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North American Pro Soccer 2017


Gothamite
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9 minutes ago, Gothamite said:

2.  Even if the offer was a clear financial winner, which it isn't, MLS can't even consider this offer now under the terms of their current broadcasting contract.  The league is prohibited from negotiating with anyone else until much closer to the final years of the contract.

I think this is the funniest part about people mad about MLS not accepting this deal. They legally couldn't consider it and yet they're the bad guys. 

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1 minute ago, raysox said:

I think this is the funniest part about people mad about MLS not accepting this deal. They legally couldn't consider it and yet they're the bad guys. 

 

I have found that fans of lower-division clubs often have an irrational dislike of MLS.  Not surprising that so many would jump at the chance to be critical, even if it's dishonest.

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15 minutes ago, Gothamite said:

So why exactly do we think MLS should have taken this deal, exactly?  And why do we even think Silva is serious in making it at all?

Because we want to see the Little Rock Rangers and Ozark FC in MLS!

 

I feel like pro/rel is seen as this magical thing that's going to shoot American soccer into the stratosphere. I just don't see it making things any better, and after it's hypothetically added, there would just be some other special, magical thing that MLS has to do to save American soccer, like moving to a Fall-Spring schedule. 

 

I suspect most of the people who really want pro/rel are imagining some special world where they can watch their NPSL team climb the ranks to MLS and win the Cup. But in reality, it'll probably just be like most every other nation with pro/rel where power is held by four or so teams and everybody else just scrambles to survive in the top flight.

 

People constantly whine about the Patriots competing for and winning Super Bowls over the last decade and a half, but I'd be more frustrated with watching Juventus win six-straight, or Bayern Munich win five-straight league titles. Since the first season of the modern English Premier League, Manchester United has won 13 league titles. Everybody else has combined for 12. 13 of the last 15 La Liga titles were won by Real Madrid or Barcelona.

 

A lot of the people wanting pro/rel are probably also the people who hate college football because the same teams always win. 

9 minutes ago, raysox said:

I think this is the funniest part about people mad about MLS not accepting this deal. They legally couldn't consider it and yet they're the bad guys. 

Nobody reads articles. They see a sensationalist headline and already have their opinion. I guess they just assume MLS is run by people who hate money, but they hate MLS because they're all about the money and keeping the lower tiers down. Or something. 

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4 hours ago, Digby said:

Pretty clearly a publicity stunt and I'm surprised it's getting so much credulous coverage.

 

Because certain members of the soccer community will always get hard ons at the idea of Pro/Rel and run with it. Despite the fact it wasn't even a serious, or even considerable offer. And coming from an owner whose team plays in a league that might not exist in 6 months it's even more ridiculous.

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9 minutes ago, Red Wolf said:

I suspect most of the people who really want pro/rel are imagining some special world where they can watch their NPSL team climb the ranks to MLS and win the Cup. But in reality, it'll probably just be like most every other nation with pro/rel where power is held by four or so teams and everybody else just scrambles to survive in the top flight. 

 

Bingo.  That's certainly been my experience.

 

And sure, I see the appeal.  If I was a fan of the Columbus Clippers or the Fresno Grizzlies, I'd love to think that my club could win the league and move up to the Majors.  But nobody ever dreams of the inverse....

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Although I think Pro/Rel would be interesting for a US sport, the size of the country geographically compared to where Pro/Rel is the norm is vastly different.  In the Premier League, you have 20 teams crammed into an area the size of Alabama; with what, 5 teams in London proper? Can you imagine if 25% of the MLS teams were all based in/around NYC? It'd be detrimental to the league itself as MLS spans an entire continent.  Not to mention the financial aspect of everything.  When an owner purchases an expansion team and pays the exorbitant fees for the rights to a team, they are investing in a top-tier team, not a team that potentially could wind up in NASL/USL following their inaugural year.  North American sports have evolved differently than European sports with regards to how franchises are established and maintained.

 

Although it would be fun to watch some teams scramble so they don't get knocked down to NASL/USL

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There's also this weird thing where fans of Cincy or Sacramento can still see a future where their team is in the top league, and there's not really an analogue to that for fans of college football, or of the Columbus Clippers or Providence Bruins or whatever. So that fuels it to some extent. There's also the problem of the very bad soccer writer at Deadspin being a mouthpiece for the worst of pro/rel conspiracies, undermining otherwise good points about MLS's issues.

