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CPL Division II - Pro/Rel discussion


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2 hours ago, ironcub14 said:

If that's true, that's some short-sighted Americans.

Not short sighted at all. I don't think any of them have ever had a desire thinking "Someday, I just hope that a team in a lower division can really take off and bump me out of my spot in this league and take a big bite out of my finances."

If pro/rel were to happen, it would almost certainly have to be a CSA lead initiative thrust upon the owners, rather than benevolent owners hoping to take a step down to let a different team have their turn at the big time.

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1 hour ago, Kent said:

Not short sighted at all. I don't think any of them have ever had a desire thinking "Someday, I just hope that a team in a lower division can really take off and bump me out of my spot in this league and take a big bite out of my finances."

If pro/rel were to happen, it would almost certainly have to be a CSA lead initiative thrust upon the owners, rather than benevolent owners hoping to take a step down to let a different team have their turn at the big time.

It's short-sighted in the sense that, if MLS reaches a saturation point of say 32 teams or so, the league clearly cannot expand without either looking like a bloated mess, or by opening up below, whether with USL or by creating a MLS2.

That saturation point is going to be coming up faster than you think. It's up to USSF, American soccer fans and MLS owners if they'd like MLS to be a closed one-division league of 32 teams, or if they'd like to slowly but gradually open it up with a MLS2, and continue to leave room for greater expansion of American soccer as a whole.

I know there are a ton of fans like you who say that a MLS owner would be more than happy to avoid a situation where "a team in a lower division can really take off and bump me out of my spot in this league and take a big bite out of my finances."

If we were talking about any other pro sports league in the US except for MLS, I totally hear you. NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB can most definitely continue doing what it's doing with no problem, since it's the dominant league within its sport. But MLS will always be compared in an inferior manner to the Prem. MLS will hit a saturation point at 32 teams where there will be demand from fans in non-MLS cities and from Euro-snobs to continue to open up, and it won't be able to. Unless it does.

I'd rather vomit than type any more about p/r, and answer the question of, how will we pity the MLS owners. I'm out for the day, cheers.

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20 minutes ago, ironcub14 said:

It's short-sighted in the sense that, if MLS reaches a saturation point of say 32 teams or so, the league clearly cannot expand without either looking like a bloated mess, or by opening up below, whether with USL or by creating a MLS2.

That saturation point is going to be coming up faster than you think. It's up to USSF, American soccer fans and MLS owners if they'd like MLS to be a closed one-division league of 32 teams, or if they'd like to slowly but gradually open it up with a MLS2, and continue to leave room for greater expansion of American soccer as a whole.

I know there are a ton of fans like you who say that a MLS owner would be more than happy to avoid a situation where "a team in a lower division can really take off and bump me out of my spot in this league and take a big bite out of my finances."

If we were talking about any other pro sports league in the US except for MLS, I totally hear you. NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB can most definitely continue doing what it's doing with no problem, since it's the dominant league within its sport. But MLS will always be compared in an inferior manner to the Prem. MLS will hit a saturation point at 32 teams where there will be demand from fans in non-MLS cities and from Euro-snobs to continue to open up, and it won't be able to. Unless it does.

I'd rather vomit than type any more about p/r, and answer the question of, how will we pity the MLS owners. I'm out for the day, cheers.

MLS2 is an inevitability. Even people within MLS like Garber and Matt Doyle have confirmed it's already being discussed. I just have no idea how it would work. MLS East and MLS West with 20 teams each only meeting in the playoffs and Open Cup/CCL/VC? MLS1 with the confirmed 28 teams and MLS2 with new teams and some amount of interplay but separate tables and a D1/D2 split from US Soccer? MLS1 at 28 teams and a MLS2 in the 2nd division with promotion (no relegation) every five years until MLS hits 32? Entirely closed 2nd division? Maybe MLS buys USL? Literally have no idea who it will be done. 

Edited by harrycoyster
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6 minutes ago, harrycoyster said:

MLS2 is an inevitability. Even people within MLS like Garber and Matt Doyle have confirmed it's already being discussed. I just have no idea how it would work. MLS East and MLS West with 20 teams each only meeting in the playoffs and Open Cup/CCL/VC? MLS1 with the confirmed 28 teams and MLS2 with new teams and some amount of interplay but separate tables and a D1/D2 split from US Soccer? MLS1 at 28 teams and a MLS2 in the 2nd division with promotion (no relegation) every five years until MLS hits 32? Entirely closed 2nd division? Maybe MLS buys USL? Literally have no idea who it will be done. 

