Will the MLS or Chinese Super League ever become more than glorified pub leagues?

  • The Fighting Cock is a forum for fans of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. Here you can discuss Spurs latest matches, our squad, tactics and any transfer news surrounding the club. Registration gives you access to all our forums (including 'Off Topic' discussion) and removes most of the adverts (you can remove them all via an account upgrade). You're here now, you might as well...

    Get involved!

A
Aren't most American professional footballers from well off families? Isn't that a bigger issue?

I'm not 100% sure so hopefully the American posters can word it better but aren't most professionals plucked from universities etc which are of course from the more well of families. They don't exactly go out scouting the poorer kids on the street type players in which most of the best players of all time were.

The best players (the players talented enough to play in MLS) get scholarships to play for their universities so they and their families generally aren't footing the education bill. The issue is lower down at the school age level. Because of the sparse distribution of professional team academies and scouting networks across the U.S., youth club football is paid for largely by the parents of the players. Between paying for a trainer, facilities, referees, equipment, travel, it can be very difficult for many families to support the financial burden. It wasn't uncommon when I was playing to have some players be subsidized by the rest of the team so that they could participate. In all honesty though, the college draft becomes less and less important with each passing year as teams invest more money in their academies and scouting networks.

As for the state of MLS, it gets better every year. The number of teams in the league continues to expand and the level of play is pretty good. Frankly, the interest in bringing over older European based players is definitely waning with most MLS fans now hoping that their teams invest in young talent from South America or European players in their prime (championship level).

With all the concussion challenges NFL faces and the shift in America's demographics, I'm sure you'll continue to see greater interest in football in the U.S. at all levels.
 
The MLS and CSL will both at some point get to European League levels, why? TV Money .... when you have a potentially bigger TV audience than the whole of Europe combined it's inevitable that programmers will make it work. Almost the same number of Chinese as the entire population of Europe already watch CSL and EPL today, they just pay a fraction of the cost for the privilege, but that will increase ....

The drawbacks for the US is the owners insistence in trying to run football as they run the NFC or NBA ... pretty much as a private club for the super elite ... football doesn't work like that ... until they realize that football develops from the grassroots upwards, with every player whether from an Ivy League school or the backstreets of middle-of-nowhere having (maybe not an equal) but still a chance of success, where every team can strive to be promoted even if that's just from non-league division 9 to non-league division 8, but far more importantly promotion from the feeder leagues into the MLS ... until they grasp that it will always struggle ....

China's issue is they've moved from 3rd world to 1st world in a heartbeat ... people think there is no history of football in China but that's just wrong ... Football has been huge in China for a long time but the standards are very low and it's had almost no funding, that said football is regarded as the No. 1 spectator sport in China. Large crowds attend live games and large audiences tune in for televised games for both local Chinese teams and famous foreign ones. By one count 3.5 million of China's roughly 600 million soccer fans regularly attend soccer matches at local stadiums ... look at those numbers 600 million fans ... almost ten times the UK population and double that of the USA ... what China needs is success at International level which will gain government support and crucial investment, right now that still seems a long way off, but it will come ....
You don’t need promotion/relegation for strong grassroots sport. American football doesn’t have promotion/relegation, neither does the NBA. Both have immense success at the highest level by players that hail predominately from the lower end of the economic spectrum. The US has to improve the coaching talent at the youth levels, change the focus from winning meaningless youth tournaments to developing actual talent, and properly redress the development programs so they aren’t get-rich schemes for foreign cunts with accents.

I’m not saying promotion/relegation isn’t a wonderful thing. The meritocracy of European football is part of its beauty. But the reality is that it simply will not, can not, ever exist in the US with the legal framework of the MLS. Not a single owner will vote, charitably, to risk seeing their club plummet to the bottom leagues.

I’m not going to get into a debate on whether that’s neccesarily good or bad. It’s one of those subjects as a US fan that most are dead tired of discussing. It doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad, because it’s akin to arguing about whether or not your cat would be a better dog if it weren’t a cat. The energy is better spent on ideas that have a real chance of implementation.
 
