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Report: American soccer promotion/relegation lawsuit loses final appeal

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Riccardo Silva’s efforts to try and bring promotion and relegation to American soccer have ended in another courtroom defeat.

The wealthy owner of Miami FC and former backer of the NASL saw his lawsuit against U.S. Soccer suffer another loss. The lawsuit seeking the installation of promotion and relegation in professional American soccer came to an end after the Court of Arbitration for Sports upheld a FIFA ruling that determined Major League Soccer was not obligated to operate in an open system with promotion and relegation, despite wording in FIFA bylaws that could be read to suggest that promotion and relegation is mandatory in all leagues.

According to the New York Times, the “CAS ruling states that FIFA’s rules only applied to competitions that already existed as a pyramid structure”.

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The ruling is a death blow to efforts to bring promotion and relegation to the top of American soccer, as Major League Soccer expands to 26 teams in 2020, and moves toward becoming a 30-team league.

Silva initially filed his lawsuit more than two years ago, when Miami FC was one of the remaining teams in NASL as the league collapsed following U.S. Soccer’s decision to not grant Division 2 status to NASL, granting it instead to USL. The NASL disbanded after being forced to cancel the 2018 season due to a shortage of teams.

Silva’s Miami FC and the New York Cosmos remained active, playing in lower divisions, but Miami FC recently joined the USL while the Cosmos remains in operation in the National Independent Soccer Association.

Promotion and relegation won’t be coming to MLS, but it is still a possibility in USL in the future, with the league now featuring three divisions. While that may be, any hope of a future where promotion and relegation could exist between MLS and the USL ended with the CAS and FIFA decisions rejecting Silva’s lawsuit.

Comments

  1. Soccer isn’t big enough for pro/rel in America. It never will be. I would love to see pro/rel in America, but I’d rather our best players not be in the MLS at all so in the end I guess not enough people really care what happens in the domestic league.

    Reply
    • This message is incoherent.
      .
      US soccer will not be big enough
      but you want Pro/Rel anyway
      but you don’t want OUR ( I assume you mean Americans ) players playing in MLS anyway
      so not enough people care.
      .
      While guys with billions and hundreds of millions dollars, putting up hundreds of millions to start MLS teams.
      While MLS team valuations pass all but the biggest teams in the world.
      .
      Just because MLS didnt go Pro/Rel doesn’t mean not enough care, it means people wanted parity.
      .
      US Soccer has set its course in MLS The market determined that course was the way they liked it. There were the Scott Oki’s (ex-Sounder owner ) that disagreed, but they sold to guys that moved their teams to MLS.
      It will be the top league in the world very soon.
      Teams probably never pass the Real Madrids of the world, but does that even matter? When Real Madrids Goal differential goes to +150 a year instead of +100 it sits at now?

      Reply
  2. It’s a poor argument you can drive a truck through. The idea of the rule is not to force pro/rel — that’s not what it says — but to avoid political situations where the Minister of Sport butts in and unilaterally puts your team in the first division. Just like the government is not allowed to interfere in the soccer federation of that country, fire executives and coaches, require selection of players, etc. The idea behind the rule is that you are in your division either because you have been there, or because you earned it by pro/rel. MLS’ teams by definition “have been there.” USL/NASL have not. The rules have an “or.” You are not required to have pro/rel and the section right below the pro/rel discussion lists acceptable reasons to be placed in a division. Infrastructure, financial, legal, etc. England, France, and other countries have stadium and finance rules complicating pure pro/rel with requirements to move up.

    Reply
    • That last part is the part that Pro/Rel guys dismiss. These teams are not going to be promoted with the Sounders stadium. IF that was the case, they would have already switched to MLS ( Or ignore the steady march to a $400 million profit the Sounders made by switching ).
      IF MLS said ok, if you get promoted you pay the going rate to join and you need a 25k seat stadium.
      Bye bye. No owner wants Pro/Rel.
      .
      Just do it in USL. if it is truly better, we will see USL be a great soccer league. Plenty of growth potential obviously.

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  3. Oh yeah…Siva joining USL shows his true colors. His billion dollar offer, or whatever it was, was nothing but a lie and shameless publicity stunt. His pro/rel paper that he commosioned was so pathertic that even the group he paid to come out with the response he wanted admitted it, and of course his business history (shady and fraudulent at that) speaks volumes, If u truly beleved in a liar and manipulator like him it says a lot about u….and it’s not good. He saw all of his stunts go nowhere so off to the USL. When I truly want to know how dumb somone is I ask if they think Eric Wynalda knows what he talking about, or is mentally and emotionall balanced. If an individual truly nelives he is then I bar them form my life immediately. Can’t waste time on people that dumb….and Silva and Rocco backed him as their puppet. How sad.

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  4. The best part of this LOL “case” is that if u actually read FIFA’s rules, there is nothing that says pro/rel is mandatory. Luatics and manipulators took bit passages and emotions of th dumb and just screamed falsehoods across social media….where the dumb reside and gobble it up. Ytue believers I am sure belive and watch shows like Ancient Aliens, Oak Island, belive the world is flat, there is a big foot, the moon landing is fake, etc. Can’t overstate how dumb and easy to manipulate these types are. It’s sad, but reality.

    Reply
  5. Rejected……like anyone w a brain knew it would. Rocco’s idiocy gets shot down next and it will be the end of some real stupidity, of course sold to true dummies as anti man stuff. Selfish rich guys looking to get in late on the cheap is true hero stuff….ha. There r plenty easily manipulated fools who ate it up.

    Reply
  6. Ding Dong the witch is dead.
    If you love Pro/Rel……There is ZERO reason why USL can’t do Pro/Rel. They don’t need MLS.
    .
    USL has been around ( had different names ) for as long as MLS. I watched A League all the way through the 90s. They don’t need MLS to validate the league. They can compete with MLS.
    .
    Remember though as you get all happy when USL does this. Sunderland is now TRYING to sell their team for $50 million. They are reported to have two investors interested at that level. TWO. at $50 million, while the average MLS team is valued at over $300 million and going up 30% per year.

    Reply
    • US fans tend to have a naive sense of the financial health of the foreign leagues they fetishize. Financial Fair Play didn’t come from nowhere. Teams fold or go into administration all the time. Many English teams to maintain their spending now have foreign ownership. The idea — which they looked to MLS to fashion — was put a revenues vs expenses reality check/limit on spending. Which they do instead of a cap because like Formula 1 they have no interest in leveling the playing field.

      Reply

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