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Garber Speaks

The Commish Don Garber made himself available this afternoon to address the SuperLiga prize money issue and the union's statement this morning that, as a form of protest, the Dynamo and Revolution will pool the first- and second-place bonuses ($250,000) and split them evenly regardless of the winner tomorrow night in Foxborough.

On the players' desire to share the money equally: "That's not something that is permitted in the CBA [collective bargaining agreement], it's not something we are going to allow and something, should they decide to do, we will have to manage it the way we would manage any other violation of the collective bargaining agreement. I believe we have got great players who have strong levels of integrity and competitive spirit, and I believe they will play this game the way they play every other game. ... We will pay the prize money as it was originially dictated as determined by MLS ownership. If there is something we determine is a violation of the CBA, we will address it."

On the SuperLiga bonus structure: "Within our CBA, there is a separate agreement on bonuses for compulsory tournaments and it is up to the league's discretion to even pay bonuses for non-compulsory tournaments. SuperLiga is non-compulsory. If a Mexican team doesn't want to play or an MLS team doesn't want to play, they are not required to. It is an invitational tournament. We opted to pay, of the million-dollar prize money that goes to the winning team, $150,000 to the winning club [players], which we thought was fair and reasonable, matching the prize money for the MLS Cup. The MLS teams, our owners, are at [financial] risk in these tournaments. They have to incur the costs of putting on the games. We are producing [for TV] some of these games. We have to fly teams in from Mexico. They are at risk. Part of the equation when you are taking in risk is to manage with your expenses and the winning team receiving the lion's share of the prize money is not something much different than in a number of other sports. The union has filed a grievance as to whether or not the owners have the right to determine that bonus as opposed to an individual owner determining that in discussion with its players. That is the subject of a grievance, which will get heard sometime in the next couple weeks or months. However it gets resolved, it gets resolved."

more below....

On where the $1 million goes: "It goes to the club owner. It's no different from a NASCAR tournament where the team owner wins prize money and the team owner has a driver under contract, and whatever his agreement with that driver is is what that driver receives. ... What I have found very frustrating is that this has been positioned as the league misleading the public by saying that the prize would go to the players. We never, ever implied that the players would get the one million dollars. The winner is the team. The club gets that million-dollar prize, and then we have an agreement as to what that share would be to the players."

Is the championship game now watered down by the players' decision?

"I would expect that our players would be playing for the pride of being the best team of eight teams in this tournament. I don't recall anybody ever talking about what the players' share of prize money is for winning the MLS Cup. ... They are playing for the trophy. ... I don't know how, all of a sudden, this became, whether through the media or the players, about the only thing that matters in this tournament is prize money. I don't ever hear that in MLS [for the MLS Cup]. I don't hear that at the World Cup. I don't hear that at Copa Libertadores. I don't hear that in the Champions League, do you? ... The players [in SuperLiga] are getting a pretty darn good payday for five games."

Insider: Don, the reason this has become an issue is because the $1 million-dollar figure has been frequently attached to the tournament in promotions. There is no prize money figure attached to MLS Cup or the World Cup.

Garber: "I don't disagree with that. [But] I don't see the fact that the players are receiving a percentage of that taking away from the importance of the tournament. I would hope that, and expect that, they are playing because they want to prove they are the best team in this tournament."

On the future structure of SuperLiga: "We are in the midst of collective bargaining discussions, and my guess is, based on the amount of time the union has spent on this issue, that this will be a major point in the negotiation."

By Steve Goff  |  August 4, 2008; 5:49 PM ET
Categories:  MLS  
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Next: Sound of Silence

Comments

I didn't realize NASCAR had tournaments....

Posted by: #24 - Dave Blaney | August 4, 2008 6:51 PM | Report abuse

As a follow up on this.

Has anyone expressed how these players are just going to divide up the earnings without regard to how their taxes will be handled?

Posted by: Deron | August 4, 2008 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Don Garber is so shady.

Posted by: NattyBo | August 4, 2008 6:54 PM | Report abuse

I think Garber's absolutely correct in that the club gets the $1 million for winning the tournament. The problem is that MLS players aren't getting paid much. Some clubs want to motivate their players by offering them a piece of the purse -- but the league has stepped in and interfered with this.

If a club wins the money, what's wrong with it determining how it wants to spend that money without league interference?

I understand he's being stubborn, but it's not rational to believe that $150k split between 28 players is a lot of money.

Frankly, it all comes down to the fact that if the players were being paid more, and if there was a significant minimum salary in the league, than the quality of play would rise dramatically. Either we'd have more motivated players, or better quality players, or both.

Posted by: Eugene | August 4, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Did he seriously compare the Superliga to the Champions League or the Copa Libertadores? Really? He did that with a straight face? The ######## World Cup?

Wow.

Posted by: jpeace121 | August 4, 2008 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Don Garber must have rationally known this was bound to happen when there are guys in this league getting paid $15,000 per year.

Posted by: Eugene | August 4, 2008 7:00 PM | Report abuse

So in the CBA it says "no sharing"?

Listen a-hole they can do whatever they want with their money. Anyone can give their salary to a co-worker if they desire. Get off your pompous high horse. I have no problems with a sports league trying to control costs but now you are just being an idiot.

Posted by: CD | August 4, 2008 7:02 PM | Report abuse

It may sound like he's talking about Superliga, but all I see him talking about is the CBA.

Posted by: Seth|NYC | August 4, 2008 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Its clear the the New World Order and Free Masons have taken over MLS as they did the Catholic Church centuries ago. OMG... what is this world coming to??

For more info Google these terms: Georgia Guidestones, False Flag Operation, Operation Northwoods, Infowars, Gulf of Tonkin, Hitler Reichstag Fire, USS Liberty

Posted by: FreddieMac | August 4, 2008 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Garber spoiled the soon-to-be-announced new NASCAR format... single elimination bracket.

I love how he's surprised that there is so much attention to the $1 million when every official release from the league and even his own press conference introducing SuperLiga highlighted the prize money as the key incentive to play.

Posted by: MK | August 4, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Now both sides are accusing each other of violating the CBA with regards to MLS money?

Is Garber really trying to create a labor crisis?

