Why Tottenham should be the first Premiership club to create an MLS team

Discussion in 'Columns' started by woodsidestriker, Aug 8, 2009.

  • by woodsidestriker, Aug 8, 2009 at 5:51 PM
  • woodsidestriker

    woodsidestriker New Member

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    Here's a thought that may not be as far fetched as it seems.

    Instead of a reserve team – or as we have now, a Spurs XI who will play various ‘friendlies’ throughout the course of the year – why not create a second ‘first’ team that would compete in the regular and full MLS season in North America?

    The MLS season overlaps ours, which is a good thing because our players who did show they are ready to make the move up to the first team, or who are simply needed at WHL (due to injuries etc) would already be in top shape should we need them earlier on in the season. When their MLS season ends, they return to train in England until its time in March to head back to the MLS. Harry and crew still get plenty of time to see the XI in person. The MLS season by the way, runs from late March or early April to November, with teams playing 30 regular season games each. So the timing could make sense from a reserve point of view.

    As opposed to sending individual players out to various Championship teams, a Spurs team in the MLS would keep our XI together and give us complete control over how they are used, what they learn and the way they are learning it. They’ll learn our system in a competitive environment, with a goal in mind (however modest winning the MLS Championship Cup is).
    English rules prevent us doing this in the UK (didn't Mourinho suggest this a while back?).
    As well, the MLS takes part in a sort of continent wide 'Champions League' of it's own, called the CONCAF Champions League. The CONCACAF Champions League winner by the way, will qualify as the CONCACAF representative to the 2010 edition of the FIFA Club World Cup.; definitely more motivating for a Spurs XI than the odd friendly in the UK or a return to the current reserve league would provide.

    The MLS is making a lot of progress in terms of it’s level of competition and while it still is arguably at League One (or in some cases League Two) level, that’s probably where our reserve teams would be most competitive anyways.
    Importantly, a Spurs MLS team would be focused season long and playing at the top level for that part of the world. Psychologically that’s a definite advantage when it comes to teaching a positive attitude and staying focused at a professional level throughout a season.

    And, from a purely economic point of view, building the Tottenham brand abroad – particularly in North America where football is only at the tip of the iceberg in terms of reaching its potential audience – building the Spurs brand should be a priority for Levy and the board as it only increases the overall value of the team as a product.

    Tottenham you might be surprised to know, has fairly substantial support in North America with ‘fan clubs’ in various cities in the US plus a large fan base in Toronto, Canada (who also play in the MLS).

    There are a couple of ways this could work. Either by forming a partnership of sorts with an existing MLS team where Spurs would supply the majority if not all the first team players, or by starting a new franchise in the MLS in a city with a large British or European population. Vancouver or Orlando are potential homes. There are any number of North American cities without an MLS team, but capable of supporting the right kind of team. The appeal to a North American would be huge. Coincidently, Beckham was quoted today as saying he is considering an option of buying into or starting an MLS franchise at the end of his contract, and NBA star Steve Nash is part owner of a future MLS team that hopes to begin play in Vancouver. Either of these opportunities could be a logical partnership that Spurs might be smart to consider?

    The idea probably hasn't occurred to anyone at Spurs yet but it’s definitely worth a thought as they and other individual EPL teams look for better options to replace the current options for their reserves.

    Finally from a selfish point of view, I’d love to follow an MLS version of ‘Spurs’ in the off-season to get me through those awful months when I’m waiting for the Premiership to start again.

    Spurs might not get into the Premiership top four as quickly as we'd like, but a 'North American version of Spurs' – with or without Beckham involved – could be pushing for the MLS Championship Cup right from the start.
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Discussion in 'Columns' started by woodsidestriker, Aug 8, 2009.

  1. punky
    Enic owned bits of loads of teams at one point - Ranges, Slavia Prague and others. I think they had to sell some shares because of conflict of issues? Presuming there are none, can't see why ENIC wouldn't want a piece of MLS.
  2. spud
    You argue persuasively, but may have overlooked the fact that it is the league, and not the 'clubs' (franchises) which owns the players' registrations. This alone probably makes it a non-starter.
  3. Rob
    That was due to UEFA regulations I believe and hence wouldn't apply to a US team.
  4. KentuckyYid
    Louisville Hotspur please :hump:
  5. PantherX
    Nice idea but a major issue is that MLS owns all player contracts not the individual clubs. I'm not sure that the financial investment required to setup an MLS franchise would be worth it to the club.

    A better alternative would be set up a USL franchise. It would be much less costly to set up and the difference in quality to MLS isn't that great.

