MLS Commissioner bashes CFL


…and they’ve sunk to a new low. CFL and Ottawa talk starts at 30:25.

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P.S. Kudos to Shane Ross of the Ottawa Sun for throwing hardballs.

only had time to listen for 5 mins , so from 30-35...but i didnt hear any slander towards the CFL.
maybe i had to listen longer?
will listen to the rest after i get home from work.

Garber and M(inor)LS have no intentions to going to Ottawa. He is just using them as a pawn for next round of expansion to try to land Montreal, if the league lasts that long!!! As far as his bashing the CFL, the CFL will be going strong long after he is gone to the unemployment and Minor League Soccer is defunct!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :rockin:

If he really wanted Ottawa in the league, he would guarantee them a franchise if council votes for the Melnyk Kanata stadium and he says he won't. There you go right there.

Can someone please quote the part you found to be CFL bashing?

Well considering they went regional in adding Vancouver and Portland, then maybe it's not out of the question to see Montreal and Ottawa enter the league together.

i listened to the interview... and i unfortunately found no place where they bash the cfl. he actually gives props to mark cohan, and even coments on the high attendance of the cfl. the ottawa questioner was good. the only off color comment he made was reguarding that no other city is bidding for cfl expansion team(acordinng to him) so thats why they were granted a conditional team dpending on the stadium. i think the thread topic is a little misleading.


Garber: "None of the major leagues have [given conditional franchises]..."

Ross: "The CFL, your competitor, is doing it"

Garber: "... yeah... yeah... I guess I don't view the CFL as... major league, but wait, I can't say that, think of something, think think think!... as a competitor in this process..."

By the way, how are they NOT a competitor in this process??? Two proposals, one stadium! He was gonna say "major league", you can tell.


Garber: {paraphrasing} "We'd love to draw enough fans to share a stadium with a CFL team... even though we just decided we'd share the stadium with the CFL in Vancouver, there's no way in hell we'd try and reach the same amount of cooperation in Ottawa if we can get a brand-spankin-new stadium all for ourselves."


Garber: {paraphrasing} "you know, if we don't end up giving Ottawa a franchise, they can always get a CFL franchise... you know, since the CFL isn't such a bigtime opportunity, it'll always be there because they've got nowhere else to go."


Garber: "They granted a conditional franchise because no one else is bidding...smirk."


........ yeah yeah yeah, I know he didn't say these things in the strictest sense of the word... but to borrow a pearl of folk wisdom: "It's not what he said... it's HOW he said it!"

As I say, SHUT UP GARBER ABOUT OUR CFL!!!!!!!!! Talk about what you know, "Major" League Soccer. :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x :x

I'm pretty sure Montreal doesn't want to be part of MLS, at least for now. They we're expected to pay upwards of $40-million just to JOIN THE LEAGUE!

Considering A-League is just as good as MLS, and much better structured and healthy it is stupid to pay that money to join a league of FRANCHAISES. The owner of Montreal Impact is a powerful and obviously smart man, he isn't going to be tricked into that crap. I like Saputo because he is a die-hard soccer fan but understands how clubs are supposed to be DEVELOPED not bought and paid for.

I wish the stupid CSA would understand that, and allow teams to develope (which increases number of homegrown talent/youth system) which is the only positive way to develope the national team. People like Melnyk are just douchebag businessmen trying to make a buck off something new, people like that shouldnt be allowed to get involved in the progression of a sport in this country.

I think its funny that the 1st question asked at an MLS press conference relates to a city that doesn't have a team and the CFL gets discussed for 5 minutes.

If I'm the MLS CEO or commissioner or whatever they call him...someone's getting fired. That was just embarrasing to the MLS.

Excellent read Nova, assuming you know what you're talking about with soccer, I'm not a judge. It's with posts like this from knowledgeable soccer fans like yourself that understand the game that make me want to follow and appreciate soccer more and more in our country and watch it develop alongside football as well. :thup:

True enough Yukoner.

i think there may have been a little too much reading between the lines with this interview. clearly his werds about the cfl were blown out of perpotion. this seems to me as an excuse for cfl fans to try and take a stab at the mls just for the sake of it.

Agreed. No where in the interview does he bash the CFL, in fact he openly states that he wishes they (MLS) could draw 40,000 fans to their games like the CFL does. (which the CFL doesn't draw every game so if anything that comment was quite flattering). And he is absolutely correct in stating that their wasn't any competition for the franchise (CFL) that was granted to Ottawa, so again, don't see what was so offensive with that either.

