promotion and relegation*

Discussion in 'MLS: Commissioner - You be The Don' started by MetroZebra, Jul 27, 2002.

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  1. RichardL

    RichardL BigSoccer Supporter

    May 2, 2001
    Berkshire
    Club:
    Reading FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    Leagues fold due to a lack of clubs. Go back to the history of the birth of professional sports in the USA, and baseball didn't become a closed league to make big profits. It did it just to survive, such was the nature of leagues back then, with teams regularly not even lasting the season. They just went with the clubs they thought would make a viable and stable league.

    That's pretty much the position MLS is in.


    The problem is that your plan appears to be....

    1) introduce pro/rel
    2) promote the viable clubs to MLS

    ... with no recognition that the number of viable clubs is currently zero.

    You also have it in your head that elsewhere in the world...
    a) clubs formed because owners saw it as a good investment (which is wrong)
    b) clubs formed because of pro/rel (they didn't)
    c) the potential for promotion makes lower division clubs valuable (it doesn't)
     
  2. DCU1996

    DCU1996 Member

    Jun 3, 2002
    N. VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    Korea Republic
    Nobody's talking about implementing it anytime soon.
    I'm saying it should be a consideration for long term league design and plan.

    I think potential for promotion makes many of the clubs in lower division much more valuable, maybe not all of them, but many of them if not most of them.
     
  3. RichardL

    RichardL BigSoccer Supporter

    May 2, 2001
    Berkshire
    Club:
    Reading FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    Leagues around the world are just organisational bodies. If the top 600 teams in England all went bust tomorrow then they could promote the like of Paulton Rovers and Potters Bar Town into the premiership, but it wouldn't quite be the same.
     
  4. RichardL

    RichardL BigSoccer Supporter

    May 2, 2001
    Berkshire
    Club:
    Reading FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    As I said earlier, when there are a number of clubs outside MLS that look a better option than those already there, then the appeal would be more apparent.

    Right now though it's like proposing replacing Wolverhampton Wanderers with Barnet as a good idea.
     
  5. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

    Mar 20, 2000
    Arvada, CO
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    No, they aren't. That's the point I, and many other posters, are making. You are stating them as facts but you have no evidence to prove those facts. Without that the whole basis of your argument falls apart.

    Show me actual facts that say that people aren't watching MLS due tot he lack of pro/rel. Not "you think", not "its obvious" but actual studies that state that. Then I'll listen. Until then you're just making sh!t up, just like the next poster.
     
  6. Baysider

    Baysider Member+

    Jul 16, 2004
    Santa Monica
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    It's pretty easy.

    There is a league that has most of what you want. It has no salary cap. The owners can spend as much of their revenue they want to improve their club in any way they can. There are no roster limits. There is no centralized control of players (there's almost no centralized control at all :D ).

    Of course, I'm talking about the USL/NASL. It's true that they don't have promotion and relegation, but that's because they can barely find enough teams to have one league.

    People act like this is a real second division, but it isn't, at least not in a traditional European sense. What it is is an alternate, worse league.


    They could be much bigger than MLS if they wanted to; all they need to do is to spend the money. They don't because they know it would be unprofitable to do so. The reason I (and presumably others) support the MLS model is that without the stability that it brings we would end up just like the USL. And that would be worse.
     
  7. Yoshou

    Yoshou Moderator
    Staff Member

    May 12, 2009
    Seattle
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    In the case of USL, this isn't true. USL has a voluntary promotion system where the best team in USL2 has/had the option of being promoted up to USL1. I think Cleveland was the only team that actually promoted themselves and they went under because of it.
     
  8. CCSUltra

    CCSUltra Member+

    Nov 18, 2008
    Cleveland
    Club:
    Hertha BSC Berlin
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Charlotte and Richmond both promoted themselves and neither of them could cut it in USL1. We're the only one that had to fold because of it, though.
     
  9. PhantomTollbooth

    PhantomTollbooth New Member

    Jul 20, 2004
    Appleton, WI
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    I thought your argument was that we needed pro/rel, not that we needed to also change all of the roster rules and salary cap implications. Those rules can be changed without pro/rel ever happening.