I'll be honest, I actually had no idea that Garber or Doyle had ever discussed MLS2. I've never seen it on print, but I'm guessing you've seen it in interviews or such?

I'm going to make an incredibly simplistic suggestion; the actual implementation of it should take years and will be a legal and financial logistical nightmare. But my incredibly naive and simplistic suggestion is that MLS1 should honestly cap itself at 24 teams, at Miami. Tell the various USL and other groups vying for those 25th to 28th spots that, hey, let's just take in a bunch of independent USL teams in all at once and any other groups that can meet a very strict and clear criteria and form a MLS2 of however many teams Garber and co thinks is a good idea.

Find a magic number between $0 and $150 million that would serve as an expansion fee into MLS2. I have zero idea how to "compensate" MLS1 owners, I won't even try here, but with parachute payments and their share of MLS as a whole, it's most definitely not impossible, as long as MLS is kept closed with 2 divisions instead of 1. As for the actual eventual implementation of p/r between the 2 levels of MLS, there's a million ways to do it, I won't even go there here either.

I feel like it was you Harry that made that suggestion in another thread many months ago where somebody suggested that all 12 groups vying for the 25th to 28th MLS spots just be granted a MLS2 spot instead, and go from there. Back to vomiting now.

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3 minutes ago, ironcub14 said:

I'll be honest, I actually had no idea that Garber or Doyle had ever discussed MLS2. I've never seen it on print, but I'm guessing you've seen it in interviews or such?

I'm going to make an incredibly simplistic suggestion; the actual implementation of it should take years and will be a legal and financial logistical nightmare. But my incredibly naive and simplistic suggestion is that MLS1 should honestly cap itself at 24 teams, at Miami. Tell the various USL and other groups vying for those 25th to 28th spots that, hey, let's just take in a bunch of independent USL teams in all at once and any other groups that can meet a very strict and clear criteria and form a MLS2 of however many teams Garber and co thinks is a good idea.

Find a magic number between $0 and $150 million that would serve as an expansion fee into MLS2. I have zero idea how to "compensate" MLS1 owners, I won't even try here, but with parachute payments and their share of MLS as a whole, it's most definitely not impossible, as long as MLS is kept closed with 2 divisions instead of 1. As for the actual eventual implementation of p/r between the 2 levels of MLS, there's a million ways to do it, I won't even go there here either.

I feel like it was you Harry that made that suggestion in another thread many months ago where somebody suggested that all 12 groups vying for the 25th to 28th MLS spots just be granted a MLS2 spot instead, and go from there. Back to vomiting now.

I like that idea, I just don't see why the MLS owners would ever do it. I believe that Garber first mentioned the possibility of MLS2 at a panel on the future of MLS before the 2015 MLS Cup and said something like "We've considered a few models of growth past 28 teams." If you read any Reddit AMA of Matt Doyle, you'll find he's pretty convinced that MLS will eventually adopt the J-League model.

 

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12 minutes ago, harrycoyster said:

I like that idea, I just don't see why the MLS owners would ever do it. I believe that Garber first mentioned the possibility of MLS2 at a panel on the future of MLS before the 2015 MLS Cup and said something like "We've considered a few models of growth past 28 teams." If you read any Reddit AMA of Matt Doyle, you'll find he's pretty convinced that MLS will eventually adopt the J-League model.

 

I'll look for those AMAs this week, I've actually used MLS Reddit less than other subs like CPL, NASL, USL, etc. Thanks for letting me know, appreciated.

And if the 3-tiered J-League model with 3 U-23 teams is too radical for MLS/CPL fans to swallow, even in the long term, then I'll point the fans to the 2-tiered model the K-League currently has as something a bit more soothing.

As for why a MLS owner would be convinced to do it, a business case would have to be presented where a careful gradual expansion of MLS into two divisions would reap long-term financial benefits due to even greater interest in soccer in US overall over a couple decades that would outweigh the short-term losses from relegation into what is still a protected and closed MLS2.

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If MLS is going to expand past 32 teams, they are going to have to adopt an NFL-style season schedule, where not all the teams play each other. Lets say they expand to 48 teams in a structure of East and West Conferences of four 6-team divisions. Every season, each team would play home-and-away against teams in their division (10 games) and home-or-away against teams in two of the other divisions in each conference (24 games), alternating the divisions hot played against on an annual basis. Playoffs would be the top team in each division and the next 4 teams in each conference with the most points, regardless of division.

