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37 minutes ago, Rheo said:

It's foolish and naive to assume that any one thing happening or not happening will kill this league.  A third of the board assumes playoffs (or whatever issue you want to put in here) will kill the league.  A third of the board assumes a lack of playoffs will the league.  A third of us are realistic and know that there is not one single factor that will kill the league.  There are thousands (underestimating most likely) of factors that will all contribute to success or failure of the league.

I'm probably one of the most realistic person on this board.  I piss off both sides with my realism lol.  

For the record I think they'll be playoffs, a draft, franchises and lots of things that make traditionalists cringe and predict doom and gloom.  I also didn't think pro/rel was ever realistic but they seem to think otherwise.  Part of the fun of this is we just don't know what will work and what won't.  It's a big reason that I'm excited for this.  It's not everyday you get to see a league formed.

I appreciate that you are realistic for the most part, and I try my best to be as well. Especially when CPL has been discussed for so long, I like to just cut straight to the chase if I can, especially because I noticed that longer posts seem to get skimmed over on the board for the most part anyways.

We can disagree on the relative importance of it, but my general observation has been that the role of playoffs is so vast in so many of the pro sports we follow in Canada that I truly would stand by my statement that the lack of playoffs would literally ruin CPL, as it is such a crucial and essential component of the Big 5 leagues here in Canada. I hear you that there are thousands of factors that will be in play, but the lack of playoffs would literally be that crippling to any pro sports league in Canada financially.

I do totally hear you on your last paragraph above, as well as your whole post.

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19 hours ago, ironcub14 said:

We're in Canada; having no playoffs will kill this league to all but the hardcores, it's the sad truth.

Except having the V-Cup semi-finals and finals after the end of the season would be more than acceptable as a replacement. "Hardcores" will appreciate the chance to "do the double" and "casuals" will likely have no clue what is going on anyway but will get a chance to see, "a playoff".
 

And nothing wrong with making the league stand slightly apart from other leagues, it will give all fans something to be proud of and be a wonderful, "talking point" with other fans. :)

 

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22 minutes ago, ted said:

Except having the V-Cup semi-finals and finals after the end of the season would be more than acceptable as a replacement. "Hardcores" will appreciate the chance to "do the double" and "casuals" will likely have no clue what is going on anyway but will get a chance to see, "a playoff".
 

And nothing wrong with making the league stand slightly apart from other leagues, it will give all fans something to be proud of and be a wonderful, "talking point" with other fans. :)

 

You shouldn't have taken out the first sentence in my post when you quoted me there; it's a huge conditional statement on what I said subsequently in my second sentence. If there is pro/rel in the future, and I hope there is, with 16+ teams, I am all for eliminating playoffs, I think many of us are very much in tune with European football.

It's an interesting proposition about having the VCup semis and finals after CPL regular season as an alternative for CPL playoffs, although I don't think it's an adequate replacement at all, especially since league and cup competition are two separate things generally in footy.

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I'm heartened that two-thirds of the respondents in the survey in this thread voted for playoffs, because I will say that having no playoffs in a league with no pro/rel would be very much indicative of the bubble within a bubble within a bubble mentality description that somebody used to describe the V's board this week.

I don't like playoffs in footy that much either, but it's a necessary evil. And there will be plenty of necessary evils in CPL that we are going to have to accept.

And a quick note that the 1st question of the survey above should have been worded better. There is a massive difference between having pro/rel in CPL in 2018 and having pro/rel in CPL in 2038.

Edited by ironcub14

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12 hours ago, dsqpr said:

The use of technology is not Americanizing the sport. The EPL already has goal line technology and retroactive punishment for incidents not seen by the referee.

Playoffs for the League Championship and franchises instead of clubs -- that is another story.

fair enough, I forgot that they had recently put that in.

I'm all for clubs, although I think there will need to be some degree of revenue sharing for this to work.

and like I said until you come up with a way to keep fans of losing teams interested(aka rel) I still think you need playoffs

but I think we can put this one to bed and agree to disagree and move on.

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7 minutes ago, GuillermoDelQuarto said:

fair enough, I forgot that they had recently put that in.

I'm all for clubs, although I think there will need to be some degree of revenue sharing for this to work.

and like I said until you come up with a way to keep fans of losing teams interested(aka rel) I still think you need playoffs

but I think we can put this one to bed and agree to disagree and move on.

