Is the MLS one of the big leagues of the future?

Discussion in 'MLS: General' started by psveindhoven, May 21, 2007.

  1. Hansadyret

    Hansadyret Member

    Feb 20, 2007
    Bergen, Norway
    Club:
    SK Brann Bergen
    Somehow i knew that question would come up:) .
    I found it in this report on bundesliga finances(page 7 down left):
    http://www.bundesliga.de/misc/download/04_dfl_report2007_en.pdf

    It says that of the top five leagues the payroll compared to total revenue is highest in the spanish league(64%) and lowest in Bundesliga(40%). The premiership is on 59%.
     
  2. AndyMead

    AndyMead Homo Sapien

    Nov 2, 1999
    Seat 12A
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    Exactly, and "transfer fees" are not "wages".

    To draw a complete comparison, some portion of net transfer fees has to be factored in over time.

    And, of course, the same would apply to MLS. One would need to factor in the transfer fees that the league has paid and received as well.
     
  3. mcontento

    mcontento Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Catalina Wine Mixer
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    Keep in mind he said $50M payroll, not $50M in revenue. Revenue would be much higher to support a $50M payroll (close to $90M), with team values in the $100s of millions at that point. We're a long way off from that, but if we were there for every team then we'd be in the top 4 leagues easily.
     
  4. NYC10

    NYC10 New Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    Northeast USA
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think that we can reach the status of Ligue 1 Orange, the Bundesliga I, or the League Championship within the next 20 years. To reach the level of Serie A, the Premiership, or La Liga will most likely take longer than 20 years... unless our club and national teams start to consistently play very well in international competitions (FIFA World Club Championship, and World Cup); therefore, increasing the interest in US Soccer both nationally and internationally.
     
  5. aloisius

    aloisius Member

    Jul 5, 2003
    Croatia

    I think you’re being way too optimistic. You’ll have to significantly overpay for any south-American in his prime for him to pick America over Europe. It’s not about offering half a million dollar more to player than Zaragoza offer a player. They also offer him a chance to play against Real and Barca, a chance at champions league and a move to a bigger club later on.

    And the biggest issue of all is how do you get there. How do you get to 70-80 mil.dollar revenue?


    It’s a cycle that’s very close to being unbreakable. Players want to go to Europe because that’s where then money, the fame and the best competition is. The money, the fame and the best competition are there because the best players are there. And round it goes.


    And the European market will only grow stronger with Russian , Turkish , Ukrainian and maybe even Polish clubs having serious money.
     
  6. mcontento

    mcontento Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Catalina Wine Mixer
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think you missed my point.

    I wasn't saying it would happen anytime soon, in fact I even stated that we're a long way off from that. I simply stated that if the teams as he hypothesized had payrolls of $50.000M per team then guess what, it would in fact be one of the big 4 leagues.

    As for your other point do you think a player would rather be in New York City or Zaragosa, Spain? Living in the US has a lot of cachet in other parts of the world. And if United was paying out salaries of $50.000M and RBNY was paying out $50.000M then there would be named players that big stars would be willing to compete with.

    The fact is MLS has the potential to one day be one of the world's top leagues. It certainly isn't anywhere close right now, but to say they can't be is to be blinded by emotion.
     
  7. scott47a

    scott47a Member+

    Seattle Sounders FC; Arsenal FC
    Feb 6, 2007
    Austin, Texas
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Huh?

    No. It won't be.
    Seriously, more Americans go to ultimate fighting and arena football at this point. Let's set our hopes to a realistic level.
    What we want is a stable league that produces good soccer. It doesn't have to be more popular than the NBA or NFL or MLB for us to enjoy the game.
    How do people really expect RBNY to some day have a $50 million payroll when they can't draw 10,000 fans? C'mon, let's be realistic folks.
     
  8. SIR-T

    SIR-T New Member

    Feb 22, 2006
    Why do you think that just because u.s.a starts doing good in the world cup, everybody in the u.s.a will start going mls crazy. If people arent interested or watching the game in the first place, it isnt going to happen. If you want mls to succeed you need a major turnaround in the mindset of the average american. There is currently not alot of interest there if in a city like los angeles or washington you can only get 20,000 or so to a game. Im sorry but the average american hates football, its deep rooted in american society, only sports that are traditionaly american will ever compete large scale.

    If mls is to get big in america you need to get the fans in place, the way the football is played is second on the list. You dont think the premiership is where it is because we play like brazilians, it is where it is because the fans put it there.
    Get 30,000 to watch each mls game regardless of crap weather, crap football or if beckhams playing or not, then you have a league that will build its self.

    Football is made in the stands not the boardrooms.
     