Posted by: what a mess | August 4, 2008 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Garber's both a jerk _and_ an idiot.

Posted by: DCU | August 4, 2008 7:19 PM | Report abuse

OK, we all agree that players getting 15% sucks.

But everything Garber said is true.

Posted by: Wes | August 4, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Garber thinks that $ 150K (for the championship team no less) is a "pretty darn good payday for five games"?

Let's do some math here.

$ 150K (championship team) divided by 18 players (that's assuming that first team players only are going to benefit), is $ 8,333.33 per player X 18 players. That's also $ 5,537.14 X 28 players. Let's use the 18 player number, and let's just assume that we're talking about the winning team. In other words, this is the best case payday scenerio.

$ 8,333.33 divided by 5, times 30 (to represent the MLS regular season games) is $ 50,000.00 per player per regular season.

Using a 40 game schedule (pre-season, Open Cup, etc), that's still just $ 66,666 per player per season.

That's the sort of league that Garber wants? MLS players making MISL salaries?


Posted by: kebzach | August 4, 2008 7:21 PM | Report abuse

I'm confused...first he says that that the tournament is "non-compulsory" just after saying that sharing prize money is not allowed. How does that make sense? What if the teams decide that the final is "non-compulsory?" And if the full $1 million goes to the team owner, why are the players only allowed a small percentage? If the CBA stipulates that, then MLS IS intentionally misleading the public about the reward for this tournament.

Screw it...I say every team should boycott this entire stupid tournament starting with this year's Final.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 4, 2008 7:23 PM | Report abuse

The thing that confuses me most is that there seem to be people who actually assumed the players were getting the full million.

Posted by: Wes | August 4, 2008 7:27 PM | Report abuse

I think the CBA angle is the real story here as I think most would agree. That said, I would add that the popularity of MLS since the last CBA has risen substantially. I think the league is girding themselves for a group of players who are not going to enter into another CBA that "allows" pro-soccer players to earn below the poverty level as a salary from Major League Soccer. That is a joke to me but one that, if you're the guy making the $17,000 is probably not funny. Me, I'd go out of my way on a daily basis to praise these guys for giving everything they have and then some to build this sport.

Garber, on the other hand, probably thinks he's responsible for building soccer in the U.S.

You make the call.

Posted by: AlexandriaDan | August 4, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

The thing that confuses me most is that there seem to be people who actually assumed the players were getting the full million.

Posted by: Wes | August 4, 2008 7:27 PM

No, the problem is that it appears as if the Mexican players would get the full million and the MLS players will not. Maybe thats not true, but that's the impression that I've got. Please enlighten me if that's wrong.

Posted by: BK | August 4, 2008 7:35 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand how it's possible for the league to stop the players from sharing the prize money they get. Once the money's been paid out, a player can spend it on beer and pork'n'beans, donate it to charity, burn it, whatever. How in the world is it ok for a player to give a portion of the money they earn to one person, but not to another, simply because that other person also plays on a team in the league?

Posted by: Bootsy | August 4, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

All the promotions said the winning club/team would get the million. Never once did it say the players were getting the full million. So, Garber is correct in what he is saying. I cant beleive no one is picking up on that point.

Posted by: Former DCU employee | August 4, 2008 7:37 PM | Report abuse

just how much is garber making off this??????

Posted by: curious | August 4, 2008 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Is the $100k for the runners-up coming out of the $1 million purse? Or is the runners-up prize completely separate?

Posted by: nate | August 4, 2008 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Get ready for the final to be boycotted.

Posted by: Ron | August 4, 2008 7:59 PM | Report abuse

BK, I believe "The Don" stated sometime this past weekend, that the Pachuca players got $300,000 of last years prize money.

Posted by: SonicDeathMonkey | August 4, 2008 8:02 PM | Report abuse

The question that needed to be asked (perhaps a little more diplomatically): "Doesn't the fact that the Mexican sides give all the prize money to the players render your rationalizations absurd and make MLS owners seem like greedy bastards?"

Posted by: Mark R. | August 4, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Garber is right on this one.

I agree that salaries for the developmental players are a joke. But the union doesn't have a leg to stand on here.

Posted by: scott47a | August 4, 2008 8:08 PM | Report abuse

What do the players have to play for? Seriously, this trophy is as worthless as the Rocky Mountain Cup or any of the other manufactured "championships." What makes it even worse is that this glorious final is being played on a Tuesday night, no television, and in front of arguably the worst fans in the league. Someone call Dr. Kevorkian...we need to painlessly put this SuperLiga experiment to rest and focus on the Champions League. I'd actually be proud to win that competition.

Posted by: BK | August 4, 2008 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Mr Garber if you are reading this or any of your minions are reading this don't upset your fan base just when the EPL is about to start. We can watch TV just as well as attending MLS events. Your economic necessities are your own problem I can't talk to my guests about why I am staffed a certain way they just go somewhere else. I don't care if you incurred risk by starting the Super Liga. I'm sure you did it to turn a profit, your fans are unhappy with the way you compensate your players, make your employees happy keep your fans happy and we will continue to support the league.

Posted by: pc | August 4, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

OK, we all agree that players getting 15% sucks.

But everything Garber said is true.

Posted by: Wes | August 4, 2008 7:20 PM
---------------------------------------

Exactly. It's just an unfair split and it doesn't serve to motivate (mostly) underpaid players. 50-50 would have been better...and fair.

Posted by: KR in DC | August 4, 2008 8:14 PM | Report abuse

I'll side with Don that the trophy should matter and the pay day from SuperLiga is just a means to BEGIN to air the issues with salaries in MLS.

So, Don, on SuperLiga, I'll pass on making a comment. Now, the next time Mr. Garber rambles about how much he thinks that a developmental salary is commensurate with the risk the club is taking bringing a certain player in - I'll take exception to that. Some developmental guys - yes. But Is there really a reason ANYONE at ANY level on the roster of these teams deserves anything less than $50-75k a year, especially when teams can cancel and downgrade contracts seemingly at will?

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | August 4, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

"SuperLiga is non-compulsory. If a Mexican team doesn't want to play or an MLS team doesn't want to play, they are not required to. It is an invitational tournament."

Remember what he said, along with listing the Liga's logistics in there too.

