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Old March 23rd, 2015, 04:13 PM   #3221
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Its very hard for my American mind to accept that in European soccer, the race for the title is often the least interesting aspect of your leagues.

There's often more focus, at the end of the season, on the worst teams rather than the best.
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Old March 23rd, 2015, 04:36 PM   #3222
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Its very hard for my American mind to accept that in European soccer, the race for the title is often the least interesting aspect of your leagues.

There's often more focus, at the end of the season, on the worst teams rather than the best.
At least it's the most fair way to go about it, scheduling-wise. Play everyone home and away, team with the best record wins. Beats the notion of winning off of fluke plays in a one-off game, being hot at the right time in a playoff scenario or simply being voted most popular like in college football.

Plus the attention on the teams at the bottom sure beats outright apathy. It's tough being the fan of a US-based team knowing its fate is sealed halfway through the season, wondering what draft pick you'll earn.
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Old March 23rd, 2015, 05:28 PM   #3223
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At least it's the most fair way to go about it, scheduling-wise. Play everyone home and away, team with the best record wins. Beats the notion of winning off of fluke plays in a one-off game, being hot at the right time in a playoff scenario or simply being voted most popular like in college football.

Plus the attention on the teams at the bottom sure beats outright apathy. It's tough being the fan of a US-based team knowing its fate is sealed halfway through the season, wondering what draft pick you'll earn.
There's plenty of apathy for mid-table teams. Anyone getting hot and bothered about Crystal Palace or Everton right now? No.

The apathy should be reserved for the lowest teams because they don't deserve attention, they suck.

Playoffs let you settle it on the field that season. Pro/Rel is based off of last year's results but every athlete will tell you what last year's team accomplished or didn't accomplish doesn't matter this year. So why does it in Pro/Rel or Champions League? You see things like Liverpool in CL. Last year with Suarez, yeah, they were deserving of a CL spot but without Suarez like they are THIS year? No, they're not.

I'd rather Man City and Chelsea settle the title face to face than Man City settling it against Swansea.
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Old March 23rd, 2015, 05:54 PM   #3224
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Those policies, however, will also protect them by similarly handcuffing their competition, especially cutting back on the potential of up-and-coming clubs. True enough, prohibiting another PSG or Chelsea scenario is one thing, but these policies also inhibit the potential for teams like Napoli, Valencia and Southampton (if their talent is continually bought up by wealthier teams).
It has "handcuffed" indeed the likes of Monaco, Malaga, Anzhi, Zenit, Man City, PSG, Chelsea etc, which is a great side-effect of these sustainable spending policies, and they do NOT prevent middle sized clubs to join the utmost top and compete there, like Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund have proved, but actual competitive balance measures (your proposals would be a good start) now need to come in place so that they empower other similar medium sized clubs like those that you mentioned to thrive too in a systemic way. The bad part is that for this to happen domestic leagues need to act and they are even slower and more conservative bodies than UEFA; the good part is that there are positive signs, for example in La Liga there has finally been an agreement, very recently, for a collective bargaining deal with much improved wealth spread, starting with the next TV deal contract - so who knows, maybe in 5-8 years we'll see Athletic Bilbao in the Champions League final or Zaragoza in the semis? Oh, and national / local governments are also needed to act, in what infrastructure is concerned, and in this regard there are positive signs from Italy, where several cities have finally started collaborating with clubs for club-owned, SSS projects (Rome, Florence, to a lesser extent Milan and Naples).

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At least it's the most fair way to go about it, scheduling-wise. Play everyone home and away, team with the best record wins. Beats the notion of winning off of fluke plays in a one-off game, being hot at the right time in a playoff scenario or simply being voted most popular like in college football.

Plus the attention on the teams at the bottom sure beats outright apathy. It's tough being the fan of a US-based team knowing its fate is sealed halfway through the season, wondering what draft pick you'll earn.
Play-offs do generate a fair bit of great fun so as long as not too much is handed for them to decide I'm a fan, I think the English have it right with the Football League promotion play-offs.