  9. mcontento

    mcontento Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Catalina Wine Mixer
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It depends on your timetable. I think a lot of people read this as will it happen in the next 5-10 years, and the answer is almost assuredly no. Could it happen in 15-20? Maybe, maybe it wouldn't for another 30 or 40, who knows? But if you ask does MLS and moreover the US have the potential to do it? Yes.

    All the other talk is hypothetic, and a nice diversion. No need to be worked up about it. Seriously.

    But since you want me to play...

    Think about the NFL's rise to glory. The NFL started in the 1920s and was a marginal sport when compared to say baseball, for instance, for the next 30+ years and really didn't solidify itself in the national conscious until I think it was the 1958 championship game that got the moniker the "greatest game ever". After that the NFL began gathering its critical mass so that by the end of the 1960s and into the 1970s every little boy in America wanted to be Joe Namath, Roger Staubach, Franco Harris. People pretended they were Lynn Swann on the playground or idolized "Mean" Joe Green, and as the 1980s and 1990s came these kids who are now consumers helped the NFL turn into the Juggernaut that it is today with the NFL finally getting the most lucrative TV deals in the 90s and 00s that have made it by far the richest single league in the world. I'm sure if you asked someone in 1937 if the NFL would be the biggest sport in the US they would have said, "No way, it's too violent" or something to that nature and dismissed it as never being able to compete with the big league (MLB) or other big sports of the time (boxing, horse racing). You can't compare NFL to another league overseas like you can with MLS because obviously there weren't other leagues like it, but suffice to say that little kids didn't want to grow up to play in the NFL (they wanted to be Lou Gehrig) and people in other countries didn't think to come here to play.

    Back to MLS...

    MLS hasn't reached the necessary critical mass to grow into a financial powerhouse, and certainly with the current state of the league even with people like Beckham and the other stars it won't. But with measured expansion, continued good international signings and almost as important the continued growth of the American born player, there is a good chance it could happen. Maybe in 2024 some player you haven't even heard of yet from Argentina will lead them to the World Cup title while playing club soccer for NY dazzling fans across the country every day. It could happen.

    Will little boys want to grow up and be like Beckham and start the process of building the critical mass and future consumers of MLS soccer? We'll find out in about 10-15 years. One thing to always keep in mind is that there are a lot of soccer fans in this country, just not a lot of MLS fans. We don't know what will be the tipping point (critical mass I was talking about) to really put MLS on the radar for them, where they are watching games on TV, going to games in person and buying merchandise. I'm sure if we knew what would be the catalyst then it would be happening now, but if it does one day happen then MLS can grow to one of the most lucrative leagues in the world.

    As for me, I'm happy with MLS as it stands now, it is a fun league, with good enough play and good enough fan base that I can go to the games have a good time, care about my team and feel the thrill of victory and agony of defeat that any supporter feels for any league across the globe. If MLS never got any bigger, I'm ok, but I do realize that it has the ability to become huge. Something tells me that Anschutz, Kroenke, Kraft, Vegara, Chang, MSLE and the Hunts feel the same way.
     
  10. Benin Dahomey

    Benin Dahomey New Member

    Sep 11, 2005
    Greenock, Scotland

    this is an assumption which a lot of people on this thread seem to hold.

    but, having one of the biggest payrolls in the world will not guarantee you one of the best leagues in the world. it just doesn't work like that. look at a lot of the arab teams (in qatar, etc). they are paying well over the odds for some average and 'over the hill' players. by that logic, mls could match the payroll of the epl, but the quality of the players would only be about half as good. you would be paying average players more than they could earn in europe to entice them to mls. to get the best players you would have to pay well in excess of what the top clubs in europe are willing to play.

    throwing lots of money at something doesn't guarantee quality.
     
  11. SideshowBob

    SideshowBob Member

    Jan 12, 2007
    Northern VA
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    If MLS is stable for 30-40 years and becomes a mainstream sport in the US, I'd be absolutely shocked if a NY franchise didn't have a $50M payroll (in today's dollars, obviously it would be much higher than due to inflation).
     
  12. mcontento

    mcontento Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Catalina Wine Mixer
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Would you rather live in Qatar or LA?

    ;)

    Or more importantly if you could be paid the same amount to play for Celtic or Chicago where would you rather live? Assuming of course that if the Chicago roster is something like Celtic then DC United is similar to Ajax and NY is Watford :p
     
  13. aloisius

    aloisius Member

    Jul 5, 2003
    Croatia
    I don’t even think it’s going in that direction. Right now the gap between Europe and the rest of the world isn’t shrinking, it’s growing, and I don’t see what is going to reverse that process.


    Players can always live in New york or LA when they’re in their 30s if that attracts them .
     
  14. scott47a

    scott47a Member+

    Seattle Sounders FC; Arsenal FC
    Feb 6, 2007
    Austin, Texas
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Couple of big "ifs" in there.
     
