The All-Encompassing Pro/Rel Thread on Soccer in the USA

Discussion in 'Soccer in the USA' started by bigredfutbol, Mar 12, 2016.

  1. Paul Berry

    Paul Berry Member+

    Notts County and NYCFC
    England
    Apr 18, 2015
    Nr Kingston NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    ALAN ROTHENBERG (President, USSF; Director, ‘94 World Cup): Honestly, I never had any intention of creating a pro league. I assumed if we had a successful World Cup and the excitement was clear, some entrepreneurs would say, “Time to have a pro soccer league again.” But no one was stepping forward. Then, at the time of the World Cup draw, in December 1993, FIFA told us, “You really gotta get going.”

    KRAFT: Alan is the one who provided the gravitas and the energy to convene the potential owners. Sunil had the connection with the U.S. players and international soccer. And Mark [Abbott] was the lawyer-business person who put it all together.

    ROTHENBERG: [Single-entity ownership] had been rattling around in my head since the 1970’s when I was a young lawyer for the NBA. I remember kicking it around with some other lawyers, saying, “Boy, it would’ve been smart if [the NBA] was originally structured as a single entity.

    HUNT: The single-entity structure was a big selling point for us and, frankly, everyone else who came in after the fact.

    MARLA MESSING (MLS Senior Vice President, 1994–1997): Soccer-specific stadiums and single-entity [ownership of the league]—everything spun out from those two things.

    KRAFT: There was no formal document. It was just guys committing to be involved, and when the World Cup ended we decided it was something we wanted to do.

    HUNT: The league was trying desperately to round up a group of owners. Other than Stuart Subotnick and John Kluge [who would own the MetroStars], the Krafts and my dad, they were really having a hard time getting others to commit.

    IVAN GAZIDIS (MLS VP): The guy who had not yet committed, but if he committed everyone was in, was [entrepreneur] Phil Anschutz. Phil dialed into a conference call from an airplane and said he was in, but he wanted that guy who did the bicycle kick at the World Cup for his team in Colorado. So we had to get Marcelo Balboa.

    https://www.si.com/longform/2015/mls/index.html
     
  2. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

    Mar 20, 2000
    Arvada, CO
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Which is why the most important player in league history really is 'Celo. MLS dies if Phil isn't there in 2001 to keep it running. :D
     
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  3. Interesting.
    This flies in the face of the claim of being sure of your paycheck in mls
    https://www.espn.com/soccer/major-l...r-from-major-league-soccer-player-association

    The Major League Soccer Player Association announced that it voted to approve its latest counteroffer to MLS as it relates to economic concessions for the 2020 season, modifications to the recently agreed upon CBA, and their agreement to participate in a summer tournament in Orlando.
     
  4. DanGerman

    DanGerman Member+

    Aug 28, 2014
    New York City
    Club:
    New York City FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The league and it's owners are being foolish in trying to negotiate during a pandemic especially when players have agreed to take a pay cut. The players can find other gigs (it'll be tough granted) but the league has little leverage during this time. If I was the MLSPA I'd walk and have players mass request contract terminations so they can find other employment.
     
  5. Paul Berry

    Paul Berry Member+

    Notts County and NYCFC
    England
    Apr 18, 2015
    Nr Kingston NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    So Liga MX club Monarcos Morelia have been purchased for $18 million and are being shipped 767km (476 miles) to Mazatlan on the West Coast.

    $18 million is probably what LAFC spent on the bathrooms at Banc of California Stadium. No wonder Liga MX clubs are looking jealously at MLS valuations.
     
  6. HailtotheKing

    HailtotheKing Member+

    San Antonio FC
    United States
    Dec 1, 2008
    TEXAS
    Club:
    San Antonio Scorpions FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The management is the management is the management ... and we've seen plenty that pro/rel doesn't prevent that.

    Houston won the USOC in 2018 ... sooooo (go ahead and justify that as you will, but it's hardware) ... they also were in the semis in the 2017 playoffs (and beat top seed Portland to get there).

    Houston's "budget squad" had a playoff run and won the Open Cup during their time of being at the bottom of the spending table.

    Sure ... and I don't see how it offers more. I see how it offers DIFFERENT. Yes, pro/rel by nature of being a different thing offers a thing or two that aren't intrinsically there in our set up. Our set up does so too and pro/rel can't match a thing or two from ours.

    And yes, by different means, our set up DOES provide the ability for some things that happen in pro/rel to happen here.

    So explain the investment in the USL


    ALL OF THIS ^^^^^

    Is Soccer United Marketing, Major League Soccer?

    I'm willing to bet the value of clubs like say .... Sheffield, Norwich, Watford, Southampton have gone up because of ManU, Arsenal, Liverpool etc

    What percent live within an hour of one? I ask only because in the US, an hour-two hour one way is a normal thing due to our size.

    They are not the sole proprietor of "the good" of soccer. They do not have the exclusive possession of, or control of the supply of or trade of soccer. They are the only sanctioned D1 league yes. That doesn't make them a monopoly. The ability to be sanctioned as D1 is very clearly and plainly laid out by the USSF and they federation has point blank stated that they will sanction any league that meets divisional requirements (regardless of division).

