The YBTD Pro/Rel Thread, Part 9,614

Discussion in 'MLS: Commissioner - You be The Don' started by barroldinho, Aug 31, 2015.

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Should some type of Promotion and Relegation be introduced to MLS?

  1. Yes

    31.4%
  2. No

    68.6%
  1. Paul Berry

    Paul Berry Member+

    Notts County and NYCFC
    England
    Apr 18, 2015
    Nr Kingston NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The English Football League could have carried on expanding vertically forever but it stopped at 92 and didn't allow teams to be promoted on merit for another 55 years.

    Given the vastness of the region, MLS could probably expand horizontally to 36 clubs and beyond. Let's say that takes us to 2030. Who's to say if by then the Indys and Louisvilles will be big enough to create an even playing field with the more neglected MLS teams. Even then, the leagues would have to proceed with the utmost caution as you can't really afford to lose a Galaxy based on one transitional season.
     
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  2. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

    Sep 2, 1999
    Out West
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    But people must be PUNISHED, Paul.

    When they do the unforgivable - lose - someone's heads have to roll, owners have to feel it and fan bases have to wail and lament, knowing they didn't do enough to propel the group of mercenaries ostensibly representing their metro area to sufficient points to be considered mediocre.

    There has to be a mechanism to make everyone try harder, dammit, because you can't trust professional players to just *play hard*, now can you?

    If everyone tries harder, then....someone will still get relegated. Who that is is not important, as long as it's not my team and I am not personally impacted.

    Good of the game, sporting merit, all that. Derp derp derp.
     
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  3. mschofield

    mschofield Member+

    May 16, 2000
    Berlin
    Club:
    Union Berlin
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
    Exactly.
     
  4. Paul Berry

    Paul Berry Member+

    Notts County and NYCFC
    England
    Apr 18, 2015
    Nr Kingston NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It's like when disaster victims thank God for sparing their lives, while their neighbors have been wiped out. What was the differentiator that made God decide that the survivors were worthy? Didn't the victims pray hard enough?

    I'm just pointing out the naivety, not having a go at religion.
     
  5. M

    M Member+

    Feb 18, 2000
    Via Ventisette
    Of course, this is nonsense. As you're well aware, teams that are relegated typically are not "wiped out". A few end up in that category, but most don't. And many rebound, as I've detailed in the other pro/rel thread. And it's hardly unknown for lower division teams to be "wiped out" in a closed league structure. In fact, it's very common.
     
  6. Paul Berry

    Paul Berry Member+

    Notts County and NYCFC
    England
    Apr 18, 2015
    Nr Kingston NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'm simply suggesting that it's the fans that suffer, usually through no fault of their own, in fact it's the most loyal fans who suffer the most.

    In 1994/95, Notts chairman Derek Pavis brought in Colin Murphy to asset strip the team's best players. Since then we've averaged 58 points per season with 2 promotions and 4, probably 5 by next weekend, relegations. Most of those seasons we've been involved at some point in a relegation battle. And yet we're told that somehow promotion and relegation empowers fans. Well, we had over 10,000 for 3 successive games this season and averaged over 7,000 for only the third time since Murphy took over but that wasn't because of the excitement of the relegation battle, it was a collective f-you combined with a very enterprising but ultimately hopeless chairman.

    We now sit in financial limbo once more. After the chairman announced his decision to sell after he accidentally posted dic-pics (only at Notts County!!!), his company went bust and he has nothing else to invest in the club. No-one seems too keen to buy him out. We can't go bust again or we'll lose 20 points. All this is no fault of the fans but we are the ones suffering. Most of the players will move on and the chairman will sell or put us into admin. Like previous chairman his own losses will be limited. I'm bitter and twisted and hate the idea that the oldest professional league club in the world will end up in a league full of part-timers.
     
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  7. Expansion Franchise

    Chattanooga FC
    United States
    Apr 7, 2018
    What is your alternative here?
    It doesn't seem like relegation is Notts County's problem, it seems like being a poorly run club is Notts County's problem?

    If they had never been relegated, wouldn't their average points total/season likely be even worse?
     
  8. M

    M Member+

    Feb 18, 2000
    Via Ventisette
    It's not clear why a club acknowledged to be badly run should be entitled to a Football League place in perpetuity whilst better run clubs outside the league should be deprived of the opportunity to play in it. What about the fans of those non-league teams? They never seem to factor into Paul's analyses.
     
