$4 billion media rights offer laid out with MLS promotion/relegation clause

Major League Soccer has turned down a lucrative media rights offer, which would have forced MLS promotion/relegation to come into effect, according to Sports Business Daily.

League commissioner Don Garber has made it clear for a long time that he has no interest in MLS promotion/relegation. And he has once again proved that by rejecting $4 billion for a 10-year global media rights deal.

The offer was made last month by international media company MP & Silva. They made it clear to MLS that they would quadruple the league’s current media rights deal by offering $4 billion for the league’s global rights from 2023 to 2032.

But MLS were quick to dismiss the offer. The league’s current media deal with ESPN, Fox Sports and Univision runs for another six years. It’s far too early for the league to be agreeing a decade-long agreement for when the current deal ends.

And it’s also out of the question that MLS would risk the league’s future for a media rights deal that wouldn’t come into effect for six years. The league has a plan for long-term growth, and this offer won’t intervene.

‘No interest’ in MLS promotion/relegation proposal

“As Commissioner Garber stated in his letter to Mr. Silva, we are not in a position, nor are we interested in engaging with Mr. Silva on his proposal,” MLS executive vice president of communications Dan Courtemanche said.

As well as being the founding partner of MP & Silva, Riccardo Silva is also the president and co-owner of Miami FC. The NASL welcomed Miami just last year, following their formation in 2015. So it makes sense as to why Silva wants to try and essentially buy promotion/relegation for MLS.

But the league won’t budge on it’s stance on MLS promotion/relegation. Especially not for a deal so far away in the future.

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Premier League Predictions: Chelsea set to win title before Spurs play final game at White Hart Lane

The penultimate weekend of the 2016/17 Premier League season is upon us but there are still a number of vital outcomes yet to be decided. Chelsea have one hand on the league title but need to win at West Brom on Friday night to win a fifth PL title with two games to spare, while Everton play their final home game of the year on Friday night too, as they welcome Watford to Goodison Park.

Manchester City will look to keep their top four chances intact when they host Leicester in Saturday’s early kickoff before Arsenal travel to Stoke in the late game, hoping to keep the pressure on Liverpool and City in the race for Champions League football next term. Swansea travel to Sunderland on Saturday as they look to stay ahead of Hull in the race for survival, who face a tricky test at Crystal Palace in a crucial clash on Sunday.

Also on Sunday, Liverpool travel to West Ham before Spurs battle Manchester United in the final game ever to be played at White Hart Lane before Tottenham’s new stadium is completed over the next 12 months. Read on for all our predictions this weekend…

Everton 2-0 Watford

Everton already have their place in next season’s Europa League confirmed and can’t finish any lower than seventh place. That said, they’ll still be expecting to end the season on a high and will want to win their final home game of the campaign. Watford have lost three on the spin without scoring a goal. They only need a point to be mathematically safe from the drop, although relegation doesn’t look likely now anyway. Everton should have enough to win this one.

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West Brom 0-2 Chelsea

Chelsea to win their 5th Premier League title on Friday evening. On the basis of their performances this season it will be deserved. West Brom look like a side who know they’ve achieved their maximum this season and they have been good value for their place in the top half of the table. Antonio Conte will want his side to get the job done early in this one so they can enjoy some celebrations before their attentions can turn to the FA Cup final at the end of the season.

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Man City 3-1 Leicester

Manchester City need to do what they did to Crystal Palace last week and blow Leicester away to all but guarantee their place in next season’s Champions League. City can pile the pressure on Arsenal and Liverpool with a win in Saturday’s early kickoff, and even though Leicester would love to complete the double of Guardiola’s men, they are unlikely to beat them given the fact they’ve only won one of their last four away games in the league.

Bournemouth 2-2 Burnley

A score draw looks a likely result for this one. Bournemouth. The Cherries are unbeaten in three, scoring seven goals along the way. Burnley have surely now done enough to avoid a late scare of relegation, but with one win in five it seems unlikely they will pick up three points this weekend.

