My Connection (+ Comment to a promotion/relegation debate)

I have written witty comments to comments others have left down below as well as typing out something for the relegation/promotion debate posted on Nutmegged.  None of these appear to have gotten through.  Why, you ask?  I suspect it’s because my connection to the larger Web-world eats balls – often and eagerly, judging by the overall situation.

The witty comments to others’ comments may, sadly, be lost forever (sigh).  But, stubborn cuss that I am, I’m  posting a thumbnail version of my contribution to the promotion/relegation thing here; general posting seems to be working and I don’t know how that is…apart from pointing to my connection’s continued fondness for eating balls.

OK, before getting into it, let me just say this: I might prefer promotion/relegation, but I have also learned to live without it quite comfortably.  That said, if we really want to make it work in the States, here’s a suggestion: make the entire professional soccer set-up in the United States single-entity.  That’s a knee-jerk response to the problem of getting people to invest in a sport/league that is relatively new and, in all probability, still not profitable in the pan-organizational sense.  The idea is to make eating the losses that would hit an investor/owner of a relegated team less an individual risk than a collective one.  And you sweeten the pot by having higher caps, television revenues, etc. for the top flight.  Somehow someone will make money, right?  I mean, that’s why people dump money into this now, right?

Frankly, I’m still shocked that people invest in MLS under the single-entity model.  I don’t know how the individual operators get revenue out of the set-up.  Still, that’s my idea.  But, like I said, I’ve adjusted to life without.

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3 Responses

  1. A single entity owning soccer from top to bottom sounds a whole lot like a monopoly – and a whole lot like what baseball had in place before free-agency. Baseball essentially owned, well, baseball from top to bottom. It’s quite a bit looser today, minor league teams are owned outside of MLB’s ownership for the most part, but the parent teams still own and control the movement of the players.

    Now MLB has a nice little agreement with the Gummermint known as the anti-trust exemption which basically allows them to operate a monopoly, and is also one of the reasons that baseball not only gets a through anal probing from Congress on a regular basis, but is the main reason baseball, usually sedentary to point of coma, jumps when said Congress cries “Froggy!” They don’t want to lose that exemption and have to run the risk of somebody getting the XFL, baseball style, to actually fly.

    I wouldn’t expect soccer in general or MLS in particular to rate the kind of exception that MLB garners from the Gummermint. Even should icicles one day dangle from Satan’s scrotum and such a boon be laid in the lap of MLS, I still don’t see owners cottoning to relegation. Nobody, US wise, is going to lay out the kind of filthy lucre it takes, even in the bargain basement of MLS, to establish and nurse a franchise to watch it go from playing against the Houston Dynamo one minute to playing against the East Overshoe, NEB. Cutworms the next. Even more so should such an owner be the egoically inflated types at say, oh, I dunno, NY Red Bull? (Which by all rights should have been relegated to PDL III – The Island of Misfit Franchises years ago.)

    In fact I see Europe in the not to distant future, mainly the big clubs, trying to go the way of the US sporting system and do away with relegation thereby keeping their hands on more of the loot for more (all) of the time.

    Not saying this is preferable, just sayin’ . . .

  2. Jeff, I tried to help you out and post your contribution over at Nutmegged for you. Hope this helps. By the way, Dan Loney is getting into the act on this issue over on his site as well. Hey, what hath you wrought Playtherapy?

  3. I think you are where I am, Kelly. As hinted at, I don’t even know how individual owner/operators are making money in MLS today. Personally, I’d prefer a hard salary cap set up with more autonomy for the clubs. Let the owners hang themselves, but within reason.

    But, like you, I don’t see promotion/relegation ever coming to the States.

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