Wednesday, March 2, 2011

No money for you?

The other day I opined in "Show me the money!!", that if the Federation spent the kind of money they pay their coaches, to pay a small group of referees ... truly professional referees ... we may increase our chances of getting through to a World Cup (and advancing) soon. While this is only one aspect of the problem, it is one significant aspect. A second is the "right" appointments to be seen and taken seriously at the international level, and a third is the political will & backing to help FIFA and CONCACAF make the right choice.

Even more striking that this topic (which is fodder for another day), was the difference in pay between the coaches of National teams in the US.

Take a look at Bradley's base pay of $449,025. This dwarfs Sundhage's base salary of $207,667. Some may say this has to do with it being a World Cup year ... but ... that would seem to be well compensated for in the bonus Bradley obtained, $345,000. While not explicit for World Cup performance, it would stand to reason it is.

Why such a difference in base salary? They are both National teams? They both represent the US? Why?

Is the women's game "less valuable" than the men's? US Soccer may seem to think so.

Now, truth be told, I am a capitalist at heart and have no issue if one is better than another at negotiating a salary. If that is really only the issue Pia needs some big help. My suspicion is that there is more in play here and the range of salary is not as great. I openly admit I could be wrong ... but such a wide gulf gives me pause.

It is odd to me too on another level. I would think that while US Soccer is trying to gain international acclaim for the mens program, it has international acclaim for the womens program. Remember the US WNT has placed in the top 3 for every single World Cup, and two of those they were Champions. This is compared to the MNT with the closest was 3rd place in 1930 ... and not all that close since (an exception being 1994 IMHO).

I would think that is worth something to US Soccer. Certainly pay bonuses on performance in World Cup years, but pay a base worthy of assuring the US continues its foothold in the women's game. Alternatively, reduce the men's base salary and pay out a larger bonus on performance ... where it really counts.


  1. Just think it has more to do with interest (economics) in the mens game vs womens game than gender. Does the mens team bring in more revenue than the womens team? I know that larger markets (New York,LA) usually pay players more than smaller ones (Springfield). Larger colleges with more TV audiences for their sport programs pay more for coaches than smaller colleges. All that being said, why does UMASS amherst pay $500k for their BB coach when they are no where close to being a large revenue producer, nor in a large market UNLESS that's the going rate for a moderate size men's BB program in division 1?

  2. Fair question Anon.

    While I agree with you in "private markets", e.g. MLS that salaries would be based on team draw, I think that does not square with the National Teams.

    Both play a limited number of engagements and it would *appear* that each are well attended.

    I also believe that gate revenue may not be a significant factor in salary as they derive most of their income from US Soccer, not a league or gate. After all they are the National Teams.

    Your question is also a good one about why some colleges pay more than others ... I don't have a clue unless as you state that is the going rate.

    On that note IO have to believe many would take half of that and still do well with a team that plays in such a small market.


  3. Good Point Peter, on these are National Teams.

    You are also right that MANY coaches would take 1/2 that salary (UMASS BB) and do just as well.

    You haven't change, You are very good with people. The National Program could use you!!!!

  4. Anon,

    Thank you for the kind words. We shall see soon if the National Program would be interested in my services.

    Either way, I truly enjoy our time together here, and my service at the state level.

    Best regards,