I'll just add that even if you have playoffs, clubs at the bottom will hardly be involved in the playoff race. So I don't understand why you say that in the absence of relegation we need playoffs.

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38 minutes ago, dsqpr said:

I'll just add that even if you have playoffs, clubs at the bottom will hardly be involved in the playoff race. So I don't understand why you say that in the absence of relegation we need playoffs.

Maybe an illustration is best. Let's take the current MLS standings, and pretend every team only has 1 game left in the season.

1 Toronto FC 29
2 Chicago Fire 28
3 New York City FC 24
4 Orlando City SC 24
5 Columbus Crew SC 22
6 New York Red Bulls 20
7 New England Revolution 20
8 Atlanta United FC 18
9 Montreal Impact 17
10 Philadelphia Union 16
11 D.C. United 15

 

Teams that have something at stake in various systems:

System 1: No playoffs, no relegation.
- TFC, and Chicago both have a chance at winning the league. Their games matter.
- total of 2 teams with games that matter

System 2: Playoffs (assuming 6 teams like MLS), no relegation.
- Columbus, NYRB, New England, Atlanta, and Montreal (presuming the tie breaker is within reach) can all either clinch a playoff spot or miss out on playoffs based on the results of the last weekend of the season.
- if there is a supporter's shield type of trophy, TFC and Chicago still have games that matter
- in terms of playoff seeding you can also add NYCFC and Orlando as teams with games that matter
- total of 5 teams with games that matter if you only care about getting into playoffs, 7 teams if you also care about who wins the regular season, 9 teams if you care about playoff seeding

System 3: No playoffs, relegation (1 team or 2 teams, doesn't change the outcome with this particular example)
- TFC and Chicago still fighting it out for the championship
- DC, Philadelphia, Montreal, and Atlanta could still be relegated so their games matter
- total of 6 teams with games that matter

So to @GuillermoDelQuarto point, without relegation, if we also don't have playoffs, only 2 teams have games that matter in this randomly selected example (I didn't cherry pick this to suit what I wanted to see).

Add in playoffs and all of a sudden you have up to 9 teams with games that matter. I would argue in that scenario you have 7 teams with games that matter a lot, and 2 teams with games that matter a little (seeding).

You are right @dsqpr that bottom teams aren't typically involved in the playoff race, but by the same token, middle teams aren't typically involved in the relegation battle. The middle also typically has more teams more tightly packed (bell curve) than the bottom, so more teams are involved in playoff races than relegation battles.

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I think @Kent pretty much summed up what I would have said

sure, the teams at the very bottom will eventually lose interest, but they would in a single table anyways(with no rel)

but a ) it will take longer for them to lose interest(especially if we have a spring and fall champion a la NASL)

and b ) you keep the middle team(aka most of the league) interested for as long as possible.

I honestly don't really understand how this isn't inherently obvious in the absence of relegation.  This is what I mean when I say there is an ideology of resistance to anything other than a traditional format.  I love tradition as much as the next guy but eventually you have to be a little bit pragmatic.

edit:grammar

Edited by GuillermoDelQuarto

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Also, I'm not saying I support this, but I like the lens through which Kent's post is looking.

In order to have most teams have the most meaningful games(which would be important to owners wanting to keep this thing afloat) you would actually have playoffs and relegation.  Think about it:

you have the top teams keenly interested, for obvious reasons

the middle teams stay interested because they have a chance to make the playoffs

the bottom teams stay interested because they want to avoid relegation.

It's not traditional, but from this perspective it is ideal.

again, not saying I support this, necessarily, but if we are trying to do the owners a favour, while keeping the concept of pro/rel intact, its an interesting road to go down.  Combine this with parachute funds for teams that get relegated and who knows, perhaps you could even convince the MLS to go down this route.

 

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Two good posts by @Kent and @GuillermoDelQuarto above, illustrating one viewpoint. Obviously just a difference in philosophy. In my view every game matters because every point matters and position in the table matters, not just promotion and relegation. And playoffs effectively invalidate the Championship that has already been won by the team with the most points (of course this assumes everybody plays the same schedule).

Good discussion and I think we all understand each other's viewpoint now.

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1 minute ago, dsqpr said:

Two good posts by @Kent and @GuillermoDelQuarto above, illustrating one viewpoint. Obviously just a difference in philosophy. In my view every game matters because every point matters and position in the table matters, not just promotion and relegation. And playoffs effectively invalidate the Championship that has already been won by the team with the most points (of course this assumes everybody plays the same schedule).