Posted by: E. Pope | August 4, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully next year all MLS teams will not accept the invite in protest.

Posted by: CACuzcatlan | August 4, 2008 8:31 PM | Report abuse

OK, I was on the fence before reading the Don's comments. Rubbish. Absolute rubbish. The whole idea that there will be a $1m payoff implies that it's going to the players. Don's use of language is clever politics, and pinning this on the CBA is nonsense. He said that the tourney is non-compulsory and that it was MLS that determined what would happen with the payoff. In other words, we'll do whatever we want and the players can shove off. What if you're a young player and you get injured in one of these games, and your season and then career are over? OK, well, toddle off and cash your $8 grand check and stuff it. Oh, wait, we need to take away taxes first, then you can toddle off and stuff it.

Who owns the Revs again? Yeah, they need to be insulated from risk more than the players. Their investment hasn't bloomed enough yet.

And how about this: why are the players getting SO LITTLE for winning the MLS Cup!?! Isn't that an issue here?!?

Posted by: Modibo | August 4, 2008 8:37 PM | Report abuse

NASCAR has two "tournements" that I'm aware of - the Bud Shoot-out before Daytona and the All Star Race in Charlotte. Everything Garber said is true in that regard except - most drivers opt in to the race because the money is so good - e.g., 1 million to the winner.

That's a very important difference.

Posted by: PotomacBoater | August 4, 2008 8:38 PM | Report abuse

I didn't realize that the players got paid so crappily for winning the MLS Cup. I would've expected them to get more! I guess that's just me.

Posted by: Q | August 4, 2008 8:44 PM | Report abuse

What a mess SuperLiga has become. Mexican team turning down invites. MLS teams splitting the prize money evenly. Mexicans wanting games in Mexico....seriously enough. SuperLiga needs to go away after the Houston - New England match. CONCACAF is kicking off the new Champions League which should be a bigger and more exciting competition.

SuperLiga = SuperFail

Posted by: Matt | August 4, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

This happens in poker tournaments all the time. The final few players will agree to split the prize money, usually based on the number of chips in front of them and not "evenly," instead of playing it out. I don't see the problem with it.

It's not like there's a winner's check and a loser's check for the league matches, and they are competitive enough.

Posted by: wmsiii | August 4, 2008 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Garber has a real problem here. The League has "shaded" the truth about the payout, which has ticked off both fans and the players. The players' decision to split the money 50/50, absolutely correct in my opinion and something not covered by the CBA which Garber will find to his displeasure, has revealed the SuperLiga to be nothing more than a series of exhibition matches between "invited" MLS sides and MFL teams in pre-season. Seems like the "SuperLiga" brand is as dead as the Pinto.

Posted by: griffin1108 | August 4, 2008 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Where Garber's reasoning really broke down for me is when he claimed that the rest of the one million dollars "goes to the club owner. It's no different from a NASCAR tournament where the team owner wins prize money and the team owner has a driver under contract, and whatever his agreement with that driver is is what that driver receives". Okay, so why can't the Dynamo pay their players more than $150k?!?! If the money goes to the club owner, than it should be up to the club owner how much goes to the players. Garber is being extremely disingenuous on this point.

Posted by: Jonny B | August 4, 2008 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Everything Garber says rings true. The clubs are taking a risk in throwing the tourney...it's not a surprise that they get the payoff.

Given the salary figures in the league (yes they are too low), 8k bonus for an additional 450 minutes of work is not too bad. If you are earning 30k per year, 8k is a bonus worth playing for.

Think of it another way...how would it make sense of the full million was earned by the winner, you would have bonuses of 50k per player which is in excess of their (admittedly low) salaries.

Posted by: Buzz | August 4, 2008 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Goff,

If you have some spare time it would be great to get your opinion on this whole issue. I think it is more about the undertones of the whole single entity in general than just the superliga itself.

Posted by: jon p | August 4, 2008 9:09 PM | Report abuse

I think all fans should support the players and NOT show up to this game. Let them play in an empty stadium. Garber is a tool.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 4, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Too bad no one wanted to ask Garber about that "punishment" he handed down to Blanco.

Posted by: Reporter Guy | August 4, 2008 9:16 PM | Report abuse

I will agree that it makes sense the $1 MILLION goes to the club/team, not to the players necessarily. But I also don't see how the league can decide how much of that money goes to the players. Altho I suppose the "single entity" structure may enter into that somehow. Since the clubs have been given more autonomy why can't the ownership say, hey only 50 people showed up to this match so our costs are minimal. We want to give the players $500,000.

I don't think we will see the stupid useless tournament next year. It is such a distraction to the MLS clubs and if it is costing so much to stage it that the owners need to keep so much of the money it isn't really worth it. I would love to see everyone decline the invitation to the "non-compulsory" tournament as well. But if it is the club owners/management that accepts the invitation the players have no say or power.

Certainly no one talks about the Euro Champions League prize money because lots of those players are making tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars a week. So the prize money is fairly meaningless to them especially compared to the prestige of winning the most important club tournament in the world. A tournament with hugely valuable worldwide TV rights. For a bunch of guys scraping by on $40K the prize money means a whole heckuva lot more in a tournament no one cares about or watches. I can't believe no one raised that question with the Don. What about the risk the players take on by playing against all of those Mexican thugs.

Both sides are trying to look out for their interests. The players deserve more money. But frankly I suspect MLS is still bleeding cash pretty rapidly. I'm sure they wish they could afford to pay them more too. The reality this isn't a big money league and probably never will be.

However, to dictate to the players that they cannot share their money with each other seems totally unenforceable as everyone has noted. I would bet that is a lawsuit or grievance the players could win depending on exactly what the CBA says.

Posted by: Glenn | August 4, 2008 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Seems to be SUM sort of cover up

Posted by: Kevin NY | August 4, 2008 9:25 PM | Report abuse

"If you have some spare time it would be great to get your opinion on this whole issue."

As snarky as I've been about SuperLiga, I have no opinion on the matter.

"Too bad no one wanted to ask Garber about that 'punishment' he handed down to Blanco."

The purpose of the interview was to give Garber an opportunity to respond to the players' decision and the union's claims. It was not a wide-ranging q&a session.

