Pro/rel is to find out who plays the best soccer

This point gets lost in debates over pro/rel.

The main goal of closed leagues, like the MLS and NFL is entertainment. When folks talk about the importance of parity in a league, they advocate for entertainment value. They think parity keeps more fans engaged longer because more feel like their team has a chance of winning each game and the big prize of the league championship.

The main goal of open leagues with promotion/relegation, like the pyramid league structure in English soccer, is to find out who plays the best soccer.

Advocates of parity dismiss that as boring because it’s easy to predict who will win the league: one of the the teams that spends the most on players.

They also are quick to dismiss that hundreds of millions, if not a billion or so, fans around the world disagree with them.

It may just be me, but when I find myself believing that what I think is better than what hundreds of millions people think I see that as sign that I might be missing something. Rather than assume that I know better than them, I ask what I might be missing.

Advocates of parity are sure they are right. They see NFL, MLB, as NBA as evidence to support their belief — because they have done pretty well based on the parity model — and write off support for the pro/rel soccer leagues as a result that those countries love soccer more than other sports (while ignoring that could be the same reason why the NFL, MLB and NBA have done well here).

But, still, I would find that explanation lacking. Do hundreds of millions of fans really just put up with super club dominance and don’t know what they’re missing with parity? I don’t think so.



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