The Case for Pro/Rel

Discussion in 'Soccer in the USA' started by NodineHill, Jul 31, 2014.

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  1. Elninho

    Elninho Member+

    Sacramento Republic FC
    United States
    Oct 30, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Where by "Premiership" and "La Liga" they mean only the perennial Champions League entrants from those leagues.
     
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  2. M

    M Member+

    Feb 18, 2000
    Via Ventisette
    Stadium negotiations in closed leagues are very relevant in a discussion of closed v pro/rel leagues.

    But you really didn't answer my question anyway.
     
  3. barroldinho

    barroldinho Member+

    Man Utd and LA Galaxy
    England
    Aug 13, 2007
    Ex-pat in HB, CA
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    The pro/rel USA advocacy movement is entirely relevant to a thread about pro/rel in the USA.

    MLS however, currently lacks the clout to use relocation as a threat.
     
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  4. M

    M Member+

    Feb 18, 2000
    Via Ventisette
    #11454 M, Mar 11, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2016
    A childish twitter squabble has no relevance on this thread.

    And it was good to see the moderator delete your post that tried to introduce such tweets into this thread.
     
  5. barroldinho

    barroldinho Member+

    Man Utd and LA Galaxy
    England
    Aug 13, 2007
    Ex-pat in HB, CA
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    Those tweets represented a poster engaging in exactly the kind of behavior that he has not only accused others of but has actually made attempts to intimidate via PMs over, for the duration of this thread.

    As I pointed out, he introduced snark and condescension to our particular exchanges, kept mischaracterizing my position on the topic, only to throw a wobbler when he was addressed with anything that so much as hinted at the same tone.

    So yes, when this guy who has declared up and down that he has no desire to discuss this topic with me, appears out of nowhere to butt into a convo I'm having in a pathetic attempt to discredit me, I'm certainly going to outline his glaring hypocrisy.

    You yourself post with a degree of snark at times. That's fine; I take that to be your posting style. I'm not sitting here reporting you. But if you were arguing that pro/rel was a non-starter instead of repeatedly arguing that closed leagues are cartels, @USRufnex would be having a similar overreaction to your own "conduct".
     
  6. billf

    billf Member+

    May 22, 2001
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Non-sequitur here and I'm not in any way a trump supporter but painting any US politician as worse than a man responsible for the deaths of over 10 million people? Really?
     
  7. Mr Wonderful

    Mr Wonderful Member

    Jan 19, 2015
    The Shores of Puget Sound
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    So fans in England aren't so much fans of soccer as they are fans of pro/rel. This has been posited in this thread but seemed to me so far-fetched as to be unbelievable. Fascinating to see it may actually be true.

    What, you mean like basketball?

    Look, the reason that most of the very few team sports that have 'traveled well' have done so has nothing at all to do with pro/rel and everything to do with a little social, political, economic, and military construct known as the British Empire.
     
  8. Mr Wonderful

    Mr Wonderful Member

    Jan 19, 2015
    The Shores of Puget Sound
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Hell, Spokane's fourth division minor league hockey team pulls this many fans.

    And that's the true funny. America's minor(and college) leagues are far and away the most popular in the world yet according to ignorant foreigners they aren't popular enough cause they lack pro/rel.
     
  9. Alex_K

    Alex_K Member+

    Mar 23, 2002
    Braunschweig, Germany
    Club:
    Eintracht Braunschweig
    Nat'l Team:
    Bhutan
    Leagues probably would change. not sure about England - but in Germany, many hardcore fans (even of clubs not excluded from the league then - ultras in Germany do take their values seriously) would probably give up on football. Casual fans probably would still go, and by now they are probably in the majority too. A lot of the folklore and atmosphere that attracted the casual audiences in the first part would suffer. The league wouldn't die, but I could see the popularity go down (after all, football has not always been as popular in Germany as it is now... before it became a think for the middle class to attend games attendances until the mid-90s were less than half of today's) then, since once ultra culture dies, some casual fans might move on to the next big thing too.