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Middlesbrough 1-1 Southampton

Middlesbrough are already relegated but will want to reward their fans for their support by winning their last home game of the season now the pressure has eased on them. Southampton have been coasting for weeks, winning none of their last five and are unlikely to spring into life now. With little to play for, this has draw written all over it.

Sunderland 1-1 Swansea

Sunderland fans must have been in further despair last weekend as they saw their side pick up an unlikely 2-0 win away at Hull City, leaving many wondering why they hadn’t been able to do that before their relegation was confirmed. Swansea are still right in the middle of the relegation dogfight and this is going to be a huge game. They cannot afford to lose and the nerves will surely set in.

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Stoke 1-3 Arsenal

Arsenal have found their traditional late-season form at last. They have won back-to-back games over the past week and are still in with a chance of securing a top four place, depending on Liverpool and Man City’s results over the final week of the campaign. Stoke would love to win their home finale, but Arsenal need this more.

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Crystal Palace 1-1 Hull

Another huge game in the battle to avoid the drop. Crystal Palace were on the receiving end of a classy City performance last weekend, losing 5-0 and that result has left them in trouble. It’s three losses on the spin for Big Sam’s Palace and they cannot afford to lose this weekend. Hull will be even more desperate to get a positive result after that defeat to Sunderland. A draw doesn’t do either side many favours but still keeps their fight alive.

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West Ham 1-3 Liverpool

Liverpool visit West Ham as they continue to battle to keep their place in the top four. If results go against them they could find themselves back in 5th which would be a disastrous end to the season. Jurgen Klopp will not let his side make any mistakes this weekend but considering how West Ham performed against Spurs in a game that had little meaning to their season this could be another difficult visit for the away side.

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Spurs 2-0 Manchester United

Chelsea might have secured the Premier League title way before Spurs kick off against Man Utd on Sunday but it’s a massive occasion for Tottenham as they play their final game at White Hart Lane in what will be an emotional afternoon. Manchester United would love to spoil the party but they had a tough game on Thursday night, in which they secured their place in the Europa League Final. That might have left them tired and so Spurs should be able to break them down and get a win in their final game at the Lane.

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Premier League Predictions: Spurs can cut the gap to one point before Arsenal welcome Man United on Sunday

Another huge week of Premier League action is upon us. Tottenham could close the gap on league leaders Chelsea to just one point as they visit West Ham on Friday before Antonio Conte’s blues welcome relegation-threatened Middlesbrough to Stamford Bridge on Monday night. Manchester City kick things off on Saturday against Crystal Palace and there are some key games in the battle to avoid relegation as Hull welcome already doomed Sunderland.

Sunday sees two huge games in the race for the top four as Liverpool host Southampton, while the standout fixture of the weekend takes place at the Emirates as Arsenal welcome Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United. Read on for all our Gameweek 36 predictions in the Premier League…

West Ham 1-2 Tottenham

Spurs will be looking to apply the pressure on Chelsea as they open gameweek 36’s fixtures on Friday night. Mauricio Pochettino’s sides remarkable run continued last weekend as they won the last ever North London Derby at White Hart Lane. West Ham manager Slaven Bilic says he wants to put relegation beyond all doubt on Friday evening, so Spurs could be in for a tough one.

Manchester City 2-0 Crystal Palace

Manchester City’s underwhelming season was somewhat summed up in their 2-2 draw away at Middlesbrough last weekend, a game that they could have easily lost with Boro left seething at what they thought was a dive for the penalty. Palace aren’t completely out of trouble yet and have caused upsets this season, but an away win would be a big ask for Big Sam’s side.

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Bournemouth 1-1 Stoke City

Bournemouth sealed Sunderland’s fate with a late win against the Black Cats last weekend and will want to pick up another positive result here after reaching that important 40-point mark. Stoke played out one of the less eventful games of the season against West Ham last time out and another draw looks likely, only this time with a bit of action.

