Let My People Go

Discussion in 'Columbus Crew SC' started by kaiser kraut, Aug 20, 2002.

  1. kaiser kraut

    kaiser kraut New Member

    Jun 26, 2001
    Indianapolis
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Snowden comes up with another great article on soccer365:
    http://www.soccer365.com/US_home/Features_Interviews/page_38_37662.shtml

    I agree that MLS is taking the wrong road in this matter. If a player really wants to go and there is a fairly reasonable offer, MLS needs to let these guys go play in Europe. The more Americans over there, the greater the likelyhood they see time. EU clubs can't waste their few spots allocated to non-EU players on somebody who isn't going to contribute. MLS is going to screw up big time if these guys leave for free at the end of their contracts.
     
  2. Bill Archer

    Bill Archer BigSoccer Supporter

    Mar 19, 2002
    Washington, NC
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It does seem that, to a certain extent, MLS missed the top of the market on some of these guys. Nobody is throwing the cash around like confetti anymore.

    At the same time, remember that the league, and hence the players, are owned by a handful of businesspeople. They know full well that if they don't sell now, they may very well end up with nothing later on.

    So to a certain extent, this has to be a concious choice. They're not stupid. But their highest priority is building the league, and the only way to do that is to have recognizable faces playing in MLS.

    I would also contest Snowden's theory about scaring off younger players from signing with MLS. Younger players are not morons, they know the differences financially, and if they can get a spot overseas they already go. MLS is virtually no one's first choice.

    But as Twellman, Matteo, Tennyson et al prove, it ain't that easy. Foreign clubs just don't much want them. And the WC didn't change dick, despite what all the experts predicted.

    MLS is keeping these guys around for their own purposes. If they pass up a few bucks but end up with a viable League, it's worth it.

    I might suggest that, in a certain sense, the owners could be applauded for putting the establishment of the league ahead of making a quick buck.

    As for the players, I too would like to see BMB get another shot overseas, but he, like Beasley, like Mathis, like the rest of them SIGNED A FUKKIN CONTRACT to play for MLS. They can whine all they want, but I'll bet none of them had to have Lucca Brazzi hold a gun to their heads to sign.

    If you want out, then play out the deal you agreed to and leave. No problem, all the best.
     
  3. joseph pakovits

    joseph pakovits New Member

    Apr 29, 1999
    fly-over country
    For younger players the decision is the possible trade-off between making more money now and getting playing time. If you go to Europe you'll certainly make more coin to start with but Euroteams seems to have an aversion to playing American players even if they're better than the next best choice.

    If you sign with MLS, you may make peanuts to start with but you'll get playing time and therefore a possible chance to make a name for yourself. For example, does anyone really see DaMarcus Beasley playing in Korea this year if he had gone to Europe and rotted on some club's reserve squad bench?
     
  4. kaiser kraut

    kaiser kraut New Member

    Jun 26, 2001
    Indianapolis
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It means Lucca Brazzi sleeps with the fishes.
    ...And don't forget the cannolis, or Fat Tony is gonna punt a ball right at ya jewels. Capisca?
     
  5. kaiser kraut

    kaiser kraut New Member

    Jun 26, 2001
    Indianapolis
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    As for Beasley not going to Ajax, that's really too bad. Can you imagine how cool it would be if 2 of their starting midfielders were US Nats? I think that would have been pretty awesome.
     
  6. joseph pakovits

    joseph pakovits New Member

    Apr 29, 1999
    fly-over country
    Considering I wouldn't be able to watch them play, I don't think it would be nearly as cool as watching 3 US Nats (Armas, Wolff and Beasley) play live and in person has been for the past few years.
     
  7. Chris_Bailey

    Chris_Bailey Member+

    Feb 28, 2000
    Chicago
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Yeah, can't wait to see Wolff in a few weeks against Crew...




    D'oh!
     
  8. joseph pakovits

    joseph pakovits New Member

    Apr 29, 1999
    fly-over country
    Same with Armas. At least we get Nowak back soon.

    Wasn't the knock on JOB that he was injury-prone and never played?
     
  9. diablodelsol

    diablodelsol Member+

    Jan 10, 2001
    North Ridgeville, OH
    The question the league has to answer is this: Is Brian McBride (or any of the other players mentioned in the article) worth more than $1.5-$2million to the league over the remainder of his contract? If yes, don't sell. If no, sell.