    I would kind of compare it to a music scene that went from underground to mainstream. Right now the Bundesliga is like hair metal ca. 1990. The original fanbase is already disaffected by the commercialization, and if the football culture changes even further, the new fans might look for more "autheticity" in the equivalent of grunge someday too :p

    There is some precedence... people today might have a hard time to believe how huge tennis used to be in Germany. Today its a niche sport. Two articles on this in German: http://www.welt.de/sport/article106147250/Wie-das-Tennis-wieder-zum-Leben-erweckt-werden-soll.html and http://www.faz.net/aktuell/sport/me...and-fall-fuer-entwicklungshilfe-11084530.html (short summary - the sport experienced a huge boom in the 80s and 90s, people moved on, and as a professional sport tennis is pretty much dead in Germany today).
     
  10. Mattbro

    Mattbro Member+

    Sep 21, 2001
    Do they even have ultras in England? I figured they'd gotten rid of most of the hard-cores long ago at the highest level of the game.
     
  11. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    THIS.
     
  12. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    THIS THIS THIS!
     
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  13. billf

    billf Member+

    May 22, 2001
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    This is an interesting take, but it also suggests that following football isn't so much about football as it is about the experience of being part of a group for that set of people. I understand there's a bit of rebellious counterculture element to following a small club and/or doing it in a certain way. I don't know that what you point to would be catastrophic in the sense that the big teams would still have plenty of fans and those from smaller clubs who like football and want to support a team could find another close by, if one exists, or latch on to a club further away as is common in the US.
     
  14. Dan Loney

    Dan Loney BigSoccer Supporter

    Mar 10, 2000
    Cincilluminati
    Club:
    Los Angeles Sol
    Nat'l Team:
    Philippines
    I'm not saying you can't go. I'm just saying that paying more to watch a friendly than you would for a season ticket to your local is - well, for all I know you have more money than Jeb Bush's therapist, and it literally doesn't matter to you what you spend.
     
  15. Alex_K

    Alex_K Member+

    Mar 23, 2002
    Braunschweig, Germany
    Club:
    Eintracht Braunschweig
    Nat'l Team:
    Bhutan
    That is pretty much true. For the ultras, the game itself is secondary. And for casual fans, actually going out to the stadium isn't just about watching the game either... it's about the atmosphere at the game. It is kind of comparable to a rock concert in that sense.

    Ultras have boycotted games in the past, for off the field reasons. A recent Bundesliga example is Hanover, where the stopped going for an entire seasons. The club literally begged people (in an open letter) to start singing and chanting again (casual fans don't really do that...). If for some reason ultra culture would die down (and a radical change like abolishing promotion and relegation might cause this, ultras think the game is way to commericalized as it is already) the game would certainly lose some appeal for casual fans who go their for the atmosphere. Which are many. The result might not be catastrophic, Bayern wouldn't go out of business anytime soon. But it might be enough to get interest to decline again. From 2000 to now, there has been a significant increase in interest in the Bundesliga, and a lot of this was caused because football became hip again.

    Attendances in 2001 and 2015:
    http://www.weltfussball.de/zuschauer/bundesliga-2000-2001/1/
    http://www.weltfussball.de/zuschauer/bundesliga-2014-2015/1/
     
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  16. HailtotheKing

    HailtotheKing Member+

    San Antonio FC
    United States
    Dec 1, 2008
    TEXAS
    Club:
    San Antonio Scorpions FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    None of Ted's childish squabbles have relevance to anything based in reality ... seeing as how the pro/rel discussion is nothing but fantasy, a twitter "debate" based on the same fantasy subject is most assuredly "relevant"

    Baseball, Basketball, and Hockey do just fine ... even OUR football has a much bigger reach than I'm positive that you think it does.

    Ya'll just need an amazing leading lady for a sport to be popular there ... Graf, Witt .... :inlove:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Alex_K

    Alex_K Member+

    Mar 23, 2002
    Braunschweig, Germany
    Club:
    Eintracht Braunschweig
    Nat'l Team:
    Bhutan
    The key figure in Germany's tennis boom was probably Boris Becker, although Steffi Graf played a huge role as well (Becker had his breakthrough a bit earlier, though). At the same time, there were also Michael Stich and Anke Huber. That there are no comparable players is certainly a big reason for the decline.

    In 1991, the TV rights for the Davis Cup sold for 125 million German Mark (over 5 years, though) here, the Bundesliga was getting about 45 million Marks per season at the time.
     
