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

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

  1. PJ234

    PJ234 Member

    DC united
    United States
    Oct 17, 2021
    They criticize MLS for the rules they have yet they support the PL. The most Corporate league out there.
     
  2. Paul Berry

    Paul Berry Member+

    Notts County and NYCFC
    United States
    Apr 18, 2015
    Nr Kingston NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think 11 EPL clubs have American owners or part-owners. They're not all there for the thrill.
     
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  3. M

    M Member+

    Feb 18, 2000
    Via Ventisette
    And on the other side of the coin, pro/rel leagues don't grant their teams "territorial rights" to limit local competition. Nor do they get to select which teams and from where get to play in their "major league". Hard to imagine teams like Bournmouth and Luton getting a cartel membership fee accepted by MLS.
     
  4. Elninho

    Elninho Member+

    Sacramento Republic FC
    United States
    Oct 30, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I've noticed a pretty substantial Hispanic presence at MLS games everywhere, but most Hispanic MLS fans were born in the US and speak with American accents. Typically the pattern I've seen is that immigrants tend to continue to support the clubs they grew up with, while their US-born children become MLS fans. At the same time, though, first-generation Americans also grow up watching US sports alongside soccer, so while they're more likely than average to be soccer fans, they're not as overwhelmingly soccer fans as is often assumed.
     
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  5. Paul Berry

    Paul Berry Member+

    Notts County and NYCFC
    United States
    Apr 18, 2015
    Nr Kingston NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    MLS supporters were 30% Hispanic in a survey done maybe 10 or 12 years ago. I imagine that percentage has dropped a little since MLS has expanded into cities with relatively low Hispanic populations.

    As far as immigrants are concerned, we don't want to get too stereotypical, but a lot of immigrants are too poor and/or too busy to spend a couple of hundred bucks taking the family to a professional sports event.
     
  6. STR1

    STR1 Member+

    Atlanta United
    United States
    May 29, 2010
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    For a league that many people say no one pays attention to it is doing very good when compared to other leagues. This is one of several examples that what you see on social media is not reflective of what really is going on. Just a small loud portion constantly trying to paint a bad picture on MLS but reality says a total different story.
     
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  7. Crawleybus

    Crawleybus Member+

    Oct 18, 2013
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    Its doing fine but like I've just been pointing out you can't compare cross country league attendances for the multitude of reasons that have just been mentioned, its comparing apples to oranges.
     
  8. Chesco United

    Chesco United Member+

    DC United
    Jun 24, 2001
    Chester County, PA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    Argentina
    Does Bournmouth get mistaken for its more famous cousin Bournemouth?;)
     
  9. STR1

    STR1 Member+

    Atlanta United
    United States
    May 29, 2010
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    You can bring up millions of excuses of why whatever MLS does isn't successful. Including attendance. That type of thinking won't change for those that have already made up their mind about MLS even if you show them the facts.
     
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  10. Crawleybus

    Crawleybus Member+

    Oct 18, 2013
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    ?? I've never said I think MLS is 'unsuccessful '? In fact as you can see from my argument you can't use 'attendance' as an argument because of all the variables? My point is that pro/rel is what enables a small town club like Blackburn or Burnley to compete with big city clubs in attendances and therefore wealth IN ENGLAND which has very different variables to the US (things like size, population density, density of clubs, population size etc).
     
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  11. Chesco United

    Chesco United Member+

    DC United
    Jun 24, 2001
    Chester County, PA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    Argentina
    MLS outdraws the NBA and NHL. That's successful in an American context.
     
  12. HailtotheKing

    HailtotheKing Member+

    San Antonio FC
    United States
    Dec 1, 2008
    TEXAS
    Club:
    San Antonio Scorpions FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Not surprisingly, the poster that is trying to tell me I don't get the concept of how "small" England is ... doesn't grasp how his pointing to population density only makes my point for me, even more.

    While I already used an example, here's another one:

    Atascosa County here in TX is the FOURTIETH LARGEST in the state (39 counties have are larger). It is the closes in SQ miles to Lancashire (1210 to 1187) ... Atascosa County has a population of 48,981. Lancashire has 1.5M

    I mean ... do go on I guess, about the city itself while ignoring the fact that population density destroys the narrative.

    LOL WTF ... 92 other MLS clubs?

    Holy crap what league in the world has 92 teams? HOLY PHUCK

    Well there's 11 other pro sports teams plus USC/UCLA which garner pro level support. The myriad of minor league clubs/sports round out what is a much more clogged sporting landscape than what you find in London.

