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Well as a person who makes minimum wage (if you don't include OSAP which I gotta pay back), I'm definitaley not making 12 grand a year. Also I know for a fact that if a TFC developement player didn't expect higher living standards that 12 grand would be more then enough to live comfertably in the Jane and finch area (I only pay $250 plus utilities when we got a full house during when I'm at school and it's about 350 when there's an unused bedroom).

But yeah, I agree that there is some underpayment issues, If Beckham starts taking flack from the union it would probably be in his best interest to donate a wee bit of the 50 million a year(I know his salaries only 5.5 but everyone knows what he's making because he has a chunk of merchandise sales percentages that most players don't) to help out the league thats making him ghastly rich. Of course hoping for generosity from the rich reminds me of the old saying "well why dont you hope in one hand and crap in the other and see which hand fills first"

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This is true. If the average salary for MLS development players is not raised in the near future I can see a lot of players opting for careers outside of soccer. Why spend time on an MLS development roster, not play regularly and get paid less than minimum wage, if you have a degree or diploma and can make much more than that? The only opporunity is for a player to become a full-time senior roster player and even that does not make you much more. Only a handful of players are going to make a lot of money in the MLS based on its current rules.

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quote:Originally posted by Juby

Well as a person who makes minimum wage (if you don't include OSAP which I gotta pay back), I'm definitaley not making 12 grand a year. Also I know for a fact that if a TFC developement player didn't expect higher living standards that 12 grand would be more then enough to live comfertably in the Jane and finch area

Isn't that a contradiction? And cost of living in Toronto is of course a lot less than most MLS cities. I know in New York, if you're white like many Red Bull players, you wouldn't feel comfortable living in the Bronx or any other ghetto. So then it's pretty difficult to survive with anything under $2500 US/month and that's if you don't have kids.

So it's basically a part-timer league. Roughly equivalent to the Conference in English football once you take-out the top 2 highest paid players from each team.

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1) minimum wage jobs generally don't allow for full time work, I'm always asking for hours but I only get 3-4 shifts a week.

2) If your white? everybody lives in ghetto's, the modern meaning of a ghetto no longer has race conentations, by that logic, anywhere where there were alot of black people in Canada, no matter how much they made would be a ghetto.

3) It is not a contridiction, my townhouse is very nice (3 floors, 4 if you include the giant basement, 2 bathrooms, a big living room and a dining room etc.) My neighbours are good people and we all help one another out if there's problem (the only real problem is the kids, teenagers are stupid so if their getting into gangs and whatnot, they'll do stupid crimes)

And come off it, this is Canada, you can't compare jane and finch with the bronx, anyone who has major problems with jane and finch is more arrogant then fearful, as as a resident, I am a little offended that people think that certain people are too good to live there, I'm apparently (If I could get full time hours) am making as much as them but they deserve better then me?

And 2500US/MONTH, honestly, you can't be expected to fully understand this debate if your in a position where 30grand a year is the bare minimum, like I said rent is only 250-350 plus utilities, theres a no frills a block and a half away from me at yorkgate, I do live pretty comfertably and I have never been successfully robbed (stupid kids have asked stuff like "you got any money/cellphone" and I just say in a completely undisturbed voice "I'm BROKE, I ain't got ****" and their like whatever, cause no one wants to beat somebody for nothing).

The average pay in canada is between 20 000 and 25 000, and if you can go from 25 000 to millions, but the poor can only go from 25 000 to 0, simple math suggests that the majority would have to be under the average pay as the rich are just propping this figure up, no offense but this kinda shows that your out of touch with the actual cost of things when your money is somewhat constrained. I personally don't think I've ever been impoverished but my mom raised 3 kids on 18-20 grand a year, most people hear that and think impoverished but it's just because they are like I said, out of touch.

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I don't know about the average pay in Canada being $25K. Maybe more like $35K and that's usually only part of a household income, not family income. (Of course we're not really concerned with household income here are we?)

Even for a league which after a decade has finally gotten around to employing full time ref's the sort of money they spend on "development" player salaries is awful. And the most awful part is that to bump up those salaries to something at little more reasonable would add exactly what to league player costs? A half of one percent? Maybe.

No wonder the only ones who stick with MLS are the ones who can't head to Europe.

Hey, Juby. Been through some pretty austere times myself and I'll just say it's a point of pride that in Canada it's possible to get by on some meager amounts. I don't think that reality translates well to this discussion though. Professional sports has never been about racing to the bottom.

As an employer either you're responsive to market pressures or you're not. But if you're not, you're going to have to live with what you're willing to pay for. Which would have to be second best or worse.

And oh yeah. You also loose your right to bitch when you've trained up an employee and he leaves for greener pastures. Respond to market pressure or don't. But either way, you've going to have to live with the predictable consequences.

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quote:Originally posted by Juby

2) If your white? everybody lives in ghetto's, the modern meaning of a ghetto no longer has race conentations, by that logic, anywhere where there were alot of black people in Canada, no matter how much they made would be a ghetto.