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There's plenty of apathy for mid-table teams. Anyone getting hot and bothered about Crystal Palace or Everton right now? No.
This only goes to show how, err, far away you are from the actual meaning the PL has in its own market. Feel free to join a couple of England-based footbal boards, then come back.

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I'd rather Man City and Chelsea settle the title face to face than Man City settling it against Swansea.
This contradicts your previous posts though, the more top heavy a league is (wich you claim European leagues are because of pro/rel), the more the titles are decided by the direct encounters (think of the Primera Division in the era from 2008-09 to 2012-13, the perfect example). It was very similar in England too, during the classic Top Four era. So make up your mind on what you actually want. What the local Premier League fans want is definitely a competition where the small clubs can beat the big clubs, as for them this is the most exciting aspect. Let me quote you thess posts bellow from an England-based forum I frequent:

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The point is the difference in strength between top and bottom internally while also having top teams which can compete with the very best in Europe. This is where the Premier League wins hands down. In Spain and Germany the top teams regularly pan the bottom clubs but that doesn't happen so much here and that's what makes the Premier League worth tuning in for; a greater sense that anyone can beat anyone on their day.
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Stuff like Leicester putting 5 past Man Utd, Burnley taking 4 points from Man City, Hull being seconds away from winning at the Etihad, Burnley getting a draw at Stamford Bridge, that kind of thing happens here, it never happens in Spain.
Can provide links if you think I'm making them up. Anyway, you can see from the exagerated (down to mythmaking, in reality there isn't that gap between the PL and the other top European leagues in terms of domestic competitiveness, maybe quite the opposite) way they put it how important it is to them. What they want is a system that empowers small clubs as such to compete with the big clubs, more so than a balanced league with equally sized clubs and especially more so than a competition that would be closed to the small ones altogether. So yes to an open league with competitive balaced regulations, no to closed leagues.
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Old March 23rd, 2015, 06:39 PM   #3225
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The apathy should be reserved for the lowest teams because they don't deserve attention, they suck.
Well, then I guess we should disband every club but two and we'll all be fans of either Barca or Madrid!

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Playoffs let you settle it on the field that season. Pro/Rel is based off of last year's results but every athlete will tell you what last year's team accomplished or didn't accomplish doesn't matter this year. So why does it in Pro/Rel or Champions League? You see things like Liverpool in CL. Last year with Suarez, yeah, they were deserving of a CL spot but without Suarez like they are THIS year? No, they're not.
If you truly feel the lower teams deserve no attention because "they suck," then relegation should be appealing to you because it means teams near the bottom either play well or they get dismissed and replaced by someone else that might prove more deserving. No team is going to tank a season or rest on their laurels looking for a high draft pick here.

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I'd rather Man City and Chelsea settle the title face to face than Man City settling it against Swansea.
They are settling it on the field! They met on the field twice and the play the exact same schedule otherwise, something no US league can say. What could be more fair than that?

If I'm reading you correctly what you're wanting is for the bigger teams to play each other at the season's end to give the games extra meaning, correct? Would you prefer the league seasons ended earlier and then all the cup tournaments, domestic and UEFA, took place immediately after that?
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Old March 23rd, 2015, 06:45 PM   #3226
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... and they do NOT prevent middle sized clubs to join the utmost top and compete there, like Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund have proved...
I hardly consider Dortmund and Atletico middle sized clubs. That they may be a tier below the powers in their respective national leagues is only because those powers are among the handful of global super clubs, meaning those are more outliers than proper measuring sticks. Middling clubs are those without routine UEFA experience, far less global exposure and limited past success.

Most folks I know regard Dortmund as the 2nd biggest club in Germany and Atletico in the top 3-5 in Spain. I'm thinking more about FFP's impacts on the likes of Southamption, Fiorentina, Betis, Stuttgart...
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Old March 23rd, 2015, 07:15 PM   #3227
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You are perfectly right that Atletico and Borussia are truly major clubs domestically (in most aspects except the most important one, econmics), but they are undoubtedly middle sized clubs at best on the European scene. Remember, in terms of wage bills, Real Madrid being eliminated by Borussia in the CL semis meant that the club with the largest revenues in the world was defeated by a club with Stoke's wage bill.