    So which is it you're arguing for? Pro/rel or abolition of all roster-related regulations?
     
  10. soccerreform.us

    soccerreform.us New Member

    Mar 12, 2009
    Denver
    Club:
    Fulham FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    So, you admit that the open league model would succeed here? There would be no lack of clubs.

    True, many original clubs grew from actual playing clubs. Recently, new clubs developed. MK Dons are making a run, even though they were Wimbledon. Somebody thinks they are a good investment - otherwise why bother? You think they'd get the same investment if they were barred from promotion?

    click on the endorse the plan button at www.soccerreform.us. It's a three year transition, announced as far out as possible so that investment can be stimulated. If it were announced by late this summer, we might even land one of the next World Cups.

    Just because it doesn't work for some current MLS owners, and doesn't entitle them to insulate themselves from every risk, doesn't mean it won't work....
     
  11. soccerreform.us

    soccerreform.us New Member

    Mar 12, 2009
    Denver
    Club:
    Fulham FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Both. They are totally linked. What owner in their right mind would subject themselves to relegation when their league was designed from the ground up to be a crap shoot? That would make relegation the same crap shoot the MLS Cup is.

    And the converse:

    No salary cap and squad size limits kills a closed league, as poor clubs rot permanently in the cellar.

    I like the EPL model better than the NFL model. We are using the NFL model - er - we are using the model that NFL owners dream about.
     
  12. soccerreform.us

    soccerreform.us New Member

    Mar 12, 2009
    Denver
    Club:
    Fulham FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    In order to empower the fans, the entire system has to be opened, not just the lower divisions. We need fully unlimited clubs, not slightly less limited ones.
     
  13. soccerreform.us

    soccerreform.us New Member

    Mar 12, 2009
    Denver
    Club:
    Fulham FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Cleveland didn't go under because the pyramid opened, that's for sure.
     
  14. 4door

    4door Member+

    Mar 7, 2006
    Chicago
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    we all know that you want to see an 'open' system. you throw out so many different ideas about what that means, because if MLS ever did expand large enough to have a 1st and 2nd division (don't think it will happen but just for the sake of argument) that is not what you want. You want all rules thrown out so owners can do whatever they want so we can 'be like the rest of the world' well other than places like the A-League, but we get it.


    1. NASL didn't have multiple divisions but had no rules on player pay or movement and was essentially 'open.' They went bankrupt. You throw out these out of context numbers of games getting higher attendance than MLS as if that means something. Totally disregarding TV contracts and sponsorship and revenue. The reason why you can't understand how you can sell out a stadium and still go into massive debt like what NASL did shows that you should not be in charge of any kind of 'reform.' You want to reform a system that build soccer economy from zero dollars to 3 billion in the US in 15 years with one that went bankrupt in the same amount of time.

    2. There has been series talks from the Coca Cola Championship and also the lower divisions in England about implementing salary caps. There has even been supporters of this in EPL (owners/fans/journalists). The EPL will be hard to push, but there is a good chance that we will begin to see a 'closed' or at least regulated system in Europe in the next decade. And not to mention the G14 discussing plans of a NFL style league a few years ago that would be completely closed, and it would have happened if it wasn't for UEFA stopping it. But UEFA presidents come and go, and if in the future as big clubs begin to swim in seas of their own debt, this proposal could become reality. The truth is that if you were to look somehow into the future 20+ years from now, there is a much bigger chance of international leagues operating more 'closed' or american like, than our league operating more 'open.' I am not saying these changes will happen for sure, but they are possibilities, your proposal is fantasy.
     
  15. CleveGuyOH

    CleveGuyOH New Member

    Aug 11, 2009
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    Actually - what makes it not a volunteery promotion is that ANY team could choose to promote itself. A team could have finished 1-19 in the USL2- be bought by new owners, and the new owners decide they wanted to be in USL1. So said team would petition to move up to USL 1 and be allowed to do so.

