American Soccer – The Way to Success
In the XX, the United States made two major attempts to create a competitive football league, both of which ended in failure. FIFA helped to finally acclimatize European soccer in America. The organization demanded the creation of a national league as one of the conditions for holding the World Cup in the country in 1994. The MLS debut season took place in 1996, and in its 21 years of existence, it has made incredible progress.
A key feature of the American Championship is that all football clubs have a single owner – the league itself. Accordingly, the income is distributed among the clubs in equal ratios. In this situation, there is no risk of clubs having financial problems that could lead to their subsequent surrender from the North American football card. Such a system has been successfully operating for several years in all the leading sports leagues of the continent and brings stable profits to everyone involved in the process. Of course, each team has its own sponsors and investors, but in this case, they are not the shareholders of the teams themselves, but the MLS. The minimum amount of the agreement should not be less than $500,000 a year, of which 200, 000 clubs are required to transfer to the league. Currently, most teams have agreements like this for between $1,000,000 and $4,000,000 a year.
Soccer for success
Another must-have for all professional North American leagues concerns player salaries. Football players from MLS sign their contracts not with clubs, as in the whole world, but directly with the league, which is responsible for distributing the earned with the help of the limit of salaries. Each team in the league before the start of the season has its own budget with a certain amount, which must meet the salaries of all players in the club. This year, this amount is $ 3.845 million.
The minimum annual salary in the MLC is $53,000. The average salary in MLC in 2017 is just over $325,000 (326,129.23). This is less than the Dutch Eredivisie, the English Championship and the Mexican Championship (in each of these leagues, the average salary exceeds $ 400,000).
The absolute transparency of players’ salaries in MLS deserves special admiration. Anyone can find out the annual income of any player in the league on a special website (mlsplayers.org).
Get it like Beckham
Under the existing MLS payout scheme, the participation of such high-paid stars as Kaka, Drogba, Gerrard, Lampard, Villa, in the league would have been impossible if not for David Beckham. In 2007, the league’s board adopted the so-called Designated Player Rule (in the common people – “Beckham’s rule”), which allows each club to withdraw from the limit of the salaries of three players. According to this rule, two players can be entered into the application for free, the introduction of the third will cost $150,000, which are then equally distributed between the clubs that left the third line of the application empty.
The guaranteed annual salary of an Englishman in the MLS (excluding various bonuses and sponsorship payments) was $ 6.5 million. This year, only 28 players in MLS earn $ 1 million or more per year. The top three highest paid players in the league in 2017 were Kaka ($ 7.17 million), Sebastian Giovinco ($ 7.12) and Michael Bradley (6.5 million).
This year, the average attendance at MLS regular season matches was 22,106 spectators. Almost the same number was shown by the Italian Serie A in the 2016/17 season (22,164 spectators). In France last season an average of 21,029 fans attended league games. The increase in viewers in MLS has been observed for the fourth year in a row: in 2016, the number was 21 692, in 2015 – 21 574, and in 2014 – 19 148 viewers. Ten years ago, an average of 15,504 people attended American championship games. That is, the increase was over 40%. By the way, the arenas of only 8 clubs out of 22 accommodate more than 25,000 spectators. Dallas has the worst attendance in the league (15,122), while Atlanta United’s rookie and opening team have the best.
The team from the southeastern United States managed to sell 21,000 season tickets before it had a logo, a head coach, or a full application. Atlanta initially expected attendance in the region of 40,000. The Mercedes-Benz Stadium (worth $ 1.6 billion) was supposed to accommodate 71,000 people in American football, and no more than 40,000 in soccer. As a result, the average attendance at the club’s matches in the regular season was 48,200 spectators. The September game against Orlando City was watched by 70,425 people from the stands, setting a new record for the MLS in attendance. A month later this achievement also fell: 71,874 fans came to the match against Toronto. The previous record (69,255 spectators) was set in 1996 at the Los Angeles Galaxy v New York Metro Stars match at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
Urban Soccer Symposium
The Urban Soccer Symposium summonds up community leaders and speakers from all the USA who are devoted to enhancing the field of sports-based youth development. The Symposium was held for two days full of interactive workshops and inspiring keynote presentations. They are devoted on sharing best practices and maximizing organizations’ impact in their respective communities.