Thank you. After you play a season of football you begin to appreciate sports other than hockey in the offseason. CFL/Soccer could work well together, I dont know why melnyk wants ottawa to choose favorites. :expressionless:

If you want to compare which league is "major league", just compare the championship game gate receipts, tv ratings, and average attendance in each league.

Grey Cup: approx $10 million gate vs MLS bowl $500,000 ($20 per ticket if all were sold)

CFL avg TV ratings 450k vs 75k for MLS in Canada; (MLS ratings are also terrible in the U.S., one game last year on Fox Sports drew a 0/0 ratings share. The 250,000 avg. US rating on ESPN is about half of the CFL's audience in Canada.)

CFL 29,000 avg attendance vs 16,000 MLS

2008 Grey Cup attendance: 67,000 vs 27,000 for the MLS bowl in LA.

Grey Cup TV ratings, 4 million+ vs "was the MLS bowl even televised in Canada?"

Of course the CFL has a 100-year head start on MLS but I don't know why these supposed bigshots like Phil Lind, Melnyk and Tannenbaum of MLSE continually see the need to downgrade the CFL as a way to promote their own less popular leagues like the MLS and NFL (yes the CFL is more popular than the NFL in Ontario and all points west.)

Excellent post there X! $20.00 per ticket for the MLS bowl, the "Major" League Soccer championship? Holy shiite, I bet junior B hockey championships are about that much money. And that is not a slap to junior B hockey, just trying to make some comparison.

As a bit of a fan of lacrosse, tickets for the Roughnecks ( NLL ) can go for $20-50, and they get over 10,000 fans / game for a regular season contest.

With almost no TV contract ( sometimes the local cable station will show the game ) to promote it.

Interesting zbest.

Reading this article is interesting. While it does point to the successes of the MLS, and I agree they are having success, it points out the dangers as well:

[i]“The problem for MLS lies with the nature of the American sports fan,? said Mark Ganis, president of Sportscorp Ltd., a Chicago-based firm that specializes in sports economics. “American fans want to see the very best in that sport.

“They get that in all the major sports, even if it takes players from other countries being brought over to play here. That is not the case in soccer and may never be. Having such widespread television access to other soccer leagues where the standard is higher makes it hard for MLS to really kick on.?

In the meantime, MLS fights its battles like any other sporting enterprise in a difficult economy. While small markets such as Columbus, Toronto and Seattle are flourishing, explosive growth in the bigger cities is hard to come by. Imaginative marketing campaigns have become the norm this season as competition for the public’s dwindling entertainment dollars heats up.

So MLS continues to push and prod and nudge the public towards greater consciousness of what it is all about. While greater acceptance may be within sight, the ultimate goal remains elusive. Will it take five or 10 or 15 years to get MLS established at the point it craves? Will it happen at all?

“That is the billion dollar question,? Ganis said. “Things are getting better all the time, but are the improvements significant enough to propel that big leap needed to bridge the gap? I think in 10 years the U.S. will have a better league, but not the best. And ultimately, that is what the people want.?[/i]

That is what is unique about the CFL playing for the Grey Cup, it was never mean't to have to be "major" ie. the best in the first place, the Grey Cup is there to establish the Canadian champion of Canadian football. Which is why we continue to keep the Canadian mandated content and why it still works this way and should continue to work this way for decades to come as we continue to harp to people what the Grey Cup is all about who don't understand it. I also think this is why a lot of people are very jealous that football in this country has such a historic Cup like this and has been able to develop a league like the Grey Cup that doesn't really need to be exactly like the most premier pro league, the NFL, to have people get it and what it's about. Another reason the MLS is looking to Canada as they might be trying to spring-board from the CFL mindset here while at the same time being jealous and wanting or preferring it to go down the drain.

I've said it once and said it again, like this article mentions, the MLS might eventually have to be much more major than what it is now to last or else the public, especially American public that sees "major" as the best or highest league, won't buy in.

How is adding an MLS franchise in Ottawa going to help their league grow??? With the exception of the franchise fee. It is a negative to their operational bottom line. They can't draw a tv audience for two major american market teams playing each other. How is an Ottawa vs Toronto game going to be of any benefit to their US broadcaster? As far as Canadian TV money. It is non existent. Look at what the CFL is getting for the #1 summer sport tv draw...

Really a non issue, as much as I would like to see the CFL return to Ottawa, it has no effect on the stability of the CFL.