Thursday, June 9, 2016

Three great reads and one great listen


Make sure you take a few minutes and read this GREAT piece by @terryblaw on the pending Crossfire v USSF Training Compensation and Solidarity Payment case with FIFA.

Despite developing numerous players who would entitle them to training compensation, solidarity or both, no United States youth club has ever received these payments.  Domestically, U.S. Soccer has refused to enforce either rule and, allegedly, has pressured youth clubs to decline any payments from foreign clubs.  But recently, youth clubs have begun to push back.



With Copa America going on right now and the regularly scheduled pre-USMNT game #FireKlinsmann banter from our more MLS centric sports writers and fans we come across this very solid read "Targeted Allocation: Jurgen Klinsmann is not the problem" on FourFourTwo from Graham Parker

As many of us know... the entire US soccer system is the problem and this lays it out really well.


This is a wonderful read on the huge hurdles on the development of young players in the United States by Les Carpenter in the Guardian. 

The talents of some of America’s best young players are being suffocated by a process that never lets them be seen. He sighs.

“People don’t want to talk about it,” he says.

Andreassen used to dance gingerly around the topic, using the same careful code words as the other coaches and heads of leagues, trying not to push or offend only to find that little changed. He has stopped being political. He is frustrated. He is passionate. He is blunt.
“The system is not working for the underserved community,” he says. “It’s working for the white kids.”


Finally a very good interview of Jerome deBontin by Paul Scanling on the Gorilla Talk podcast... as you can guess from the image above Mr. deBontin comes out and says exactly what he thinks.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

The $100m American owner relegation myth

If you've been a part of a discussion about having an Open Pyramid that features Promotion and Relegation in the United States and Canada you've without a doubt heard this statement made in one form or another...

This basic answer has been spread by MLS and its supporters ever since the discussion of Promotion and Relegation in the United States has started to heat up.

In very simple terms this statement is a 100% fabrication (and everybody in MLS knows it) because in an Open Pyramid you will no longer be able to buy in to MLS in the fashion you can now.

Simply put... every new soccer club in the United States and Canada will have to start at the bottom of the pyramid. There will be no more buying directly in to the First Division with a new investment. It will NOT BE POSSIBLE to buy a new MLS franchise. Now yes... you will be able to buy an existing club and continue to operate that but you will make that investment with the knowledge that you will be able to be relegated.

Just like current DC United ownership just did with their purchase of 60% of Swansea City for you guessed it.... $100 million dollars.


Thursday, June 2, 2016

Why was Sunil Gulati working to force out Domenico Scala?

Earlier today some very interesting things about Sunil Gulati hit the internet.

For unknown reasons FIFA President Gianni Infantino and Sunil Gulati worked behind the scenes to get FIFA’s Audit and Compliance chief Domenico Scala to resign.

In this article from FAZ that transcribes a recorded FIFA meeting in Mexico City the President of US Soccer is quoted as saying that

Gulati: “We met a number of times in the last 24 hours. We thought we had a resolution, a friendly resolution that would work. We did not get that realized, we do not have that right now.”
 After Gulati was unable to get him to resign as Inside World Football reports here

Ultimately this led to a statutes change that removed the independence of the ethics committee and other governance officials by giving FIFA the power to hire and fire them at its own discretion. This inevitably forced Scala’s resignation – he would presumably have been fired by FIFA in any case once the motion was passed by Congress.

But for some reason Sunil Gulati was worried about having a legitimate reason to fire him... one, it would seem that was not necessary to have to work behind the scenes to get him to step down. The FAZ transcript quotes him as saying

Gulati: "We need facts." (...) "We can not operate that way. We can not dismiss people without a piece of paper and facts. "

Why would the head of US Soccer feel that he did not need "facts" to try to proactively work in secret to have Scala resign but would need "facts" to vote in public to have him fired? Was he worried about potential media investigation in to the "why" he was voting to have him step down?

Could Sunil Gulati have been working diligently to have Scala, a known reformist within the confines of FIFA, who was quoted as saying

says he is "consternated" by a decision that makes it possible for the council to "impede" investigations by either dismissing committee members or "through the threat of a dismissal".
This, he added, "undermines a central pillar of the good governance of Fifa and destroys a substantial achievement of the reforms".
"[This is] a wake-up call to those persons who genuinely advocated for implementing reforms," 

removed for this reason that Steve Graff covered in his great article on VAVEL earlier this year.

It is not the fact Infantino was elected, or any of the other names in the FIFA presidential race were elected. It might not have even been the run offs. It was that corrupters, specifically MLS commissioner Don Garber and Gulati played a central role. 

The corruption started and ended with their bargaining of FIFA presidential candidates. The bargaining process is how deal makers can significantly wield their influence to get what they wanted. Allegedly, one of the promises to not enforce one of futbol's most empowering principles and one that provides actual meritocracy to sustain the institution of futbol. 

That principle, the principle of promotion and relegation, preferably implemented based on results on the current season alone, is so important to sustaining the game that FIFA has coded the principle as an ethics principle in its bylaws.

Scala would be in charge of making investigating all member organizations that are not following FIFA by-laws such as this one concerning meritocracy and promotion and relegation that the USSF does not follow, solidarity payments and training compensation for youth players that Liviu Bird covered wonderfully for SI in several articles that USSF does not follow, or looking in to how Sunil Gulati, Don Garber, Chuck Blazer and Sepp Blatter are all tied together when dealing with US soccer.

It would seem that Sunil Gulati, Don Garber and MLS, and USSF as a whole have multiple reasons to make sure that FIFA does not actually reform... but just talks a good game.