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Hull City 1-0 Sunderland

Hull to take another huge step towards securing Premier League safety at home against relegated Sunderland. David Moyes was left devastated at what has been on the cards for some time now for Sunderland and more misery will surely be heaped upon the North East club in their final four games before they drop out of the top flight.

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Burnley 2-2 West Brom

Sean Dyche’s Burnley have battled their way to what looks likely to be Premier League survival as they’re now up to 14th. Their home form has been impressive all season and played a large part in their battle against the drop. West Brom have seen their season slump into second gear, which may be frustrating for Baggies fans but they’ve made progress this season and should finish in the top half.

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Leicester City 2-0 Watford 

These sides come into the weekend level on 40 points with Premier League safety guaranteed. Leciester have been excellent at home in recent weeks, winning four league games in a row at the King Power Stadium.Watford have lost three of their last four and look like they might already be on the beach. It’s tough to see anything but a home win here.

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Swansea 2-2 Everton

This is a crucial game for Swansea City, who will already know the outcome of Hull’s clash with Sunderland before they kickoff on Saturday evening. The Swans have to match Hull’s result – or better it – if they are to stay in the survival picture. Everton haven’t got much left to play for. They have secured Europa League football next season and can’t finish any lower than tenth. They’ll still be looking to end the season on a high and could stop Swansea from taking three vital points here.

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Liverpool 1-0 Southampton

Liverpool know this is another potential banana skin as they try to secure Champions League football. They come into the weekend four points clear of Man Utd in fifth, but their rivals have a game in hand. The Reds edged past Watford on Monday thanks to Emre Can’s incredible bicycle kick, and they look poised to get a similar result here against a Saints side that hasn’t won in three.

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Arsenal 1-1 Manchester United

This is undoubtedly the biggest game of the weekend, with both clubs fighting for a place in the top four. Realistically, only one of these has a chance of qualifying for the Champions League, while it’s also a distinct possibility that both miss out. Arsenal have to bounce back from last week’s loss at Spurs, while United are going to be tested after flying back from their Europa League semi-final with Celta Vigo on Thursday evening. Mourinho will likely set up for a draw, and that usually works as they look to keep their long-standing unbeaten league run going.

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Chelsea 3-0 Middlesbrough 

Chelsea could be just one point ahead of Spurs coming into Monday’s clash but they’ve responded to the pressure in this title race whenever it has come, and Middlesbrough are unlikely to threaten the Blues charge to a second title in three years. Boro showed fight against Man City in last week’s 2-2 draw, but ultimately they are set to be relegated and that could well be confirmed with defeat on Monday.

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Premier League Predictions: Mourinho looking for Chelsea revenge, Arsenal looking to bounce back at Boro

The Premier League season is heading towards it’s finale but there is still plenty to play for. Manchester United welcome league leaders Chelsea to Old Trafford in the standout fixture of the weekend on Sunday, while the battle to avoid relegation intensifies.

Tottenham kick things off on Saturday lunchtime with the visit of Bournemouth, while Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal all have tricky away trips to Southampton, West Brom and Middlesbrough respectively. Read on to find out all of our Gameweek 32 predictions…

Tottenham 3-0 Bournemouth

Spurs are still chasing Chelsea at the top of the league. Their 4-0 win over Watford last weekend furtherdemonstrated their intensity and classy finishing. Bournemouth cannot afford to let Tottenham in early otherwise they could be on the receiving end of another rout. The Cherries look like they’ll be safe from relegation this season, they’re seven points above the drop zone but know they’re in for a tricky afternoon here.

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Sunderland 0-1 West Ham

Sunderland really are in the last-chance saloon. They are in huge trouble at the bottom of the Premier League table and haven’t scored a goal in over two months. West Ham’s season has been inconsistent throughout but they got a much-needed win against Swansea last weekend and should be able to follow that up with another narrow win against a team that looks destined for the drop.

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Stoke City 2-2 Hull City

Stoke’s season has become a little stale. They face relegation threatened Hull this weekend who have hit some form as they continue their fight against the drop. Mark Hughes will be expecting his side to win here and edge closer to that 40-point mark. Hull will be hoping results go their way to ensure they don’t drop back into the bottom three.