I heard this right when we got knocked out of World Cup a qualification, but some pundit said the MLS is making Central/South American players better and not Americans. I found that spot on. If you look at the best players in the league, mostly all of them come from other countries.
It makes sense. A lot of those players from central and South America that are coming in are starting from a better experiential base in terms of knowledge and skills, but have only been held back mostly by the lack of infrastructure in those countries and their leagues. The MLS gives them a much better platform to hone their craft. While US players are still starting at a disadvantage and still losing lots of talent to the college game.

In reality, the median wage is barely $100k still. To the average player in the US that’s a decent middle-class wage, but not the sort of money to make up for devoting the prime years of ones development to. A college scholarship still provides better value for a player than a job as a squad player in the MLS.
 
Yeah, I agree with you re Brighton, however the point is that it is possible to go from non league to PL.
Of course it's highly unlikely and improbable but still possible.
In USA no team can do that as it's a closed shop. How (or even if) the MLS change that is another question due to the reasons you stated previously.
In my view that seriously damages the growth of football in the USA, why would someone invest *heavily* in a club that can not get promotion to the top league, as at some point there has to be a limit on the number of teams in the MLS.

* As in not only buying players but investing in the youth structure.
As I said, the end game for MLS, USL, and whatever remains below USL will resemble MLB more than the PL/EFL model. The MLS will most likely absorb the lower leagues as minor league affiliates, so USL clubs for example will be owned and operated at the local level - the profits made by those clubs will go to the local ownership of the USL club. But the contracts of the players and staff will be owned by the MLS club.

A crude analogy would be Spurs having MK Dons as a "minor league subsidiary". MK Dons would run their operations, sell their tickets, and the money would be retained by that ownership group. But the players and staff contracts would be owned and paid for by Spurs. As such, when a Dele Alli emerges Spurs wouldn't need to pay a transfer fee to get him - they'd merely call him up to Spurs and send down another player in his place.

It's a different system, but it's been proven to work within the US culture. We're accustomed to a closed league structure, our major clubs being in the major cities, and those who live far from the major cities following via TV and/or commuting significant distances if we want the stadium matchday experience.

It's just a different solution for a different culture accustomed to a different structure. I don't think the structure holds back the league or sport, that's a cultural and revenue based problem. To wit, I don't think anyone in England is "heavily" investing below the Championship (and then only a couple of clubs that are playing at a very dangerous financial gamble). Nor do I really buy into the idea that United are so successful because of a league structure that allows for the possibility of Stevenage winning the PL one day - they've been one of the most historically successful clubs, have parlayed that into a massive global following, and thus can afford to employ some of the top footballers in the world.
 

Airfixx

Trusting the process.
Before I rummage thought the entire thread... It quickly turned into another MLS thread, right?



I demand to know why the likes of Totti Totti & Nabil Bentaleb Nabil Bentaleb aren't fully schooled in the week-to-week of the Chinese league and sharing the wealth by now? :bmj:
 

ShutUpPatrik

Supporter
Now I'm a big fat dynamo!
The MLS is growing but it does not have a rocket strapped to its back. It will probably overtake the MLB in a few years but that is also because of the decline of baseball.

There are other things that need to be addressed in the MLS and US football as well. Youth development, recruitment etc.

But is is a growing league but it also faces a couple of juggernauts in the NFL and NBA. The converts are die hards and connected to their clubs/teams/franchises/whatever.

Plus you can get some real banger goals in the MLS, like this one from today
 
Last edited:
For the record, average MLS attendance at 22k per game is comparable to average attendance levels in the French Ligue 1, Dutch Eredivisie, Italian Serie A.
 
I heard this right when we got knocked out of World Cup a qualification, but some pundit said the MLS is making Central/South American players better and not Americans. I found that spot on. If you look at the best players in the league, mostly all of them come from other countries.
 
What is the story with LAFC? Seen a few people online saying they hate them. Was wondering what the beef was about. Shame if I am required to hate them, as their kit colours are lush.

As for promotion/relegation in MLS: As the sport in the US increasingly moves towards being more like what we recognise in the rest of the world I think it's inevitable it will be implemented at some point. This could be decades away, though. I speak as someone who occasionally enjoys watching an MLS game on the telly when I can't sleep so I consider myself an expert on the subject.

