City Football Group Trolls MLS, America With Lampardgate

Jun 7, 2014; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; England midfielder Frank Lampard (8) warms up before a game against Honduras at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Happy big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big, *takes a deep breath* big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big, big Wednesday from the View From Avalon, your Los Angeles Galaxy news site on the FanSided Network! At this time, while there is no news coming out of Los Angeles outside of Stevie G joining the G’s and Alan G joining the G’s (although we’ll keep you posted, we promise), it’s time for us to pour out an invisible 40 for a number of New York City FC fans and American soccer fans in particular.

America and MLS, you have been trolled by the City Football Group and the coin-collecting Sheikh Mansour. Yes, you have been trolled by the cheeky Shiekh himself. The truth is, Frank Lampard never signed with New York City FC, but by the City Football Group.

We all get trolled every now and then. It’s part of humanity, it’s part of our DNA, it’s what allows us to find something to get a…rise out of. It’s gotten so bad that Empire of Soccer and FanSided’s Zac Wassink are calling for Don Garber’s resignation. Speaking of rise and softball-style riseballs, rise and shine to what Forbes.com’s Bobby McMahon had to say regarding this deliberate, if preordained, faux mess.

Manchester City have taken a more innovative approach to the challenge. In less than the last 24 months City Football Group has added NYCFC (2013), Melbourne FC (2014) and Yokohama F. Marinos (2014) to its stable of clubs.

The ownership approach for the last three acquisitions has been the same – majority ownership but a minority shareholder with great local/national presence.

The strategy is to offer global companies activation opportunities around the world by associating with four teams in three of the world’s largest markets. As such, NYCFC was acquired to fill in a significant area within the City Football Group’s marketing and revenue generation plan, not for use as a “farm-team.”

The truth is that the City Football Group has been building relationships and signing agreements with smaller teams around the world for some time now and if they wished to add a farm team in North America it could have been achieved without taking an expensive and much riskier majority ownership position.

There is also another clue within the Manchester City statements that shows how the parent group intends to further benefit from owning four teams in different markets.

The Manchester City payroll stats show a significant decrease in the number of staff but at the same time external charges have increased by $26M to $90M in 2013/14.

It appears that many scouting and related expenses have been moved off the Manchester City payroll and on to the books of the holding company only to then to be pro-rated back to each of the four clubs in the form of recharges.

Some may see that move as FFP gerrymandering while others would see it simply as good business and a way to spread overhead over a larger base.

As a business major back at Long Beach State University, where I got ejected from a few sporting events from for really rubbing it into the bad guys from parts unknown, I recognize it as the latter and I am actually all right with this, seeing that I support the Galaxy and the New York Cosmos, two teams that would not dare to invoke Katy Perry-style retaliation (see: Dark Horse) through their business practices. I will also let you in on a personal school of thought: if you’re getting detractors like the City Football Group is getting right now, that means you’re doing a good job. So, well played, Sheikh, I guess.

Uncle Phil Anschutz and AEG, I reckon, are honest folks and would not dare to bait-and-switch its customers unless the Galaxy want to end up like Chivas USA. So on a serious note: I say let Lampard stay with Manchester City FC and sign on a contract with them. Why not; it’s apparent that this fiasco could precipitate into something along the lines of Chivas USA if NYCFC is deliberately neglected in the name of their innovative [sic] business practices, so let Lampard go down as the greatest NYCFC piece of cake (read: lie) that ever played [sic] in New York.

Now, if Stevie G ends up being injured between now and the time he plays his first match with the Galaxy, hallelujah, shout to glory, it looks like the joke is on us! Can’t wait! Hey, it can happen, and I have a reputation to call fate’s bluff with a Lady Gaga poker face, so bring it on!

Thus, the View From Avalon would like to say to Frank Lampard, if you’re needed at Manchester City, stay there and don’t come to America. Nobody wants Mr. ‘Cake Is A Lie’ to receive a reception similar to what the Riot Squad did to David Beckham a few years back when they called him a fraud. Of course, they did come around, so you never know. But if Man City needs you, we won’t miss you, and that is that.

End Hot Take On Lampardgate. With that said, I hope you keep it right here on the View From Avalon for more Los Angeles Galaxy news, and some MLS news and more hot takes, because, you know, the View plays like that. Only on FanSided.

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