Soccer has a wide variety of leagues, each with a distinct financial model, and that differs between Europe and any American league.

A combination of privately owned teams and various degrees of financial inequality predominate on the scene in Europe, the home of renowned leagues like the English Premier League, La Liga, and Serie A. Major League Soccer (MLS), on the other hand, utilizes a more regulated financial model to do business in North America.

American league, Europe differ on preferred financial model

Each has pros and limitations, but the financial structures of MLS and European soccer are fundamentally unlike. The free-market structure of European soccer produces incredible talent and rivalry but also creates divisiveness on the financial front.

The regulated approach used by Major League Soccer, in comparison, places more emphasis on club parity and financial stability. The decision between these models is based on the principles and objectives of a certain league. Therefore, different leagues around the world use different strategies.

What did Chris Schlosser say?

Chris Schlosser is the SVP of Emerging Ventures for Major League Soccer. Recently, he discussed his thoughts at the SportsPro Ignition event. In a session entitled “MLS & The future of Soccer Media,” Schlosser discussed how Major League Soccer is incorporating technology into the league.

“You hear a lot of debate about promotion and relegation throughout the world of football. European fans will say this is crazy, but the ability of our clubs to invest in sophisticated technologies is really important. This stuff isn’t cheap. It requires a lot of capital commitment. It requires investment in staff and knowledge. You can do that because you have a sustainable business. You know where the business is going. Right now, we are doing four- and five-year financial planning models for the league, and we can chart where we’re going and the investments that we need to make.

“If you’re in a promotion and relegation world, I don’t know practically how a club does that modeling, and says ‘Alright I’m going to invest significant sums of money in a great fan app or a great fan data system’ because their entire financial model may go away if they get relegated. It’s really hard for [clubs] to make those long-term plans, but the world of MLS is a little different. We can make those long-term plans. We can make those investments.

“I think I’ve never been as bullish about the future and the opportunities ahead of us, but it’s because we’re investing in all of this underlying tech, systems and know-how now that’ll allow us to be really successful in 2027 post all of these tremendous things that are going to be happen over the next couple of years.”