    The decision to sell contracted players and the idea of keeping players in the league are two entirely seperate matters. The league cannot, nor should it, compete on a wage basis for players with clubs from Europe. When these player's contracts are up, they're free to leave for greener pastures, assuming they are still wanted. Until then, they are worth more to the league than what European clubs are willing to spend.

    My big problem with MLS is that they don't seemed to have accepted, or they don't understand, that they cannot compete with the European clubs for these players.

    McBride, Mathis, Beasly et al ARE leaving MLS, whether MLS likes it or not. Every player with the ability to play (and make a higher wage) is going, regardless of what the league likes to think(Ok, perhaps not every, but you get the point). The sooner they realize this, the better, as I'm sure a league that develops young American talent and sells them to the highest bidder would be profitable, at least a lot more profitable than the league is today. Would in be major league? Certainly not. However, I for one am more excited to watch Martino and Buddle come of age than McBride continue to do what he's done throughout his career. Perhaps I'm the only one, but I really dont' think so.

    MLS knew that they would have to put in some overtime before they would become major league. However, they miscalculated and thought all they'd have to do was wait around.

    Had they concentrated on youth development from the beginning I feel they'd be in a better financial situation than they are right now.

    For example, what do you suppose Donovan would be worth right now if he had been playing in the LA Galaxy youth system since he was fourteen. Do you really think he'd have signed overseas at 16 had he already been playing as an amatuer for the Galaxy? I'd offer that he'd be worth enough to pay the rent for half the damn league.
     
  10. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth New Member

    Apr 22, 2002
    Columbus, Ohio
    El Diablo...what is your feeling on worth to MLS?

    From most important factor to zilch...I just don't get some of this.

    With McBride...missing, what, three quarters of the games this year...what exactly constitutes what MLS wil lose if he leaves? Please do not say ticket sales becasue that just isn't true in Columbus. maybe some teeny bopper will give up hope of him divorcing and marrying her in 10, but seriously, it wouldn't make a dent if he were here or not.

    does MLS get a cut of his endorsements? That'd be weird.
     
  11. Eggy

    Eggy New Member

    May 28, 1999
    CBUS
    I have to say that even though I see where those players are valuable to the league, I don't see them being challenged much here.

    Take Donovan. He's already won the league. Wouldn't he like to take on a new challenge?
     
  12. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth New Member

    Apr 22, 2002
    Columbus, Ohio
    I would think if he gets to play. One of the grips from American players going abroad is they sit. Sure they learn, but if you want to play that is a big factor. Donovan said he sat too much. Here..he's young, he's in his back yard with friends and family, and he's making a lot of money with his endorsements.

    So, what would be the rush unless he knows he's playing? He has time...McBride does not have time.
     
  13. Eggy

    Eggy New Member

    May 28, 1999
    CBUS
    Yes but I am sure there is a team that would use them. Also, things are different now. They proved at the World Cup that they can play at the highest level. Before that they hadn't.
     
  14. diablodelsol

    diablodelsol Member+

    Jan 10, 2001
    North Ridgeville, OH
    Eggy,

    I know it was long, but I was actually advocating selling anyone who wants to and has the ability to go. Small clubs have to pay their dues.
     
  15. Bill Archer

    Bill Archer BigSoccer Supporter

    Mar 19, 2002
    Washington, NC
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    But there's a larger point here, guys.

    This is not a "big club vs. little club" situation, like with clubs in Europe. There, the little clubs sell players to fund themselves. It's their whole MO as most of you know.

    I would have thought everyone had this down by now, but for those of you who don't THERE ARE NO "CLUBS" IN MLS. Not little clubs struggling to make it. Not "big clubs". NO FUKKIN CLUBS.

    Rather, this is a "big club vs. league that only has four more years to make it or the owners have already said they'll give it up" situation.

    MLS is trying to establish itself as a legitimate league. To do this, they don't just need players that you and I recognize - they need players that little Johnny from the Saturday morning sandbox league recognizes.

    They NEED these guys. Desperately. If they let them go for whatever to be "fair" or to "be nice" then they're slitting their own throats.

    And the Euros are NOT offering big dollars for these guys. Middlesborough offered $800m for Beasley, Perugia apparently not much more than that for Mathis.

    These are not serious offers. They're bargain shopping, just like they always did. If they felt that Mathis, for example, was a big time striker, they'd pay the going rate for big time strikers.

    Ain't nobody talkin that kind of dough, is there? Top clubs pay a million bucks for their towel boys, but Beasley is worth 800 thou? Please.

