The Sweeper: MLS’ Labour Dispute Rhetoric Parsed

Strike Notice

Big Story
There’s been an awful lot of questionable rhetoric already spat out by the leading figures of both sides of the dispute between MLS and the players over their new labour agreement, and finally we have a journalist with the patience and ability to parse through it well: Kyle McCarthy has a must-read look at the claims made about MLS’s compliance (or not) with FIFA’s regulations on player contracts. McCarthy concludes that:

As these negotiations continue to unfold, the rhetoric will increase and intensify as both sides try to sway the purportedly neutral public to its cause. Garber’s statement – and Foose’s ridiculous contention about the World Cup chances, for that matter – merely represents the first in a series of arguments that will push that barrier to the limit. The key to weeding through the morass in search of firm ground ultimately rests in the ability to discern when the habitual stretching of the truth goes too far.

To be honest, looking through some of the technical language cited, it becomes obvious no side is going to easily win over public opinion, and the only ones looking to come out of this well are the lawyers: and many journalists need to have the patience of a McCarthy to offer a fair take.

Worldwide News

  • Toronto FC’s hopes to finally have a permanent grass field worth playing on at BMO Field took a hit with news that the Canadian Football League’s gridiron team the Toronto Argonauts are looking to move to the city-owned stadium: TFC fans and bloggers are rightly up in arms, with Ben Knight commenting that the problem is (as ever with soccer in North America, even in a soccer friendly city like Toronto) getting local politicians to care. Knight, though, points out fans should not panic as the obstacles in the way of the move range from money (the Argos have none) to the considerable challenges the dimension and plans for BMO would create to host the CFL.
  • Can sport really be used to kickstart a nation’s economy?  The BBC takes a long and fairly rosy-eyed view of Ghana’s hopes “to secure competition events and increase tourist inflows and business revenues to our cities and the country.”  Yet as ever, definitive proof of the long-term economic boosts these tournaments bring remains elusive.
  • The Bundesliga is getting a lot of good publicity in the English-language press at the moment, with this long and excellent breakdown of why the league is the world’s most popular and fan-friendly in its stadia, and a shorter piece by Four Four Two on the rule that is the backbone of this: 50+1. Meanwhile, the Guardian’s weekly Bundesliga round-up has the usual excellent work by Raphael Honigstein, this week focusing on the new president of Bayern Munich and the behemoth he helped build.
  • Oh, and there’s lots of stuff about Ireland, and Fifa, and the World Cup, but perhaps the best — just because of its sheer spite towards FIFA’s unaccountable elite — is Grahame Jones’ takedown of the FIFA executive committee in the LA Times: “A sport that enthralls the planet is being overseen by rogues and villains, each one more unsavory than the next and each one pocketing more undeserved wealth than anyone can imagine.mThe ineptness of the executive committee members — or more likely their indifference to public opinion — knows no bounds.”

The Sweeper appears daily. For more rambling and links throughout the day every day, follow your editor Tom Dunmore @pitchinvasion on Twitter.

Comments are closed.