I'm not sure how you came to that conclusion. Income and race are still very much connected. If you stroll through a neighbourhood and don't see too many white people, it means you're in a pretty poor neighbourhood. This is true for every single country of the world.

quote:

3)

And come off it, this is Canada, you can't compare jane and finch with the bronx,

I used the Bronx because its more typical of a low-income burrough that you'll find near/in an MLS city. The MLS salaries are brutal if you play for NY, New England, DC, LA, San Fran! However, for Toronto, Colorado, KC ... yeah, you can probably be an average MLSer and still afford to move out of your mother's basement. ;)

quote:

The average pay in canada is between 20 000 and 25 000, and if you can go from 25 000 to millions, but the poor can only go from 25 000 to 0, simple math suggests that the majority would have to be under the average pay as the rich are just propping this figure up,

So lets forget average and look at median incomes. IIRC, the median income for MLS teams is around $30,000 US/year. For New York City as a whole, it was about $35,000/year in 2000 (so safe to say its at about $40,000/year now at least).

So MLS pays 25% less than other jobs. Considering their "shelf-life", that's pretty bad.

The difference between you and an MLS player, is that you are just working part-time to survive while you are in school. For them, this is their career! So you can spend every penney that comes in knowing that your education is essentially your investment. But these MLS players have to save money for their future.

Like I said, I don't know how they survive (the ones making less than the median, that is).

By the way, that 20-25k GNI/capita figure you are quoting includes every person in Canada from 3-month old babies to 95 year old retirees. So its a bit uninformative in this context.

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quote:The difference between you and an MLS player, is that you are just working part-time to survive while you are in school. For them, this is their career!

Early life career. They'll still have more than half their lives remaining after they retire from soccer. So they'll be looking for jobs/careers in their 30's and 40's. Big deal. Everybody else seems to do it nowadays. Not every athlete has to retire set for life.

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quote:Originally posted by Krammerhead

Early life career. They'll still have more than half their lives remaining after they retire from soccer. So they'll be looking for jobs/careers in their 30's and 40's. Big deal. Everybody else seems to do it nowadays. Not every athlete has to retire set for life.

Well, not too many people change careers at 40. At least not to the point where everything they did prior to the change counts for nothing.

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quote:Originally posted by amacpher

Well, not too many people change careers at 40. At least not to the point where everything they did prior to the change counts for nothing.

A professional athletics background would mean a lot to most recruiters in business. And these guys aren't 40 when the time comes to move on. More like 25 to 30. Personally, as someone who started his CA at 30, I think anyone who doesn't spend their 20s chasing their dreams is wasting their life. I do agree these kids should get paid a bit more, though I won't lose too much sleep worrying about them.

Just curious, do we know for a fact that the clubs don't provide some type of housing support? Billets or something?

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Guest Jeffery S.

With all due respects, the salary discrepancies are scandalous in MLS. I cannot for the life of me understand how they can come up with rules allowing for excessive spending, then go ahead and spend wildly, while not raising the minimum salary in the league. It is a total disgrace and unjustifiable, especially considering that if you think the person can go onto the field and get results for you, and he does, he is not a liability, he adds to the group, then he is just as good as the rest of the team. And deserves to be paid accordingly.

Not even the youth players of a middle level club are paid as badly as the low-wage MLS guys. And I think that you will not find as radical spread between bottom and top salary in a league anywhere else in the world (in Spain, in any division, I think you will get only very odd cases where the top salary is as much as ten times more than the bottom).

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k, there was alot of sillyness posted,

cheeta, why are you talking about being an employer? people aren't earing less because they don't respond to market forces (I don't know if this was your point I was pretty confused by it) The reality of canada is that generally everybody works hard (there are middle class folks who are lazy, just like poor people, just like rich people, but your average person goes out and works hard at whatever they do. Another reality is that not everyone can be rich, no matter how hard you work there is some luck involved and there are a ton of examples of people who will work hard every day of there life and have nothing to show for it, poverty is not a result of lowered standards, it is the other way around.

one thing I'll say that I found at http://www40.statcan.ca/l01/cst01/famil05a.htm?sdi=average%20income is that I was somewhat wrong, it's about 30 g's, but like I said before, the mathematical reality of any capitalist economy is that the vast majority of the people are below the average because they can only drop to earning nothing, you can get as rich as you want, with is why the gini coefficient was thought up. According to http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/061213/d061213c.htm

The people in the top 20% are over half a million on average ($551,000), 20% of the people are earning 16 to 17 times the average, If you take them out of the equation, how much do you think the other 80% are earning on average? a helluva lot less then 30 grand.

amacpher, In toronto, anywhere you go you'll find most people aren't white (white people are probably just the biggest ethnic group and probably no longer the majority), you saying the ghetto's don't have white people is like me saying trailer parks don't have black people.

