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Comparison of J-League to MLS: Pro/Rel

Discussion in 'MLS: Commissioner - You be The Don' started by jond, Nov 20, 2012.

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  1. jond

    jond Member+

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    Interesting. Here's part of it. The most intriguing aspect to me, whether or not we ever have pro'rel, is the effect it can have on development, where our system is severely flawed.

    http://footiebusiness.com/2012/11/20/what-american-soccer-can-learn-from-japan/

    As a foreshadowing of what was to come under the Plan, the J. League decided to create a lower “J2” league in 1999 to go along with the top league, now called “J1”. With this, they also instituted promotion and relegation. One result? Better marketing opportunities for the sport, with fans’ passion being upped a notch, and relegation battles being contested and publicized as much as championships. Take the example of Kashiwa Reysol (a team with 70-year-old roots as Hitachi’s corporate team, located in Chiba, roughly east of the capital city), which was relegated from J1 in the 2009 season yet was promoted back the next year. Incredibly, Kashiwa won the J1 championship in 2011. That’s what dreams are made of – the key reason people follow sports. Nothing like it exists in North American sport.
    This promotion/relegation idea is alive and growing in North American soccer circles. If soccer in North America adopted an approach similar to the J. League, then in addition to the marketing potential of the MLS Cup, the MLS Playoffs, the Supporters Shield, and the US Open Cup, we would add yet another tantalizing and unique concept to the sports scene here: the Avoid-Relegation Scrap.
    The Avoid-Relegation Scrap would be a true market differentiator for soccer in the crowded American sports market. Unlike any other North American sport, the idea of relegation/survival could captivate fans on this side of the Pacific too. It is generally understood that the American economy is more “laissez-faire” (i.e., less regulated) than other economies – for example, it is easier to fire someone from their job in the United States than in Europe. Like our more free-wheeling, fire-your-employees-at-will employment system, subjecting sports teams to the ravages of the promotion/relegation system (i.e., a freer market) would be uniquely American. Any American would be captivated by the idea of a AAA minor league baseball team being able to play at Fenway or Yankee Stadium after being promoted. It’s a tough leap to make for MLS, but they did it in Japan.

    Any visitor to Tokyo will tell you that you’ll never find a rice paddy in this huge concrete-and-glass metropolis. A key part of the Hundred Year Plan, introduced in 2004, is what I might call the “grass roots” movement. In other words, promoting the development of soccer clubs and fan support throughout the country, to every small city, town, and village – i.e., to where the rice paddies are.
    At the end of the 1998 season, a relegation “playoff” was created in the J. League, with two teams joining the newly created J2 league and the size of J1 shrinking from 18 teams to 16. One goal in creating J2 was to allow teams that couldn’t afford the financial burdens of maintaining a J1 team to perform better in the lower league. Sponsors’ investment commitments would be lower in J2, as would the salaries of players. Another goal was an “upward” movement: giving smaller teams from the third-tier Japan Football League (a hybrid amateur/semi-professional league) the opportunity to move into the professional ranks of J2 by meeting various financial and technical requirements. The result: encouraging the development of more professional soccer teams throughout the country. The model is similar to MLS’s financially cautious business plan vis-à-vis the old NASL, albeit at a lower-league level. North America can surely move toward such a multi-league model.
     
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  2. ceezmad

    ceezmad Member+

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    If this ever comes to pass (I have my doubts) it would be a split in MLS to create divisions, say when MLS gets to 32 teams and some want to spend more money than others, maybe instead of splitting east and west they go MLS1 and MLS2, but all teams would still have to be part of the single entity and revenue sharing would be much more than what the J League currently has.

    I still would not see a relationship between NASL/USL with MLS for pro/rel.
     
  3. butters0154

    butters0154 Member

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    Well say MLS does split into MLS 1 and MLS2 and they put a cheaper investment expansion price on MLS 2 teams in comparasion to MLS1, wouldnt the idea of investing less and possibly gaining more be intriguing to would be investors?
     
  4. ceezmad

    ceezmad Member+

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    But then the operators that bought in at a higher price would be offset right.

    Then against raising expansion asking fee makes my idea unrealistic (I did say I had doubts).
     


  5. DoctorD

    DoctorD Member+

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    The trouble with using the J-League as the model for MLS is that you have to bring all the other elements of Japanese culture along with it. Most Americans would not enjoy that degree of conformity.
     
  6. sidefootsitter

    sidefootsitter Member+

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    [​IMG]

    Bring it on.
     
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  7. HailtotheKing

    HailtotheKing Member+

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    None of these people will ever admit to these things or allow for them to be considered in a discussion about the JLeague and the MLS. Myself and others have done this several times ...
     
  8. ceezmad

    ceezmad Member+

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    True that, they are just not 'merican like us.

    There is a resason we dropped the Bomb on their ass, J-League, don't make me laugh.
     
  9. RichardL

    RichardL BigSoccer Supporter

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    What aspects of Japanese culture would you say makes pro/rel more likely to succeed there?

    I'd say the ability to bring a sporting team to towns and cities that don't have one is possibly a bigger factor.
     
  10. DoctorD

    DoctorD Member+

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    I am not interested in supporting a team because my employer owns it and expects it of me. Or completely organized TIFO.
     
  11. RichardL

    RichardL BigSoccer Supporter

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    That model of support has been obsolete for years. The clubs are no longer representative of organisations, and fans aren't company workers.

    It was the ditching of the company club system that caused the growth in the game, because support was poor before.

    If any TIFO is organised, it's organised by supporters. If you don't wish to be part of that then sit somewhere else, just as you would in an MLS stadium.
     
  12. sidefootsitter

    sidefootsitter Member+

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    You can say that the Japanese military was "relegated" in 1945.
     
