What They'e Saying: Kevin Payne

“Gianni is from a long tradition of FIFA presidents from Switzerland who don’t understand the U.S. sports system. He should be thinking about cleaning up FIFA instead of suggesting business models for U.S. soccer. Promotion and relegation is a relic from the days when this was not really a business.”

-- Kevin Payne, U.S. Club Soccer chief executive and former MLS club executive, on FIFA president Gianni Infantino's recent statement that the USA should consider introducing promotion and relegation. (Sports Business)
3 comments about "What They'e Saying: Kevin Payne".
  1. Wooden Ships, September 19, 2018 at 9:38 p.m.

    That a boy Kevin, no room for romance in American (US) soccer. Guaranteed returns first and foremost. US Sports Systems, how hermetic and stale. 

  2. Bob Ashpole replied, September 20, 2018 at 5:20 a.m.

    WS, I know you understand the economics involved. Relegation only sounds good in the short term view, but bad in a longer view. I prefer an expanding league to several clubs being ruined by relegation every year for finishing low in the standings regardless of how satisfied their fans are with how well they play and regardless of how financially successful the club is. I prefer to attract club owners who are committed to the long haul rather than speculators, gamblers, or billionaire hobbyists.

    Relegation encourages all clubs to engage in financially reckless overspending on player contracts. MLS instead has rules inhibiting reckless overspending on player contracts aiming for parity rather than a league where success comes from pouring money into the team.  

  3. R2 Dad replied, September 23, 2018 at 8:37 p.m.

    As you know, Bob, throwing money at a team is no guarantee of success. Remember Moneyball? Smart management and recruiting can overcome financial disadvantage for small market teams--see SKC. The impact of relegation is softened by parachute payments--it's not the end of the world unless the team is happy in a lower league because there is always the opportunity for promotion the next year. In the mean time, in lieu of ProRel, how do fix a team like the Earthquakes, and how do they avoid becoming Marge Schott's Cincinnati Reds? You like the carrot, but what MLS really needs is some stick, too. That's the job of Carlos Cordeiro, to figure this out--but that's not the kind of change he has in mind.

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