    Crystal Palace already have a team in Baltimore.
  6. woodsidestriker
    True, MLS does hold the players' contracts but I would guess that if a team like Spurs were to approach them with such an idea and offer, it wouldn't be a major obstacle to getting it done. There would surely be ways that could be worked out. and the business decision to have the league hold all player contracts was done as a way to ensure the financial stability and survival of the league, but was always inteneded to be a short term template that would eventually be replaced by individual ownership once the long term vialbility of the league is established. So, from MLS' perspective is a win win situation and I would guess that an exception would be made for a Spurs offer like this as long as it included a long term commitment. Spurs XI would add instant credibility to the MLS too, raising the profile of the league to a more internationally recognized one, which is one of the things that MLS needs to gain.
  7. KentuckyYid

    I don't think Spurs have a big enough pull in the US for it to be considered adding instant credibility.

    It's an interesting proposal but nothing more unfortunately.
  8. fieryjack
    You just don`t want us all round your place every two weeks :grin:
  9. klink
    Also, surely a Spurs B-team would imply the MLS is a B league. Not exactly adding credibility.
  10. AFred
    Err the original poster has conveniently forgotten that professional sports leagues in America (basketball, American football, ice hockey, baseball and MSL) all utlilise a draft system to distribute new incoming talent into their leagues.

    The draft ensures that no one team can stockpile all the talent and ensure that the league is as competitive as it can be.

    For a franchise to be set up with just Spurs players will be a non starter as the other franchises in the league will also need to be given the chance to "draft and then sign" the Spurs players.
  11. engcanspur
    Vancouver Hotspur WOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

    Please god
  12. nav007_2000
    San antonio spurs fc !!
  13. Locotoro
    Perhaps a more realistic solution is to set up a link with one of the MLS clubs.
    Real Madrid have one with Real Salt Lake, Man U have one with DC United, Chivas of Mexico have one in Chivas USA and I believe Arse has links to Colorado Rapids

    This lifted from Wiki:

    Chivas, The Mexican club, based in Guadalajara, Mexico, and Chivas USA share the same ownership. Though Real Salt Lake was not originally affiliated with Real Madrid, in 2006 the two clubs signed an agreement to play friendly matches every two years, and to co-sponsor a soccer academy and training facility in Utah.

    The Rapids and the London club Arsenal announced that the teams had entered into a partnership with the intention of "building the Arsenal brand in the US; helping to improve the quality of football at MLS team Colorado Rapids and supporting grassroots football in the US", with the Rapids looking to make similar strides in England.[1][2]
    The collaboration between the two clubs includes beneficial coaching and player development for Colorado, along with marketing and best business practices discussions, with the possibility of arranging friendlies between the teams. It also gives Arsenal media attention in the US market, which has already proven its brand-identity potential for other European clubs such as Manchester United and Real Madrid. It was also announced that the deal includes a US soccer tournament to be hosted in Denver, with teams competing for the Arsenal Cup.
    Colorado Rapids owner Stan Kroenke recently purchased a share of Arsenal, reportedly 9.9% of the club for approximately $128 million. He has since increased his shares in the London club to 28.58%.[6]
  14. jamesc0le
    i'm not sure if the rules currently allow this but i'd like to see a spurs b squad enter the lower leagues (semi pro?) and work their way up much like they do in spain. the other league clubs would quite rightly be very pissed off at the thought of premier clubs forming b-squads and hurting their clubs but from a spurs perspective it would be great to see..

    failing this, enter a b squad into the lower leagues of spain or france?
  15. pagevee
    I guess you guys forgot this already...
    "Partnerships and Affiliations
    [edit] Tottenham Hotspur F.C.

    At a joint press conference on October 9, 2008, the Earthquakes and Tottenham Hotspur F.C. announced a strategic partnership between the two clubs.[10] The partnership involves both business and soccer interests, including sharing marketing ideas and training facilities and playing friendlies against each other. The deal aims to grow each team's soccer interests and brand on both sides of the Atlantic.

    [edit] Norwich City

    Due to popular former Norwich City F.C. and current San Jose Earthquakes player Darren Huckerby, there is a large Earthquakes following in Norwich and in surrounding Norfolk. [1]"

    Link to the Official Club site...
  16. deselina
    didn't help ajax though, we had orlando ajax for a few years and they went bankrupt mostly due to american sports laws.

    ajax capetown however is still going strong and we're still looking for the next benni mc cartney or steven pienaar while our current dm enoh has also came from ajax capetown.
  17. deselina
    so true!
  18. PantherX
    It's also a bit naive to believe that MLS would throw their structure out the window to accommodate such a 'B' team :grin:.

    Nor do we have the $40 million 'franchise fee' required to enter the negotiations in the first place......with the impending new stadium and all.
  19. JuanRebelde
    I haven't seen it anywhere else on here so far so I'll put it here. Very sad news about Dani Jarque - the Espanyol player we were trying to sign last summer who died yesterday of a suspected heart attack at just 26.

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