  18. mschofield

    mschofield Member+

    May 16, 2000
    Berlin
    Club:
    Union Berlin
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
    Well, it boomed because of Boris and Steffi, and then they retired. it's not at all surprising. But while the attention on the game might be low, you can't claim Becker doesn't still get his share of attention.
    HtK is correct, the game just needs a new German star.
     
  19. Alex_K

    Alex_K Member+

    Mar 23, 2002
    Braunschweig, Germany
    Club:
    Eintracht Braunschweig
    Nat'l Team:
    Bhutan
    This was a big reason for the boom. But it's not as if there weren't good German tennis players after them. Right now, a German is ranked 2nd in the Women's ranking after all... in men's tennis, there were also top ten players in the 2000s (Haas and Kiefer). And tennis was also big on the grass roots level, with a few million registered players.

    For a spot that was financially on the level of football (and even matches not involving Becker or Graf got huge ratings) 30 years ago, the loss of interest has been dramatic. When Kerber won the Australian Open this year, 1,5 million people watched (and that was already a huge number by current standards in German tennis) - back in the early nineties, Graf, Becker or Stich had ratings of 15 million viewers. Interest might grow again with a new German star, but I doubt it will ever be as big again as back then.
     
  20. HailtotheKing

    HailtotheKing Member+

    San Antonio FC
    United States
    Dec 1, 2008
    TEXAS
    Club:
    San Antonio Scorpions FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Oh yeah ... I remember the Becker/Lendl matches (loved Lendl for whatever reason).
     
  21. M

    M Member+

    Feb 18, 2000
    Via Ventisette
    #11471 M, Mar 11, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2016
    I don't report people's insulting anti/pro rel posts either, I'm merely pointing out that bringing a twitter war (with someone who apparently hasn't posted here for ages anyway) into this thread is pathetic and unhelpful. You cut and pasted tweets into the thread and got your post deleted (thank you, moderator) so instead you (and, it seems, another) subsequently pretty much gloat about a twitter war.
     
  22. barroldinho

    barroldinho Member+

    Man Utd and LA Galaxy
    England
    Aug 13, 2007
    Ex-pat in HB, CA
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    The person you're referring to (Ted Westervelt, aka "Tinfoil Ted") was actually referenced dozens of times in this thread by other posters prior to that.

    One of the reasons I became engaged in this discussion was the sight of a plane flying over the 2014 MLS Cup towing a banner reading "Pro/rel now MLS".

    The same people are actively trying to get pro/rel instituted in this country while lobbying FIFA and the USSF to strip Division 1 sanctioning from MLS for not doing so. Given that everything from podcasts to articles on the subject are posted here, I would think the activity of an open movement pushing for the very thing we're discussing is entirely relevant.

    I also think that a critiquing of their tactics and arguments is far more important than 100% subjective comments on the part pro/rel plays in football's popularity in England.

    Separately, Mr Rufnex decision to jump into a discussion I was having, was a massive contradiction to the frequent complaints he derails this thread with. Frankly, if I were so inclined I could have had him banned from this site long ago, by reporting his numerous PMs telling me that he has me on "ignore" in lieu of being close enough to physically assault me. So yes, naming and shaming the wanker was entirely appropriate in my mind. @bigredfutbol however, clearly had reason to believe otherwise and I respect his decision.
     
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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
    Was trying to be funny, clearly failed abysmally and offer my humblest apology.
     
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  24. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You're entitled to your opinion, of course, but Ted W. has made himself a very visible (and, IMHO, very toxic) national spokesman for the pro/rel crusade.

    I wanted the back-and-forth between barroldinho & USRufnex kept on Twitter, but there are plenty of good reasons to reference "Tinfoil Ted" going forward.
     
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  25. billf

    billf Member+

    May 22, 2001
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Let's have a hypothetical, let's say adding pro/rel really did spur the creation of new teams. Let's also assume at the same time that the number of people willing to follow a domestic team is fairly constant meaning there is a marginal net increase in ticket buying fans and TV viewers. That would mean that existing teams could expect to lose fans to new teams and that the new teams are, in most cases, limited to the number of fans they can poach from another team.

    In this case we'd see, on the average, teams with less revenue and smaller fan bases than those that exist today, particularly in markets with multiple teams. How would this be good for the game? Now there will always be an exception or two where things might be better, but I am looking at a situation where on the average it is worse.
     

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