they only have a few south Americans that they pay more than they could get in the European market. Even Mexican players that use to be happy to get good money and be comfortable at home are now feeling the desire to compete with the best and moving to europe.
I can assure you that profits also come into account when valuing a company. Not just the size but the reliability. In America, profits are not related to what happens on the field, so if your team suddenly collapses it doesn't hurt the bottom line, you can lose every game and still rake in the profits. In Europe on the other hand, a CL exit or relegation can cost you tens of millions. A star player breaking his leg can mean having to spend twenty million on a replacement. A change of manager, and you can go from being comfortably profitable to making a loss. Many European clubs are heavily in debt.
I think you'll find that salary cap is related to revenues, not values. Values are only important when it comes to selling.
You'll have a league full of teams with the financial clout of Reading, Wigan and Middlesbrough, but without the appeal of the league being topped by big rich teams. Imagine the lower half of the Premiership combined with the top half of the Championship. You consider that to be the best league in the world?
Just curios, where did you get that ?
I agree with much of your post, especially the prospect of more South American players in MLS, and while team values are relevant, the better measure of what teams can pay is probably gross revenues.
Most of the teams are not publicly traded (or at least actively traded) companies, and the "franchise values" we are all quoting are not simply what the stock is trading for, or even book values as far as I can tell, both of which could be confirmed easily enough. Rather, I think these values represent essentially the "appraised" (or, given the formality of these things, more accurately the "projected") value of what the club would sell for -- if it was for sale. Lots of things can impact that number, no matter what the size of the team. Chelsea and DC United have both lost lots of money relatively speaking, but the value of each is probably substantially higher than five years ago.
That's the reason the salary caps in most leagues is set on average gross revenues -- turnover in Eurospeak. The NFL, for example, limits franchises from spending more than 63% of gross revenues, as defined by the league. (I don't remember if the percentage increased with the most recent CBA, but 63% is still close). So gross revenues, not team value, really are the critical thing to look at when you want to gauge what a team -- or league -- can spend on players. And players certainly drive the quality of the league.
Circling back to the topic, if that NFL cap percentage is true for MLS and teams can resonably spend about 63% of gross revenues on players (ignoring for the moment how the money has to move back to the league under the single entitiy structure to pay the players), an MLS team would need the equivalent of $25 million in gross revenues in order to fund a $15 million plus payroll and still be profitable. I'm not sure it the league is that far off. And at the extreme, if the Galaxy really can get to $100 million in annual gross revenues, as is their reported ambition, just look at what they might be capable of -- a $60 million plus annual payroll. If a couple other clubs could do the same, MLS would be a world class league.
For this to happen, you would have to increase the standard of football, so as to attract the fans, who will in turn spend the money.
I can only see this happening in one way really; by having a massive restructure of how football exists in your culture... You'd need to invest in talented players from a young age, and following through with their development until they're ready to play in the MLS... basically, you need more people to be playing to have an increased 'homegrown talent'.
As a short term fix, importing players such as Beckham, JPA and Blanco will increase the profile and interest of the MLS, but I'm not too sure how easy it would be to get many more quality players who are in their prime, to play in the States?!
I realize that you are new to American futbol/soccer and MLS. But we DON'T need a "massive restructure of how football exists in our culture". The European model does NOT work here. So we will find our own way, which will probably end up being some kind of hibrid between the Euro system and traditional American professional sports models. As part of that development, MLS clubs are investing in youth acadamies. They are right now building them from the ground up. But it's a slow process. So in the short term we need to import some players to raise the standard of play and the profile of the league.
You need to keep in mind that we are building the professional game from nothing in this country. Eight years ago we did not have a single stadium that was built for the game. Now more than half our clubs play in new stadiums specifically built for futbol/soccer. Over the course of the next five years, virtually all MLS clubs will be playing in new soccer specific stadiums. This infrastructure is critical to the success of the game here. But it's not just stadiums. It's practice grounds. It's office faclilities. And the previously mentioned Acadamies.
The bottom line is that MLS is still very much in the building stage. And yet, it continues to improve and get better every year. The standard is much higher than it was 12 years ago. And the financial picture has completely turned around. MLS just needs some more time to mature.
I don't think Watford's wage bill was ~$66M this past year.
And while it's marginal, you need to remember that NHL teams "own" a bunch of players in the minor leagues that don't count against the cap, while I assume reserve players count for your Prem numbers, and I wonder if academy players do, too.
Link please. See above.
Average Prem team I'd believe. Poorest? I don't follow Prem business all that much, but I just don't see Wigan's wage bill being ~$66M.
I totally agree with you... I wasn't saying that you need to model your system on Europe, just that you need to invest in grassroots, which obviously takes time...
I know things are changing/ have changed, it's quite plain to see..
But from what I can gather, previously, 'Soccer', was a sport for youngsters, until you went to High School/ College, and switched sports.. to something like Basketball or Grid Iron..
No, they look like crap because too many players have 10 times as much work rate as technique.
Wigan would probably look about like DC did when it was playing great in the months before the all-star break last year. Probably not as good, but about like that.
So MLS would have 24 teams that would rank at around 50th in the world. I wonder if Watford and Borussia Moenchengladbach are in the top 50? The top 150?