In what even smaller clubs are concerned, some might take advantage from the positive side effects of FFP, some might not, there will not be any clear systemic pattern until proper competitive balance regulations are implemented, especially domestically. In France for example the positive aspects since PSG and especially Monaco were "handcuffed" were quite outstanding (hence the extraordinary title race containing austerity patients Lyon and Marseille and up to a moment Bordeaux, plus some wonderful cup competition outcomes), while in England it is less clear - while Southampton, since you mentioned them, have dramatically improved, but it is less clear why; it could also be from the "dumbing down" that cash influx can do to the market leaders. In terms of losing talent I fail to see any difference for them between during FFP and pre-FFP, they lost talent just the same pre-FFP (think Gareth Bale or Alex Oxlade Chamberlain). Although maybe it they did it in a controlled and clever fashion in 2014, basing on it a strategy that actually got them improving.
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Old March 23rd, 2015, 07:27 PM   #3228
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Meanwhile, according to Total-MLS.com, week three for the US league featured a total average of 19,744 per game. That's not bad considering there was no Seattle match, but it is slightly inflated by Orlando's 31k. The low for the week came from New England at just under 14,200, but that's still above the lowest overall MLS season average so I won't complain.

I'm thinking 17k will become the new threshold for quality settings and average team economics. Most of the clubs will have venues in the 18-21k range, and allowing for a less-than-capacity crowd that's a fine day to suggest you're averaging over 17k in facilities of that size. Especially since not every team will be competing for honors. Meaning it's the teams that continue to dwell below that mark that will be of concern.

I think, anyway.
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Old March 23rd, 2015, 08:44 PM   #3229
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There's plenty of apathy for mid-table teams. Anyone getting hot and bothered about Crystal Palace or Everton right now? No.

The apathy should be reserved for the lowest teams because they don't deserve attention, they suck.

Playoffs let you settle it on the field that season. Pro/Rel is based off of last year's results but every athlete will tell you what last year's team accomplished or didn't accomplish doesn't matter this year. So why does it in Pro/Rel or Champions League? You see things like Liverpool in CL. Last year with Suarez, yeah, they were deserving of a CL spot but without Suarez like they are THIS year? No, they're not.

I'd rather Man City and Chelsea settle the title face to face than Man City settling it against Swansea.
Well that's your opinion and its the American way but here in Europe we prefer a fair system where everyone plays each other and in the end the best team lifts the trophy. The Patriots went 18-0 and lost in a freak one off game, that to us just isn't fair. We prefer giving them best team the awards.

The American way and the European way are fine , both have their merits, in fact in Rugby we use playoffs too.
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Old March 24th, 2015, 02:32 PM   #3230
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There's plenty of apathy for mid-table teams. Anyone getting hot and bothered about Crystal Palace or Everton right now? No.

The apathy should be reserved for the lowest teams because they don't deserve attention, they suck.

Playoffs let you settle it on the field that season. Pro/Rel is based off of last year's results but every athlete will tell you what last year's team accomplished or didn't accomplish doesn't matter this year. So why does it in Pro/Rel or Champions League? You see things like Liverpool in CL. Last year with Suarez, yeah, they were deserving of a CL spot but without Suarez like they are THIS year? No, they're not.

I'd rather Man City and Chelsea settle the title face to face than Man City settling it against Swansea.
Boss I think your view reflects a person watching sports on the tele and just want to see the best, you could as far as I see it have chosen to watch the olympics where theres plenty of gold medals given.

I know its difficult to understand when your leagues doesnt feel any obligation towards those supporting an team and just moves or contracts a team when its needed.

First of all here in Europe a choice of team is for life and not for how good they are. If you live in Milan and you chooses Inter or AC its because you chooses the basic foundation of the club, Inter having hardwork as motto while AC for more stardom.

Also I dont forget our league system in europe are reflecting our basic view of society and politics, said in other word the basic idea that everyone has a right to win and to be there.