    Elizabeth: Yes indeed they ARE using McBride to promote the league. Every freaking MLS promo now airing anywhere has BMB very prominently featured. And when the Crew comes to town, the ads don't say "Hey, come on down and watch Brian West and the Columbus Crew", because nobody cares.

    Fact is, MLS has spent MILLIONS, literally, promoting five guys. So when they con Mom and Dad whitebread into coming to a match, that's who they want to see - not a nice note saying "Get DirecTV and you can watch Mathis on Sunday at noon playing for Bayern Munich"

    (And yes, as a major sponsor of Donovan and McBride, among others, Nike has a GREAT DEAL to say about all this)

    And for God's sake, Eggy, spare me the "The players aren't being challenged" crap. You know better. Number one, this is a business, not a youth league, and number two if they "aren't being challenged" then why isn't Donovan scoring 5 goals a game?

    Contrary to all the BigSoccer bullshit this Spring, it appears that the big Euro teams have NOT changed their minds about American players, and a good World Cup performance for the US did NOT translate into hordes of signings for big dollars.

    So really, the choice for MLS is to either let these guys go for way less than what they're worth and watch MLS slowly die with a bunch of anonymous players on the field, or hang onto them until somebody offers what they're worth.
     
  16. diablodelsol

    diablodelsol Member+

    Jan 10, 2001
    North Ridgeville, OH
    Or lose them on a free when their contracts run out. The point is, they can't hold on to them.
     
  17. kaiser kraut

    kaiser kraut New Member

    Jun 26, 2001
    Indianapolis
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The problem is the money. MLS wouldn't have to worry about resigning players at the end of their contracts if the salary cap and league max were higher. However, if a player knows that it's going to be cramped and that in order to make the money he wants he has to be traded to a team with enough cap room, then it seems stupid to stick around. Most players are interested in what's best for them, not the league. If it's best for them to learn Spanish and play for Seville making 100K more a year, the guy will seriously consider this when his contract is up. Why should he renegotiate his contract when MLS can't afford to pay these guys what they want?

    Obviously this problem won't go away until the league starts turning a profit and gets more sponsorship money. I'll get back to this point.

    For the moment, the league needs to what is best for the league. If they feel its better to hold onto these guys, then great... but have they really considered what these guys will do when their contracts are up? You can't wait until there is 4 months left on a guys contract to sell him. At that point, the buyer will just wait 4 months and get him on a free transfer.

    Back to my other point. For the league to start having a bigger pocket, it has to empty their pockets first. More stadiums built and owned by the investors, especially smaller soccer-specific stadia. The investors need to be able to stop paying so much in rent and leases. They need to be able to profit on the parking and concessions. Ticket sales and sponsorship money just isn't going to cut it. TV money won't be a real factor until we see consistent 18K+ crowds (IMO) and teams are housed in proper venues for broadcasting. Once you start getting ESPN to add some pre&post game time to their Soccer Saturday program, then things will be getting a lot better. This all translates into better wages and being able to keep more players interested in MLS.
     
  18. diablodelsol

    diablodelsol Member+

    Jan 10, 2001
    North Ridgeville, OH
    Developing and selling young players would have been a cheaper and quicker way to financial solvency than investing $50 million in a stadium per team.

    Wanna know why the owners haven't done it? Because, once you invest in assets like that, you're on the hook. You can walk away from the operational losses. You can't walk away from capital expenditures.

    TV money will never be an issue in this country. Well, perhaps I shouldn't say never. However, given the fact that we have one tenth the advertising time that our competitors can offer in a two hour window, we'll probably have to do 10 times the ratings before TV money will be an issue. Maybe never was the right word.
     
  19. kaiser kraut

    kaiser kraut New Member

    Jun 26, 2001
    Indianapolis
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    When the TV ratings go up, that's when you can charge people more for the sideline advertisements, cuz they are now getting TV exposure. That is constant TV exposure during the game. You have the little add up by the score/time thing... you have half time adds, and if you get pre&post game adds in with pre&post game talk, then there is even more adds. IF TV ratings go up, then you can charge a real premium for those sideline adds.
     
  20. diablodelsol

    diablodelsol Member+

    Jan 10, 2001
    North Ridgeville, OH
    OK, so a fifth of the advertising time and space. But still...
     
  21. Kryptonite

    Kryptonite Fancy Title Here

    Apr 10, 1999
    Columbus
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Stadiums,

    Columbus and LA are done. (LA is, as far as i'm concerned).

    Chicago, you know what's happened there.

