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Post 27 May 2015, 4:42 am

Luckily for football, the ruling bodies are totally free from corruption, moneyed interests and selfishness...


http://www.theguardian.com/football/201 ... s-arrested

Oh. Next someone will tell us professional wrestling is fixed.
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Post 27 May 2015, 7:41 am

danivon wrote:
Doctor Fate wrote:TV would never allow it, but I think it would be terrific.
Why not? It would provide not only the drama of the final days of a campaign and teams managing to "escape" the drop, but then the following season the prospect of new underdogs coming in to take on the big guys.


Because of one word: playoffs.

The revenue generated by playoff games is enormous.

But yeah, the franchise and farming systems, as well as entrenched moneyed interests will stop it. And they sell the thing to the TV companies.


I do think it could work for some sports. In fact, all of them except the NFL. However, it would take someone in power with a Diplomatic (capitalization intentional) flair to pull it off. He/she would have to be able to convince owners that what they cannot see is not only better for them but better for the sport.

Back to the topic specifically.

As a "football" coach/expert I know told me in so many words: MLS is not "good" in part because it has no team culture, so every team plays the same style. It makes for a fairly dull affair. Plus, the playoffs spoil the game by making many of the matches near the end of the season meaningless. One simply needs to make the playoffs. In other leagues, every match is keen. Placing has many implications so coaches can't afford to ignore the value of many games. Compare that with the NFL where the Patriots, for example, will simply bench their starters for the last game or two. Or, look at the NBA: the Celtics were legendary for scraping into the playoffs before winning the championship. The Spurs will rest players on difficult scheduling days to keep them fresh for the playoffs.

The one sport I would not mess with: the NHL. The Stanley Cup playoffs are a treasure.
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Post 27 May 2015, 8:09 am

I agree with much of the above, however, I take exception to the NFL example. Yes the patriots were able to rest some players the last game and every so often you find that happen, but in a 16 game season, every game is especially "keen"! one sixteenth of your season rests on each game, that is pretty damned intense all alone. The NFL is absolutely the best sport as far as playoffs go and how much each game means.
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Post 27 May 2015, 11:57 am

GMTom wrote:I agree with much of the above, however, I take exception to the NFL example. Yes the patriots were able to rest some players the last game and every so often you find that happen, but in a 16 game season, every game is especially "keen"! one sixteenth of your season rests on each game, that is pretty damned intense all alone. The NFL is absolutely the best sport as far as playoffs go and how much each game means.


I cite the Patriots because they have a history of this. And, it makes sense. If you are 13-1 and have the best record in the conference locked up, what's the motivation for games 15 and 16?

Answer: don't get hurt!

The playoffs? Meh. Many games are not competitive.

The Stanley Cup playoffs . . . there is nothing more tense than overtime in hockey. Every time your team touches the puck, the game (or series or season) could end.
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Post 27 May 2015, 2:08 pm

The FIFA thing is hilarious. What amazes me is that despite it being well known for well over a year that Chuck Blazer had turned supergrass for the FBI, so many of the FIFA executive were still prepared to gather in the same place without any apparent fear of being arrested. I mean, surely there was absolutely no question that there were going to be indictments at some point. Everybody in the whole world already knew that FIFA was rotten to the core and when you had a very senior member of the cabal not only helping with enquiries but even agreeing to wear a wire for the FBI then it was only a matter of time.

God bless America :wink: It took the FBI to bring down the crooked world of professional cycling and the same is now set to happen to the inconceivably more crooked world of professional football. It's a bit of a sorry state of affairs that it would take the law enforcement resources of a nation that doesn't really give a damn about the sport to bring this about, but I'm not complaining.
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Post 28 May 2015, 7:30 am

I almost laughed out loud when I read Putin is complaining about the US sticking it's nose where it doesn't belong. His complaints were pretty much the US should simply mind her own business (even though it is) and stay out of things, let the corruption run as it always had.
He didn't even try to sugar coat it, just let it go on and on as is.
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Post 28 May 2015, 8:42 am

Doctor Fate wrote:
danivon wrote:
Doctor Fate wrote:TV would never allow it, but I think it would be terrific.
Why not? It would provide not only the drama of the final days of a campaign and teams managing to "escape" the drop, but then the following season the prospect of new underdogs coming in to take on the big guys.


Because of one word: playoffs.

