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Author Topic: Football (or soccer)  (Read 366739 times)

Bondo

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Re: Football (or soccer)
« Reply #6510 on: April 24, 2021, 07:43:08 PM »
I think it's a combination of fear of change conservatism and anti-corporate socialism (much better a mean state-like entity like UEFA).

Like, you say teams don't exist without their fanbases, and in terms of local fanbases, that is true of most clubs...but not as true about these big clubs anymore. They got those huge international fanbases by being at the top of the sport for a long time. Part of what got them there is their bigness. I don't want to incentivize Real Madrid being completely wasteful, but to some degree no matter how responsible you are, getting a roster of this caliber means running a huge wage bill. In that context having a significant income hit based on the vagaries of champions league qualification causes significant uncertainty.

I think these clubs are intrigued by the Super League not because they want to take massive profits, but because they want a more stable, but large, income to support the kind of team building that the international fanbase wants. We are in kind of an untenable middle ground right now between viable big club competition and doing some kind of salary cap mediocrity/parity system. The latter may be more suitable to the historic nation league system, but arguably we are at a place where we should transcend that system. I definitely don't think this Super League (on top of competing in national leagues) was the way, but if your goal was to see creation of the absolute most impressive squads and the most spectacular soccer, a closed Super League would probably get you closer to that.

On the other hand, maybe we should just double down on Financial Fair Play/salary cap and embrace 50%+1 fan ownership of teams. It will be more competitive, even if it won't be as elegant.

Eric/E.T.

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Re: Football (or soccer)
« Reply #6511 on: April 25, 2021, 01:03:11 AM »
That is a very good analysis, and while I fall into the group that did not like it via the "anti-corporate socialism" aspect, I'm also an American Liverpool fan because of the bigness of both the team and the EPL, which is all very unsexy corporate stuff. I also take your point on UEFA.

One thing that I like a lot about soccer is promotion-relegation and the bids for international competition based on your positioning in your domestic league. It makes the matches valuable for more teams than it would otherwise. Mid-table is kind of boring, but if those teams don't improve, they then fall into potential relegation in coming seasons. I also like the local/community aspect, as I've said, and think it's a lot of fun watching all these new tier-two and below teams popping up across America, and imagine the deep-rooted tradition of cheering for your hometown team in England is something it's not terribly wise to upset. I understand that a lot of owners are getting into it, be they the owners of Phoenix Rising or Liverpool, to grow the team and reap the profits, but I don't know that the big European teams have a lot to worry about in that regard. Maybe you have something to the contrary, but I'm pretty sure Real Madrid, Bayern, Liverpool, etc., are doing just fine.

On the other hand, maybe we should just double down on Financial Fair Play/salary cap and embrace 50%+1 fan ownership of teams. It will be more competitive, even if it won't be as elegant.

Now here's where corrupt UEFA comes into play, who won't even enforce their own rules. I'd have to think through my own stance on this much better, because while I don't like how Manchester City just turned oil profit into players, it's not like LFC didn't go on their own spree. They haven't kept up with City, and part of their spree that brought in the current top-level talent came from a massive sale, but still, hardly anyone in the EPL can compete with that spending, let alone mid- or lower-table teams. They don't just have a Coutinho in their back pocket that they can turn into several amazing players, especially an Alisson. It's something I hate to wade too deeply into without deeper thought, just off top, I wished that FFP had at least enough teeth to deal with Man City and probably PSG, even that I think would curtail the worst impulses. Even that doesn't stop one from buying a team and using it as a form of "sports-washing" to improve their image with the world, but I guess the point is not for sports to solve moral problems, but at least try to be fair enough that it's competitive and one team doesn't just win everything all the time. Before the EPL, I watched a lot of Bundesliga on Fox Sports and FS2, which is awesome and to me rivals the EPL on just the fun of watching any random match, but the way Bayern dominates that league makes it kind of a drag. Yet, I don't think the answer is for Bayern to join a Super League, because that would hurt German football, but also not to have them just run away with the Bundesliga every year, because I can't imagine that's good for German football either. This all leaves me with more questions than answers, though. Happens to me a lot.
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Bondo

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Re: Football (or soccer)
« Reply #6512 on: April 25, 2021, 10:53:55 AM »
It's so hard to tell what financial trouble looks like for clubs. Chelsea, Real and Barcelona all have like $1 Billion in debt, Liverpool "only" has like $150-200 million in debt. But like, I have over $200,000 in debt, which sounds bad until you consider my home is worth more than that and I'm financially fairly well off. So I don't have a good sense of it. Debt financed expansion of a stadium might be expected to bring in more ticket revenue and thus pay for itself and be a good investment and thus that debt wouldn't be a problem. I know Real is actively doing a lot of work on their stadium. But if you are taking debt to pay for transfers/salaries, that's not good. If your logic is borrow to finance players that will win you x and that will get you the money to actually pay for them, that is basically sitting down at a casino. But I just don't know how you budget for swings in revenue of $50-150 million based on performance (and of course for the drastic reductions in revenue due to COVID...and I think we can be generous with all clubs on that front).

