Pay-to-play. Gulati said the math didn't add up for those
who argue to use the federation surplus to end the problem.
"We have $150 million in the bank," he said. "That's from 10-15 years of savings. To end pay-to-play, to do a little back-of-the-envelope analysis, without knowing what every kid pays, would mean paying $150 million a month, every month to end it. There's nowhere in the world that has no pay-to-play. What you want to make sure of is that anybody can afford it. But you have millions of kids playing, and the thought that we're going to end play-to-play is nonsensical."
Promotion-relegation. Gulati said he was "agnostic" generally but said it could never happen immediately and could never happen if FIFA tried to implement without the case going to the Supreme Court.
“There’s a whole bunch of people that came in on one set of rules," he said. "And some of them paid $150 million and built a stadium for another $250 million based on a certain set of rules. If they sit down and talk with other leagues and decide, ‘We want to do this, promotion and relegation, for all the reasons people think are positive’ -- fantastic. We, as a federation, aren’t going to be able to legislate it. And anyone who thinks we can without everyone’s agreement is going to end up with nine judges in Washington.”
Change in calendar. Gulati said MLS spent a long time studying the pros and cons of switching to a fall-spring calendar as played in most of Europe and in South America, most with split-season competitions, and decided it was not viable.
Gulati talked about meeting Sepp Blatter in 2010, and the former FIFA president told him the U.S. leagues needed to switch the calendar. When he told Blatter the weather in New York and Toronto in January was more like that in Moscow and Helsinki, he said Blatter said the solution was domed stadiums.
"So now we’re going to build soccer-specific domed stadiums?" he said. "And seven years ago, MLS wasn’t exactly cash positive. … I’d love to see the season a little bit longer, in terms of player development. And all the technical guys agree with me on that. But the thought that we can have a month break in December and January, what do you do? We’re going to play on March 4 in New York at Red Bull [Arena] with the women’s team. This isn’t worrying about the temperature being 12 degrees or 28 degrees. We could have two feet of snow on the ground.”