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Crystal Palace 2-1 Leicester City

Crystal Palace have turned their season on its head in recent weeks as Sam Allardyce has worked his magic once again. They have won five of their last six and could overtake Leicester with a win on Saturday. The Foxes have also turned their season around since a managerial change but they have a Champions League quarter-final to focus on and that distraction could see Palace take full advantage in this one.

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Everton 2-1 Burnley

Everton stunned Leicester with an impressive attacking display last weekend but still showed their defensive issues. Romelu Lukaku is the Premier League’s top scorer and he will be looking forward to causing the Burnley defence problems here. Sean Dyche’s side have conceded 44 goals this season but look comfortable in mid-table.

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Watford 1-2 Swansea City

If Swansea stand any chance of staying in the Premier League they need to win games like this. A loss at Watford on Saturday would leave them in huge trouble, but Paul Clement has a team good enough to get the job done. Watford got battered at Spurs last week and look like a side that’s season is already over. They’re effectively safe from relegation and don’t need this as much as Swansea.

Southampton 1-3 Manchester City

Pep Guardiola’s side face a tricky away trip to Southampton on Saturday evening. The Saints will be looking to take a positive result here as they continue to apply pressure to West Brom above them in 8th. Manchester City cannot afford to drop points, they will potentially let Arsenal and Manchester United back into the race for the top four and miss the chance to go ahead of Liverpool by winning their game in hand.

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West Brom 1-1 Liverpool 

These are the sort of games Liverpool have struggled to win this season and they can expect another tricky test at the Hawthorns. They might have produced a comeback at Stoke last week but the Baggies are a tougher unit to break down and proved their threat with that 3-1 win over Arsenal a few weeks ago. Liverpool can’t really afford to drop any more points if they are to secure a top four spot, but they might have to settle for one point on Sunday.

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Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea

Jose Mourinho welcomes league leading Chelsea to Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon. He has faced his former employers twice already this season, losing both games. Antonio Conte’s side cannot afford to get complacent at this stage of the season as they are pushing for the title. United are on a 21-game unbeaten run and a draw looks a likely result this weekend.

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Middlesbrough 0-1 Arsenal

To call this the biggest game of Arsenal’s season might seem a bit farfetched, but a defeat at Middlesbrough could see their top four hopes all but ended, depending on results over the weekend. Boro are in trouble themselves and look set for relegation. They have struggled to find goals all season but will be giving it their all against the Gunners on Monday night. Arsenal have the quality to stroll past Middlesbrough but it depends which side shows up. If it’s the one that lost 3-0 at Palace last week, then they’ll be in big trouble.

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Premier League Preview and Prediction: Sunderland vs Everton

Competition: Premier League – Sunderland vs. Everton

Venue: Stadium of Light – Wednesday, May 11 – 19:45 BST (14:45 ET)

Match Odds: Sunderland 8/11 – Draw 14/5 – Everton 18/5

Match Preview

Sunderland face Everton on Wednesday night in a pivotal Premier League clash for the home side, who can secure their safety with three points here ahead of the final weekend.

The Black Cats look to be in a strong position to survive relegation following Saturday’s spirited 3-2 win over Chelsea at the Stadium of Light. They are one place and one point outside the bottom three but have this game in hand over Newcastle, which could prove crucial should they win.

Three points would relegate both Newcastle and Norwich before the final day of the campaign and so there will be plenty of eyes on this clash.

Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce has kept his side well organised and ensured they are tough to beat. They have only lost one of their last nine and are unbeaten in four coming into this one.

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Everton, on the other hand, are struggling to give their fans anything to cheer about. They might not be in a relegation battle but Roberto Martinez is under immense pressure from the Toffees faithful, who are far from pleased with their season.

They sit in 12th place heading into the game and look set for their worst league finish in 12 years if they fail to climb a single place over the final five days of the season.

One win in nine league outings is an abysmal return of points for a side as good as Everton and a summer of rebuilding looks certain to take place, with or without Martinez at the helm.

