The views of The Soccer Heel are their own, and not reflective of the collective writers at American Pyramid
Well, well, well. Looks like it's my turn to be The Soccer Heel. I talk to a lot of people in lower league soccer, it is a smaller community, after all, and it has caused a question to rise up in my mind. It's a simple question, really. Where is my money going?
What do you mean? You might be asking yourself. I'll show you what I mean.
The National Premier Soccer League had 84 teams at the end of 2016. 17 left, reducing it to 67, then added another 30 for the 2017 season, bringing it to 97 teams total. Here is some math for you. To be clear, my math on sponsor revenue is a guesstimate, but it will serve it's purpose.
Expansion teams in 2016: 19
Expansion Fee in 2016: $12,000
Total Revenue from Expansion Fees, 2016: $228,000
Expansion teams in 2017: 30
Expansion Fee in 2017: $15,000
Total Revenue from Expansion Fees, 2017: $450,000
Total Revenue from Expansion Fees, 2016 through 2017: $678,000
Cash Prize to winning teams: $0
What in the world is that money being stockpiled for? Where is it going? Why did the expansion fee go up in 2017, which might have been the worst off season ever for the NPSL? Per Wikipedia, the NPSL had 84 teams at the end of the 2016, and promptly lost 17. Why the increase in cost? What value are teams getting for this fee? I mean, the league did start an awesome Youtube highlight show, but did that take $3,000 from all new expansion teams to do?
I won't even get into the seeming lack of interest to find sponsors for the league, or naming rights sponsors for conferences to create more revenue to keep the cost down for clubs, and maybe even create a pool of prize money for winners.
At least the UPSL is giving teams that win the Championship $5,000. And with a Spring and Fall season, you can win $10,000 total. And I've heard of at least one of their conferences doing a cash prize for their winner. Where is that in the NPSL?
I'm going to take a long, hard look at what's best this off season. I want clarity on what's being done with my money, and frankly, there's more incentive to win when there's something on the line. We need more transparency at the lower levels from the leagues. Hopefully this will help us get some.