CPL will never get that big. There are 20 population centres of over 200K that could form the core of the teams that would make up a First and Second Division. There are another 21 population centres of over 100K that could provide clubs for Second and Third divisions. A 10-team First division with two 10-team regional east and west second divisions could work from a Pro-Rel perspective in about 20 years,

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My sense of it is that to understand the model that CanPL is following we have to rid ourselves of the notion of "one franchise" per municipality and think more in terms of London England (among other). Maybe I am filtering what the CanPL folks are sayin publicly, but I believe they are taking some lessons from MLS re cost control/certainty, maybe a bit around revenue sharing, and the concept of community based clubs from Europe. If you truly can operate in a market with a minimum of 200,000ish, and get by and sustain with an intimate 6-8k modular stadium and then grow organically, then why not eventually at some distant point 12-15 teams in GTA, and none of them called "Toronto"? 

If "franchise fees" from "expansion" are minimal, or largely infrastructure based, and territorial rights somewhat limited, why wouldn't promotion and relegation be possible eventually and Only minimally disruptive financially? Because we're not talking $100s of millions in investment here. And a team with a strong community link/identity will not bleed all of their fans on relegation. Portsmouth frex still attracts 16-17k in League 2 (4th division) and they are only a decade removed from the premiership so the fall has been hard and fast. It is unlikely that we would be looking at more than a couple of divisions in any event as only a few of the large centres easily break down into smaller communities of the requisite size. 

Of course, I overstate here for effect. But we limit ourselves when we let our personal mental models and bias dominate our perception.

Edit: minor stuff & typos 

Edited by Gordon
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I always bristle a bit at the comparison people make to London, Buenos Aires, Istanbul or wherever to Toronto, even as a distant long-term target, because TFC is still some ways behind the Leafs, Raps and the Jays as a spectator sport that's captured the attention of the mainstream. TFC south sider here, nobody has to tell me twice about the TV/attendance figures, but let's be honest, TFC is still some ways behind the Big 3 in a way that soccer in London, Buenos Aires and Istanbul can never compare to.

I talk a lot about 2050 on this thread, but even in my most optimistic scenario, I'm having a hard time imagining more than 3 pro soccer teams in the GTA. I don't think the Leafs, the Raps or the Jays are going anywhere anytime soon. I grew up a baseball fanatic, but if there's one team that TFC/CPL has to overcome or at least match the level of, it'd be the Jays. But to get 12-15 pro soccer clubs in the GTA, even if some are D2? You're talking about the 22nd century now, soccer would have to surpass the Leafs and the Raps to reach that high level of popularity.

Maybe you can talk about Montreal as the one city in Canada where soccer could really be the queen right next to hockey.

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I don't understand all this talk about PRO/REL especially regarding MLS. Cities are literally lined up to pay 100mil a pop for a franchise. I mean most of the major sports leagues have 30+ teams in USA/Canada so it is not unrealistic to say that MLS will expand to 30 or even 32 teams teams sometime in its existence. That leaves them plenty of room to grow.

I don't understand the rationale on why anyone of sane mind who thinks that an ownership group in lets say for example Detroit pays 100 mil on a franchise fee - shells out some cash towards a stadium - shells out a ton of cash on marketing, to buys world class players ect.... would agree too 'ohhh by the way if your perform bad some year you lose the right to play in MLS and will be demoted'. 

Only way MLS would ever allow such a thing is if it was totally in house and they had 100% control over it. To think otherwise is frankly silly. 

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8 hours ago, matty said:

God I hate pro/rel chats. Everyone else is lookingarrow-10x10.png to quit it and North Americans can't shut up about finally adopting it ;)

Correction: "Some multi billionaire owners in other markets are looking to quit it." No european fan is looking to have prorel taken out. Pro/Rel is for the fans mostly. Financial stability is most essential to the owners pockets at the end of the day.

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3 hours ago, fmfranck said:

Correction: "Some multi billionaire owners in other markets are looking to quit it." No european fan is looking to have prorel taken out. Pro/Rel is for the fans mostly. Financial stability is most essential to the owners pockets at the end of the day.

oh my mistake my jokey post has resulted in a "you're wrong" post.

you also forget the mexicans not looking forward to the killing pro/rel.

