Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: SoccerInsider and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  Sports e-mail alerts  |  RSS

The Commish Speaks

A few quotes from Don Garber's address late today.....

On the impact of the global economic downturn: "These are challenging times for the sports industry. It is a challenging time for any company in this country or throughout the world, and Major League Soccer is no different than any other business that is operating in what is probably the most trying economic times in our generation. We and our clubs are working hard to ensure that we can weather that storm, watching what we spend and how we spend it, and ensuring we are doing as much as we can to drive as much revenue as possible over the next year or two or three, or as long as the economic crisis lasts. 2009 and beyond, we are going through a very careful evaluation to ensure that we can manage whatever risks in our business on the revenue side. ... It doesn't mean how we spend our money on players, but it does it mean how we go about marketing our league and going about our initiatives."

On the playoffs: "We believe in the playoffs and we believe perhaps the most exciting part of our season was in the last couple weeks, some of our best attended games were in the last couple weeks, some of highest television ratings were in the last couple weeks."

On the demise of the reserve division: "Are we getting the most out of our money with those players that are playing in that reserve division? The evaluation in the short term is that we are not." [The league spent substantial funds each season on developmental contracts, travel, administration and logistics to operate the reserve division.]

With more senior roster players, will the salary cap go up? "It doesn't necessarily because we had money we were spending on those developmental players. Teams can now use that money on senior roster players. It's a reallocation of money... We are moving most of that money into the senior roster."

What do you say to young Americans who want to play in MLS and might have filled those developmental roster slots that no longer exist? "We are re-emphasizing the commitment -- asked for by our fans and others -- that we have to address some of the roster challenges we have with a very crowded calendar and a very busy schedule. You can't do it all within limited resources, and our resources are getting even more stressed. I don't necessarily have to be apologetic to say that these are trying times. We've got to figure out ways that we can allocate the money we have, ensure that we are able weather the storm, make the priority at making our teams better at a time when we don't necessarily see increased revenue coming in to be able to have an escalation of our salary budgets. When this crisis is over and our league continues to grow, then maybe we can think about investing more money in players' salaries."

By Steve Goff  |  November 21, 2008; 10:55 PM ET
Categories:  MLS  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: MLS News!
Next: USA-Mexico in the Opener

Comments

"..asked for by our fans and others.."
We didn't ask to reduce the rosters! We wanted the exact opposite of that!


"we believe perhaps the most exciting part of our season was in the last couple weeks"
That's not a good thing.

What a spin-doctor. A big set back with the rosters and losing the reserve league, with only tweaks to the scheduling as an improvement.

Posted by: StewartDC8 | November 22, 2008 12:11 AM | Report abuse

The draft will become less relevant unless MLS teams can "loan out" their recent draft picks to USL teams for them to get some playing time.

Posted by: tfoisie | November 22, 2008 12:37 AM | Report abuse

The draft will become less relevant unless MLS teams can "loan out" their recent draft picks to USL teams for them to get some playing time.

Posted by: tfoisie | November 22, 2008 12:37 AM

Seems reasonable enough. There may not be a single table but the stakes are being raised and I would wager guys are going to be working a lot harder making themselves look useful.

Maybe this signed Dayne Murphy ticket stub will be a really interesting find on a very distant future antiques road show...?

Posted by: DadRyan | November 22, 2008 1:11 AM | Report abuse

He is twisting crap..
If he relies so much on the playoffs for attendance and ratings..then I don't know what to say about the season..

You just cant rely on the playoffs to bring out the fans..
The real passion starts at the first whistle of the season and ends at the last whistle of the season...
Well then people..lets just join DC at the playoffs and not the season because in the playoffs it all matters...not the season..


Garber has a good vision for MLS but he just doesn't know how to actually connect with the fans..the only time he actually connects and seems like a saint is when he introduces a new team to the league...other than that he is just on his power trip..

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | November 22, 2008 1:34 AM | Report abuse

Red Bull makes the final...

Can we have Garber say the regular season is a complete joke?

Posted by: Hoost | November 22, 2008 8:08 AM | Report abuse

If the playoffs are such moneymakers, then why are the conference finals not 2 games instead of 1, with a tie going to the best record in the regular season? And how does having a ridiculous two-conference format rather than a single table do anything other than make the potential matchups so confusing there is no point trying to sort them out?

Put the MLS Cup in the home stadium of the Supporters Shield winner -- that gives you plenty of time to plan travel etc.

Posted by: granadoskerry | November 22, 2008 8:20 AM | Report abuse

The draft will become less relevant unless MLS teams can "loan out" their recent draft picks to USL teams for them to get some playing time.

Posted by: tfoisie | November 22, 2008 12:37 AM
_________________________________________

This can and does happen already (e.g., Danny Cepero).

Posted by: universityandpark | November 22, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Draft is stupid for world football. Get rid off it and leave it to the American sports.
I have to agree with the posters above that Garber's comment about play off is a complete insult to regular season. No more play off and bring SINGLE TABLE. No relegation promotion as this may not be pretty for the business interest here.
Bring single table and advertise with good commercials on regular networks not just on FSC or any other channel that only can be seen by soccer watchers. We need to inform general public with nice clips, not cheesy ones to them attract. Think of other sports ads filled on every network like junk mails. Why MLS never promote their ads to local networks?

