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MLS Structure?

Canuck Oranje

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It's a bit old (2000) but the basics are still the same I think :


Long text, so here are interesting parts :

Operator-investors do not hire players for their respective teams directly. Rather, players are hired by MLS as employees of the league itself and then are assigned to the various teams. Each player's employment contract is between the player and MLS, not between the player and the operator of the team to which the player is assigned. MLS centrally established and administers rules for the acquisition, assignment, and drafting of players, and all player assignments are subject to guidelines set by the Management Committee. Among other things, the guidelines limit the aggregate salaries that the league may pay its players.

MLS distributes profits (and losses) to its investors in a manner consistent with its charter as a limited liability company, not unlike the distribution of dividends to shareholders in a corporation. Revenues generated by league operations belong directly to MLS. MLS owns and controls all trademarks, 3 copyrights, and other intellectual property rights that relate in any way either to the league or to any of its teams. MLS owns all tickets to MLS games and receives the revenues from ticket sales. There are central league regulations regarding ticket policies, even including limits on the number of complimentary tickets any team may give away. Team operators do retain the ability to negotiate some purely local matters, including local sponsorship agreements with respect to a limited array of products and services and local broadcast agreements, but they do so as agents of MLS.

Expenses are allocated in a way similar to the allocation of revenues. MLS is responsible for most expenses associated with league operations. For example, MLS pays all player acquisition costs, player salaries, and player benefits. It also pays the salaries of all league personnel (including referees), game-related travel expenses for each team, workers' compensation insurance, fees and expenses of foreign teams playing in exhibition games promoted by MLS within the U.S., league-wide marketing expenses, and 50% of each individual team's stadium rental expense.

The team operators are responsible for the other half of their stadium rents, costs of approved local marketing, licensing, and promotion, and general team administration, including salaries of the team's management and coaching staff.

Team operators cannot transfer their MLS interests or operational rights without the consent of the Management Committee. That consent may be withheld without cause, but the league is required to repurchase the team operator's interest at its fair market value if approval is withheld. Team operators derive whatever rights they may have exclusively from MLS, and the league may terminate these rights if a team operator violates these provisions or fails to act in the best interest of the league.

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