May I also point out what Don Garber the MLS comissioner has said people watching MLS games? They are supporters not fans.

So please understand most people in europe doesnt watch football because its the most popular sport in the world but because the clubs means something to us and that is reflecting how we go and watch games with Tifos, singing etc. and not just clapping and enjoying watching cheerleaders.
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Old March 24th, 2015, 10:49 PM   #3231
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Its very hard for my American mind to accept that in European soccer, the race for the title is often the least interesting .
One the last day of the season, it's often not that interesting as it's been decided by then, but the difference is that the league system creates a nine-month battle for that top spot.

Not having a final day showdown doesn't stop the previous 37 weeks being compelling.

And if a team does run away with the title, they are worthy champions.

That's probably the inherent difference. Leagues here are purely run to find the best team(s). Leagues there a run to create a showpiece final.

We have many leagues run along similar lines here - some have been doing it for well over 100 years - but normally it's because the sport needs a high-profile event to get noticed.

While it doesn't really have that status any more, sadly, for years the FA Cup Final was English football's showpiece event. It didn't need another one.
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Old March 25th, 2015, 02:22 PM   #3232
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One the last day of the season, it's often not that interesting as it's been decided by then, but the difference is that the league system creates a nine-month battle for that top spot.

Not having a final day showdown doesn't stop the previous 37 weeks being compelling.

And if a team does run away with the title, they are worthy champions.

That's probably the inherent difference. Leagues here are purely run to find the best team(s). Leagues there a run to create a showpiece final.

We have many leagues run along similar lines here - some have been doing it for well over 100 years - but normally it's because the sport needs a high-profile event to get noticed.

While it doesn't really have that status any more, sadly, for years the FA Cup Final was English football's showpiece event. It didn't need another one.
Actually, playoffs are a tradition born out of necessity.

Major League Baseball had/has two separate leagues. The American League and the National League, that's still what they're called today, and up until the 90's they never played each other in the regular season at all. Now they play a couple of "inter-league games." In fact, the two leagues, even today, actually play with different rules. Depending on whose stadium they're in is the set of rules they'll play with. Anyway, from the 1880s to the 1960s, the two leagues played the regular season then the two teams from each league with the best record would meet in the World Series. Its also why they call it the "World Series" because they can't be called "National" or "American" champions without creating a lot of confusion.

In the NFL, which is a merger of the NFL and AFL, again National Football League and American Football League, there's too many teams to play in a single season in such a violent sport. So playoffs are an absolute necessity to create as much competitive balance as possible.

Basketball and Hockey are the sports that seem to do playoffs just because they're more fun and everyone else is doing them but in a best of 7 format, the better team will usually advance.

Playoffs are just awesome. That's why the World Cup and Champions League are so exciting. Playoffs. Every game is like the final day of your league because for some team, it is!
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Old March 25th, 2015, 02:55 PM   #3233
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Back to attendance;

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Old March 25th, 2015, 03:31 PM   #3234
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Playoffs are just awesome. That's why the World Cup and Champions League are so exciting. Playoffs. Every game is like the final day of your league because for some team, it is!
But they can also be imbalanced and sometimes render regular season contests meaningless. I hate seeing a team lose a game or series because of a late season injury, and there's the endless debate about home field advantages for teams with inflated records due to weaker schedules. Or simply look at the NCAA tourney going on now - The event is fantastic but the NCAA regular season is dreadful and the resulting tourney is fraught with contention over who deserves what seed.

I'm not discounting them because they're needed, especially here in the States where we have so many teams in each competition. But there's little doubt that they're not a perfect solution to determining who's the best team and their impact on regular season play and strategy. How often has the winning team been lackluster during the season but then hot at just the right time?