I think it’s pathetic that MLS would allow the creation of a team when there are many teams in the NASL that have established fan bases that would love to be in MLS. Also I find it pathetic that they would approve a second team in the same city. This league isn’t established enough for two teams in one city imo. And mostly I find it pathetic that people from LA would just start and support LAFC when the Galaxy has been an established team for 20+ years. That’s the team they should be rooting for. But LAFC is a new shiny object that has caught people’s attention. Their marketing team has been incredible. Since they were announced about 2 years ago you could buy hats, shirts, etc. So you’d see someone walking around town with an LAFC hat knowing that the team wouldn’t play their first game for another year. Nice fanbase...
 
Last edited:
MLS is growing at a very healthy clip for a young league. Competition from other domestic sports leagues, a lack of meaningful continental competition (CONCACAF Champions League will never compare to the UEFA equivalent or even the South American cups), and the established hierarchy of prestige for leagues will keep it from being a global phenomenon (in my lifetime there's no way that MLS, the Chinese league, Mexican league, J league, etc will challenge the big Euro leagues for the top players or global popularity).

Identifying and developing talent is light years ahead of what it was in the late 90s, but that's still the greatest gap between the US and euro/south american leagues in terms of quality of play.

Single entity ownership in MLS, restrictions on the freedom of movement of players into/among/out of teams in the league + salary considerations are a big hurdle but talent development needs to continue rising. Upping the number of intelligent, qualified coaches should be objective number 1. Eliminating the financial burden for players to play competitively should be done. Changing the mentality of youth development should be next...one of the greatest problems is that even the most talented youngsters aren't put into environments that challenge them/teach them to grow into a professional player. As someone that has been fortunate enough to observe the operations of some great euro academies up close, the trial by fire that exists in those structures simply doesn't have an equivalent in the academy setups in America yet. By and large, football is still very much considered a game here and not a lifestyle.
 
I'm not trying to grapple with anything, but taking the piss out of someone as full of themselves as you (clearly are) was too good an opportunity to miss, so belittling your core sports is too good an opportunity to pass up.
I have been to professional baseball and football (robocop rugby) games in the US, and all I can say is that you have an awful lot of quarters to have ad breaks in. Apparently an american football game lasts 3 hours and 12 minutes on average, and consists of around 11 minutes when the ball is actually in play, and 20 advert breaks in the TV transmission. (An average NFL game: more than 100 commercials and just 11 minutes of play), I can't be arsed to look up similar stuff in baseball, but the one game I went to which was one of the world series games that year was so boring, I neither knew or cared who won, and left after 5 innings and 200 ad breaks.

So far from being obtuse or making false accusations, I am merely describing how the sport has been overtaken by the advertising machine as a vessel for their products, and diluted whatever visceral thrills exist from watching a truly engaging sporting contest. I have no beef about America or Americans, nor an axe to grind - but I know what I like, and an advert fest with sport breaks isn't one of them. I don't think the sports are inferior because they are not British, I think they are inferior because they are paralysingly boring, more so for the commercial bastardisation they have descended into.

Two of my favourite sports are decidedly non British in origin, and whilst football is, it was taken over by the rest of the world a long time ago and is now a truly global sport. Americas 2 major sports are largely ignored by the rest of the world, why is that, do you think? 5 of the 10 most played sports in the world are British and I only care about one of them, which kind of pisses on your assessment of me being of the same mindset as your fellow countrymen.

I think you might actually need to take a long hard look in the mirror, because your assessment of me is way off beam, you were getting your leg pulled and you have taken it all to heart, and come out swinging. I'm sure your wonderful president would be proud of you.
You're still missing the point. In trying to determine why football isn't better supported in the US and how to increase participation and interest one of the major things that doesn't matter in the absolute least is what you think.

Incidentally, I agree that American sports games take too long and dont have enough action, basketball aside. That's why I, obviously, prefer football (though I grew up playing robocop rugby for 15 years, I'm burnt out on it mostly because the game has changed too much and they take too long). But the length of games isnt as much of an issue for a typical American because the culture of spectatorship is vastly different. Often times, UK supporters will complain about KO times for matches because they may make popping off to a match and then getting back to your day difficult. From a US perspective, this is difficult to understand as, in general, our sporting days out aren't just "popping out to a match". They're all day fully encompassing events for many. (Particularly those with the money to afford the obscene ticket prices).

Anyway, I'm really tired of discussing it. I dont really give 2 shits if football is ever popular in the US, or MLS gets their shit together. I love the sport and will continue to follow and support it. But the idea that there's a business model solution to what is a anthropological issue is absurd and I'm just fed up with people preaching on how it's a player issue or league structure issue.