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2 hours ago, Gothamite said:

 

There are a couple problems with Silva's offer.

 

1.  As good as the money looks now, we don't know what MLS will be able to get for its television rights in 2023.  Silva was asking them to lock in a price now that would last until 2033, sixteen years from now.  And he would then have the ability to turn around and sell those rights across the world.  Maybe his offer will be better than they eventually get in 2023, but do we think it's automatically better than they'll get for the deal after that?  If the league keeps growing at its current pace, by the end of his contract Silva could be paying pennies on the dollar.   MLS knows this better than most, having agreed to lock in David Beckham's expansion fee for what is now less than 20% of what they could get from anyone else.

 

Call me skeptical on MLS increasing TV revenues by more than 400% in 15 years. While this current deal is 5 times higher than the previous, that one was basically nothing. Even assuming that half of it (in reality would be way less) would be sent to support an expanded pro/rel setup, that's still some great guaranteed money when the escalating TV rights deals could very well be a bubble waiting to burst.

 

2.  Even if the offer was a clear financial winner, which it isn't, MLS can't even consider this offer now under the terms of their current broadcasting contract.  The league is prohibited from negotiating with anyone else until much closer to the final years of the contract.

Well obviously that's really the reason why they really couldn't have done anything else, but we're discussing  a hypothetical scenario where they're not under those restrictions, because otherwise like for MLS it can't even be a conversation.

 

 

3.  Finally, the money just isn't good enough to blow up the entire economic structure, the structure that has built the only successful soccer league in American history.  

While the league has been successful I don't know how much of it was due to the economic structure considering the league is still losing money. Obviously it would be a radical change, but at some point they'll stop collecting expansion fees. And at some point if they really intend to challenge the European leagues they're going to  have to give up on single entity.

 

The main point that doesn't fit here is why did Silva make the offer if they were aware MLS couldn't negotiate it. They're sleazy bastards, so I wouldn't be surprised at all if they're objective was something else other than the TV rights. But they're one of the top sports media rights companies in the world, I don't think they're making that offer to lose money, and however much I dislike they're not looking for publicity stunts and they're not frauds

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Silva is absolutely out for publicity.  For himself and for his league, which is desperately trying to hang on to D2 status, if not its very existence.

 

But he's not stupid; if he was ever serious about that offer, then it's because he thinks he can earn it back re-selling the rights across the globe.

 

Besides, despite what lazy headlines suggest, the league is not losing money.  The teams are losing money.  But that is because they're in the middle of an unprecedented infrastructure spend, from academies to facilities and everything in between.  This level of investment demonstrates a strong business, not a weak one.  Owners can afford to lose a little money in the short term because it will pay strong dividends in the long.  So yes, MLS is and continues to be successful.  Far too much to discard the economic system that got them to this point when every other professional soccer league in this country has failed.

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1 hour ago, AstroBull21 said:

If the Miami team actually happens.....

I feel like we spent a similar amount of time waiting for NY2 (NYCFC) to happen. It'll happen eventually. Probably. 

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11 minutes ago, Digby said:

Kraft just said the Revs have been profitable for several years, didn't he?

Because his field costs are minimal as they play in a publicly financed stadium and play on turf. Outside of player salaries and money spent on academies they don't need to spend as much as other teams.

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6 hours ago, Gothamite said:

 

I have found that fans of lower-division clubs often have an irrational dislike of MLS.  Not surprising that so many would jump at the chance to be critical, even if it's dishonest.

Apparently the Atlanta Ultras SG were rooting hard for Orlando City to beat Atlanta United the other day.  Mainly because they feel AUFC is breeding new fans that never came out to see lower-level soccer that the Silverbacks play(ed) in.

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12 minutes ago, MJWalker45 said:

Because his field costs are minimal as they play in a publicly financed stadium and play on turf. Outside of player salaries and money spent on academies they don't need to spend as much as other teams.

Right I get why, for better or worse. Gillette Stadium was totally paid for by the Krafts, though. It may be a nightmare for soccer but at least it wasn't a taxpayer scam. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

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13 minutes ago, HedleyLamarr said:

Apparently the Atlanta Ultras SG were rooting hard for Orlando City to beat Atlanta United the other day.  Mainly because they feel AUFC is breeding new fans that never came out to see lower-level soccer that the Silverbacks play(ed) in.

imagine being that self important over such an ultimately small thing. What profound sadness.

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