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

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Without Relegation and promotion there is no way the league can expand any further right? - you could do conferences I suppose but that seems odd for football.
They already have eastern and western conferences

I do get confused by the other tiers in the league, if there is no relegation or promotion what makes MLS > NASL > USL and if one grows stronger can it leapfrog the another.

I think one did leapfrog the other just recently. I'm sure they changed it so USL is the second level now, which I think lead to the NASL season being put on hold. I could look it up but I imagine somebody much more informed than me will give a better answer
 
They already have eastern and western conferences



I think one did leapfrog the other just recently. I'm sure they changed it so USL is the second level now, which I think lead to the NASL season being put on hold. I could look it up but I imagine somebody much more informed than me will give a better answer
USL is growing, and in some cases devouring NASL to do so. In very short order the NASL will be extinct and the USL will be all that remains.

USL's reality is that in the vast majority, its clubs cannot be sustained. Most of them exist as a shop window item for groups/cities who want to get into the MLS. And when the latest MLS expansion push is over, most of those left without a golden ticket will probably wither and die.

Almost none of these clubs have a football specific stadium, most (like the coming soon Memphis team) are playing in minor league baseball stadiums or on small college (american) football stadiums. Their revenue is always in the toilet (which is why there's so many clubs that pop up and fail or relocate in short order). There's basically zero appetite to televise the USL. I believe they may be actually paying currently, to broadcast games.

Getting back to the cultural differences/divide, there's little interest in the US for 2nd tier/3rd tier sports teams. You can look at college athletics for easy comparisons - the top level teams draw pro-level attendance figures. Scale down to the next tier of teams and below and attendances, TV ratings, merchandise drops off a cliff.

Long term, the probable best case scenario for the USL and most likely structure, is similar to baseball in the US. The MLS will absorb the USL as a subsidiary with MLS clubs taking ownership/partnership in USL clubs. The way baseball works the minor league clubs are owned and operated at the local level as affiliates of the major league club which pays for the players/staff and retains control of the contracts.
 
So give up and don't try??
I don't spend my time thinking about a Ferrari. I think they're beautiful. Itd be cool to drive one. But I'll simply never own one, so I choose to enjoy the things I have.

It's not giving up to enjoy the level of football you're at. And, of course, endeavor each year to get better. But to delude yourself into believing the leap from that level to the PL is obtainable just sets yourself up for ceaseless disappointment. Not unlike the sad crowd here that comes back every summer banging their head against the wall that Levy hasn't spend £100M by July 1. It hasnt happened, nothing has given anyone a realistic expectation of it happening, it's infinitely probable that it will never happen, so why even do that to yourself. Maybe it's just me, I've never understood the point of shouting at the night for the lack of light.
 

SpiderSpurs

Supporter
'Oh what a tangled web we weave...'🕷
I don't spend my time thinking about a Ferrari. I think they're beautiful. Itd be cool to drive one. But I'll simply never own one, so I choose to enjoy the things I have.

It's not giving up to enjoy the level of football you're at. And, of course, endeavor each year to get better. But to delude yourself into believing the leap from that level to the PL is obtainable just sets yourself up for ceaseless disappointment. Not unlike the sad crowd here that comes back every summer banging their head against the wall that Levy hasn't spend £100M by July 1. It hasnt happened, nothing has given anyone a realistic expectation of it happening, it's infinitely probable that it will never happen, so why even do that to yourself. Maybe it's just me, I've never understood the point of shouting at the night for the lack of light.

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.
 
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.

:wansum:= SpiderSpurs SpiderSpurs
 
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!
 
But that would be counter to my identity, something akin to Wimbledon being bought and relocated to MK.
Ironic that you should mention Wimbledon. Long before the franchise thing, they were non-league. They got promoted to division 4 in 1977. 9 years later they’d just finished their first season in the top flight, and defeated Liverpool at Wembley to win the FA Cup. They did all this on tiny crowds in a shitty stadium.

Obviously that’s a massive rarity though.
 
Ironic that you should mention Wimbledon. Long before the franchise thing, they were non-league. They got promoted to division 4 in 1977. 9 years later they’d just finished their first season in the top flight, and defeated Liverpool at Wembley to win the FA Cup. They did all this on tiny crowds in a shitty stadium.