Ah, well you can have playoffs AND promotion/relegation. In many football leagues, promotion includes a playoff post season eg: the top two Championship teams in England get promoted, then the teams in 3rd to 6th play off for one more promotion spot. In Scotland they include a team from the division above sometimes, playing in playoffs to avoid relegation.

Another example is Rugby. In the English Rugby Union premiership, the Championship is decided by post-league playoffs between the top sides. The bottom teams still face relegation.

The other thing is that your major leagues tend to have one competition, so all roads in the NFL lead to the SuperBowl (I know the NFC/AFC championships are a thing, but basically only matter to the loser of the SB). Instead in football you have knockout cups that towards the end emulate playoffs.

So, we have a League champion, an FA Cup champion and a League Cup champion. The latter is not really much of a prize compared to the others, but still provides a bit of excitement.
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Post 28 May 2015, 8:53 am

danivon wrote:So, we have a League champion, an FA Cup champion and a League Cup champion. The latter is not really much of a prize compared to the others, but still provides a bit of excitement.


Well, I'm sure that for fans of the team and residents of the town, it's more than a "bit." :)

I would love to see ANY American league have the guts to start relegation. Would it be hard in the beginning? Yes. Would the payoff be worth it? I think so.

I remember the Clippers being the laughingstock of the sports world for decades. I think being relegated would have forced a change in ownership which would have revitalized the franchise long before it happened.

I also have to believe the European system promotes a team's ties to its city/town/city section. In the US, the easy solution to losing popularity is to move. What if that wasn't an option? I suppose the team would have to improve . . . or keep getting relegated--from the majors to single A.
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Post 28 May 2015, 10:13 am

Doctor Fate wrote:
danivon wrote:So, we have a League champion, an FA Cup champion and a League Cup champion. The latter is not really much of a prize compared to the others, but still provides a bit of excitement.


Well, I'm sure that for fans of the team and residents of the town, it's more than a "bit." :)
British understatement. Mind you, for the big teams, the League Cup is a bit of a bore and can be a distraction (they often put out reserve/youth teams in early rounds as they are midweek games between weekend Premiership matches). But yeah, for the likes of Swansea City and Bradford City it's a big deal and a great day out to Wembley.

I would love to see ANY American league have the guts to start relegation. Would it be hard in the beginning? Yes. Would the payoff be worth it? I think so.
I think so too. And a parallel cup competition means teams in lower divisions still get to play the big guys (and will be out to get a shock win).

I remember the Clippers being the laughingstock of the sports world for decades. I think being relegated would have forced a change in ownership which would have revitalized the franchise long before it happened.
Maybe, or they just die out (or fall all the way out of professional leagues) like teams have done in the past.

I also have to believe the European system promotes a team's ties to its city/town/city section. In the US, the easy solution to losing popularity is to move. What if that wasn't an option? I suppose the team would have to improve . . . or keep getting relegated--from the majors to single A.
we still have had teams move. Arsenal moved from South East London (Woolwich) to the North (Highbury) about 100 years ago. That was only about 10 miles and it's all forgotten now, but then we had one "franchise" move recently, when Wimbledon moved 80 miles away to Milton Keynes and renamed themselves the MK Dons. This was very unpopular and still is (outside Milton Keynes). A mate of mine was a supporter and he was involved in the website when the fans founded a new Wimbledon team, and those guys are very bitter about it.
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Post 28 May 2015, 10:18 am

But in the UK you have so many clubs all in relative close proximity to one another. In the States we have (mostly) well defined and very unique markets that do not overlap. While it's no big problem for one NYC team to be lost or even possibly a northeast corridor team to be relegated, losing say Denver causes a huge hole a a big part of the nation without any team to follow (and nobody will follow a relegated now minor league team). It's about advertising dollars and hitting the biggest markets. The NFL lost it's teams in Los Angeles and has been trying and trying to get another team back (and looks to be a near done deal now) it's about the money, follow the trail of money and it's easy to know what works. Relegation, while fun for many fans, would not work on this side of the pond. I do agree it would be damn near fascinating to follow, no doubt about it, but I also know it simply can not work here.
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Post 28 May 2015, 10:21 am

Cross posted with Danivon. Funny how he points out a move of a mere 10 miles seems to have meant something, even the team that moved 80 miles, for most of our cities that would be a move from one distant suburb to one on the other side of that same market. I go to Buffalo Bills games, we are part of their market area, it's about 70 miles from my house (and I am on the closer side of town).
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Post 28 May 2015, 10:49 am

GMTom wrote:Cross posted with Danivon. Funny how he points out a move of a mere 10 miles seems to have meant something, even the team that moved 80 miles, for most of our cities that would be a move from one distant suburb to one on the other side of that same market. I go to Buffalo Bills games, we are part of their market area, it's about 70 miles from my house (and I am on the closer side of town).
In the UK, 100 miles is a long way away, and 100 years is recent. In the US, 100 miles is just down the road and 100 years is ancient times...