    Rams: 73,150
    Chargers: 69,736
    Dodgers: 47,371
    Angels: 32,599
    LAFC: 22,090
    Lakers: 18,878
    Clippers: 18,726
    Kings: 18,008
    Ducks: 15,564
    Sparks: 6,554

    ... so using the same insane and completely out there method of thinking LA is at 322676 already, without USC/UCLA. But let's go ahead and add the 47,951 and 66,071 and we'll get a 436,698 !!!!

    Considering we dwarf the attendances, the 8-ball says "outlook not so good"

    ... but I thought it was bringing something different

    Oh, so like the Arlington Renegades getting 12-20K with FCD, Cowboys, Mavericks, Rangers, Stars, Wings as well as a few minor league teams too.

    The City of Dallas is 386 square miles ... Blackburn is 53 square miles.

    Which one can serve more people?
    The reality of the BSBTB only works in a vacuum and as a one off. If you get into the reality of opening a second one, or a third one, or a fourth one ... the BSBTB slowly becomes not quite what that original shack was because scaling of operations doesn't allow it.

    Well there's the problem ... your internet is 20yrs behind
     
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  13. Crawleybus

    Crawleybus Member+

    Oct 18, 2013
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    Lancashire has a population of 1.5 million................and 92 other pro English league clubs within a 300 mile radius, it has both Manchester giants and both Liverpool giants less than 40 miles away! Not to mention Preston and Burnley less than 15 miles away! Then of course there are the big Yorkshire clubs only 50 miles away. England has an area that is only about 1/3 the size of just California! There are of course SEVEN rugby league clubs within 50 miles of Blackburn there is also of course 12 (ECB Premier Division) cricket clubs in Lancashire.

    How many other MLS clubs are there within a 300 mile radius of LA Galaxy?

    See........apples to oranges.
     
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  14. Chesco United

    Chesco United Member+

    DC United
    Jun 24, 2001
    Chester County, PA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    Argentina
    Well, there's LAFC, who got to the final of the old CONCACAF Champions League.
     
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  15. Paul Berry

    Paul Berry Member+

    Notts County and NYCFC
    United States
    Apr 18, 2015
    Nr Kingston NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yep completely different culture. Blackburn was an independent town with thriving local industry, when Manchester barely existed.

    Screenshot_20240227_112253_Google.jpg

    Los Angeles was the main population center. The cities that grew around it are suburbs that developed when the transport became available.

    Screenshot_20240227_112655_Chrome.jpg

    So if you grew up in the Calder Valley your local team was Blackburn or Burnley. If you grow up in Santa Clarita or San Bernardino your local teams are in Los Angeles.

    The nearest city that developed independently of Los Angeles is probably San Francisco, 380 miles away, given that Bakersfield and Fresno developed to feed L.A.

    As you say, applies and oranges.
     
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  16. owian

    owian Member+

    Liverpool FC, San Diego Loyal
    May 17, 2002
    San Diego
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Well first I hope I'm wrong and there isn't a bubble at all. But this isn't my own thoughts have read a few articles pointing out that franchise fees seem to be out of whack with revenue and other leagues' values. Some of this is of course because they can't be relegated but a part is speculation.

    All these things are good. I personally wish they would take some of this and raise (not eliminate) the salary cap. Not saying they should be spending 70%+ like most European sides but at least be more inline with North American leagues in the mid 50's.

    And I am willing to keep them even if that means we can't go to a full open pyramid. But I think you could still have pro/rel with 40-50 teams and keep these measures in place.

    Couldn't say it better myself.

    Just to add that soccer's connection to the immigrant community should not be seen as a bad thing in any case.
     
  17. Paul Berry

    Paul Berry Member+

    Notts County and NYCFC
    United States
    Apr 18, 2015
    Nr Kingston NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Sometimes I forget that I have a degree in economics from the days when Notts County were in the First Division, and one of my subjects (I guess "minors") was urban and regional planning .

    Concentric circles baby!
     
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  18. owian

    owian Member+

    Liverpool FC, San Diego Loyal
    May 17, 2002
    San Diego
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Forgetting another City to the South.
     
  19. jaykoz3

    jaykoz3 Member+

    Dec 25, 2010
    Conshohocken, PA
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The Salary Cap increases every year according to what has been agreed to in the CBA with the MLSPA. Does it increase as much as some of the fans and media personalities believe/would like it to? No, however, it does increase every season as does the total amount being spent on rosters.
     
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  20. Paul Berry

    Paul Berry Member+

    Notts County and NYCFC
    United States
    Apr 18, 2015
    Nr Kingston NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think there's a balance to achieve. Average revenue in 2022 was $66M and average payroll was about $16 million but most teams are still running at a small loss. Toronto lost about $15 million and although that's pocket change to their owners, if they spend more everyone other team has to play catch up.