    Metros, I believe a vote is happening soon in the Senate or congress or some law-making building. (spare the politics, this is about soccer).


    The thing that bothers me the most is when they talk about Gillette Stadium in New England being "a stadium inside a stadium".

    The revs and others need a stadium that will fit their fans, and grass that won't have football lines on it during the playoff run.


    As far as TV goes, it'd be great a few years down the road to have something like ESPN's CL coverage:

    MLS coverage starts at 4 PM in a studio, where the day's matches are broken down, standings are discussed and all that yap. Around 4:10 PM, they send the broadcast to the stadium. Kickoff would then be around 4:15 PM. When the game gets done a little after 6, they'd do a post game show, then go to a mini-sportscenter or whatever....
     
  22. swims

    swims Member

    Even though I like McBride, I don't feel any pity for the guy. He took his shot at euro soccer and failed. Now he's become a staple in the MLS diet and he's whining about the league not bending over far enough to sell him overseas. It's not the league's fault that he got a blod clot during his 'audition' at Preston NE. It's not the league's fault that Brian didn't fully blossom till he was damn near thirty and on the outer limits of what is considered the peak playing age. It's also not the league's fault that the US and hence the world economy is faltering and shrinking the ready cash available for big time transfer fees.

    And when you get down to it, without MLS, Brian would have been an A-League star on year to year contracts, playing indoor soccer in the offseason (and how would his injury rate have climbed under that kind of punishment?), and praying for the chance to sit on a euro bench. Maybe he's not as high up the ladder as he, or any number of people, thinks he should be, but he's a damn sight higher up that ladder than he would have been without the league that isn't doing enough to further his aspirations.

    On another note, there really isn't anything in that article that we haven't known for quite some time now. Snowden is just stirring a pot that has probably been off the burner as far as the principal parties are concerned.
     
  23. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth New Member

    Apr 22, 2002
    Columbus, Ohio
    Awful early to need a Bill chill pill don't you think?

    And no..the Crew rarely says "come on down and see Brian McBride play"

    And little Johnny is not going to stay home just becasue he asked Mommy if McBride will be there. I don't buy it and I know plenty of kids that are either fans of going or not.
    Sure he's played up by the league as a whole but losing him isn't going to make a difference...they can use Donovan or somebody. They don't want to lose all the stars, but he just ain't around.mmHe's hurt or he's gone.

    They are overreacting. And again...he can leave when his contract is up so what then? Ohh noooo we have nobody to promote! We wil lsoe millions in ticket sales and recognizability. BS Bill.
     
  24. Bill Archer

    Bill Archer BigSoccer Supporter

    Mar 19, 2002
    Washington, NC
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Absolutely right, and that goes for the rest of them as well.

    And Snowden's article IS timely - although you're right that it's old news - because everyone's expectation was that, when the rest of the world saw how great these guys all were that they'd be over here throwing money around like confetti.

    The USA boards were chock full of "Mathis will get a $10mm transfer fee" and "Wolff is easily worth $8mm" and all that.

    So it's been a real letdown, for the players as much as everybody else. But the fact is that if somebody was over here offering THAT kind of money, we'd all be out on the dock waving goodbye even as we speak.
     
  25. Bill Archer

    Bill Archer BigSoccer Supporter

    Mar 19, 2002
    Washington, NC
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Hostility on call, babydoll, 24/7

    Never said they did. Try to follow what I say, not what you WISH I said.

    What I SAID was that the LEAGUE promotes McBride and that OTHER TEAMS use him as an attraction.

    The POINT, my little dove, is that people pay to see PLAYERS, not uniforms. You can't put 11 schmoes on the field in yellow shirts and sell many tickets. People pay to see STARS.

    It's Sports Marketing 101, honey. You don't have to agree, it's just true.

    And if you don't think people, and their kids, pay money to see Brian McBride, or Clint Mathis or Landon Donovan you have oatmeal between your ears, toots.

    Whatever. Doesn't mean it isn't true.

    I'm just not sure where the cojent thought is in this mishmash, so let me just say this:

    As I said, the league spent beaucoup bucks promoring five players, and are still doing it today.

    This is not because they're dumber than you, cutie. It's because they, like everyone else on the planet except you, understands that having recognizable stars is the first step in promoting a team or a league.

    And this is, as I pointed out, a league which has four more years to attain profitablity or the guys who are footing the millions of dollars in losses are going to say enough.

    And when these guys contracts run out, at least a few of them may very well discover that they were one whole hell of a lot better off where they were.
     

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