SOCCERNOMICS — My argument that MLS is really “Minor League Soccer” continued to stoke some controversy over here in the US last week. Judging by the reactions on twitter, most of those who follow MLS do not really contest the point. Serious football fans in the US know their soccer, they watch games in leagues from other countries even if there are no Americans playing in the games, they know all about the Champions League, the EPL, La Liga and more besides.
In short, they are not guilty of the parochialism that is so common in the rest of the rest of the world. Mostly they know that the quality of the football played in MLS is not high, and they accept that this is inevitable in a league where on average each team spends only $5 million on player salaries, a figure maybe thirty times smaller than in the big European leagues, and smaller than probably about 30 other leagues worldwide. As I have said all my career, and as I think most fans have largely come to accept (thanks in no small measure to fantasy games and video games such as FIFA and Football Manager), spending is a fairly good indicator of quality.