Posted by: Goff | August 4, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

As others have noted, the issue appears less to be Superliga prize money and more the overall state of player salaries under the CBA.

For players, some of whom are earning a mere pittance, the idea of risking their health in an additional pointless tournament makes little sense. Giving the winning players a mere 15% of the advertised million adds insult to (the risk of) injury.

On the other hand, the league is correct to oppose collusion among the players, or at least the appearance thereof. At the very least, this public announcement that the players are not going to respect the bonus structure amounts to poor sportsmanship.

Luckily, Superliga doesn't matter much in the scheme of things, and so it's better that the Superliga final becomes a flashpoint for addressing problems in the CBA than MLS as a whole. If this spat can get the league thinking seriously about amending the salary cap and other financial issues that keep MLS undercompetitive, the Superliga spat will have been well worth it. (Indeed, it may be the only thing anyone ever remembers about Superliga.)

Posted by: asfoolasiam | August 4, 2008 9:31 PM | Report abuse

I did not know that teams could opt not to play in this tournament. That sounds like a great idea for next year considering the crowded schedules...

Posted by: BigWave | August 4, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

I seriously can't believe he tried to compare this to the Champions League. As noted above, the CL actually has decades of tradition and a title can define a player's career and legacy. Plus their wages are so high the prize money is meaningless compared to the honor. When the main selling point of your tournament is the prize money (let's not kid ourselves that it was anything else) you can't come out a year later and say it shouldn't be a factor.

Posted by: nate | August 4, 2008 9:34 PM | Report abuse

"Some clubs want to motivate their players by offering them a piece of the purse -- but the league has stepped in and interfered with this"

What's the difference between this and letting LA or NY motivate their players by offering them bonuses of $100k per win?

This is the natural consequence of the Single Entity mechanism. There aren't really clubs, just different branches of the same company. Thinking about the way MLS is designed to work makes me want to take a hot shower.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | August 4, 2008 9:52 PM | Report abuse

"I did not know that teams could opt not to play in this tournament. That sounds like a great idea for next year considering the crowded schedules..."

Yeah, Superliga was optional. DCU's business model, with two DPs and a half dozen South American players, anticipated playing as many games as possible for revenue and exposure, so Payne was going to accept any competition invitation.

But it puts complaints (or "whining") about fixture congestion and the lack of squad depth in perspective. And if there's a further plague of injuries, DC has no one to blame but themselves.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | August 4, 2008 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Wish you had asked

"If the owner of the club gets the other 850,000, why can he determine how it is spent, and if that includes paying the players more then so be it"

Posted by: DREWWW | August 4, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

The question that needed to be asked (perhaps a little more diplomatically): "Doesn't the fact that the Mexican sides give all the prize money to the players render your rationalizations absurd and make MLS owners seem like greedy bastards?"

Posted by: Mark R. | August 4, 2008 8:07 PM

==============================

Greedy bastards? Isn't each one of the MLS owners losing money each year, year after year, on their team(s)?

As for salary cap, where is the money supposed to come from to pay the players? I would assume if the players could make more money playing soccer elsewhere, they would. Am I missing something?

Posted by: OWNTF | August 4, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

This is the league stamping its authority. Sure they have the legal basis to interpret the contract this way but the upcoming issues of salaries/compensation is looming large. The designated player rule has also added fuel to the fire now with real money being offered to the choice few. The MLS is not a free market for talent. The league now has a cheap supply of local and regional talent. This will not always be so.

Posted by: sbg | August 4, 2008 10:08 PM | Report abuse

I think there are a number of issues we have discussed over the last few weeks that speak to the backwardness of single entity from the Pat Noonan transfer to parity to the Booberliga to MLS becoming the Mexican Soccer Promotion League. What may have worked in 1996 to get this thing started really fails in the face of international soccer, under FIFA and probably FIFPro rules. MLB and NFL exist in a vacuum, and MLS is trying to use that American model to think about soccer. There are too many forces at work, and a less successful but parallel soccer league in the USL as well.

I think it's very disheartening to the thinking man's American soccer fan, and I agree with the previous poster who mentioned this is a bad time for things to go south when EPL is about to fire up.

The main over-arching issue MLS has to think about is unquestioned legitimacy in its role as an overseer of American soccer. Right now, there are too many questions out there about its legitimacy.

Posted by: AM | August 4, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

I have a solution. If the owners want to give the players so much money then why don't the MLS players from the SuperLiga final start a charity for themselves and then the owners just happen to give a similar amount but not exactly the same to said charity. Honestly, that really would solve this whole problem.

Boom goes the dynamite.

Posted by: Dave | August 4, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

So where does the other $850,000 go? To the coffers of NE or Hou? Or kicked back to MLS?

Or does SUM define "winning team" as either MLS or FMF? Because that's what the language Garber is using seems to lead me to believe. The winning league gets $1M. Then the prize is split as agreed upon before.

Thx,

Jay!

Posted by: JayRockers! | August 4, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

I would like to know if any team has opted out of the tourneyment. It seemed like the MLS Cup winner, the runner-up, and two teams who won the most were up whether they wanted to or not.

I still have a big question. Why does each team have to pony up $2 mil a season to fight the player's union? It seems like that is where the salaries go south.

Also, what happens to the club who says "Sorry Charlie" and declines to play?

Is anyone besides the DC site interested in this? Give out the other sites. I'll go read them.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 4, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Here's the problem with Garber's logic, that I didn't notice anyone pointing out.
He rationalizes that the league takes a risk to put on the tournament to tee up his argument for why the players don't get the $1MM. But then, the $1MM goes to the team and not the league. I realize we're still single entity or whatever, but it smacks of being disingenuous to claim to use the risk/liability argument against the players, but not against the team overall. Somewhere there's a chink in Herr Garber's argument.

Posted by: David | August 4, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Garber can spin it all he wants, and he can be as vauge as he wants, but this tournament is dead.

Posted by: Jon P | August 4, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

If United is forced to enter this tournament again I will mail my Superliga tickets to Garber's office and and he can do whatever he wants with them. I will never again darken the doors of his contrived tournament ever again. He can accuse me of collusion as I lobby others to not attend.