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | November 22, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Single-table advocates:

Still waiting on the truly persuasive argument in favor of this move. "It's what everyone else does" is not persuasive. Capitalizing the words "single table" is also not a persuasive argument. I'm not against the single table, but I am completely baffled by people who foam at the mouth for it.

Will a single table instantly bring out the Eurosnob fan? No. They want the game at its highest level; the only thing that will bring them out is the obscene amount of money it will take to sign top players in their prime.

Will a single table instantly convince the casual sports fan to pay more attention to MLS? No. It won't make a difference. Have you ever heard a person that's only curious about soccer say they'd be interested if only there was a single table? Have you ever even heard such a person use the phrase "single table"?

***

"It doesn't necessarily because we had money we were spending on those developmental players. Teams can now use that money on senior roster players. It's a reallocation of money... We are moving most of that money into the senior roster."

Is he saying they'll reallocate strictly the salary of the developmental spots that are no more, or that they'll reallocate both that salary and some of the money that was used for logistics and travel on the reserve league? I did the math wrong in the other thread (calculated it as 4 lost developmental roster spots, not 6), so we're talking about a max of $107,400 if it's strictly the salaries being reallocated. You can get 2 players that can actually contribute for $50K, but I wonder where they'll come from. Will MLS raid USL rosters? There are some good players there that would be getting a raise at $50K, not to mention that the prospect of future raises/playing abroad increase in MLS.

As for Garber's answer to "What do you say to young Americans who want to play in MLS and might have filled those developmental roster slots that no longer exist?", I feel like it should have read as follows:

"I would say to those players to go online to uslsoccer.com, find the email addresses of USL clubs that are nearby or are in a location they are interested in moving to, and set up trials. If they make the grade there, they will catch our attention. If you're drafted but are amongst the last cuts here in MLS, prepare for a season-long loan to a USL city."

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | November 22, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Single table represents a clear champions of the league who has the best record by winning all to the end of the season. By contrast, by winning in the play offs and win the championship doesn't reflect who the best team is in the league. If New York wins the MLS cup this year I am don't see them as the league's best team nor many of our fans do. Even if DC United qualified for the play off this year and ended up winning the MLS cup I won't recognize DC as the best team for 2008. Every team played all season and secured hard fought points and in a few weeks their results go wasted as SS doesn't value as it should be. A club in the mid table can win the final cup by entering into a few games and win the cup doesn't make sense to me. If Columbus wins the Cup they be truly a champions of the league.
Every team must fight to earn that final spot if we have single table as opposed safe play for the play off birth.
Make single table and the top four teams qualify for the champions league and next four would enter the super liga would make sense to me. That way every team has something to fight for.

Posted by: DCUnitedFootball | November 22, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

but there is already a trophy for the team with the best record. It's called the supporters' shield. Every other us league has playoffs, you may have been to a superbowl party? March madness? The world series? We crown champions, with the odd exception of big college football, with playoffs. Other countries have playoffs as well, at different levels. The most valuable soccer game in the world (as determined by the gross difference in income for the winner and loser) is the coca-cola championship promotion game. Last season Hull and Bristol played it. Hull, by winning, earned $75million over two years, Bristol got nothing. Do the English not understand soccer? That game was 1-0. That one goal was worth $75million. In a playoff. Was Spain not the best team in Europe for winning a playoff? Was Italy not world champions? You don't think the Premiership wouldn't have a playoff if Fifa and the FA would let them? (yes, they asked)

Playoffs mean money, from attendance and tv. Money is what makes the league go round. Until superliga is a valuabe property and CCL is a much more valuable property, single table is meaningless, and the season would have been, for all intents and purposes over in September. There would have been only one game on broadcast tv, instead of two, and four fewer games on ESPN, four fewer on FoxSoccer. That means less exposure, less revenue. Bad idea all around.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | November 22, 2008 10:17 PM | Report abuse

The Euro and World Cups are not playoffs or leagues, they are tournaments. Hull came up through the playoffs, but they weren't the champion of the Championship, that went to the winner of the league (with the best record).

I know there's the Supporter's Shield, but it isn't recognized as the champion of the league, people seem to think the best team is whoever wins the MLS Cup, but it's not true.

Posted by: StewartDC8 | November 22, 2008 10:38 PM | Report abuse

best team? That's always a subjective label. Maybe the supporter's shield winner is also the luckiest team? Maybe they were simply the team not bitten by the injury bug (as well as playing fewer matches than many of their rivals?) and the best team when? What if a team loses the first 15 matches, overhauls itself during the transfer window then proceeds to win every match by the score of 5-0? That wouldn't be enough to win the supporters shield this year, but it would be fought to argue that they weren't, in fact, the 'best team' in the league at the end of the season.
the winner of MLS cup isn't the 'best team' they are, however, champions of the league, by definition. We aren't determining the 'best team' we are determining the champions.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | November 23, 2008 12:13 AM | Report abuse

The argument for the single table is quite simple: if there are playoffs, the teams with the best records should be in. A single table automatically achieves that; a conference system, even with cockamamy wild-cards, does not. Why should the team with the 9th best record make the playoffs when the team with the 8th best record stays home?

Posted by: granadoskerry | November 23, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company