Good discussion and I think we all understand each other's viewpoint now.

yea, no I hope you're not taking this as a slight.  I can't remember too many previous interactions with you as a poster, but that's usually a good sign :P

just a good little discussion

the last thing I will say is that I think it will be somewhat difficult to convince some NA fans about the importance of position in the table and that you are right in that playoffs invalidate the championship that has already been won.  

It's hard because there's honestly pros and cons on each side.

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2 hours ago, Kent said:

Maybe an illustration is best. Let's take the current MLS standings, and pretend every team only has 1 game left in the season.

1 Toronto FC 29
2 Chicago Fire 28
3 New York City FC 24
4 Orlando City SC 24
5 Columbus Crew SC 22
6 New York Red Bulls 20
7 New England Revolution 20
8 Atlanta United FC 18
9 Montreal Impact 17
10 Philadelphia Union 16
11 D.C. United 15

 

Teams that have something at stake in various systems:

System 1: No playoffs, no relegation.
- TFC, and Chicago both have a chance at winning the league. Their games matter.
- total of 2 teams with games that matter

System 2: Playoffs (assuming 6 teams like MLS), no relegation.
- Columbus, NYRB, New England, Atlanta, and Montreal (presuming the tie breaker is within reach) can all either clinch a playoff spot or miss out on playoffs based on the results of the last weekend of the season.
- if there is a supporter's shield type of trophy, TFC and Chicago still have games that matter
- in terms of playoff seeding you can also add NYCFC and Orlando as teams with games that matter
- total of 5 teams with games that matter if you only care about getting into playoffs, 7 teams if you also care about who wins the regular season, 9 teams if you care about playoff seeding

System 3: No playoffs, relegation (1 team or 2 teams, doesn't change the outcome with this particular example)
- TFC and Chicago still fighting it out for the championship
- DC, Philadelphia, Montreal, and Atlanta could still be relegated so their games matter
- total of 6 teams with games that matter

So to @GuillermoDelQuarto point, without relegation, if we also don't have playoffs, only 2 teams have games that matter in this randomly selected example (I didn't cherry pick this to suit what I wanted to see).

Add in playoffs and all of a sudden you have up to 9 teams with games that matter. I would argue in that scenario you have 7 teams with games that matter a lot, and 2 teams with games that matter a little (seeding).

You are right @dsqpr that bottom teams aren't typically involved in the playoff race, but by the same token, middle teams aren't typically involved in the relegation battle. The middle also typically has more teams more tightly packed (bell curve) than the bottom, so more teams are involved in playoff races than relegation battles.

This is a great breakdown. It's also important to remember that this "number of teams playing important games" thing is not even a top 3 argument I'd make for playoffs.

-Each playoff game provides a team with at least double the revenue of a regular season game.

-Playoffs are high value TV properties, and can introduce people to the league who are otherwise unreachable by local marketing. This means as much internationally as it does domestically. At least one MLS playoff match is watchable in 175 countries, almost double the regular season number. 

-Sports teams sell a disproportionately high amount of their season tickets for the next season during a playoff run. Year over year season ticket sales is one of the major metrics in a league's success. It would be silly not to include one of the biggest drivers of season ticket sales while the league is still in the proof of concept stage.

Edited by harrycoyster

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On the other hand, some of most intense, passionate and true agony matches I have seen have been pro-reg playdowns in England & Spain. This experience is largely unknown in Canada and will be point of differentiation for the CPL. Plus, it will force the Canadian soccer establishment to actually deliver on the field and build a proper development system to generate revenues. I don`t want an MLS lite experience via the CPL.

MLS playoffs also don`t get much traction outside of the home markets. And even in the home markets, the early rounds often get lower attendance than regular season matches. Saying MLS playoffs is watchable in 175 countries is akin to saying Aussie Rules Football is watchable on TSN. But how many truly watch in Canada, let alone be engaged in the sport.

 

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1 hour ago, red card said:

On the other hand, some of most intense, passionate and true agony matches I have seen have been pro-reg playdowns in England & Spain. This experience is largely unknown in Canada and will be point of differentiation for the CPL. Plus, it will force the Canadian soccer establishment to actually deliver on the field and build a proper development system to generate revenues. I don`t want an MLS lite experience via the CPL.