Posted by: Shawn Cole | August 4, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse

So where does the other $850,000 go? To the coffers of NE or Hou? Or kicked back to MLS?

=============

good question for Mr. Garber. Goff, follow the money.

Posted by: Deep Throat | August 4, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

is it over yet?

Posted by: JSF | August 4, 2008 10:40 PM | Report abuse

It's a great thing that we have Ben Olsen in the mix, running the player's union conference call either in his Back Yard or in the bowels of RFK.
My guess is he figured out all this stuff right before the Galaxy game, and the super secret signal was him getting subbed in!

This is all a smoke screen to get everyone in a tiff before DC United tear the whole shabingus in half in the next two months.

Posted by: Dadryan | August 4, 2008 10:53 PM | Report abuse

The most telling comment in Garber's comments was that they set the prise money at $150,000 b/c that's the bonus pot that players split for winning MLS Cup.

This is why Garber can't budge on this and why he's being kind of a hard-ass about this issue.

If MLS gave in and let the players get $500,000 or $1 million or whatever, then next year when the CBA came up the players would start out with demanding an increase in the MLS bonus pot to something more than Superliga (Hey, the winners of that lousy Superliga tournament get $500,000 but the winners of MLS Cup only get $150,000?)

There is a huge CBA negotiation coming up just around the corner that is going to play a massive role in determining the future of MLS and every thing the league or players unions says and does right now is down with an eye toward how it will affect that negotation...

This whole brouhaha has nothing to do with anyone caring about what happens to the Superliga money. It has everything to do with the next CBA.


Posted by: Big Picture | August 4, 2008 10:55 PM | Report abuse

garber is talking trash, MLS flies out the mexican players? so in other words..MLS wins the prize money which is spent in backlogging the extra cash spent on mexican teams which get a whole 1 mill on a clean slate?

hmm..

shady, very shady

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | August 4, 2008 11:03 PM | Report abuse

I don't see how what Garber said was so far off the mark to warrant the childish name calling that's going on in here. It seems he's trying to quote/interpret the language of the current CBA. It's not his fault that the letter of the agreement places the players in somewhat of a disadvantage, or was poorly drafted. He's just quoting how he sees it, as is the Union. It's all postering and jostling for the upper hand, a natural process in the contracting/agreement business. We knew this was coming and this all seems to me like both sides are positioning themselves for some serious talking.

Don't get me wrong, if anyone has followed my posts you will know that I have no love for the current set-up and I am all for some serious overdue changes. The $2.7 million salary cap thing, minimum wage structure and sparse team depth and quality are key issues for me, and I hope that some decent compromises are struck to address and resolve these issues and others that I did not list.

The key word here is COMPROMISE, something that cannot be achieved with bull-headedness or name calling. Just a few short years ago a small group of owners were bleeding amounts of cash that most of us will never see in our lifetimes, just so that we can have a league of our own. Today, these are the very people we are so quick to label with nasty names like greedy and cheap. Let's be honest and fair here people.

There is much to lose here for both sides. We have potential owners/operators chomping at the bit to join the league and we have talented players that want to join the league if the price is right. This can all work out with decent compromise.

The league and owners are savvy business people who know how to manage an investment (that explains how they can afford to risk and lose the amounts they have thus far). Also the players are smart professionals who also know the reality of the market - I mean it's not like the American player is on hot demand in the world soccer market.

Things will get hot but at the end of the day I see cooler heads prevailing and our league being the better for it, inspite of the knee-jerk reactions and light speed verdicts of its fans.

But hey, we're fans, what else are we supposed to do? We are in our rights to criticize and challenge the league for improvement. All that can be done rationally and without the name calling - maybe we can make that our compromise?

Posted by: Kosh | August 4, 2008 11:20 PM | Report abuse

No, the problem is that it appears as if the Mexican players would get the full million and the MLS players will not. Maybe thats not true, but that's the impression that I've got. Please enlighten me if that's wrong.

Posted by: BK | August 4, 2008 7:35 PM

------------------------------------------
but as garber sort of said, the mexican teams seem to have zero expenses.

i don't know what the big deal is (or why people are blaming MLS). as far as i can tell there is nothing preventing the owner of the winning team giving the players more. all the 150k number means is that that's the guaranteed minimum. of course since the runner up is getting money then it seems that not all of the 1million is going to the wining club. the question i guess is how much is the winning club actually getting. it sounds to me like this is just some of the cheaper owners (cough kraft cough) using the league as cover for their stinginess.

Posted by: pindar | August 4, 2008 11:45 PM | Report abuse

The only thing that matters is the percentage. Everything else is just noise. Clubs passing through 100% of winnings? Where? Owners giving up money? To be good guys? You don't get to be owner doing that.

But 15% is really low, that's why it's an issue.

Posted by: JkR | August 4, 2008 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Wah! The players don't make enough money in MLS. Wah!

This just in morons, if you want the cap raised 100% then every fan needs to agree to a 100% increase in their ticket price, tv package and jerseys.

These players aren't exactly turning down great opportunities elsewhere. Shut up and play or get a real job like the rest of us stiffs.

Posted by: Steve | August 5, 2008 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Why does each team have to pony up $2 mil a season to fight the player's union?
--------------------------------------
because the nflpa is paying weil gotschal to go after them. considering big firms charge over $300 per hour and the attorneys working at them are under extreme pressure to get those billable hours up it's not surprise that it costs a lot (woth it is a diff issue) to defend.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 5, 2008 12:01 AM | Report abuse

"Insider: Don, the reason this has become an issue..."

I'm shocked that you called him by his first name and lived to blog about it.

=============

GREENBELT, MD. August 5, 2044 - Construction workers, excavating an old, crumbling, long-abandoned, athletic facility to make room for the 200,000 seat spelling-specific stadium for the 2046 Gates Foundation World Cup of Spelling, have uncovered the decapitated skeleton of a human male with a decaying ball in place of the skull. Preliminary confocal imaging results show the letters "MLS" on the ball's petroleum-product surface.

According to documents at the Tata Motors National Archive in Washington, MD, MLS stood for Major League Soccer - a professional football (then called soccer) league that existed briefly in the early 21st century, but was dissolved by its owners in 2010 after a players union strike over the $1 million Canadian dollars prize (1,000 Yuan in today's currency) that would go to the winning team of the SuperLiga. A further search of the archives revealed no record of a SuperLiga.

