Imagine working in an industry where companies are constantly being forced into administration, contract disputes are a regular occurrence and where, if the company that you work for has one bad year, your salary can drop by a substantial amount.
Probably not that unthinkable for a number of us but sometimes we forget that it is also the world that the vast majority of soccer players inhabit as well.
We have become so ingrained to the image of the superstar player that it is all too easy to forget that for every Carlos Tevez (who can afford a golfing vacation until his disagreement with his club is concluded) there are thousands of players who wake up everyday worrying about paying their mortgage and wondering exactly how they will earn a living once they inevitably lose their current job.
The worries that those players face have surely become more acute of late.
The travails of Glasgow Rangers and Portsmouth have been described as “tips of the iceberg” when a better description would be that they are simply two more rocks in an avalanche that is growing faster and more substantial by the day.
Rumours are already swirling that the British taxman is using the plight of Rangers as a test case before they move in to a number of English Premier League clubs, and whether those rumours are true or not the perception of financial instability can often be as damaging as the reality; especially to the morale of the workforce.
And it’s not just British clubs that are coming face to face with this new financial world.
Every club in Europe is affected in some way by that Continent’s continuing debt crisis, be it in falling ticket sales, lost sponsorship revenue or the possibility of reduced broadcasting money.
So where does Major League Soccer come in?
Imagine that within that nerve jangling industry that we envisioned at the beginning there is one company that is known to manage its affairs with rigour and with probity.
It may not pay the kind of exorbitant salaries that some do, but it does at least guarantee that those salaries are always paid, and it comes with none of the uncertainty that has suddenly become a part of everyday life in the rest of the world.
The weakness that Major League Soccer has faced in attracting players has always been its rigid financial restrictions yet, paradoxically, those same restrictions could become a strength in the coming years.
A whole raft of players may begin to see MLS as a lifeboat (pun intended) away from the listing ship of European soccer, and Commissioner Don Garber should ensure that his teams are ready and willing to deal with many more distress calls in the coming months and years.
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