    Why not?

    Why wouldn't you if there was NO chance at MLS ever?

    Gee ... that sounds very ... AMERICAN

    And where, in significant pro/rel soccer leagues is the gap between narrowing?

    buuuuuut Paaaauuuulll ... pro/rel prevents this!
     
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  7. owian

    owian Member+

    Liverpool FC, San Diego Loyal
    May 17, 2002
    San Diego
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    What specifically does a closed system offer that an open one does not in terms of romance?

    Well at least some of the investment in USL is being done to eventually gain entry into MLS.


    Same reason your not going to have two MLS clubs in San Antonio. Nottingham is a mid sized city.



    Well first to be perfectly clear I said "I don't know". So maybe I will. But I suspect it will dampen my enthusiasm because of my experience with SDSU. I haven't been able to make that leap into being a die hard fan because at the end of the day they are basically in a 2nd class. Going 12-1 and winning the conference is rewarded with a 20th ranking and an exciting trip to the Las Vegas Bowl. For me personally that makes it difficult to get that excited.

    Now again to be clear this doesn't mean I wouldn't go to matches. But would probably be the difference between going to a few matches a year with friends when it fits my schedule, vs having season tickets and partially planning my life around the clubs schedule.
     
  8. owian

    owian Member+

    Liverpool FC, San Diego Loyal
    May 17, 2002
    San Diego
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    So I was listening to a Liverpool supporters Podcast called "The Anfield Wrap" (no not "rap" although google Anfield RAP it if you haven't seen it). Obviously they focus on Liverpool primarily but also have discussions about wider Football Issues, and during the shutdown they had an extensive series of shows called "What's Next" focusing on the future of football after the Covid-19.

    The most recent episode (7) had a couple of regular contributors and Rory Smith who writes for the New York Times. The focus was on the Championship and what to do about it.

    A lot of the discussion on the pod was similar to the discussions in here. Specifically around the financial health of Championship clubs. And also how you bridge the gap between the Championship and the Prem. With the amount that pro/rel between the prem and championship is used in this discussion by both sides I thought it was interesting.

    A major takeaway relevant to our discussion was ...

    How do you minimize the cliff between the prem and the championship? There are parachute payments but as has already been pointed out there are pitfalls with them. The primary suggestion was to use the German model and have a prem 2, and then regionalize the divisions below and possibly even encourage "partner clubs". Basically create a firm divide between prem (which could be 30+ in two divisions) and the rest of the clubs. This would allow you to smooth out the divide between the prem and championship by spreading the prem money down in a more organized and healthy way.

    Now there would be some massive issues, the biggest being the gap below prem 2. And of course this whole discussion would be very different if it were lower league supporters. But still found it interesting and while I am not sure that solution would be acceptable to English supporters, I actually think, and have thought for a while, that this could a solution here in the US. Create MLS 1 and MLS 2, promote and relegate between them, but have entrance into MLS 2 be via expansion.

    One final point, there was never any serious discussion of the elimination of pro/rel. That very much seemed a 3rd rail that nobody believed was an acceptable solution to the problem.
     
  9. Chesco United

    Chesco United Member+

    Jun 24, 2001
    Chester County, PA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Sports Illustrated had an article about a bleak future for minor league baseball.
     
  10. Paul Berry

    Paul Berry Member+

    Notts County and NYCFC
    England
    Apr 18, 2015
    Nr Kingston NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    One way to bridge the gap between leagues would be, for the want of a better phrase, a relegation draft.

    Parachute payments are mainly in place to pay the Premier League salaries of players under multi-year contracts at relegated teams.

    Why not have a release clause in their contracts that would make them available to other Premier League clubs?

    Call it the Rob Green solution.

    If they aren't signed the league pays x% of their contract until someone signs them.

    Of course this may lead to players in bad contract situations tanking but that increases the drama.

    Ok, this probably wouldn't work as it's England.
     
  11. Paul Berry

    Paul Berry Member+

    Notts County and NYCFC
    England
    Apr 18, 2015
    Nr Kingston NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The MLS lockout threat is over so we can look forward to a 6 week tourney in Orlando.

    And Notts County have retained 24 players for their promotion playoff campaign.
     
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  12. HailtotheKing

    HailtotheKing Member+

    San Antonio FC
    United States
    Dec 1, 2008
    TEXAS
    Club:
    San Antonio Scorpions FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The 1991 World Series and recent KC Royals/Houston Astros World Series Wins (cheating not withstanding with the Stros) as immediate examples.

    Sure, but it's also very plain to see that there's plenty that isn't at this point.

    Sounds like a very American-esque reasoning.

    So toiling away in the USL year after year not gaining promotion but not facing relegation ever ... would see you out to the matches and a season ticket holder simply because "it could" happen one way or the other?
     