The Toffees lost 3-1 to Leicester on Saturday evening and now face a tough trip to a Sunderland side desperate for all three points.

The reverse fixture saw Everton run out 6-2 winners in a pulsating game at Goodison Park in November. Sunderland have only won one of their last ten league games at home to the Toffees (D4 L5) and will need that record to change if they are to secure their Premier League status for next term.

Team News

Sunderland have just one injury to worry about heading into Wednesday’s game as full-back Billy Jones remains out with a hip problem. Sam Allardyce has no other concerns and an unchanged side is expected to be named from the team that beat Chelsea on Saturday.

Everton boss Roberto Martinez has a number of injuries to deal with heading into their penultimate game of the season. Seamus Coleman, Tyias Browning, Phil Jagielka, Tony Hibbert and Gerard Deulofeu all remain sidelined, while Gareth Barry is a doubt. Ramiro Funes Mori will return from suspension and may replace Matthew Pennington at the heart of defence.

Key Points

Sunderland’s last five: L/W/D/D/W

Everton’s last five: D/D/L/W/L

Key Stat: Contrast – Sunderland have only lost one of their last nine Premier League games, while Everton have recorded just one win in their last nine.

Key Player: Jermain Defoe – The Sunderland goal machine has scored the goals that should keep Sunderland in the top flight. He has three in his last four and has scored against Everton as a Sunderland player in the last two meetings.

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Score Prediction

Sunderland 1-0 Everton – This will more than likely be a very cagey game as Sunderland will undoubtedly have to control their nerves ahead of what is an enormous game for the football club. They have been solid at the back in recent weeks, keeping clean sheets in three of their last six and will need another one here to put them in a strong position to go and win the game. Everton just want the season to end and will likely suffer defeat here with little left to play for now. Sunderland to win and end the battle for relegation ahead of the final day.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Norwich City vs Manchester United

Competition: Premier League – Norwich City vs. Manchester United

Venue: Carrow Road – Saturday, May 7 – 12:45 GMT (07:45 ET)

Match Odds: Norwich City 16/5 – Draw 13/5 – Manchester United 17/20

Match Preview

Norwich City welcome Manchester United to Carrow Road in a tie which could have a huge impact on the fight for survival and battle to finish in the top four.

Norwich sit 19th in the Premier League and trail 17th place by two points. They have a game in hand coming up in midweek so cannot be relegated this weekend but defeat could make things incredibly hard to avoid the drop.

They come into this tie off the back of their 1-0 away loss to Arsenal, a game they would have been bitterly disappointed to have not taken at least a point from.

Norwich have a huge week ahead. Just two wins in 15 make relegation look likely for The Canaries but their fate remains in their own hands.

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Manchester United are clinging on to their hopes of making the top four. They come into this tie off the back of their 1-1 draw with Leicester.

United trail 4th spot by four points but they do have a game in hand which they also play in the coming week.

Manchester United fans will be praying for a favourable result on Sunday in the clash between Arsenal and City. If results go their way they could move into the top four with two wins in their next two games.

This is a huge week for Louis Van Gaal’s side and it is time for their key players to step up to the challenge. They must ensure they win all their remaining games to give them the best chance of finishing in the top four.

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Team News

Norwich City have four injury concerns heading into this tie. Timm Klose, Alexander Tettey and Andre Wisdom are all expected to miss out, while Rhys Bennett is a doubt.

Manchester United could be without up to five for this clash. Luke Shaw continues his recovery from his broken leg, while Bastian Schweinsteiger, Will Keane and Adnan Januzaj all look unlikely to feature. Marouane Fellaini is suspended.

Key Points

Norwich City’s last five: W/W/L/L/L

Manchester United’s last five: W/L/W/W/D

Key Stat: Norwich City have lost their last three Premier League outings.

Key Player: Wayne Rooney – This has been one of Rooney’s quietest seasons in his career, although he has suffered an injury stricken campaign his performances have been below his high standards. Now is the time for him to show his ability as a leader and give United a fighting chance of making the top four.

