Global Business of Soccer Recap


We are back with the latest roundup of last week’s headlines for the industry:


Average MLS Attendance Reaches Over 19,000 with Two Weeks Remaining in 2014 Season (Business of Soccer)

Christopher Savino / Business of Soccer

MLS week 31 average attendance is 21,339. The regular season average has increased 0.46% to 19,030 from 18,943 last week. Stadiums were 89.3% filled throughout the week, remaining at 85.6% of capacity for the season. Four matches were sold out this week – Portland Timbers versus San Jose Earthquakes and Providence Park, Sporting Kansas City versus Chicago Fire at Sporting Park, Seattle Sounders versus Vancouver Whitecaps at CenturyLink Field, and Real Salt Lake versus San Jose Earthquakes at Rio Tinto Stadium.

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Fan Involvement in Club Governance: A Balanced Diet (Business of Soccer)

Gillette StadiumFor the fourth straight year, BBC Sport has published its annual “Price of Football” report, highlighting the cost of being a supporter across the top 4 flights of British football. The most significant finding of the report, or perhaps the most controversial, is that ticket prices have increased at more than twice the rate of inflation since 2011. Fans obviously know that ticket prices have gone up, but the comparison versus inflation has led to an increased focus on the issue, particularly when one considers that the increase in broadcasting revenues, especially in the Premier League, could be used to help lower ticket prices to make it more manageable for the fans – at least, such is the view of many supporters.

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Latest MLS Salary Data Indicates Continued Slow and Steady Progress (Business of Soccer)

Source: MLSPU ; Analysis by Bo$

On Monday, the Major League Soccer (MLS) Players Union released the latest installment of league salary information, which boasts all-time highs for both total payroll and a single player’s compensation. While overall salaries grew approximately 12% since the previous data release in April, the variances are largely attributable to a few major signings that occurred in and around the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

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High Fashion & Soccer’s Activewear Market (Business of Soccer)

FCRB NikeFew opposing ideas offer the dichotomy that occurs in most imaginations when thinking of high fashion and casual sportswear side by side. High fashion, haute couture, and fashion art design are usually topics reserved for the cities of Milan, Paris, New York & London and their various fashion weeks, not Adidas’ AC Milan, Nike’s Paris St Germain or Puma’s Arsenal FC.  Simply put, high fashion does not find a middle ground with soccer.

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Greece’s OTE clinches TV rights for top European soccer tournaments (Reuters)

UEFA LogoGreece’s largest telecoms group ΟΤΕ has secured a deal to broadcast matches of the top two European tournaments for the next three years, it said on Wednesday, in a bid to boost market share amid fierce competition at home. OTE, which is 40 percent owned and managed by Germany’s Deutsche Telekom, said its pay-TV unit will broadcast all UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League matches for three years from July 2015. It did not reveal the cost of the deal.

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Serbia FA blames Albanians for Euro qualifier abandonment (Reuters)

Mitrovic of Serbia grabs a flag depicting so-called Greater Albania that was flown over the pitch during the Euro 2016 Group I qualifying soccer match between Serbia and Albania at the FK Partizan stadium in BelgradeThe Serbian FA (FSS) blamed their Albanian rivals for incidents which forced Tuesday’s Euro 2016 qualifier to be abandoned but will press for several dozen home fans who invaded the pitch to be charged, the governing body said. The politically-sensitive Group I match was halted in the first half when a flag of so-called Greater Albania attached to a remote-controlled drone hovered over Partizan Belgrade’s stadium before being grabbed by Serbia defender Stefan Mitrovic.

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Timbers and Sounders Official Entries into USL PRO. (Reckless Challenge)

MLS: All Star Game-Homegrown GamePortland Timbers FC and Seattle Sounders FC announced today that they would follow in the footsteps of LA Galaxy by standing up their own teams in USL PRO. Timbers 2 (T2) and Sounders FC 2 (S2), both of which have an overabundance of creativity, are set to begin play in 2015. Several interesting nuggets were revealed at the press conferences today. Timbers 2 will utilize Merlo Field at the University of Portland as a home venue. Sounders FC 2 will base operations at Starfire Sports. Both clubs intend to give supporters ample sway over decisions, with S2 going so far as to grant 20% interest in the club to a fan-owned organization.

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Andy Roxburgh will leave Red Bulls after season (Big Apple Soccer)

Thierry Henry of the New York Red Bulls. The New York Red Bulls defeated the Philadelphia Union 2-1 during a Major League Soccer (MLS) match at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ, on March 30, 2013. International Sports Images.

Andy Roxburgh reportedly will leave the Red Bulls after this Major League Soccer season. According to Franco Panzio of Soccer By Ives, the Red Bulls sporting director will leave the team, regardless how the club fares in the playoffs, according to sources. Roxburgh, 71, who once coached the Scottish national team and was UEFA technical director, has been in his present position since Nov. 9, 2012. He replaced Erik Soler.

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MLS, Garber threatened by Klinsmann challenging America’s status quo (Sports Illustrated)

Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber speaks on ESPN at halftime during the All-Star Game. Photo courtesy of Major League Soccer.

Don Garber feels threatened. It’s not a stretch to infer that much from the Major League Soccer commissioner’s diatribe directed toward U.S. men’s national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann during a press teleconference Garber arranged on Wednesday. A spate of recent attacks on MLS’ structure and the product on the field, first from former national team coach and current LA Galaxy manager Bruce Arena and now from Klinsmann, have drawn Garber’s ire. In his reactionary $20,000 fine of Arena and volcanic denunciation of Klinsmann’s public statements, Garber comes off looking worst of the trio.

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Red Bulls offer details of their training facility expansion (Empire of Soccer)

Chris Savino / Business of Soccer

Months after having their plans approved by the Township, the New York Red Bulls are finally revealing their training facility expansion plans. “We are pleased to announce the expansion of Red Bull Training Facility,” said Red Bulls Sporting Director Andy Roxburgh. “Building top player development infrastructure is one of our club’s key priorities and this is another major step in achieving that goal. Our academy and training programs will greatly benefit from this development.”

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Reporting on the business side of the world's game.