    Another thing to take account is the infrastructure costs. Stadiums are still being paid off and brick and mortar training centers are costing $10 millions.

    By 2027 MLS will have built 20 brand new stadiums, most of them costing the owners well north of $200 million, and they have to be paid for. SKC spent over $60 million on a training center/academy and others are following suit.

    In addition, teams are forced to spend minimum amounts on academies, there's Next Pro to finance and there's the increasing cost of travel as they transition from commercial to charter flights in line with the CBA.

    There's also really nothing to gamble on in terms of additional revenue. Lower division teams in Europe will spend more than they can afford knowing that promotion will create a revenue bonanza. Promotion almost certainly saved Sheffield United from administration. The top teams can bet on UEFA revenue. The CCC on the other hand hardly covers costs

    Finally if salary budgets are suddenly increased by $20 million a year what are you going to get? Premier League bench warmers like Danny Ings are earning $8 million a year. Players like Ings, Shaqiri and Jordan Henderson aren't going to move the needle.

    If an MLS team signs Mbappé they'll be accused of being an all-star league. If they sign Lewandowski they'll be accused of being a retirement league.

    Steady growth with a focus on HGPs seems to be more appreciated by the diehard MLS fan than big name players.

    Name DPs are to fill the seats at new teams and new stadiums, or satisfy TV contracts. Also you don't want to alienate the existing fanbase by pricing them out to sign superstars

    When a Championship team gets promoted they get the relegated team's Premier League share. The going rate for a MLS share is $500 million. Do you hand the relegated team $500 million? Do they keep their shares? What happens to the MLS shared revenue? What happens to the Next Pro team and academy, which aren't required in USL? Where does a second division team get the revenue to make its stadium or training center payments? What happens to the academy (note Notts County lost their academy when they lost their EFL place, as EFL retained rights to their academy players).

    I've said this many times. The only way for a pro-rel system to work is for the lower division teams to be the equal or better of the teams in the league above them.

    That's what happened with the non-league teams in England in the 1980s and in most European countries there are strict financial and stadium requirements for moving from the semi-pro/amateur leagues to the professional ranks and vice versa. If Schalke relegated they won't meet the financial requirements of the 3rd division.

    If you look at the top Championship or 2. Bundesliga teams they're bigger and more prestigious than many of the teams in the top-flight. That's not going to happen in USL any time soon and when it does happen, like Cincinnati, they get invited to join MLS. The first step in pro-rel in the USA is to stop expansion.
     
  21. Potowmack

    Potowmack Member+

    Apr 2, 2010
    Washington, DC
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think the previous post overstates the shift to some supposed Millennial promised land of soccer. There are still plenty of youth teams being brought to the games by their parents, and lots of Hispanics at MLS games.

    I don't get the disdain some "true" soccer fans have towards the mom from the suburbs hauling a bunch of kids to MLS games for an afternoon of sodas and soccer. That's your next generation of fans.
     
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  22. Paul Berry

    Paul Berry Member+

    Notts County and NYCFC
    United States
    Apr 18, 2015
    Nr Kingston NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Most Hispanic-Americans aren't immigrants.

    There's no disdain. There's an acceptance that using this as the core of your marketing strategy was a mistake, as middle-class teenagers are transient. They often pursue college or careers elsewhere and of course have many other options in terms of hobbies and interests.

    The core MLS fan appears to be young, urban and what the English would call "upper working-class" or "lower middle-class", with disposable income, who grew up in or has established roots in or around the city.

    My Red Bull supporting friend noticed a huge difference between the Red Bull and NYCFC marketing strategies. RBA has a lot of kids in their team uniforms who have been comped tickets. You see very little of that at NYCFC, where the marketing is a lot more focused on urban culture.
     
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  23. owian

    owian Member+

    Liverpool FC, San Diego Loyal
    May 17, 2002
    San Diego
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'm glad it's going up, personally wish it would go up faster just to bring it inline with other North American sports.
     
  24. Paul Berry

    Paul Berry Member+

    Notts County and NYCFC
    United States
    Apr 18, 2015
    Nr Kingston NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    But if the salary budget was doubled tomorrow what would it achieve?

    Stadiums can't be any fuller and TV revenue is fixed until 2033.
     
  25. Elninho

    Elninho Member+

    Sacramento Republic FC
    United States
    Oct 30, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    How fast is fast enough? The percentage increase in the last 20 years has been pretty extraordinary. In 2004, the highest-paid player in the league earned $418,511, and the average was about $80k. The league average surpassed $500k in 2022, and $80k is currently between the reserve minimum salary and the senior minimum salary.
     
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