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Score Prediction

Norwich City 1-2 Manchester United – A win for Manchester United here wouldn’t be a huge surprise considering Norwich’s form of late. Both sides will be nervy and we can expect a cagey game as the stakes are so high. United know they have to win to keep the pressure on in their chase for Champions League football. They have the squad power to win this one.

Getting stuck in: Could MLS survive with promotion and relegation?

The Getting Stuck In column delves into some of the more intriguing aspects in US Soccer and MLS, shining a light on the stories regarding the league’s teams and its most-loved characters. This week Dave Lewis looks into whether promotion and relegation is a possibility for Major League Soccer…

Every weekend from August to May I sit on my lumpy couch, remote in hand, ready to watch Premier League matches until my eyes bleed. Liverpool games are always my main meal, but I have some other dishes I like to munch on. Maybe a U.S. player like DeAndre Yedlin, Geoff Cameron, Brad Guzan or Matt Miazga is playing? Or I might dig into an intriguing Manchester derby. This year I will watch anything Leicester City. But nothing gets the little hairs on my head to stand up more than a relegation battle.

Ah, promotion and relegation. That strangely un-American and un-Canadian system that has been exhaustively debated from coast-to-coast since MLS came around 20 years ago. In a recent ESPN poll, MLS players were asked if they would favour promotion and relegation in MLS. The results saw 49 percent say “yes” and 51 percent answer “no”. And that seems to be where we are: pretty much split down the middle.

But the person who really counts is MLS Commissioner Don Garber. He recently said: “We play in a country where the major leagues are really successful. There is no promotion and relegation in hockey and basketball and they work really well. It is not happening in MLS any time soon.”

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So we are stuck with a quirky playoff system that rewards 60 percent of the league, with very little punishment for the remaining 40 percent. But could promotion and relegation work? No is the answer with the way the league is presently constructed. No owner would pay an expansion fee of $100 million just to be relegated. That is what would’ve happened to NYCFC last season when they amassed a paltry 37 points in their inaugural season.

Ok, let’s start with the basics of how relegation and promotion might work. First, you need a league for MLS teams to be relegated to. Like in the Premier League, there needs to be tiers. Could MLS (Division I) work with the NASL (Division II) and USL (Division III) to form a three-tier system? It would certainly take a lot of work from all three leagues to get aligned, but it is doable.

Now for the stadium issue. The USL and NASL, for the most part, play in – and I use this term loosely – small stadiums. Here’s a scenario: FC Edmonton win the NASL and gets promoted to MLS. They make peanuts on tickets sales, concessions and parking because their rinky-dink stadium holds a mere 5,000 people. They won’t be staying up for long with that kind of revenue.

Let’s look at the reverse. NYCFC gets relegated to the NASL. I doubt David Villa, Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo will accept going down when they have to play Rayo OKC at the Yukon High School. While I seriously doubt they will be able to convince their European pals to join them with this kind of pitch: “Hey Ronaldo, you should really come check out soccer in America. Not sure where I am, but I think I am playing on a high school field in front of a few friends and family.”

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Ok, teams like AFC Bournemouth in England, who are NASL-esque, made it work. They climbed up the divisions and brought along a dated ground with them to the Premier League. But they didn’t have to rely on gate receipts. The amount of money they got for being promoted is substantial. The pittance teams would get from getting promoted from USL to NASL to MLS would be laughable. And where would the parachute payments come form? TV money?

MLS has come a long way with securing decent TV deals. Fox, ESPN and Univision pay $90 million a year, which is a huge amount compared to what MLS was getting in 1996. But compared to the Premier League’s shiny new multi-billion dollar TV deal, well, the MLS TV deal looks pretty puny.

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For all the reason stated above, and many more I left out, I don’t see promotion and relegation happening in my lifetime. But there’s a good argument for it to happen sooner than later. One anonymous MLS player put it this way when talking to ESPN: “Whether you’re playing for promotion or to avoid relegation, it makes every game that much more important. In MLS, if you’re having a bad season, some guys just ride out the last couple [of] months because they know they’ll be in the league next year.”

