October 8, 2009

America will save football!

Err, soccer.

So I've been meaning to write about this for a bit, but have been busy. You might have heard well enough, but MLS bossguy Donald Garber traveled to London this week to spread the good word of soccer, American style. World bossguys from clubs and leagues around the world gathered for the Leaders in Football Forum to discuss the changing football industry, notably how the world economy has affected the football world.

"Unsurprisingly, major issues this year again surrounded levels of debt, business models, the financial health of football, and - a growing concern - the economic differences between the top and bottom levels of the global game.
"You say what you want about the free market system the bottom line is the playing field is not level and other teams find themselves being left behind," he warned." (BBC News)

The big issue this time was the growing gap between clubs backed by financial sugar daddies and others who are still struggling to fill the gates. It's not surprising that in a week where Portsmouth changed owners at the brink of bankruptcy, that the FA seriously start to look at leveling the playing field.

That's where America comes in.
"The chief of the MLS has claimed that American sport is "fairer" because all teams have a chance of winning without massive injections of cash from investors.
Don Garber said salary caps, revenue sharing and a draft system in the NFL and NBA allow a wider distribution of money - and titles." (Mirrorfootball.uk)
As head of MLS, Don Garber is right to talk like an expert on soccer, but the fact that he is proposing the American ideas of salary caps and draft systems to the most powerful, if not the ruling decision makers in football. Well, it's like watching a cowboy trying to teach a member of Parliament on how to be civilized.

The conference is still ongoing, but it seems that people are actually listening to Garber's American talk. The reality is that so many people today either hate "modern football" and what the richness of owners has done to the beautiful game, or they are the rich billionaires who own the top four teams. Something needs to be done about the state of the game, before it's too late.

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