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Back to attendance;
Hey, Popeye. Was getting worried that maybe you took the Iowa and/or OSU losses in the tourney too hard! Welcome back.
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Old March 25th, 2015, 04:01 PM   #3235
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But they can also be imbalanced and sometimes render regular season contests meaningless. I hate seeing a team lose a game or series because of a late season injury, and there's the endless debate about home field advantages for teams with inflated records due to weaker schedules. Or simply look at the NCAA tourney going on now - The event is fantastic but the NCAA regular season is dreadful and the resulting tourney is fraught with contention over who deserves what seed.
Yeah but what happens if a big star like Messi or Aguero goes down for a few months? That's going to effect their title race as well. Don't forget they also have a ton of distractions running concurrent to their season that affect performances: FA Cup, League Cup, Europa Leauge, Champions League, Club World Cup. Clubs competing in those competitions usually show a little more weakness in the league than those that aren't in them/knocked out early. I've never noticed anything wrong with NCAA Basketball regular season. Seems to draw plenty of emotion and fans.

As for MLS attendance, I expect it to take a hit this week. Its going to be COLD in the Northeast and there's a lot of games in the Northeast this week. Montreal, New England, New York City, DC United, Columbus -- all schedule for Saturday which is almost cruelly forecasted to be noticeably colder than Friday or Sunday. We're talking low 30's, possibly even 20's at kick-off.
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Old March 25th, 2015, 09:35 PM   #3236
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Yeah but what happens if a big star like Messi or Aguero goes down for a few months? That's going to effect their title race as well.
It will, but not as much as it would if it happened during the play-offs.

Also, in low-scoring sports, shock results are more frequent.


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Old March 26th, 2015, 04:39 AM   #3237
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Hey, Popeye. Was getting worried that maybe you took the Iowa and/or OSU losses in the tourney too hard! Welcome back.
Not an Iowa fan.... I'll root for them..because I live in Iowa.. but Ohio State..ouch! That hurts..oh well...football season will be here before we know it!
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Old March 26th, 2015, 04:49 AM   #3238
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Two countries divided by a common language - the understanding of league based sport :-)
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Old Yesterday, 03:54 AM   #3239
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^the realities that you are describing have nothing to do with pro/rel. Pro/rel has been in place forever and haven't generated these recent dynamics because there's no direct connection to them. The sources of this situation lie in completely other places.
This is actually just a myth. The importance of pro/rel in the history of English sport is just a fantasy. Cricket has never really had it, neither at Club or county level. In rugby its heavily restricted and has from time to time been done away with in both union and League.

and football too used to be a closed shop. The Football League began with a closed-shop League of 12 teams and grow to a four-level 92-team League with internal pro/rel but still a closed shop to everyone else. Lower teams couldnt get promoted into it. The only way to get in was to be elected to replace someone else.

It wasnt until the 1970s this changed.
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Old Today, 02:00 AM   #3240
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^ I'm not English - from a continental European perspective, which is the one I talk from, the fact that cricket doesn't have pro/rel is as relevant to pro/rel in general in European sport as... I don't know, I can't find an analogy - cricket is almost like it doesn't exist, over the Channel. It's big in India and Pakistan, that's for sure. Same for English rugby's lack of pro/rel, domestic rugby is a minor thing in Europe as a whole. In my country we have domestic rugby but it has pro/rel. We watch the 6 Nations and the tests, and we get a bit of info about the French Top 14 because that's where our best players play - and they have pro/rel in French rugby. In what my country is concerned, I can't even think of one sport without pro/rel. Overall in Europe, including the said isles, it's hard to think of a more defining element to league sport as it is than pro/rel, even if there are exceptions.
Sure history is very interesting, they did things very differently in the 19th century though I find it hard to see why this should had any impact to a discussion happening at the present tense. It's quirky to learn how several such details still resisted until my grandpa's football viewing days, also in the '60 they still didn't have the red card and in the '50s they were yet to have substitutions. It's somewhat interesting to learn that up to the 60s included the professional pyramid was not open to the amateur / semi-pro sport in England but I can't see how this drastically changes anything that has been discussed. Your intervention was like me informing you that up until the '70s Brazil didn't have a national, country-wide division in football - then claiming that therefore the importance of a national scene in Brazilian football is just a myth. It's the Paulista and the Carioca where it's all at, everybody knows it!
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