Obviously that’s a massive rarity though.
Was a rather interesting coincidence. As you say they're one of the few (if not only) club to have really bucked the status quo. They did it in the 70s and 80s, which helps I believe. I honestly dont believe it's possible with the finances the way they are in football today.

It would take incredible vision, commitment, and fortune over a very long time because it would take decades to progressively develop the infrastructure necessary to survive and advance each step of the way. Aswell as incredible marketing and PR to grow the fanbase with the club's needs as things moved forward. It's taken Levy nearly 2 decades to drag us up a few places. Look at how many clubs have come up and looked stable before falling apart (Swansea, Southampton, etc.)
 
Brighton had no ground and were nearly relegated to non league football as recently as 1996.
It is amazing what they have achieved, of course it's to early to say that they are "secure" in the PL, but still....
 
It's taken Levy nearly 2 decades to drag us up a few places. Look at how many clubs have come up and looked stable before falling apart (Swansea, Southampton, etc.)
Totally get what you're saying, but I think it's easier to progress a few leagues when you're lower down the pyramid. The higher you get, the more difficult progress is.

It's very rare to see a team, at whatever level, maintain a level of stability over 5-10-20 years, and that's the bit that backs up your argument as to why MLS owners would be terrified of the prospect of adopting a traditional league system
 
Totally get what you're saying, but I think it's easier to progress a few leagues when you're lower down the pyramid. The higher you get, the more difficult progress is.

It's very rare to see a team, at whatever level, maintain a level of stability over 5-10-20 years, and that's the bit that backs up your argument as to why MLS owners would be terrified of the prospect of adopting a traditional league system
I agree that it's easier to jump a few leagues lower down the pyramid. I just feel like its neigh impossible to expect a non-league club that's always been a non-league club to basically usurp 72 plus clubs, most of whom have the significantly better developed infrastructure, organizational structure, and finances with being FL clubs for decades. If it ever were accomplished, its take decades to develop the necessities to reach the PL.

When you look at the Championship and even down in League One there are clubs that have been very top clubs for long stretches and have maintained their place relatively at the top of the game for generations. That kind of institutional stability and knowledge of the professional game would be very difficult to overcome for a non-league club. That's why the EFL is damn near a closed league, the overwhelming majority of the clubs in the EFL have always been in the EFL, and will always be in the EFL.

Even Brighton, stevee stevee ,flirted with disaster but didnt succumb. If they had dropped, I think the club would have fallen to shambles and certainly wouldn't be in the PL today. Might have got back to the the EFL but would probably be League One at best.
 
I agree that it's easier to jump a few leagues lower down the pyramid. I just feel like its neigh impossible to expect a non-league club that's always been a non-league club to basically usurp 72 plus clubs, most of whom have the significantly better developed infrastructure, organizational structure, and finances with being FL clubs for decades. If it ever were accomplished, its take decades to develop the necessities to reach the PL.

When you look at the Championship and even down in League One there are clubs that have been very top clubs for long stretches and have maintained their place relatively at the top of the game for generations. That kind of institutional stability and knowledge of the professional game would be very difficult to overcome for a non-league club. That's why the EFL is damn near a closed league, the overwhelming majority of the clubs in the EFL have always been in the EFL, and will always be in the EFL.

Even Brighton, stevee stevee ,flirted with disaster but didnt succumb. If they had dropped, I think the club would have fallen to shambles and certainly wouldn't be in the PL today. Might have got back to the the EFL but would probably be League One at best.
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.
 
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.
 

ILSpur

ESL founding member
For anyone seriously wondering if the MLS will be a league worthy of respect, all you need to do is watch the all-star game and the in-game coverage. They just had Waka Flocka in the commentary booth.
 
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ILSpur

ESL founding member
Love me some mic'd up players:llorishowudoin:
Mic'd up players for replays after the game can be interesting. Interviewing the player in the middle of open play, I think, is fucking stupid, detracts from the game, and turns the game into a carnival. Not that the all-star game is some real prestigious event to begin with.
 
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