    Another team could finish mid table in USL1 and still say "we'd rather play USL 2 next year", and realighn themselves.

    This is glorified expansion/contraction, NOT promotion.
     
  16. CleveGuyOH

    CleveGuyOH New Member

    Aug 11, 2009
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Again - you are here pushing your site, and your group. Yet when I asked you detailed questions a few pages back, you have refused to answer. Please provide the details of the group that I have asked.

    As of now, I am thinking the "we" is more of a "you".
     
  17. CleveGuyOH

    CleveGuyOH New Member

    Aug 11, 2009
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I believe you confuse your opion for fact. you like to make statements of your opinion on here as facts.

    There are many, many teams, that suceed knowing they will be minor league clubs. Have you seen Baseball? What about the lower rungs of the English Leagues. Do you really think anyone gets involved with a level 6,7,8 club cause they think it will grow and go to the premier league?

    NO- they do it because they enjoy the sport.

    Bring the top players in the world to the US and the sport will explode here like never before. And trust me, the top players only care about 1 thing, maybe 2. But neither of them is pro/rel.
     
  18. fcb1

    fcb1 New Member

    Dec 18, 2008
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    --other--
    This is false. You will never see a closed system. The system is regulated btw (for example with licensing). Nobody is pushing for salary caps, at least not in the sense to implement parity. In fact it's quite the opposite, all proposals that I'm aware of, would only implement bigger disparity.

    There is a recommendation (from UEFA), which many clubs agreed upon, that they would spend a procentage of the budgets for wages and not more (the procentage is 70%, if I remember correctly). The clubs are free to follow it or not, Barcelona supposedly follows it. Immagine if this ends up as a rule, it would bring just bigger disparity, bigger and richer clubs able to offer higher wages (because they have higher budget), and smaller clubs being limited by rule to offer lower wages. At least now they may go in debt and overspend, but if this would be implemented, they wouldn't be able to. Overspending is not neccessarily bad, I'll come back to it.
    Next there were talks to limit spending for transfers (and wages?) on revenues, supposedly UEFA thinks about it. Like you could spend only fixed amount on transfer, depending on your yearly revenues. This again brings just higher disparity. Bigger and richer clubs would be allowed to spend more, and smaller clubs again would be limited, and never able to reach their level. Clubs like Manchester City don't have high revenues, they spend more, but they could avoid such a rule, the Arab owner could put some 100M into the club like shirt sponsorship per year, and so artificially rise up the revenue.

    I don't think there was ever a serious proposal from a serious source (yeah I know, there are different proposals, maybe somebody is proposing now that we should all ride horses instead of driving cars, but is this serious?) that European football should implement American model with its closed system, caps, single entity and parity. And draft, and whatever comes in the package. Barcelona and Real Madrid are not even prepaired to share TV rights with other Spanish clubs, they are on individual contracts, giving them 10 times more money than other clubs recieve, making the Spanish league more and more uneven, can you immagine them limiting themselves with some salary caps so that there would be more parity. Their mission is to rule the world, that's what they strive to achieve, they will never be prepaired to handicap themselves.

    About overspending. There are cases where overspending pays off. As they are opposite cases. It's the risk clubs take, why anyone should not allow them to take the risks. This is Europe, clubs here don't relocate and don't fold, they never die, so the worst thing that it may happen to a club taking risks, is that it will get relegated, maybe relegated for more than one level. But there is always a chance that they'll come back. Barcelona was some 7 years ago in a hard situtation, they were UEFA cup bound and in serious financial problems. The group was formed for the upcoming elections, that proposed the following solutions: "We have found ourselves in vicious circle. In order to be successful on the field, we need more money. In order to get more money, we must be successful on the field. This is a vicious circle. And to get out of it, we need to loan money, we need to overspend". This idea won the elections. The club got even more in debt. They spend money for wages and transfer fee, attracting players like Ronaldinho, Deco, Eto'o, Marquez and the rest is history. Today the debt is under control, the one they used is already paid. At that time FCB revenue was less than 200M, now it is 400M per year (I think more).