The skeleton bore no identification, except for a card with only the letters "ington Post" being legible. Experts believe the skeleton to be that of a former employee of HuffingtonPost.com

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | August 5, 2008 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Please make SuperLiga go away, last year the final was on ESPN and now who knows??

Posted by: Robert | August 5, 2008 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Dude,don't speak too soon man!
What i was trying to say earlier was that, I think it's United's own dumb luck that they saved something for themselves and gave enough reserves a real run in play with the first team enough to let Olsen's brother into a reserve match. Sounded like fun.
I am very excited to see what happens with the club the rest of this season. I am also very impressed with Steve Goff, and him pulling Garber's card. Yeah Garber this little tiny fan said Steve pulled your card...Is this the media you are talking about?
Maybe you should STEP TO YOUR BLOG GARBER! I'd love to see you play 5 games against Mexican teams, go a full 90 and call a grand a game a pretty good paycheck. I'd like you to take a swing from Vilar and not piss your pants dude.
That said I hope these players can all find something to play for during league play and beyond. I'd also like to see USOC SEMIS on television or on the net!
sorry about the continued rant but maybe El Garber is actually reading some of this and realize that there are fans out here that would love to catch a tournament that actually means something to the Clubs that are still in it.

Posted by: Dadryan | August 5, 2008 12:25 AM | Report abuse

I'm not normally critical of Garber or the single entity structure, but I really think that this is the most nauseating thing to ever spill from Garber's mouth.

Honestly. All the players are asking is to be provided with a living wage. If MLS is going to provide them with a sharecropper's wage, then MLS should at least provide them with housing.

One might argue that without MLS the players would have no livelihood. I would argue that most of the players don't have a livelihood now. I would also argue that without the players, MLS would have no livelihood.

Do the right thing, MLS. Pay your role players a living wage.

Posted by: Gary B. | August 5, 2008 12:26 AM | Report abuse

"This just in morons, if you want the cap raised 100% then every fan needs to agree to a 100% increase in their ticket price, tv package and jerseys. These players aren't exactly turning down great opportunities elsewhere. Shut up and play or get a real job like the rest of us stiffs."

NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL players get over half, nearly 2/3rds, of revenue brought in by the leagues as a whole. If you look at the total salaries in MLS, we're talking way less than 1/5th of league revenues that players get. MLS owners need to share more of that revenue with the players who make it possible to make money off soccer. If I pay twice as much to go to games, MLS owners will get much more of that extra money, proportionally, than the players. Sorry, but that has to stop. To act like these players are greedy and something like the NFL union is a lie.

As for your other brilliant point: how long do you think the average pro soccer career is? Five years? So you dedicate yourself to the sport for five years of earnings. Better make it count. I'll work until I'm 68 or 70 in my career, but an MLS player would be lucky to play until he's 35, and his peak earning years are maybe the lifespan of one four year contract. Terrible analogy, one designed to deliberately distort the truth.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | August 5, 2008 12:29 AM | Report abuse

Maybe the MLS players and the Bicycle couriers could join the same union?
Or at least hammer out a Dollar beer night somewhere...?
Shoot, I'd come out of semi-retirement for that..:)

Posted by: Dadryan | August 5, 2008 12:32 AM | Report abuse

"If United is forced to enter this tournament again"

DC United was NEVER forced to enter this tournament. Not last year, not this year. This was the decision of Kevin Payne and DC management to make more money off tickets, gather more exposure and therefore ask for a higher fee from Volkswagen and other potential sponsors, and try to collect at least one international trophy in this decade.

Any injuries or exhaustion or negative consequences that come as the result of Superliga are entirely a result of DC United's hubris. You may be a fan of the team, but you don't have to lie to cover up for the mistakes of the team's management.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | August 5, 2008 12:34 AM | Report abuse

I-270 you're my hero! At this point there is enough material in this comments section that every subsequent post should be judged strictly on comic merit. I so move....

SI Parlimantarian: Is there a second?

Posted by: alexandriaDan | August 5, 2008 12:38 AM | Report abuse

Re: where the money goes

15% just to the players

85% to the individual owner/operator of the team who can deem to mete it out to every employee in the team from the salesman who autodialed your cell phone to pursuade you to buy tickets to the GM who assembled the team to the trainer who tapes up Taylor Twellman's face for every game to the security guard who keeps angry Mexican players from flicking you in the face and to the owner who can and should be able to pocket some of the winnings after investing money into the league.

If the Revs win, Steve Nicol gets a cut, Paul Mariner gets a cut, Craig 'The Airline A$$kicker' Tornberg gets a cut, Mike Burns gets a cut, Bob Craft gets a cut, the PR people get a cut.

MLS/SUM keeps every other dime of profit from this tournament. If they take a loss, it's a write-off.

Posted by: AM | August 5, 2008 12:51 AM | Report abuse

Seems to be SUM sort of cover up

Posted by: Kevin NY | August 4, 2008 9:25 PM

------------------------------------------------

Cover up of what?

Posted by: Brian | August 5, 2008 6:09 AM | Report abuse

""If United is forced to enter this tournament again"

DC United was NEVER forced to enter this tournament. Not last year, not this year. This was the decision of Kevin Payne and DC management to make more money off tickets, gather more exposure and therefore ask for a higher fee from Volkswagen and other potential sponsors, and try to collect at least one international trophy in this decade.

Any injuries or exhaustion or negative consequences that come as the result of Superliga are entirely a result of DC United's hubris. You may be a fan of the team, but you don't have to lie to cover up for the mistakes of the team's management.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | August 5, 2008 12:34 AM"

You speak of mistakes by the teams managment. Of the team not being forced to enter. Maybe you should leave Pollayanaville and come back to the real world. If United had said, we think our schedule is too congested, we will pass on Superliga, "The Don" would have had a fit. They were foreced by peer pressure, as it were, from the league office. If you believe otherwise you are foolish.

Oh and to call this an international trophy makes that person sound like the Red Bull Metro Turds. "We have a trophy. The La Manga Cup." See it does sound silly doesn't it.


