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MLS Commissioner Don Garber aims the league to compete with European ones

Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber expresses determination to compete with leagues like the Premier League and anticipates an eventual relaxation of spending regulations.

The 29th season of the top division in the United States and Canada commenced on Wednesday, with Lionel Messi showcasing his talent in Inter Miami’s 2-0 victory over Real Salt Lake.

Last summer, MLS made headlines worldwide by securing the signing of Lionel Messi, marking a significant milestone in the league’s ongoing evolution.

Garber sees the potential relaxation of spending rules as a means to further advance the league’s progress, although he emphasizes the importance of exercising patience to ensure sustainable growth.

(From some there is) this pressure and this energy to spend more money and just accelerate what has been a very strategic and careful growth plan for the league,” the long-serving MLS commissioner said.

“And at some point that’s going to come. The market is going to dictate that.

“But we’re still in a world where we’re managing player engagement and player involvement on a global basis, managing our economics here.”

Don Garber thinks the spending rules will eventually be relaxed

MLS clubs must currently adhere to a strict salary cap, with three Designated Players allowed outside of that budget to help attract the world’s best.

“We are living through a world where MLS is still a growth opportunity,” Garber said. “Now we’re seeing unique revenue here, so the Messi effect has been dramatic.

“I saw some article about their forecasted revenue. If we thought every team could deliver that by signing players, I could assure you that MLS would adapt its rules to be able to deliver that.

“Somebody wrote an article about how we’re thinking about how to evolve over the next number of years, are thinking in terms of strategic player spending.

“But We will do whatever we need to do to grow our fan base, to build the competitiveness of our league, and to grow our revenues, and ultimately the credibility and viability of MLS on a global stage.

Nothing is going to stop us from doing that. But we just want to be thoughtful about it.”

Ethan Dempsey
Ethan Dempsey
Ethan is a lifelong football fan. When he is not obsessing over the Premier League games, Ethan likes to read fantasy tomes, watch football documentaries and waste hours upon hours on video games.
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