We've got the most successful and lucrative ice hockey league in the world, the one in which all the best talent in the world plays. No one outside of the northeast/midwest cities (and briefly occasionally, somewhere else if the team is good) gives a fuck. You could put Ronaldo, Messi, Kane, Dele, Pogba, Mbappe, Bale, and Modric all in the MLS tomorrow and itd still be a niche sport. Because it's a cultural divide. And the vague, completely ludicrius and unattainable dream that Shittsvilletown Rovers could win their way through 15 tiers and one day win the MLS cup isnt't going to make little Johnny Americunt decide he prefers football over basketball.

I understand that in Europe there's much more localized and insular culture, local clubs and the like, but Americans in general are used to driving 3 1/2 hours on a weekend morning to go see "our team" play. It's a more vast land mass with the cultural habits that go along with that. Theres no European solution to an American problem any more than there's an American solution to a European problem.
 
I understand that in Europe there's much more localized and insular culture, local clubs and the like, but Americans in general are used to driving 3 1/2 hours on a weekend morning to go see "our team" play. It's a more vast land mass with the cultural habits that go along with that. Theres no European solution to an American problem any more than there's an American solution to a European problem.
One thing I've come to realise is that the driving 3½ hours to anything is pretty normalis(/z)ed over there. The UK is so much more condensed, and a lot of us are used to having things to hand. Travelling that kind of distance here is a big deal that we don't tend to do that often. When you consider the differences with simple things like that, you start to realise that that's just one of many things that contribute to how much the cultures of the two countries differ, and forcing elements of one country's culture on the other and expecting it to work seamlessly just isn't realistic.
 
One thing I've come to realise is that the driving 3½ hours to anything is pretty normalis(/z)ed over there. The UK is so much more condensed, and a lot of us are used to having things to hand. Travelling that kind of distance here is a big deal that we don't tend to do that often. When you consider the differences with simple things like that, you start to realise that that's just one of many things that contribute to how much the cultures of the two countries differ, and forcing elements of one country's culture on the other and expecting it to work seamlessly just isn't realistic.
What an open minded and understanding post

Take that shit elsewhere
giphy.gif
 
Wow, that is a lot of bollocks you've said there.

I'm assuming you're living in the states, if you ever come over the pond, let me know. I'll take you to a Wealdstone game (my treat) or some other team like Hendon or Hackney Wick and see if their fans think they are shouting at the night? I guarantee you'll find nobody agreeing with you.

When Tottenham were relegated in the late 70's did you ever think they'd challenge to win the top division again?

Have you never tried to better yourself and get to the top of your profession? Or did you think I'm here and here is where I will stay?

You come across as lacking any sort of ambition. This is a very alien concept to me.
I've seen some non-league football in the UK and honestly quite enjoyed the experience. I'm not here saying non-league football is a pointless exercise, but the sort of leap you're proposing is basically unprecedented and given a 3k capacity entirely implausible outside of some moneybags simply buying the name of the club as a toy and bastardizing it. And why do that, when many others much closer are available. As far as I'm aware there isnt a club that's taken the leap from non-league to the PL. So it's cool to dream about Wealdstone in the PL, so long as you're realistic about the fact that its almost certainly never happening.

As far as personal and professional ambition, of course I have plenty. It's why I pursue graduate degrees and certifications, spend most my time reading engineering books instead of more interesting subjects, etc. But I'm also objectively realistic with the idea that I will almost certainly never be the EOR of a project such as the Burj Khalifa - but I can still do plenty of really cool and meaningful projects in my career. It's just that I dont have the necessary educational profile, network, and industry "political" contacts to reach that zenith. Could I overcome some of that? Maybe, if it became my sole focus and prime directive at the expense of life and a family. But that would be counter to my identity, something akin to Wimbledon being bought and relocated to MK.

Anyway, my whole point is the notion of promotion/relegation and being an equitable system affording everyone equal opportunity is romantic, but a fallacy. Just like free-market capitalism, some start off significantly advantaged and will retain their place and advantages in society through little to no personal merit (hello, Mr. Trump!).

But yeah, next time I'm over I'll take you up on the offer!
 
Top Bottom