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Atlas owner touts benefits of combined Liga MX and MLS league

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Liga MX and Major League Soccer have done a lot to strengthen their relationship and every now and then someone pops up with the idea of merging the two competitions into a North American Super League. AtlasĀ  owner Alejandro Irarragorri is the latest figure to tout the benefits of joining the continents primary soccer leagues.

“A high percentage of Mexican football’s income comes from the USA,” Irarragorri wrote in an open letter posted to his Twitter account. “Their league [MLS] has been growing in an ordered, slow, but consistent way in all senses: commercially, infrastructure, financial structure, diffusion and on the field.”

Irarragorri also mentioned that MLS generates more raw revenue than Liga MX does and the two leagues combined could attract more investors. MLS commissioner Don Garber has brought up the idea of merging the leagues in the past, saying a united effort would be a “powerful force” in North American sports.

Liga MX and MLS currently compete together in the Concacaf Champions League, as well as the recently developed Leagues Cup and Campeones Cup.

“It’s probable that the possible creation of a North American super league is best for MLS in the short-term and for Liga MX in the medium term, but over the long-term it is best for both and the potential to add value and create jobs is immense,” wrote Irarragorri. “Without doubt it is an alternative that should be explored and analyzed.”

Irarragorri’s statement comes after Liga MX announced that promotion and relegation between the first division and the second tier Ascenso MX would be on hold for at least the next five years. The move drew heavy criticism from players including superstars like Carlos Vela Hector Herrera, and Miguel Layun, but was approved by second tier clubs by a narrow margin.

“Once again, guarantees and security for the lead protagonists in this sport don’t exist,” the Mexican players’ association said in a statement. “They made unilateral decisions at the table, [used] the shelter of the current critical situation the country is living through and without any further explanation about the ‘new project’ [for the second division].”

Revenues in Ascenso MX have been dropping for years. Liga MX president Enrique Bonilla also confirmed that the 12 clubs in the second tier will receive two million peso relief packages from to top league. There are discussions about turning the second division into a developmental league for Liga MX, but no concrete plans have come out.

Comments

  1. I am not opposed to this. It could be the best league in the world for sure, which is what we want.
    People bring up crime, not sure if that is just racism, but if that is concern, make sure it wouldn’t be.

    I would only do that on MLS’s terms. Mexico has a great league. MLS will pass all but the top teams in soccer in very short order though, so why change?
    Keep the season the same, keep the parity the same, etc. could be incredible.

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  2. Who’s going to trace narco dollars financing some of those teams? IRS? MLS doesn’t need bad publicity. Costs > benefits.

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  3. this should happen sooner than later, as in a couple of months. Here’s one reason: so MLS can extricate themselves from the TV contract and claim extraordinary circumstances. MLS can announce that MLS league play will not occur in 2020, but instead have an extended summer/fall tournament with Liga MX (and maybe invite 1 Costa Rican team). Revenue will then be generated from this play in empty stadiums by having viewing through a subscription streaming service. All current MLS season tickets holders will get free access. Your designated team when you sign up will get part of the revenue, including Liga MX teams. Of course, this will only work in the US. In Mexico, fans won’t pay in significant numbers for a streaming service. The cost should be modest- $5.99 per month.

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    • Heh! Not a lot of time to create an entire new league, deal with the players unions, face potential litigation, negotiate new contracts for branding and television rights, get official sanction… I do think it is the likely consolidation of the future but noT sure how this could happen in a couple of months.

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