MLS playoffs also don`t get much traction outside of the home markets. And even in the home markets, the early rounds often get lower attendance than regular season matches. Saying MLS playoffs is watchable in 175 countries is akin to saying Aussie Rules Football is watchable on TSN. But how many truly watch in Canada, let alone be engaged in the sport.

 

Yes, in a nutshell that is another key point that the NA fans seem to miss: the existence of playoffs devalues the regular season. You don't get something for nothing.

There is a reason that 20 years or so on, MLS is still a fringe sport. I am certainly hoping that CPL can learn from this.

Edited by Lofty

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50 minutes ago, dsqpr said:

Yes, in a nutshell that is another key point that the NA fans seem to miss: the existence of playoffs devalues the regular season. You don't get something for nothing.

There is a reason that 20 years or so on, MLS is still a fringe sport. I am certainly hoping that CPL can learn from this.

If you think MLS is still a fringe sport because it has playoffs you are off your rocker. That is completely disregarding the stranglehold the NFL and MLB have on the American sports market. Mexico, every major Central American league, Israel, Belgium, Egypt, and Nigeria all have playoff systems where the team that finished at the top of the table could not win the championship and those leagues do just fine. I'm sure there are more too.

I haven't seen a single bit evidence to suggest that playoffs hurt sports leagues. The slight devaluation of regular season games is well worth the many benefits that playoffs bring, and it isn't even a question when it comes to a new league that needs exposure. Not to mention the fact that the value that you gain in regular season games dissipates quickly over the course of the season. Why should a Southampton fan give a **** about their season by the midpoint when they realize best case is they finish 7th and worst case they finish 13th? They only care because the EPL has a monopoly in England that puts the NFL's in the US to shame.

The argument I hear all the time is "if there are no playoffs than every game is a playoff game". That's blatantly false. Why? Because you don't know which of the games will REALLY matter. Hence you are losing all extra revenue potential, all the buildup, and all the exposure associated with the "big matchup". The best team in the league can play the second best team in Match Days 1 and 6, before anybody knows the are the two best teams in the league and there goes millions in profit. The big European leagues have unbalanced tables and a century of history; they know what they big games are before the season starts. El Clasico is basically La Liga's de facto playoff games.

It's a different story here. We don't have the best players in the world, we don't have a century of history, we don't have fan-bases that hate each other, and we don't have fans that have grown up with a single table format. All the reasons not to have playoffs don't apply here. We are the hardest of hardcore soccer fans in all of Canada on this forum, and 2/3 of us want playoffs. What do you think that number looks like for the causal Canadian sports fan? 

Edited by harrycoyster

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44 minutes ago, dsqpr said:

Yes, in a nutshell that is another key point that the NA fans seem to miss: the existence of playoffs devalues the regular season. You don't get something for nothing.

There is a reason that 20 years or so on, MLS is still a fringe sport. I am certainly hoping that CPL can learn from this.

Every league I have participated in from little league baseball, minor soccer, school hockey, recreational floor hockey all had playoffs on top of a regular league schedule. Also every league in North America I have watched all have playoffs. North American sports leagues have playoffs, every sport, every level....... always have and i suspect always will. 

20 years ago soccer was a fringe sport in North America. Over the past 20 years MLS along the the ability to follow European/International leagues/competitions has helped soccer become more mainstream. If you would have told me 20 years ago 100,000 people would turn out to watch 2 soccer matches between clubs based in Toronto and Montreal I would have laughed til I fell over. However soccer clubs today all over North America are drawing huge enthusiastic crowds...... despite playoffs  lol   

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14 minutes ago, grasshopper1917 said:

Every league I have participated in from little league baseball, minor soccer, school hockey, recreational floor hockey all had playoffs on top of a regular league schedule. Also every league in North America I have watched all have playoffs. North American sports leagues have playoffs, every sport, every level....... always have and i suspect always will. 

20 years ago soccer was a fringe sport in North America. Over the past 20 years MLS along the the ability to follow European/International leagues/competitions has helped soccer become more mainstream. If you would have told me 20 years ago 100,000 people would turn out to watch 2 soccer matches between clubs based in Toronto and Montreal I would have laughed til I fell over. However soccer clubs today all over North America are drawing huge enthusiastic crowds...... despite playoffs  lol   

Shout and stamp your feet all you like, MLS is still a fringe sport and you know it. Lacks any meaningful TV revenue because nobody outside MLS cities gives a fig about it.