In any event, it does seem like Real, Barca and Juventus have real financial concerns...given their prestige it is hard for them to suck it up and sell off players and be bad for a few years. Arguably you need a few top clubs paying top dollar for developed talents. Clubs like Ajax sort of base their own success on having buyers on the other end. Sometimes the whole thing feels like a house of cards and COVID may have been the gust of wind that, combined with this Super League effort, send the whole thing down.

Knocked Out Loaded

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Re: Football (or soccer)
« Reply #6513 on: April 25, 2021, 02:10:50 PM »
Being an Arsenal fan since 1971 I today have little forbearance with the clubs trying to set up the ESL. Let them have their sandbox and forget about them.

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Bondo

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Re: Football (or soccer)
« Reply #6514 on: June 06, 2021, 08:21:24 PM »
I took in my first USL Championship game this weekend with the Colorado Springs Switchbacks taking on San Antonio. Took me a second to realize CSS is in the same League as Phoenix Rising, though they donít play in the regular season. It didnít feel that much different than watching MLS really, just a smaller stadium. The real rookie league aspect is that the brand new stadium in Colorado Springs only has one video screen, so half the stadium doesnít get to see replays (such as a crucial offsides call). Worse, the smaller scoreboard on the other side froze after 7 minutes so I spent the rest of the game not knowing how much time was left.

Itís still a young team, in a city without much of a soccer history, so it will take some time building a bit more supporter nous. Not a ton of jerseys/scarfs being worn, didnít hear any songs (though I was pretty far removed from the supporter club section). Hope they can build it quickly and it gets really established.

Eric/E.T.

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Re: Football (or soccer)
« Reply #6515 on: June 07, 2021, 07:05:29 PM »
Awesome! Great to see some support for American soccer down the pyramid. USL has gone through several transformations, including broadening into two separate divisions, since our club was rebranded as Phoenix Rising in 2017. We used to play Colorado Springs! Last year, in the shortened season, the schedule was confined to playing divisional competition. This year, the divisions were realigned, but the scheduling concept kept fairly similar - 32 matches, 28 divisional (4 games against each of the 8 other divisional opponents) and 4 just anything goes (we played Tampa Bay this year, an Eastern Conference team, for example - the team Rising was supposed to play in the final last year).

Far as I know, the Switchbacks are still affiliated with Colorado Rapids, so I'm not sure how ambitious they can get. Rising don't have any such affiliation, and Phoenix being a fairly large media market, there are MLS expectations. Not trying to rain on your parade, I really love soccer at all competitive levels, and even as an affiliate, the level of play can rise as MLS develops. A couple of years ago I saw a home Ann Arbor United match (Mighty Oak!), and had an absolute blast, and that's semi-pro. I would agree with you on quality of play in USL. I used to listen to an American soccer podcast with a host that was an active player for Pittsburgh, while also having had MLS experience, and he described the talent level as being very close. I think that manifests itself in close Open Cup matches with some upsets in favor of the second division teams. Also, with the NASL having folded and USL getting more financial support, the quality of play should continue to improve.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2021, 12:00:42 AM by Eric/E.T. »
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FLYmeatwad

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Re: Football (or soccer)
« Reply #6516 on: July 11, 2021, 01:23:50 PM »
Is it coming home?

FLYmeatwad

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Re: Football (or soccer)
« Reply #6517 on: July 11, 2021, 04:53:49 PM »
Is it coming home?

It is coming, Rome.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2021, 04:55:43 PM by FLYmeatwad »

Eric/E.T.

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Re: Football (or soccer)
« Reply #6518 on: July 12, 2021, 04:28:36 AM »
Is it coming home?

It is coming, Rome.

And that, it did.

I didn't watch a lot of the Euros, saw the highlights of the final on ESPN. Man, it is downright cringe-y to hear American TV hosts continue with their intentional bumbling during soccer highlights in 2021, as if it is still funny for sports anchors on a widely-watched sports news hour to not understand the world's most popular competitive sport. I honestly stopped watching SportsCenter a while back, but have resumed during the Suns run to the Finals. Will go back to never watching ESPN programming outside of actual sport events once this is done.
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