Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Slip of the tongue

Eddie Johnson is on his way to Fulham FC and the Kansas City Wizards sent out a press release on the matter. Then, they sent out a corrected version. Here's what the Wizards sent out initially:

(January 23, 2008) – Forward Eddie Johnson completed an agreement today to transfer from the Kansas City Wizards of Major League Soccer to English Premier League club Fulham FC. Johnson led the Wizards with 15 goals and recorded a career-high six assists in 2007. He was named team MVP and MLS Comeback Player of the Year.

Per team and league policy, specific financial details of the transfer will not be disclosed. The Wizards will, however, receive two-thirds of the transfer fee to use for a variety of purposes that improve on-field product, pending league approval. Money can be applied as allocation money (up to $500,000), toward a designated-player signing or for the KCW Juniors Youth Development Program.

"When a player of Eddie Johnson's caliber signs with an English Premier League team, it speaks to the level of play in Major League Soccer," Technical Director Peter Vermes said. "Eddie grew as a player in Kansas City...

And now the corrected version:

(January 23, 2008) – Forward Eddie Johnson completed an agreement today to transfer from the Kansas City Wizards of Major League Soccer to English Premier League club Fulham FC. Johnson led the Wizards with 15 goals and recorded a career-high six assists in 2007. He was named team MVP and MLS Comeback Player of the Year.

Per team and league policy, specific financial details of the transfer will not be disclosed. The Wizards will, however, receive a replacement allocation.

"When a player of Eddie Johnson's caliber signs with an English Premier League team, it speaks to the level of play in Major League Soccer," Technical Director Peter Vermes said. "Eddie grew as a player in Kansas City...


Interesting. I'm guessing what they said in the first release is accurate but was too much information to pass out apparently so they snipped all evidence of that out and re-sent the release.

Since they have a Designated Player slot, the Wizards could potentiall sign a DP and use some of these allocation funds to nab themselves a pair of good players. Or they could put it towards player salaries. Or they could put it towards scouting. Whatever the case, the Wizards could use this bit of a windfall to improve their team.

Now back to the issue of self-policing whatever information that can or cannot be released to the public. Does it really do any harm to let people know that the Wizards get to use up to $500,000 to improve the quality of soccer on the field? Where is the harm in that?

12 comments:

EASTLACHIVA said...

Honestly, between you and Andrea, you guys are good at what you. The effort put forth on this blog is commendable. However, this issue of MLS/KGB/CIA info control is something you should bomb all of soccer news coverage in this country. I hate hearing how there is little or no coverage of American soccer in this country by a MLS/Team official. This league is 12 years old. There are fans who want to know. This info secrecy nonsense is a joke. We fans want to know what's going on and we want to know all the time. We want to know the financial terms of EJ's xfer. We don't always want to know how much he spends on jewlery.

Jaime come back!!

Anonymous said...

I've read that they may be getting more tight lipped about finances due to the looming collective bargaining agreement negotiations.

ghostwriter said...

Good intentions by the Wizzards pulled up short by the League? Otherwise, why "correct"? Once it's out, it's out.

just another one of you said...

Perhaps KCW should use that money to pay their fans to show up to games at that horrendous excuse for a stadium they're trying to get away with this coming season.

On a serious note though, whenever the focus for MLS is on the executives, and not the actual product on the field, is when it is most apparent how far soccer still needs to come in this country. They must think that by removing a sentence or two from a press release people are just going to forget what was said. It is sad how incompetent the people in charge of marketing the sport and league are.

It would seem to me that given the way the MLS exploits their single-entity status at any possible moment that a player would have the opportunity to take the league to court over collusion if they ever felt they needed to (i.e. Taylor Twellman). I think a case could be made that player salaries are negatively affected by the way demand from other MLS teams is controlled behind closed doors.

Doesn't KCW technically lose a DP spot given that EJ was grandfathered into the Galacticos rule being used out in LA to fund the circus in Carson?

Pablo Chicago said...

Good point. What is so earth shattering that KC has another $500K to use as they see fit? What's the BFD?

I agree with ghostwriter. The cat is out of the bag. It's hard to defend the league when they pull Mickey Mouse moves like that.

James said...

According to team sources, the first press release was incorrect and the team will NOT get 2/3 of the transfer fee. Possibly due to the whole "Eddie is a DP, that doesn't count as a DP" situation & also Eddie's unique contract situation.

According to Ives , Eddie bought out his contract with MLS and pocketed the transfer fee.

Anonymous said...

I think anonymous at 12:07 has the key point in this - this is all about controlling information in advance of the negotiations. And this really does suggest an inept tone-deafness about the league.

I am really worried looking towards the negotiations. I think with the money coming into the league that the players are going to want some modest adjustments to the cap size and the minimum salaries and the league is going to push back hard for the status quo. Bad times ahead.

eastlachiva said...

Push this story, guys! This a conspiracy. Bottomline, people want to know the finances.

The Manly Ferry said...

Dang right, eastlachiva. It's not as if fans DON'T know the league is cheap.

Baysider said...

Scuttlebutt on bigsoccer was that the grandfathered players do not come under the new transfer rules and that you only get an allocation.

Presumably this was because it was the league that paid to get these players (and paid all their salaries until now) so the league should get the reward.

Anonymous said...

Gonzalez from CC just got sent to U catolica in Chile FOR AN UNDISCLOSED SUM.

2 dollars? Hot Wheels? How much?

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