Posted by: Shawn | August 5, 2008 7:22 AM | Report abuse

If the players were really interested in making it more like the winner-takes-all tournament they think that it is portrayed as, why don't they just give the entire pooled money to the winner? That way the winners get $250,000 to split. It's a quarter of the way there.

(They don't because they want the risk dispersed, much like having the league organize the tournament prevents the players from losing money if ticket sales aren't high enough to break even.)

Posted by: Neil | August 5, 2008 7:25 AM | Report abuse

Shawn, the best Mexican teams bailed out. MLS isn't going to force teams to pay rent. If you think the decision was made elsewhere, that's total conjecture, or in other words, you're lying to yourself and everyone else.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | August 5, 2008 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Risk management means give give the winning team only 15% of the prize money advertised. Oh, and it's false advertising to say it's 1 million dollars for the winning team if the team is only getting 150,000.....

Posted by: giaco | August 5, 2008 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and it's false advertising to say it's 1 million dollars for the winning team if the team is only getting 150,000.....
***********
The Team/Club/Organiztion is getting 1 million, the players get 15 percent of that.

Posted by: DCU UCD | August 5, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Garber can't make statements like this without commenting on the broader economics of the tournament. Has that been talked about elsewhere?

For example, if MLS/SUM paid all the expenses, kept all the revenues and paid sizable appearance fees to the Mexican clubs, then there is a decent reason why the MLS players might get treated differently from the MFL players. They still would have used misleading marketing, but at least there would be some justification for different treatment. But explaining that would make it clear that MLS just begged the MFL teams to come here, and that's not consistent with the image that Garber is trying to project.

Posted by: dabes2 | August 5, 2008 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Goff,

You really stired up the waters on this one!

So, I thought the issue the players had was that the clubs are unable to determine how much money the players get.

Someone may have answered this above, but after the 25th post, I thought I'd post my thought.

Posted by: TCompton | August 5, 2008 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Good grief! A player gets an opportunity to play some matches against some of the best international competition in our region and they're carping about getting five to eight grand apiece for winning it?

I just simply do not get it. I would think this would be a bonus.

Perhaps it is because I don't look at these guys as charity cases. This is a league that is only just over a decade old.

All the players have to do is look at the WUSA to see what happens when salaries are inflated beyond all reason.

Posted by: Puzzled in Woodbridge | August 5, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

this is all economics, kids. The mexican players get all the money because their clubs can opereate with a profit. mls players dont get the money because mls doesnt want clubs to operate in the red for this "non-compulsory" tournament. in garber's eyes, this is a great way for some of these clubs that arent making money to come closer to breaking even

Posted by: moses | August 5, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

"Shawn, the best Mexican teams bailed out. MLS isn't going to force teams to pay rent. If you think the decision was made elsewhere, that's total conjecture, or in other words, you're lying to yourself and everyone else.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | August 5, 2008 8:12 AM"

The Mexican teams are not from a league where the commisioner rules the roost. They can bail out without fear. MLS teams do not have that luxury. You are lying to yourself if you think otherwise.

Posted by: Shawn | August 5, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Players do talk about prize money in the WOrld cup and Champions League. If You recall our national team went on strike before qualifying for the 2006 world Cup inorder to gain their fair share of the $.

Posted by: AB | August 5, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

OK, I was on the fence before reading the Don's comments. Rubbish. Absolute rubbish. The whole idea that there will be a $1m payoff implies that it's going to the players.

Posted by: Modibo | August 4, 2008 8:37 PM

Actually that's not only not a true statement you put there, but it is also NEVER the case in any other world tournament. In the WC the players do not get to take home all the winnings, some goes to the federation, some to the coach, trainers, execs, handlers etc.

The players never get 100% of the money in any tournament.

Stop making shit up.

Posted by: Matthai | August 5, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Garber thinks that $ 150K (for the championship team no less) is a "pretty darn good payday for five games"?

Let's do some math here.

$ 150K (championship team) divided by 18 players (that's assuming that first team players only are going to benefit), is $ 8,333.33 per player X 18 players. That's also $ 5,537.14 X 28 players. Let's use the 18 player number, and let's just assume that we're talking about the winning team. In other words, this is the best case payday scenerio.

$ 8,333.33 divided by 5, times 30 (to represent the MLS regular season games) is $ 50,000.00 per player per regular season.

Using a 40 game schedule (pre-season, Open Cup, etc), that's still just $ 66,666 per player per season.

That's the sort of league that Garber wants? MLS players making MISL salaries?

Posted by: kebzach | August 4, 2008 7:21 PM

You are assuming that the players don't get any appearance bonuses for playing the games. I doubt the United players played 3 games for free.

Posted by: Matthai | August 5, 2008 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Shawn: you have absolutely no evidence for your position. Zero.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | August 5, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

I feel I must attempt to insert some truth into this game of Jump to Conclusions

FACT: The 15% player take of the Superliga money is not a new revelation. Even Goff has admitted to making this known from day one of this tournament last year when the prize money was detailed. It has always been known that the players of the team (note there is more to the team than just the players) only get 15%

OPINION: That's too low, but when looked at in perspective of other league offered bonuses, it does unfortunately make sense

FACT: In an article written the day after the conclusion of Superliga 2007 and after interviewing the players from the winning team, an article was written for a major sports magazine pointing out that the players of Pachuca got 35% or $350,000.00 for themselves, which they promptly donated to charity. This is some real quick math but $35k divided amongst the active 22 man roster is $16k per player. I repeat, the Mexican team players DO NOT receive the full $1 million all to themselves.

OPINION: 35% seems much more fair, but this would obviously mean more than just increasing the Superliga split. It then would require a considerable increase in all other bonuses, including MLS Cup and US Open Cup.

FACT: The tournament is invitational. It has been stated several times that teams are not required to play. This option has been exercised by some Mexican teams in the past.

OPINION: Anyone reaching for some conspiracy theory here is just reaching for straws. The reason teams, like DC for example won't say no is because there is $1 million available to the winning team. You don't think the owners of DC United, who are still bleeding money by some reports, wouldn't want that money?

The important thing to remember here is the word 'team' means more than just the players. It means the entire organization. I am already not looking forward to next year. I am afraid this CBA is all we will be able to talk about, which is very unfortunate.