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  9. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

    Mar 20, 2000
    Arvada, CO
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    What if the better run clubs can't afford to come up? There are multiple National League clubs, good clubs on the field, that can't find the finances to survive at League Two levels. At what point does bypassing them for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th placed team instead of the last placed team in League Two really reward the better team?
     
  10. M

    M Member+

    Feb 18, 2000
    Via Ventisette
    If they can't cut it at League Two level they get.... relegated. And, btw, since pro/rel was introduced to/from the Football League in 1986/87, not a single team promoted has been relegated in their first season in the Football League. Of course, Paul would like that record to be broken this Saturday...
     
  11. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

    Mar 20, 2000
    Arvada, CO
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  12. M

    M Member+

    Feb 18, 2000
    Via Ventisette
    No side has refused promotion to League Two. A team or two a year take voluntary relegation in the lower reaches of the pyramid

    This isn't about dropping down a level, it's about a manager complaining about his budget if they get promoted. Anyway, they just lost 7-6 in a penalty shoot out against Altrincham in the playoff semifinal after conceding an equalizer in injury time.
     
  13. Elninho

    Elninho Member+

    Sacramento Republic FC
    United States
    Oct 30, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Perhaps the ability to survive the drop has something to do with being in a country where soccer is the overwhelmingly dominant team sport? And on top of that, being one of only two countries in the world where lower-league soccer historically draws substantial interest?

    Perhaps the reason fewer English clubs have financial difficulty with promotion is that travel expenses aren't nearly as high? Over the lifespan of Australia's NSL, fully one-third of the clubs promoted into the league folded within two years thereafter. No, I'm not saying they were relegated -- they folded. Some folded while still in the NSL, some were relegated and were still crushed by debts incurred in their short time in the top flight. Several were unable to complete their first season in the top tier and folded midseason.
     
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  14. Expansion Franchise

    Chattanooga FC
    United States
    Apr 7, 2018
    NSL didn't have pro/rel, though. This was simply a case of admitting teams that were not properly vetted to see if they could play at that level. It's not dissimilar to what happened here prior to MLS.

    This doesn't have anything to do with open systems.
     
  15. mschofield

    mschofield Member+

    May 16, 2000
    Berlin
    Club:
    Union Berlin
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
    I think it was intended as a parable.
    The problem isn't so much in the lower leagues, it's the insane spending clubs in league 2 (ch) indulge in attempting to get into league 1 (prem). The money on offer right now turns most clubs into poorly run clubs once they reach this level, and very much damages the notion of a local club climbing through the ranks as the model, as local owners can't often invest that sort of dosh. Reading (not relegated, by the skin of our teeth) are a good example of how this madness turned a stable well run outfit into a total basket case chasing prem glory. In the past decade, we've cycled through 4 owners, starting with the local (who thought a second ever stint in the prem was out of his pocketbook reach), moving on to the Russian oligarch's kid (didn't actually have any money himself, but was happy to leverage the club), to the Thai's (had no idea how much it would all cost, but wrote a horrible song) and now the Chinese (at this point they seem interested in the long term, but it's only been a year). It's not surprising that they've had 11 managers during that same span (first out the door? Local boy Brendan Rogers, who was seen as not having much of a future).
    I would note that the primary issue we've been unable to find any sort of answer to is not how to make pro-rel work in a nation the size of New Jersey with (is it 92?) fully professional clubs, it's how to best structure a league in a nation 50 times that size that has, perhaps, half that number of clubs.
     
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  16. Paul Berry

    Paul Berry Member+

    Notts County and NYCFC
    England
    Apr 18, 2015
    Nr Kingston NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It's much the same at ambitious lower division clubs. Since Warnock was fired in 1993 Notts have had 30 managers in 26 years, and been bailed out financially several times, while averaging just 58 points a season. Now that we are on the cusp of dropping out of the league after 131 seasons, we need another benefactor to bail us out once again.

    English clubs don't disappear but that's not because they are well run businesses, it's because there are enough benefactors, or potential owners to keep bailing clubs out.
     
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  17. Expansion Franchise

    Chattanooga FC
    United States
    Apr 7, 2018
    But I don't see how this would be all that different in the US system. In fact, in some ways, it's worse. For example, I think we're seeing a bit of a rising tide in USL Championship. There are a bunch of teams that either need "another benefactor" or to self-relegate (or go on hiatus). However, if a team self-relegates, it's not all that clear that, if it gets its house back in order, it can back to the division it dropped from.
     
