As you may or may not know, the San Jose Casbah are members of the Independent Supporters council. We are also huge fans of our team and players (I bet you knew that already). I hope this isn’t the case but you might not know that the players, our players, have gone on strike. Just incase you didn’t know what has been going on, please read the following statement. I will be following up in another blog post to discuss what our plans are for the first home game assuming the player strike continues.
Call on All Fans to Attend Their Scheduled “Game” This Weekend Anyway In Event of Strike
The Independent Supporters Council of North America and its associated members would like to make it clear that they are in complete support of the Major League Soccer Players Union. Members of the ISC constitute the vast majority of supporters groups throughout the many Major League Soccer teams in North America. During our recent ISC Conference in Denver, it was agreed that all groups were unanimously in support of our players.
The players are the ones for whom we pay our hard-earned money to watch. They are the ones for whom we sing songs and whom we ask to give their all for the teams we love. We believe the players are not asking too much in demanding a fair share of the revenue they generate from us, the fans.
Supporters groups, much like the MLS Players Union, see past the claims of poverty made by MLS and the various owners, who have recently received $240 million dollars in expansion fees from NYC FC, Orlando City SC, and Atlanta. A new television deal between MLS, ESPN, Fox, and Univision Deportes will bring MLS $720 million over the next 8 years. On top of this, there are millions in undisclosed sponsorship dollars, ticket sales, and concessions dollars each season.
When one adds to this the associated revenue from such profitable ventures as Soccer United Marketing, the claims of poverty and loss by MLS and ownership ring hollow to everyone but MLS and team owners.
The Independent Supporters Council also recognizes that many of the things the players are fighting for mirror what we have been fighting for with MLS for years: transparency, respect for those who help build the league, and clarity.
We urge MLS and the owners to do the right thing and come to an acceptable compromise with the MLS Players Union. Taking the hard line will only set MLS back at a key moment of growth in the history of professional soccer in North America.
In the event of a work stoppage, the Independent Supporters Council is calling on all member groups to show up at their stadium this weekend, just as they would if games would be played. Whether you normally tailgate, march to the match, or gather at a local establishment, our presence at every MLS stadium in the league will send a strong message of support for the players and demonstrate to owners lost revenue.