Posted by: Matt | August 5, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Is Garber really comparing SuperLiga to the World Cup, Copa Libertadores, and the Champions League? He just doesn't get it.

Posted by: CrookedEyes | August 5, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

X-posted from Lindsay Applebaum's blog:

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Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | August 5, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Superliga is likely dead after this go-round. DC United is no longer in this one.

Thus I offically do not care.

Posted by: Ron | August 5, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

I think I know why this situation has upset me so much. It is Garber being all about the rules and the CBA when this is a league that doesn't seem to have rules and procedures.

Posted by: PC | August 5, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Great stuff, Steve. Soccer Insiders are probably more informed about this issue now than many MLS executives.

Posted by: Joe Doc | August 5, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

It's usually easy to side with "the underdog," but Garber is spot on here.

Posted by: GoUnited | August 5, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Good seeing the Mastodon trolling these waters again with his pointless, frequently erroneous bile! Builds up the hits and the posts...

Posted by: Anonymous | August 5, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

It's no different from a NASCAR tournament where the team owner wins prize money and the team owner has a driver under contract, and whatever his agreement with that driver is is what that driver receives".

OK, leave aside the laughable use of the word "tournament." The standard split in NASCAR, even for non-entity drivers, is 50-50 between the team and the driver. Stars can get more.

In a tournament like Superliga, the payoff for the teams and the league is supposed to be at the gate and in the opportunity to build the brand, not the prize money. But I suspect the real isssue is trying to finesses the trifling amount of the MLS Cup payoff.

Garber's NFL background is really showing here.

Posted by: stuck in 200 | August 5, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Anon.: In your heart, you know I'm right.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | August 5, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Another big point of this is that when you say a team is getting $1 million for winning, and the players only get a small fraction, only $150,000, it seems like greedy businessmen taking advantage of the athletes. I don't see the team owners taking a risk with their health or getting injured. DC United has been way, way overworked the past few weeks because of SuperLiga. Then to say that on average, players will only be getting a $5K bump if they win? We didn't win, what did Jaime Moreno get for playing in SuperLiga?

Posted by: Brian Spence | August 5, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

You know, I'm not particularly shocked that the million dollar prize doesn't go completely to the players. I do recall other tournaments (for example, the Champions League) where the winning team gets X amount of money, but where the players get some fraction of that (and it's not 50-50).

Obviously, the non-monetary incentive to win the Champs League or the World Cup (or whatever well-established, respected tournament) is much greater than winning the Superliga. But that doesn't mean the *split* is unfair (it's irrelevant to whether the split is unfair). It just means that players won't be as motivated to win. That's MLS's call and it's got nothing to do with "right" and "wrong".

Posted by: TwistedTidings | August 5, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

In your heart, you know I'm right.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | August 5, 2008 10:05 AM

Right about what? I didn't see a point?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 5, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

"Another big point of this is that when you say a team is getting $1 million for winning, and the players only get a small fraction, only $150,000, it seems like greedy businessmen taking advantage of the athletes. I don't see the team owners taking a risk with their health or getting injured. DC United has been way, way overworked the past few weeks because of SuperLiga. Then to say that on average, players will only be getting a $5K bump if they win? We didn't win, what did Jaime Moreno get for playing in SuperLiga?"

-Brian Spence
________________

Brian,

You're right, players do risk more physically, but is it not also true that the owners risk far more financially to own and operate the team? And since this seems to be all about the money, doesn't it make sense that those that risk more money should get more money? The players get paid whether they are injured or not (I'm talking salary here, not bonuses). The owners, unless they're taking salary themselves, don't make money unless the team is profitable and $1 million could go a long way to making that happen. So while it does make sense that the players' risk deserves a greater take, it is also true that the owners' risk could be viewed as far greater.

Posted by: Matt | August 5, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL players get over half, nearly 2/3rds, of revenue brought in by the leagues as a whole.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | August 5, 2008 12:29 AM

Yeah, my analogy was bad but you're comparing MLS to the NFL, NBA, MLB and a league that had to shut-down for nearly two years to get their hosue in order.

THEY ARE PROFITABLE LEAGUES! MLS IS NOT!

This just in scientists find link to Mastodon exticntion and stupidity. Go swim in a tar pit.

Posted by: Steve | August 5, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

"Shawn: you have absolutely no evidence for your position. Zero.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | August 5, 2008 9:15 AM"

o·pin·ion
-noun 1. a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.
2. a personal view, attitude, or appraisal.
3. the formal expression of a professional judgment: to ask for a second medical opinion.
4. Law. the formal statement by a judge or court of the reasoning and the principles of law used in reaching a decision of a case.
5. a judgment or estimate of a person or thing with respect to character, merit, etc.: to forfeit someone's good opinion.
6. a favorable estimate; esteem: I haven't much of an opinion of him.

Posted by: Shawn | August 5, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Your opinion doesn't matter on an issue of fact. FACT: DC United opted to participate in Superliga. They could have refused. It means nothing for you to have an opinion that contradicts this fact.

Posted by: Mastodon Juan | August 5, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I am sure the players will play the game and split their earnings under the table. Hey Don ya gonna hire Dick Tracy or Mike Hammer to follow up on the under the table split? Go ahead hire some DICK with MLS $$15-20k to track it down seem about right. As I said before great pre season training tournament for Mexican Clubs and good$$ for them. Good vision from MLS brass on this one. Seriously what $ does the guy who played in 4 SL games but its left off the champ game roster get? 0$, Puuleeeeease m'fker

Posted by: glove | August 5, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

No one talks about those other tournys because they actually pay properly! if you paid them a decent amount, then they wouldn't be talking about it. it is naive to think no soccer player ever thinks about how much money he is going to make...ESPECIALLY in MLS where we have EMBARRASSING salaries. Garber is REALLY starting to piss me off.

Posted by: Bryan | August 6, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Eugene - It would be nice if the incoming players got $15,000!!!!.......They start at $12,900!!!!!!!! Money is always going to be an issue.....that's why most players want to go to Europe. Being dedicated and committed to playing soccer doesn't necessairly put food on the table!

Posted by: Linda | August 6, 2008 11:51 PM | Report abuse

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