  18. mschofield

    mschofield Member+

    May 16, 2000
    Berlin
    Club:
    Union Berlin
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
    Okay, if you're pining for Colin since 1993 you have my deep and sincere sympathy
     
  19. 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
    They did have pro/rel, up until the early 90s. So yes, it has something to do with open systems.

    There's a reason why literally every single pyramid on the planet has requirements at different tiers.

    What do you think I've been primarily arguing against all these years?

    The widely-held view of the staunchest pro/rel advocates is that opening the system will make it thrive, when in fact, historically pro/rel and its expansion has been a function of the lower leagues becoming ready.

    The lower leagues may not be in great shape but we're not going to change that by exposing our most stable league to date to that same risk.
     
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  20. mschofield

    mschofield Member+

    May 16, 2000
    Berlin
    Club:
    Union Berlin
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
    This is why I find the pro-rel argument puzzling right now. Thirty years ago, we had nothing in terms of fully professional, youth development, etc. Today, we've got a top league that looks to be thriving, and are putting together what looks to be a strong second tier. We've got the best youth development setup in US history, and while it's very new we're starting to see strong results.
    The only outcome for pro-rel right now is to create uncertainty within what we have. There's clearly at this point no need for it.
     
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  21. 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
    One reason I would like to see it one day, is that we may have more markets and potential teams than MLS can accommodate.

    While I've fought with & mocked @USRufnex , he's right about at least one particular aspect of the status quo: it's not really fair that if there's a negligent owner at one level, while there's a team or ownership with the resources, plan & acumen to do a better job in the same market, that they are severely hampered in their capacity to do so.

    If Robert Kraft wants to run the Revs on a small budget & doesn't care about their results, that's his prerogative. With that said, he shouldn't have that market to himself.

    This is probably more about territorial rights than pro/rel & there is the option of a rival league or continued expansion.

    But I'd like to think that if the game does grow enough, we don't reach a point where viable, potentially competitive clubs & ownerships are eternally locked out.
     
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  22. mschofield

    mschofield Member+

    May 16, 2000
    Berlin
    Club:
    Union Berlin
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
    Okay, but any push for pro/rel absolutely has to start with improvements in the lower leagues. Instituting it right now would be a disaster. It's a maybe in 20 years type of thing right now.
    Of course, working against that, is there a single top league on earth that if they were forming today would embrace pro/rel (if it were not tradition, would it be be created in this market)?
     
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  23. Expansion Franchise

    Chattanooga FC
    United States
    Apr 7, 2018
    Not really: the promotion/relegation was mostly based on club finances or attendance and had no uniformity. There was some facade of sporting merit, but only for teams outside the two big cities (who couldn't be relegated). It sounds more like what Brazil originally had. We're also talking about a league that drew around 3K/game. It kind of reminds of APSL/A-League, which would also explain its volatility.

    I think it's a little hard to compare directly.
     
  24. 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
    Most seasons saw the worst eligible team in the standings sent down.

    A lot of those relegations due to attendances & finances are what Elninho was alluding to.

    It's actually pretty common practice for a team to get relegated for that reason in open systems. That's how Eibar avoided relegation in their first season in La Liga: Elche's financial issues got them relegated, so Eibar who finished 18th, were allowed to stay up.

    Personally, I think the Australian example is a great reminder of the pitfalls of pro/rel if it's poorly implemented & far closer reflects the existing US landscape than any major soccer pyramid, featuring clubs & tiers established generations prior.
     
  25. Paul Berry

    Paul Berry Member+

    Notts County and NYCFC
    England
    Apr 18, 2015
    Nr Kingston NY
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    But Americans will turn out in force to watch minor leagues even with no hope of ascending to a higher level. There's every chance USL could stand on it's own two feet as more teams join and the level of play improves.

    USL (# home games) - average attendance - % capacity

    1 Indy Eleven (1) 20,251 33%
    2 New Mexico United (4) 11,619 86%
    3 Sacramento Republic (4) 10,770 93%
    4 Las Vegas Lights FC (3) 8,308 89%
    5 Louisville City FC (4) 7,757 97%
    6 El Paso Locomotive (4) 7,559 100%
    7 Memphis 901 (4) 7,556 76%
    8 San Antonio FC (5) 6,538 78%
    9 Phoenix Rising FC (4) 6,505 104%
     

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