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MLS Admin and How it Could Impact the Whitecaps

TAM! GAM! Promotion! Relegation! Litigation!

MLS: All-Star Game David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

There have been a few recent developments when it comes to MLS and its many clandestine rules. So let’s Review them and what possible effects they could have on the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Promotion/Relegation Lawsuit:

NASL side Miami FC, as well as Kingston Stockade FC have brought a lawsuit against FIFA, CONCACAF, and the USSF in an attempt to force promotion and relegation in the US pyramid. The basis of this lawsuit is that the lack of Pro/Rel is a violation of Swiss law as well as FIFA rules. As Steve Sandor has pointed out, in his article which i’ve linked at the bottom of the page, the non inclusion of CSA in the lawsuit could potentially lead to a situation in which the three Canadian clubs are immune from relegation.

This Lawsuit doesn’t look terribly likely to succeed but just for a moment let’s imagine a world in which it does and the Canadians are not immune from relegation. How would this effect the Whitecaps? Probably not in any significant way as, with the exception of the 2011 inaugural MLS season, The Whitecaps have been very reliably mid table. It’s possible that the specter of relegation would inspire more spending but it’s just as possible that it would make being a steadily mid table MLS team more valuable.

Possible TAM Increase:

According to Jeff Rueter MLS is considering raising the the yearly TAM (targeted allocation money). For those unfamiliar TAM is like GAM but it must be spent on a specific type of player, usually a player who would be just over the threshold of what a DP is. The annual TAM may be raised to 2 million per team with the intent of it being used on “young players.” This is pretty good news for the ‘Caps as despite their well documented woes with designated players they have a pretty good record with TAM players. David Ousted, Cristian Techera, Christian Bolanos, and now Yordy Reyna have all been pretty successful. More of that please.

Possible Increase in GAM Received From Transfers:

As things currently stand selling players in MLS is a little bit complicated. When you sell a player the league gets one 1/3 of the transfer fee. Another 1/3 is converted to GAM (general allocation money) for the selling team up to a maximum of 650k (the price of one Kevin Molino/Eddie Johnson), and anything that’s left must be invested in club infrastructure like academies and training facilities, or the signing/retention of designated players. Unless of course the player is homegrown in which case the Club get’s 34 of the transfer fee, though (as far as I can tell) you can still only put up to 650k towards GAM. If you sell a designated player you get all of the money up to the amount you invested in said designated player and then it’s treated like a regular transfer. But wait there’s more! if you sell a player who you drafted after a period =/< a year then you only get a third of the transfer fee. If said player is sold after a period of time =/< 2 years then the fee is split 50/50 between the club and the league and. If said player is sold after a period of time =/> three years then it is treated like a regular transfer. Got all that? If you didn’t don’t worry because it could be about to change!

According to Paul Tenorio the league is considering “lifting the 650k cap.” This seems to imply that it’s possible in the future MLS clubs will be free to allocate the funds the receive from transfers as they please. This could be a god send for the Vancouver Whitecaps who are likely to be receiving a very high transfer fee for Alphonso Davies in the not too distant future. Sure adding one Kevin Molino level player would be nice but it wouldn’t really be all that satisfying for the fans who would have just lost of home grown phenom. But if the club can then allocate those funds however they like, they could in theory buy a whole new team of Molino equivalent players.

Davies can’t be sold abroad until he’s 18. The most expensive 18 year old ever was Luke Shaw who went for 31 million. I don’t think Davies will fetch that much as Shaw was already an established premier league player, but Davies is already an established international and still has two years to grow (he’s only 16 you know). I don’t think 10-15 million is to far fetched given the current market. That’s between 7.5 and 12.5 million in GAM that could be directly invested back into the squad.

All of these little new tidbits could potentially lead to an increase in spending that ‘Caps fans have been frothing at the mouth for for years. How do you think these scenarios could effect the way the ‘Caps do business? Leave a comment.