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Is MLS like a pyramid scheme?


Soccer economics guru Stefan Szymanski has controversially suggested that America's Major League Soccer has the appearance of a pyramid scheme.   MLS is losing over $100m a year, yet new franchises are often sold for over a $100m.

Szymanski has produced a detailed report on the finances of MLS clubs which benefits from inside information provided by an anonymous source.  Given that owners of sporting franchises in the US expect to make money, he predicts that MLS is likely to collapse and sooner rather than later.

Owners of clubs in Europe are usually in it for what they hope will be prestige and glory, although many are disappointed and eventually retire hurt.   I suppose it's possible that soccer franchise owners in the United States will undergo a culture shift and become more like those in Europe.  In the meantime, Szymanski has raised some interesting and well evidenced questions.