By most standards, Liga MX is constantly referred to as one of the best leagues this side of the Atlantic. But the discrepancies within the league are sometimes hard to reconcile. There are teams in the league that pay 10 mil dollars for a 30yr old striker and others who can't even pay their players' wages. The FMF can help bring up the standard of the league by implementing ownership guidelines and some new revenue streams. These will create a framework that will bring up the quality of the league.
The first thing the FMF can do when it comes to ownership is to just follow its own rules. It barred multi-team ownership a few years back but Grupo Pachuca still runs Pachuca and Leon. It constantly shuttles players between the two clubs. Next, it can try to set a baseline of how much money each team should have on hand to prevent incidences where players go weeks/months in between paychecks. If it comes to it, the league should step in and pay those players while deducting points in the standings for the club. It happens in Europe but teams are penalized when it happens but nothing seems to happen in Mexico. When it happens in Mexico, everyone seems to accept it and just goes on. As Zach argues in his piece, banning the sale of franchise with the intent of just moving the whole club to replace another needs to happen. This goes inline with my previous point of making sure ownership groups have the funds necessary to own a team. These quick sales of franchises in the offseason does not allow enough time for the FMF to vet ownership groups and make sure a club will be taken care of. Liga MX owners already have a hard time agreeing on many issues, constantly shuffling owners does not help.
In terms of revenues and wages (when players are paid), Liga MX is doing quite well. Studies have been released saying Liga MX is in the top 10 when it comes to player salaries. This figure is not propped up by a few players like it is in MLS. The league does well in any number of categories but I think it can be doing more to capitalize on its popularity in the US. Liga MX is the highest rated soccer league in the states, higher than the EPL and way higher than MLS games. The only soccer related program that consistently out draws Liga MX is when El Tri play. How can it be doing more? The league can try to capture some of the soccer market in the US that only speaks English.
How an old married couple spend their Saturday night: KET followed by LigaMX soccer on Univision even though neither of us speak Spanish.— Chris Kash (@cwkash) January 31, 2016
@FutbolIntellect I'm a non-Spanish speaker who grew up watching LigaMX because Univision was the only place to see soccer. Huge Pumas fan.— Ed Żelaski (@edzelaski) February 25, 2016
If you search on Twitter when there's a good Liga MX game on, you will see plenty of tweets just like this. People who watch but have no idea what any of the announcers are saying. Sure, they'll tune in for a Clasico or the championship game but wouldn't Liga MX want to convert them into fans? It is fans who buy kits every year, fans are who buy overpriced tickets to friendlies in the US every summer. The more fans a league can claim to have the more sponsors will want to be involved. El Tri is a marketing machine in the US. No reason Liga MX can't be in the conversation as soccer grows in popularity. TV deals may make it tricky to just start broadcasting games in English as well as Spanish but there are ways around this. The league can simply produce a short highlights show or even just string together the weekend's matches into a cohesive video with English audio. It appears there is demand for that and it could be cost effective as well.
If ligamx's website produced a weekly wrapup show in English and focused on highlights, would you watch it?— The Colorful Kit (@TheColorfulKit) July 11, 2016
The highlights show can be a litmus test for the league. It can show them if anything else in English would be a worthwhile project. If it goes well, I suggest they get with their broadcast partners in the US and try to provide an English audio feed for certain games. Univision already does this for MLS games and while reviews are mixed, English speakers do tune in. Higher ratings, more TV money for the league. And we all know what the latest TV dela is doing to the EPL. Liga MX should try to reach every soccer fan it can, whether its in English, Spanish or Spanglish.
This is the final part of our "How to improve Liga MX" series. Please check out the previous entries.
-Zach on improving the lower divisions of Mexican soccer
-Rafa on improving the 10/8 rule