  13. owian

    owian Member+

    Liverpool FC, San Diego Loyal
    May 17, 2002
    San Diego
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Or maybe a waiver system system where at the end of the season prem clubs could pick up a relegated relegated players contract at set fee based on a % of wages. Clubs would need to be able to protect certain players. If no prem club claims them the relegated club could buy out their contract again at a set rate based on a % and the player becomes a free agent.

    Actually in a complete tangent I would love to see the prem go to hard roster limits. Even more strict than now when you have an absolute limit on the amount of senior players with buy out clauses in the contracts again based on wages.

    Of course for any of this you would need some level of coordination between the clubs yeh right! and a CBA with the players. So would never happen.
     
  14. Paul Berry

    Paul Berry Member+

    Notts County and NYCFC
    England
    Apr 18, 2015
    Nr Kingston NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    An English friend I used to go to Yankee games with gave up on the Bombers because they were trying to buy championships and decided to follow a shit team instead.

    He chose Detroit. That was the season they beat the Yankees in the ALDS and reached the World Series.
     
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  15. owian

    owian Member+

    Liverpool FC, San Diego Loyal
    May 17, 2002
    San Diego
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yep they are examples. But I mean strictly in terms of craziness or romance isn't a club that wasn't even the division three years before more so?

    Do you have more?

    True but how well would USL be doing if all of the "trying to get into MLS" investment was withdrawn? Obviously a lot of this is hypothetical but I think it's a little false to say "our system" is working when MLS is still openly expanding and USL is a proven route in.

    And your point is?

    So because I like pro/rel I can't use American-esque reasoning (especially since I am an American who grew up with and still loves American Sports). If I had a dollar for every time I had to remind you that I don't hate all things American I would probably have enough to buy a nice Ribeye to grill on my patio while watching Nascar.

    Yes 100% hope, even if you think it's slim hope is really powerful in making a connection. At least for me.
     
  16. Paul Berry

    Paul Berry Member+

    Notts County and NYCFC
    England
    Apr 18, 2015
    Nr Kingston NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think Leicester's Premier League championship was more romantic to American fans than English ones precisely because it can't be done here.

    When another team did something even more remarkable in the 1970s they were universally hated (it wasn't just me).

    And it used to be more common with Huddersfield in the 1920s, Burnley in the early 1960s, then Leeds and Derby a decade later.
     
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  17. M

    M Member+

    Feb 18, 2000
    Via Ventisette
    Ipswich Town in the early 60's under Alf Ramsey was perhaps the most romantic of the lot. The aforementioned Nottingham Forest story was wonderful too, especially as they parlayed it into European Cup success as well.
     
  18. owian

    owian Member+

    Liverpool FC, San Diego Loyal
    May 17, 2002
    San Diego
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I kind of stole this from "The Athletic" but is the Orlando tournament a good idea? I mean MLS has been doing a good job of building a reputation for good crowds and a good atmosphere? Not sure playing in an empty practice stadium would be a good look. Kind of reminds me of the Pan-Pacific Championship in Hawaii back in 2008.

    I
    I'd understand if this is being done to make ESPN happy.
     
  19. owian

    owian Member+

    Liverpool FC, San Diego Loyal
    May 17, 2002
    San Diego
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Again I didn't grow up following English football and there is only so much you can learn as an adult but wasn't the dislike in the the '70's case more about the manager?

    It could be a case of recency bias but I have heard English pundits refer to the Leicester win as one of the greatest moments in English football. Or maybe it's just Arlo White saying that.
     
  20. Paul Berry

    Paul Berry Member+

    Notts County and NYCFC
    England
    Apr 18, 2015
    Nr Kingston NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The media loved it.
     
  21. M

    M Member+

    Feb 18, 2000
    Via Ventisette
    Paul is rather biased on this one. Really, Nottingham Forest weren't "hated" the way he tries to suggest, nor was Clough - ecept for his short reign at Leeds.. The really hated team of the 70's was Leeds United, mainly because of their foul approach to the game. I've always thought it was a real shame they played that way because they were a really talented team. They're probably the only English team I've truly hated.




    I think it was given the financial dominance of the perennial CL qualifiers.
     
  22. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

    Mar 20, 2000
    Arvada, CO
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think its some of that and some of the league not wanting to be quiet all summer. At least games put highlights out there and keeps the league on the sports radar.
     
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  23. Paul Berry

    Paul Berry Member+

    Notts County and NYCFC
    England
    Apr 18, 2015
    Nr Kingston NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'm looking forward to this tourney. Finally some quality football to look forward too after all that Bundesliga nonsense ;)
     
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  24. An Unpaved Road

    An Unpaved Road Member+

    Mar 22, 2006
    Club:
    --other--
    I watched like five Bundesliga games since the restart and all but Dortmund/Bayern felt like one team slam dunking on the other for 90 minutes.
     
  25. jaykoz3

    jaykoz3 Member+

    Dec 25, 2010
    Conshohocken, PA
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    This and if they can get games back on TV before NFL training camp starts, all the better for them. particularly considering how it's looking like MLB might not be returning before August at this rate.

    Also consider that ESPN2 is showing Costa Rican Soccer right now, they are STARVED for content....
     
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