  15. mcontento

    mcontento Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Catalina Wine Mixer
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I agree with you. I also know we can't predict the future either so only time will tell if MLS ever joins the ranks of the elite leagues.
     
  16. SideshowBob

    SideshowBob Member

    Jan 12, 2007
    Northern VA
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Duh, no crap. That's the whole point of this thread, something that the Eurosnobs on it are ignoring. No one is suggesting that MLS is certain to become a top league in the world. No one is suggesting that MLS is going to do so in the near future. The question at hand is whether MLS is capable of becoming a top league in the world at some point in the future. I'd yet to see a compelling argument that it de facto cannot despite much hand wringing to that effect.

    If MLS can achieve the level of "success" that the NHL currently enjoys, it seems to me that it would be very likely as an entire league to approach the quality of top European leagues.

    That doesn't mean the top MLS teams would be equal to the top European sides -- that's unreasonable and unlikely given the current structure of European leagues that allows traditional powers to maintain a huge amount of power, money and influence. But top to bottom MLS might be comparable to top Euro leagues, maybe not the EPL and La Liga but perhaps Ligue 1 or Bundesliga.

    This entire thread is hypothetical. Too many people seem to be caught up on what currently is rather than the debate at hand -- what might be. The issue is what is the potential or upside of MLS.
     
  17. SoccerFreak

    SoccerFreak Member

    Oct 18, 2000
    Portland, OR
    This has been thrown around alot as well, that big soccer stars would want to come to MLS to live in the US. While I think living in the US will be a draw, a lot of these big soccer stars have the money to already live in the US during their offseason and just play in Europe if they really wanted to, but they don't and you have to ask yourself why that is. Ronaldo says he really loves NY, I'm sure the guy has the dough to live in any upscale NY neighborhood right now as it is, but he chooses to stay in Europe or go back to Brazil during his offseason. I think the idea that living in the US will be the biggest deciding factor might be exaggerated.
     
  18. superdave

    superdave Member+

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    In those oil kingdom leagues, what are the TEAM payrolls? What they pay an over the hill Figo is only relevant insofar as it impacts the TEAM payroll.
     
  19. scott47a

    scott47a Member+

    Seattle Sounders FC; Arsenal FC
    Feb 6, 2007
    Austin, Texas
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Well what "might be" is pretty interesting as long as you look at all of the possibilities.

    What also "might be" is that despite spending millions on players like Beckham, MLS teams continue to fail to attract enough fans and the small TV contracts now are even smaller in the future.

    My point: set realistic expectations. There is no evidence that MLS will be a "big league" ever, at this point. I hope it is, but I can't see how anyone could argue that it is even headed that way at this point. Attendance is down this year, if you don't include the new team.

    And I'm not a Eurosnob, by the way. I've watched more MLS games this season than I watched Serie A or La Liga games all year.
    I love MLS and want it to do well. If they bring a team to Seattle or Vancouver, I'm first in line for season tickets.
    But I can't see how anyone could argue, based on what we know today, that MLS will be akin to EPL, Serie A or La Liga.
     
  20. leg_breaker

    leg_breaker Member

    Dec 23, 2005
    It might not be, but from next season they'll have enough money for such a wage bill, if they choose to spend their money that way. Of course this depends on the strength of the pound and the weakness of the dollar.
     
  21. leg_breaker

    leg_breaker Member

    Dec 23, 2005
    Would you rather live in Valencia or New Jersey? South Americans would more likely want to live somewhere warm and Spanish speaking.

    Not in football it doesn't.
     
  22. leg_breaker

    leg_breaker Member

    Dec 23, 2005
    Yeah no-one wants to live in the middle east. Especially Dubai. That place is practically a ghetto.

    You said this assuming the obvious answer would be Chicago. Why?
     
  23. AndyMead

    AndyMead Homo Sapien

    Nov 2, 1999
    Seat 12A
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    There's a Dubai in Qatar? :confused:
     
  24. houstondynamofan

    houstondynamofan Red Card

    May 7, 2006
    houston,tx
    Yeah because if they had world class talent they would still be drawing 10,000 fans a game.:rolleyes:
     
  25. Mjfan12

    Mjfan12 New Member

    Jun 6, 2005
    Chicago
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think it's possible to gain at least international respect.

    I just heard that ESPN will be showing Euro 2008 in America! and last World Cup was the first time they showed all the matches live! So since they are going to show good matches, we will gain a few more fans when they see world class football.

    Also ESPN doing MLS games, Mexican channels, etc. We're gaining major exposure, they just don't want to mess up like they did back in the 80's with our leaugue.

    This is an instance where globalization is helping.
     

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