Edited by matty
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23 hours ago, matty said:

oh my mistake my jokey post has resulted in a "you're wrong" post.

you also forget the mexicans not looking forward to the killing pro/rel.

You wrote a jokey post with no smileys. Very risky if you ask me. This time the consequences we're minimal, but be wary of such future endeavours in your cyber life. 

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On 2017-08-18 at 6:21 PM, grasshopper1917 said:

I don't understand all this talk about PRO/REL especially regarding MLS. Cities are literally lined up to pay 100mil a pop for a franchise. I mean most of the major sports leagues have 30+ teams in USA/Canada so it is not unrealistic to say that MLS will expand to 30 or even 32 teams teams sometime in its existence. That leaves them plenty of room to grow.

I don't understand the rationale on why anyone of sane mind who thinks that an ownership group in lets say for example Detroit pays 100 mil on a franchise fee - shells out some cash towards a stadium - shells out a ton of cash on marketing, to buys world class players ect.... would agree too 'ohhh by the way if your perform bad some year you lose the right to play in MLS and will be demoted'. 

Only way MLS would ever allow such a thing is if it was totally in house and they had 100% control over it. To think otherwise is frankly silly. 

That's exactly what I and a couple others in this thread were predicting, that pro/rel for MLS would be "in house and they had 100% control over it."

And exactly what I'd like CPL to eventually look towards to way later down the road.

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  • 2 years later...

I'm not sure what to think of this info. Especially with the Sask Selects mentioned, which we have previously thought was heading for CPL. Is this D2 getting started too early and cannibalizing the CPL? Are these teams just trying to avoid the expansion fees for CPL? Or would they use this as a step in the right direction and then move up to CPL when their stadium situation is more suitable?

Mostly encouraging news, but with a hint of uncertainty and worry.

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The good thing with a Div 2 would be that it would allow the MLS teams to put their reserve/ development teams in there, with the knowledge that they can’t promote to Div 1 or win the V Cup.

I *think* it’s still early as D1 doesn’t even have 10 teams yet.  But eventually it makes sense.

Keep in mind that these things take several years to materialize- so your talking 2022+ probably.

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28 minutes ago, Kent said:

I'm not sure what to think of this info. Especially with the Sask Selects mentioned, which we have previously thought was heading for CPL. Is this D2 getting started too early and cannibalizing the CPL? Are these teams just trying to avoid the expansion fees for CPL? Or would they use this as a step in the right direction and then move up to CPL when their stadium situation is more suitable?

Mostly encouraging news, but with a hint of uncertainty and worry.

Could be a good platform for owners and smaller markets to see if they can make soccer viable enough for CPL

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I view all of this in a positive light

just a few points

  • Clubs showing interests in upgrading from amateur/semi-pro to fully pro in a D2 is a good sign. They are expressing interest "ahead" of CPL taking bids for D2.
  • Doing this early means that they can voice their ideas, concerns and talks about expectations & pro/Rel ahead of 2026, which is the date the CPL would like to launch it. Talking about it now gives all parties up to 7 years to figure it out. The earlier, the better
  • I don't think it's independent of CPL. I don't see the CSA sanctioning a D2 outside of the CPL umbrella. These are clubs saying CPL D1 is too expensive but are willing to step it up in D2 while bringing forward ideas (like a CHL style regional system with a Memorial Cup) All of this is positive
  • This would bring back home all USL teams back in Canadian leagues. Also allows Montreal and Vancouver to have a proper "pro" league to put their reserve teams in. Their involvement will add much needed backbone to that D2.
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I see this as quite positive.

@Kent - I get what you are saying re cannibalizing interest, but when I think of a group like the SK folks, the chance to have a test season in advance of an all or nothing launch (potentially with a price tag of $9M if the rumours are true) seems well worth any kind of disincentive to joining CPL directly.  As others just noted, this gives folks a clear and affordable path into pro soccer, with CPL being there whenever a team is ready to make the jump.  

It also potentially integrates the MLS reserve sides into the Canadian structure and encourages better cooperation among those differing interests. 

If I was the three MLS sides, I would be doing some thinking about what this could mean for their future in the long run.  I think it is clear that the Fury were not an isolated consideration, and it seems like there is a bit of a master plan in place when it comes to the use of sanctioning to strengthen our domestic soccer landscape.  The action has all taken place USL and below so far, but if i was sitting in the tier above that I would maybe be a bit nervous. 

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