    About G14 and closed league system. I don't believe there ever was serious consideration about closed contintental league. It would bring many problems, which I never read how they could be solved, like what to do with national leagues. It was just a negotiation tactics, as there is "war" going on for some time. Big clubs want more money, they want a bigger share of a pie, because they think they are the ones who bring the money to CL. UEFA on the other hand wants to spread more money around the continent (and keep a large sum for themselves). This war is going on and will be going on, even though big clubs apetite was satisfied. The CL money is shared accrosed the continent, even the Maltese champion get part of the money. It's all about finding an equilibrium to satisfy every party involved. Btw in recession year, there is a 30% rise of money received by clubs for the CL 2009-2010 season.
    The biggest change happening in European football is that only the clubs from 2-5 European leagues reallistically compete for European championship. It was not like this in the old times, where you could have an European champion from Serbia or Netherlands. This is because the clubs from big leagues are now so much richer than the clubs from smaller leagues. Now, the parties involved have two different interests: big clubs want more money (because they generate it) and more games between themselves (because they earn more from a FCB-Chelsea game, than FCB-Uzirceni game), while UEFA (and smaller leagues/clubs) want to share the money to the dwarves and include them more in the competition. And so this war of two different interests continues, big clubs are getting more and more, while as a counterstrike the champions from smaller leagues now have a better chance to get into the group stage (the last change in qualification rules which UEFA implemented in the 2009-2010 season).
    It's hard to predict the future, but the closed (breakaway) league will never happen. In some way it's evolving into an open league, where anyway the limited number of clubs earn the most money and have the realistic chance to win it. In a sense the CL is more closed (because the same names figure in the last stages of competition), but in the same time still open. This is a good compromise for all parties, and even though the system did evolve and will continue to evolve, the complete closure is not a realistic possibility.
     
  19. fcb1

    fcb1 New Member

    Dec 18, 2008
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    --other--
    They get involved because it's their local team. Because if a settlement has a church and a mayor, it has a football field too. In these lower ranks there are 50 of them who watch the game, with players on bench included. If there is some derby, or a cup game with a big team, or a club is getting promoted consecutively, the number may arise to the thousands.

    So, neither of us now exactly what 50 or 300 or 500 people at the game think. But I know when there's hope that the club will go up and up and up, the number of people rise up, and they start thinking about getting to the topmost division. The idea, that sky is the limit is what keeps the system one church one football field alive. People don't get involved when there is no hope, but when there is hope, when there is a chance you'll go to heaven, that's what is keeping church and football team functioning.

    Those things happen. Noone knows where Villarreal lies. It's a small town with 50.000 inhabitants, some 10 km out of Castellon, a bigger town with 200.000 inhabitants (with their own football club naturally, maybe more than one). Not a lot of people outside Spain have heard of Castellon, but it is near Valencia, pretty big city with less than million inhabitants, and more than one club. Villarreal spent decades, from the thirties to the eighties in regional divisions, playing against the clubs in Valencia province, in the nineties they apparead in the third level, being able to see the world outside of their province, continued to the second level, and appeared in the top division in new millenium. Then they made it to the CL semifinal, not reaching the final because Riquelme missed a penalty (or I got something wrong?). Who knows how many people watched Villareal for decades, but now they have a 25k stadium. It happens and it happened, I don't know what the word for it is, it's like when everyone has a chance to succeed, no matter how small, poor or whatever he is, if he's capable, ambitious, willing and doesn't give up trying, he'll succeed. What's the word for it? How is it called? Is it called American dream? Seems like it. But in US, in pro sports, there is no place for American dream. Because then, if the American dream would be allowed, a rich guy would risk getting even richer.
     
  20. RichardL

    RichardL BigSoccer Supporter

    May 2, 2001
    Berkshire
    Club:
    Reading FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    but there is a lack of clubs - certainly a lack a viable clubs.

    The rents MLS teams pay dwarf by a wide margin what clubs in europe pay, because clubs in europe either own their own grounds or pay a tiny sum to the municipality. Relegation would see MLS clubs fold, because they'd never be able to pay their expenses, regardless of how much they cut salaries.