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  13. CoconutMonkey

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    [​IMG]

    Shot from last weekend's final home match. Tosu 3. Urawa 1. Best match I've ever seen in Japan.

    Well, before getting into the cultural aspects of it, I'd say some of the biggest reasons are structural.

    First of all, despite the fact that the J.League and NPB both play Spring to Fall seasons, there is a lot of room for competition in Japanese pro sports. There are only 12 teams in the Japanese majors, and 5 of them are in the Tokyo area.

    Second: Infrastructure, infrastructure, and infrastructure. No need to explain how developed the transportation infrastructure is over here, but every city and prefecture has their own stadium (some nicer than others), large aquatic center, concert hall, etc.

    With the exception of a few clubs,, the vast majority of clubs play in these relatively modest publicly owned stadiums (compared to MLS even) with easy access to public transport. Great for hometown fans and traveling fans alike. Sagantosu's ground (pictured above) is literally next to Tosu Station, which is roughly 20min between Fukuoka (the biggest city in Kyushu) and Saga City (largest city in Saga Pref.). Combine this with the World Cup construction boost, and you have a lot of perfectly good facilities who need tenants.

    Third. Most of the clubs at the league's founding already existed in some shape or form for years. Either as team attached to a company, a JFL pro/semi-pro team, or as an amateur club. So it's not like they built the league from the ground up like MLS. And for the semi-pro/amateur teams, the transition going fully pro and entering the league isn't as jarring as dropping a franchise in a city and hoping people give a shit. Clubs may already have players, some staff, a place to train, and even a mediocre fan base before they make the jump.

    Fourth: Price. The J.League, while sometimes more expensive than MLS, is still a pretty good deal. It's an unfair comparison, but I'm going to make it anyway: season tickets to NPB's Fukuoka Softbank Hawks (the nearest baseball team to me) will run you 140,000yen to sit in the cheap seats. A big club like Urawa will run you 126,000 to sit in the best seats in the house, a plucky newcomer like Sagantosu runs about 85,000 for the best seats.

    As for the cultural aspect of it... I'd say it's a factor, but that's for another post.

    https://event.tike-uke.com/SaganSS/customerTop!onFormLoad.action
    http://www.softbankhawks.co.jp/ticket/seasonseat2013/seat_price.php
    http://www.urawa-reds.co.jp/ticket/season.html
     
  14. ceezmad

    ceezmad Member+

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    But both teams were out of the championship, why did their fans care about the game?

    How about Sumo?

    I know there is some bad blood between Korea and Japan, but they should merge their baseball leagues, or build a stadium in the disputed Islands and play some time of world championship game between their 2 champions (call it the Solar System series to 1 up the USA world series).

    Lot of corruption and close deals between governments and the construction companies, but yes, I do hear their transportation system is really good.

    But also this is a problem because some teams have to play in giant stadiums with crowds that barely fit 1/2 of the capacity (think DCU and NER), I think they have 4 or 5 teams like that, most others play in smaller stadiums if I remember correctly (not sure about J2).

    A bunch of Seattle’s and Portland Timbers, too bad the USA had nothing like the JFL for MLS to build on right?

    I know loaded question, two different business models from the start, is not really comparable.

    1,700 USD for baseball worst seats.
    1,500 USD for soccer best seats.
    1,034 USD

    Would it not be better to do a comparison game to game since the baseball season has so many more games, I mean I wonder how much is a season ticket to the white sox 81 home matches?

     
  15. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

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    Well there's a candidate for understatement of the year...
     
  16. RichardL

    RichardL BigSoccer Supporter

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  17. CoconutMonkey

    CoconutMonkey Member

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  18. CoconutMonkey

    CoconutMonkey Member

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  19. blacksun

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    They have the Asia Series. This year's competition featured the champions of Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, and Australia, along with the host team. The Japanese champion, Yomiuri Giants, won this year.
     
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  20. Hachiko

    Hachiko The Akita on Big Soccer

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    Key word: most. There are exceptions, me included.
     
  21. Paulinho 10

    Paulinho 10 New Member

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    A second division would be amazing. Relegation battles are as exciting as championship battles. Get rid of the playoffs and align our schedule with the FIFA Calender.
     
  22. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

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    Define the FIFA Calendar and how MLS isn't following it.
     
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  23. ceezmad

    ceezmad Member+

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    I know I have the number for Blatter around here somewhere, I mean is not like the guy is some corrupt ass-clown or something. :p



    BTW, I say we attach our wagons to Brazil, the day Brazil changes to a "traditional" western Europe calendar is the day cold weather countries think about changing also (USA, China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia*, Scandinavian nations not named Denmark, etc.)

    Funny fact, some of the biggest countries in the world (population) play a calendar year season, shame India plays the split calendar year season format other wise we could have most of the world population playing the same calendar as the USA/Canada.

    Maybe we can bribe India into changing, then go to FIFA and tell them they are playing using the "wrong calendar" :thumbsup:




    * Indonesia is not cold weather, but their new season format runs from February to I think October (so we lost Russia but gained Indonesia).
     
  24. Arsenalkid700

    Arsenalkid700 Member

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    India? You are forgetting about the monsoon season. Plus the Indian Premier League cricket and cricket internationals are at their peak at those times.

    Would be fun though. We are thinking of starting a new 2-3 month franchise league which would be calendar based (June to August).
     
  25. Arsenalkid700

    Arsenalkid700 Member

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    1) We have a 2nd Division which is called the North American Soccer League. We also have a 3rd Division which has your local LA Blues in it. Seems word has not hit you yet about them.

    2) Relegation battles are nice until you realize that the league you are being relegated to will kill your team off the field and could mean your death as a football club.

    3) Japan has pro/rel and a yearly calendar league. Same with Korea and even Brazil.
     
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