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33 minutes ago, dsqpr said:

Shout and stamp your feet all you like, MLS is still a fringe sport and you know it. Lacks any meaningful TV revenue because nobody outside MLS cities gives a fig about it.

I'm not saying MLS isn't still a small league by American standards, by it does rank somewhere between 10th and 14th in the world in league revenue.

I'd also love to hear your definition of "meaningful TV revenue". MLS makes $90 million a season in the US not counting local broadcasts and somewhere around $20 million a season from non-domestic markets. It's not close to the Big 4 American sports and the Big 5 European leagues but it's just about the best TV deal otherwise. The CFL makes around $50 million a year from all of its TV rights for comparison.

Edited by harrycoyster

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26 minutes ago, harrycoyster said:

I'm not saying MLS isn't still a small league by American standards, by it does rank somewhere between 10th and 14th in the world in league revenue.

I'd also love to hear your definition of "meaningful TV revenue". MLS makes $90 million a season in the US not counting local broadcasts and somewhere around $20 million a season from non-domestic markets. It's not close to the Big 4 American sports and the Big 5 European leagues but it's just about the best TV deal otherwise. The CFL makes around $50 million a year from all of its TV rights for comparison.

MLS tv rights are bundled with the two US national teams. USSF pretends that MLS makes up half the value so MLS does not take $90 million, only $45 million (about $45 million more than the actual value of the rights). The reality is that NCAA women's softball has better tv ratings than MLS.

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1 hour ago, Gordon said:

MLS tv rights are bundled with the two US national teams. USSF pretends that MLS makes up half the value so MLS does not take $90 million, only $45 million (about $45 million more than the actual value of the rights). The reality is that NCAA women's softball has better tv ratings than MLS.

This is incorrect in a bunch of ways that it would take an essay to correct, but I understand the misconception; the TV deals aren't clear. Suffice to say that MLS teams got $6 million each from the league this year in collective TV money, so the league made over $132 million in TV deals in the 2016 season. Teams got $5.5 million in 2015. 

NCAA softball averages better numbers than MLS games because only the very end of the Softball playoffs make national television. If they broadcast regular season games the numbers would be terrible. Additionally, MLS has really, really good numbers in the 18-35 male demographic (the highest value adult demographic). That makes a huge difference to advertisers.

Edited by harrycoyster

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The most watched soccer league on Canadian tv is not MLS. It's EPL which on average gets 2x higher audiences despite the time zone issue. If you include national teams, then it is also behind the Canadian women's team. MLS is not even the most watched soccer league in the US.

The argument for playoffs is similar to the people who thought soccer could only be sold by having shootouts, 35 yard offside line and catering to soccer moms from the 70s to the 90s. Only when MLS finally threw aside these North American based thinking, the hard core soccer fans in the US finally started to pay attention. Their passion and energy brought in the casual fans.

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Yeah, regarding the playoffs issue, it seems to be a case entirely of personal preference.  Old world model (soccer must feel European) vs new world model (all NA sports have playoffs so why deviate?).  Anyone who thinks they have, or have articulated,  any sort of checkmate argument is entirely mistaken.  Some league have playoffs.  They do well.  Some leagues don't have playoffs.  They also do well. 

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I think what some Voyageurs don't seem to understand is that for both MLS and CPL to succeed and find a financially sustainable level of acceptance, or basically for CPL to not die in the graveyard of North American soccer leagues of the past, that MLS had to, and CPL has to, find an acceptable level of balance in terms of structural organization that satisfies both the mainstream general sports fan audience as much as the hardcore football supporters.

And that happy medium level of balance 100% includes the presence of playoffs when and only when there is no pro/rel. If the league does not have pro/rel, CPL must have playoffs to be financially sustainable and noteworthy in Canadian sports media. If you're posting here dreaming about CPL being a carbon copy of European football, you're just writing pure fantasy fiction at this point, association football in Canada has nowhere the popularity that it does in Europe and South America, and it has nothing to do with MLS having playoffs or having no pro/rel. We have over 100 years of history here of hockey, basketball, Canadian football, baseball, etc. Soccer's been playing catch-up to these four in Canada for 100 years, don't ever forget that.

The fact that somebody even had to post a rant in favour of playoffs for CPL amuses me, the fact that somebody even had to actually write one. Thanks for taking one for the team, Harry.

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