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Mexico wants to end pro/rel, looks to MLS for advice

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An MLS vice-president lets slip about meeting with Liga MX in New York today

MLS Commissioner Don Garber and Vice President Charles Altchek speak to reporters at the Philadelphia Union Academy facilities in Wayne, PA.
Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber and Vice President Charles Altchek speak to reporters at the Philadelphia Union Academy facilities in Wayne, PA.
Trey Madara / Brotherly Game

According to Major League Soccer Vice President Charles Altchek, Liga MX President Enrique Bonilla met with MLS officials today to discuss ending the current system of promotion and relegation in Mexico. Altchek told a group gathered at the Philadelphia Union’s Academy campus in Wayne, Pennsylvania that this discussion would be held today in the MLS offices in New York City. Altchek and MLS Commissioner Don Garber were visiting the suburban Philadelphia campus to discuss the Union’s youth academy and made the remark to the gathered journalists and academy members.

Garber was talking about promotion and relegation in Major League Soccer, and how the idea “just doesn’t work” in the context of MLS. After an anecdote about meeting with Manchester City and New York City FC owner Sheik Mansour at his royal palace in Abu Dhabi to discuss MLS rules and regulations, Altchek interjected “Today, the gentleman that runs Liga MX is in our office trying to figure out how to get rid of promotion and relegation in Mexico.”

Garber went on later to tell the crowd that “The Mexican commissioner - his name is Enrique Bonilla - he’s in the MLS offices today looking at the MLS structure so they can think about how can they get the business side of Liga MX to be as good as they are on the field. And they’re really good on the field.”

The fact that these discussions are happening is a significant step for Liga MX that could present its own set of challenges not only for the league but for the FMF in general. The issue is expected to be brought up at the next owners’ meeting.