My main problem was that I said I live comfertably in Jane and finch off less then that (my osap is for the added expenses of tuition and books) and you said refuted that, that's absurd for you to tell me a white person wouldn't feel comfertable in a ghetto when a white guy is telling you, he's comfertable. The arguement that it's wrong to put a white guy in a black ghetto is just wrong, it once again brings up a question I raised that was not answered:

Why does someone who earns the same as me, deserve to live in a better area then me? this is the only thing thats somewhat offended me, is that no one cares that there's god know's how many people cramed into the jane and finch area and no one cares but the idea of putting a white footballer there bothers people. I'm pretty sure we were all raised to think that everyone is inherantly equal but these comments kind of sound like some people disagree.

(one thing I want to make sure I get across is that I don't think anybody here's a racist but alot of people who don't live in major cities come here and all say the same things (OH MY GOD I FEEL LIKE A MINORITY, the reality is that their just so shocked to see like 60% of people be not white and it completely escapes them that there still the biggest group at like 40% (cause the other 60 is divided between various ethnic groups). And there are plenty of white people in the jane and finch area.

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In a real world sense of regular people and not the sporting business there is absolutely nothing scandalous about the MLS development salaries. In most other professions people pay and go into debt to get similar job training. While the career may be short lived and the chances of success for an individual player are small if he makes it he has the opportunity to have an extreme level of fame and fortune. The majority who don't make it may have wasted their time and money making opportunities but it works both ways and they also haven't brought anything to the club. I have no sympathy at all for a player making 17 000 to have the chance to play professional soccer. It is his own free choice to sign with the team and if he proves to be worth more he will either have the opportunity to increase his MLS salary or sign elsewhere in the near future.

The only criticism of MLS in this regard in my opinion is whether they are competing with other professional leagues. They are able to keep the development salaries low partly because many North American players have difficulty signing with or getting working permits to train with European teams. However, the top prospects will always be able to go to Europe so if the MLS wants to raise the level of its young talent they will have to offer more money and better training in the future. Let's not overestimate the amount of money European teams pay to prospects either. They are also paying as little as they can get away with to prospects based on the market conditions. There are many youth players in Europe making similar or lower salaries to the MLS development players. The top ones with the top clubs though are making good money so if MLS wants to compete on this front they will have to increase the development salary. This will and should be a business decision just like in Europe, ie. will the increased salary bring about a significant rise in league playing level, domestic player development (since this is a stated MLS goal) and increased transfer fees. Save the cries of exploitation and charity for other subjects. There are far more charitable causes than funding the development of wanna be soccer stars who if they do make it will leave the team/MLS as soon as a bigger salary is offered.

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This is why many players who are quite good enough to play USL-1 say, but not MLS or elsewhere don't and choose a different career path. This is also why I believe the Whitecaps for example have to resort to recruiting in the USA pool. I know of one player at least who was good enough to play USL-1 with the Vancouver 86ers or even second or third tier leagues in Europe chose instead to become a chartered accountant.

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Juby I'll try to be clearer. But then again, maybe not.

Employer=MLS.

Market pressure=labour cost. In this case, any players ability to capitalize on their wage value in an "open" market. I think we can assume that as the better players evolve there will also evolve market pressure. Outside forces (Europe) will demand MLS at least match that market pressure or surrender that skilled labour (in this case a footballer) to that market pressure.

*Ability to capitalize is important. DDR is pissed because he feels he's being under paid as an MLS offensive star, but MLS knows he's not going anywhere so his MLS value is lower than his market value might otherwise indicate. Will Johnson quit Chicago after they offered to double</u> his wages. By-by Chicago and hello Holland. MLS underestimated his open market value.

"live with the predictable consiquences"=accepting that you're going to loose your better players to more lucrative employment elsewhere unless you find ways to keep them. If it's not wages, then working conditions or developing company loyalty.

And that last bit is an important point I seem to have clouded. There's always the fear that dollars and cents at the bottom push wages up through-out the spectrum. And that might be partially true but dollars and cents can be about way more than just dollars and cents.

By that I mean being paid below the league minimum as a development player may not be launching the player/league relationship off on the best foot. And for what it would cost the league to eliminate that "sub-class" of player would it be worth it if the gesture held onto a few of the fellows? Even for just a year or two longer?

Best money they could ever spend.

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quote:Originally posted by amacpher

Isn't that a contradiction? And cost of living in Toronto is of course a lot less than most MLS cities. I know in New York, if you're white like many Red Bull players, you wouldn't feel comfortable living in the Bronx or any other ghetto.

I have cousins living in the Bronx, and some in Yonkers. And when i went to visit, I didn't see that many people who were black. I barely even met any americans, as it seemed everyone was right off the boat from Ireland.

I admit I have only been to visit 2 times, but my cousins dont live in any ghetto (aren't rich but certainly dont live in a ghetto), and they have lived in the Bronx and Yonkers since my auntie moved there with my uncle about 35-40 years ago.

To be fair, I felt more uncomfortable walking at night around jane and finch than i did when i was walking in the bronx.

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