We live in different scales. Wimbledon is in South West London. Within about 30 miles of there are several other professional sides in the top four divisions: Arsenal, Spurs, Chelsea, West Ham, QPR, Fulham, Crystal Palace, Charlton, Millwall, Leyton Orient, Barnet, Brentford, Dagenham & Redbridge, Crawley Town, Stevenage, Luton, Wycombe Wanderers.

Also, we don't see our cities and regions as "markets" for sport. Local teams will get support from people who live there or nearby (or who have family histories), big teams will often draw support from all over (Man Utd, Liverpool, Chelsea shirts are all over the place). And we are compact enough to be a single "market" when it comes to televised games. We have regional TV, but that's mainly for local news on the main networks (BBC and ITV). Pretty much all channels are national for England if not the whole UK.

Of course, the Dons thing was about seeking a market. London is big (about 20% of the UK population) but crowded, and Wimbledon had made it to the Premiership from the non-leagues in a pretty short time, and then struggled to compete with few resources and only a local fanbase. Milton Keynes is a large new town that had a semi-pro team which wasn't going anywhere, and seemed to be a new market.

It has sort of worked - MK Dons had a poor first decade, but have in the last few years made their way back to the Championship (where they were when they moved from Wimbledon). But it's not likely to set a major precedent.
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Post 28 May 2015, 11:01 am

It's difficult to see how a newly promoted team could ever hope to gain competitiveness quickly enough to avoid immediate relegation if such a system were ever adopted in the NFL. Everything is set up around the closed shop system. All the top players get drafted by NFL teams. You'd have to completely change the entire way that player recruitment works because otherwise whichever team went down from the NFL would still be infinitely superior to the team that replaced them. It would need the current franchises to firstly allow teams from lower levels to enter the draft (and good luck persuading the best college players to sign for a non-NFL team) and secondly to agree to a certain amount of revenue sharing with the lower tiers to allow them to be competitive. Neither of these things is ever going to happen so it's a non-starter really.
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Post 28 May 2015, 11:12 am

Sassenach wrote:It's difficult to see how a newly promoted team could ever hope to gain competitiveness quickly enough to avoid immediate relegation if such a system were ever adopted in the NFL. Everything is set up around the closed shop system. All the top players get drafted by NFL teams. You'd have to completely change the entire way that player recruitment works because otherwise whichever team went down from the NFL would still be infinitely superior to the team that replaced them. It would need the current franchises to firstly allow teams from lower levels to enter the draft (and good luck persuading the best college players to sign for a non-NFL team) and secondly to agree to a certain amount of revenue sharing with the lower tiers to allow them to be competitive. Neither of these things is ever going to happen so it's a non-starter really.
We can dream...

Yes it would take a major overhaul. Still the NFL has done expansion before, which means allowing new teams in. How was that managed in terms of them getting a chance to recruit competitive players?
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Post 28 May 2015, 11:21 am

Sassenach wrote:God bless America :wink: It took the FBI to bring down the crooked world of professional cycling and the same is now set to happen to the inconceivably more crooked world of professional football. It's a bit of a sorry state of affairs that it would take the law enforcement resources of a nation that doesn't really give a damn about the sport to bring this about, but I'm not complaining.
Nope, not complaining either - and the Swiss authorities are on it as well now. Our FA are also happy to support these investigations as they have been complaining for years.

Of course in both cases it was because Americans were involved in the crookedness, Armstrong and his US Postal team in the doping and now US companies involved along with Blazer and other FIFA officials in kickbacks.

Even funnier was Putin's defence of Blatter and complaints about the USA interfering outside its borders. Because Russia never does that (and of course the award of the 2018 finals to Russia was totally above board with no bribes for votes whatsoever...).

Sadly, FIFA will try and carry on as if this is not happening and re-elect Blatter as President tomorrow.
Last edited by danivon on 28 May 2015, 11:25 am, edited 1 time in total.