    Just point to these clubs that would improve MLS if they got promoted.

    You keep ignoring the rather critical point about where these new clubs would come from, just having a naive assumption that introducing pro/rel would send prospective owners in a wild frenzy of club creation.


    MK Dons would never have been formed had the owner not been able to use the club & stadium as a sweetener to get a large retail development on the site pushed through. That's where he's made his money. He also, as you might have noticed, didn't think setting a club up as a non-league club would have been a good investment.
     
  21. soccerreform.us

    soccerreform.us New Member

    Mar 12, 2009
    Denver
    Club:
    Fulham FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Plus he's on the payroll of a key MLS owner. He definitely wouldn't want to lose that paycheck...

    Yep, under the current conditions, he'd lose his job at Kraft soccer and get voted out by the MLS stakeholders.

    Thus, he'd have to be brave.

    But, it would be the owners that killed soccer, if they were unable to survive in a mature soccer landscape, stripped of the entitlement of first division status, their salary caps, and squad size limits. Some of these guys, unprepared for real soccer in a major soccer nation like ours, would at least threaten a scorched earth policy and take their teams with them.

    Would it leave us devoid of club soccer?

    No. The US slipped to the lowest number of functioning outdoor clubs in 1986, when former NASL clubs Seattle, Portland, and the Quakes formed the Western Soccer Alliance. Without a functioning, recognized pyramid of any size. Today, we have one. All that needs to be done is to connect it - over the screams and cries of an entitled few.

    Have a little faith in the free market, chief. MLS will be the last in a long line of closed American leagues to go bankrupt, since open leagues pass the power to clubs, don't have crippling squabbles between one another, aren't trying to drive each other out of business.

    As my mama always said, stupid is as stupid does.
     
  22. CleveGuyOH

    CleveGuyOH New Member

    Aug 11, 2009
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I am glad that it works in Europe, and it might someday work in the states.

    But on the list of things that need to be done to improve the MLS, and soccer in the states, pro/rel is so far down the list it's not even worth discussing in my opinion.
     
  23. soccerreform.us

    soccerreform.us New Member

    Mar 12, 2009
    Denver
    Club:
    Fulham FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You are right. MLS applied the single entity model to preserve American club soccer in the closed league system. When forcing soccer into a closed system, they decided the only way you might be able to keep it alive is with the life support of tight league controls on expenditures and squads. This serves a dual purpose - to promote artificial parity, and to save owners money.

    Yes, MLS responded to NASL mistakes by developing the single entity model. The system is designed to keep a closed soccer league alive, and preserve the entitlements that our sports owners have to top division status, but at a huge cost. They prohibit clubs with world class support to develop into world class clubs.

    If MLS played an isolated sport, and an isolated league, that insulated it's clubs from meaningful international competition, that would be fine. But it's not the NFL.

    The closed league system, and the attendant policies of salary caps, squad limits, and player drafts we run is a billionaire sports owners wet dream the world over. In soccer, the genie is already way out of the bottle, though. On top of the fact that salary caps are illegal in the UK, do you really think second div supporters will limit their clubs in promotion battles?

    I do like FIFAs suggestions that clubs should only be allowed to spend soccer revenue on their clubs. Other than that, it's against the spirit of the game. This is not the NFL, it's a global sport, with a recognized structure. Why are we letting NFL guys run it?
     
  24. soccerreform.us

    soccerreform.us New Member

    Mar 12, 2009
    Denver
    Club:
    Fulham FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You can discredit the site all you want. The logic is sound, but the pay stinks.
     
  25. soccerreform.us

    soccerreform.us New Member

    Mar 12, 2009
    Denver
    Club:
    Fulham FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You're attacking the organization again here, but not the post.

    There's plenty of room for clubs who don't have first div ambitions, or international ambitions in an open pyramid.

    Additionally, if leagues form that want to have a domestic focus, and want to apply salary caps and squad limits, they should be able to form leagues outside of the pyramid.

    It's a free country, more or less.
     

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