MLS is two decades old, so maybe it’s just too early for such a radical change. But to truly be accepted as a top league in world football, it probably has to happen one day. There’s just too much at stake.

Aston Villa officially relegated for first time in 28 years

Aston Villa’s long-awaited relegation has been officially confirmed following the club’s 1-0 loss to Manchester United today, ending a run of 28 consecutive seasons in English football’s top flight.

The Villains have been simply dreadful this season with major struggles on and off the field confining them to their worst season in their 141-year history.

Manchester United youngster Marcus Rashford may have scored the goal that confirmed Villa’s relegation today, but most fans knew they were doomed from December onwards.

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Villa have won just three games all season and are left 15 points adrift of Norwich in 17th place with four games to play. Their performances have been appalling and preparations for life in the Championship next term will now begin.

Interim manager Eric Black is unlikely to be the man in the dugout come August, but whoever takes over will be stepping into one of English football’s most troubled clubs, with major problems left to be addressed throughout the structure of the organisation.

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Black is the team’s fourth manager this season, following on from Tim Sherwood, Kevin MacDonald and Remi Garde, who were all unable to inspire a squad of players who look out of their depth in the Premier League.

Quality first-team players left the club last summer but none were replaced properly. Losing the likes of Ron Vlaar, Fabian Delph and Christian Benteke meant the season was always going to be tough but few could have anticipated just how bad things have been.

Table: Aston Villa have struggled enormously in every aspect this season.

Table: Aston Villa have struggled enormously in every aspect this season.

The Villains are one of only seven English clubs to have played in every Premier League season to this point but that run will now come to an end.

Two other Premier League clubs will join Villa in the Championship next term, with Newcastle, Sunderland and Norwich all battling for their lives at the bottom of the table.

Aston Villa bounced straight back up following their last relegation in 1987, but a repeat of that achievement looks highly unlikely at this stage, with one of English football’s most historic clubs in complete disarray.

Do you think Aston Villa will bounce straight back up to the Premier League next season? 

Could Palace break disappointing club record this season after West Brom loss?

Crystal Palace‘s 3-2 defeat away at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday evening marked their 13th loss of the Premier League season so far.

Alan Pardew‘s side have been nose-diving and failure to win a league game since a 2-1 success away at Stoke on December 19 has seen them slip from sixth in the table to 14th.

The Eagles are now just eight points above the drop zone with 11 games remaining, and hopes of competing for European qualification have long gone, with the prospect of a relegation battle fast becoming a possibility.

Not only did the West Brom defeat have implications on their position in the table, but it also meant that Palace have now gone ten consecutive league games without a win.

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It’s their worst run in the top flight for 11 years as they also went on a ten-game winless streak in the 2004/05 season, when they were eventually relegated.

Palace’s previous longest period without winning a Premier League game came in the 1997/98 campaign when they recorded a run of 15 games without victory – they finished bottom that year.

Failure to win any of their next five games this season would see them match that club record of most games without a win in the Premier League – six games without victory would see it eclipsed.

Crystal Palace’s next six Premier League fixtures:

  • Sunderland (away) – Tuesday, March 1
  • Liverpool (home) – Sunday, March 6
  • Leicester (home) – Saturday, March 19
  • West Ham (away) – Saturday, April 2
  • Norwich (home) – Saturday, April 9
  • Arsenal (away) – Sunday, April 17
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Alan Pardew is suffering a manager’s worst nightmare right now and when things aren’t going right, nothing seems to go your way, which usually results in confidence hitting rock bottom.

All of a sudden, Tuesday night’s trip to the Stadium of Light to take on Sunderland holds massive importance for this Crystal Palace side as four of their next five fixtures after that look ominous.

If the Eagles can’t stop the rot sooner rather than later, then they could well find themselves in a whole lot of trouble come May.

Will Crystal Palace break the club record for their longest winless run in the Premier League? Are they slipping into a relegation battle?