United States Professional Football Leagues Criteria

Arsenalkid700Arsenalkid700 7 Points
As we all know the AIFF do have a criteria to decide if you are a professional league or not but it is shit. Meanwhile in the United States the Unites States Soccer Federation decided to release some new regulations back in 1997 and ever sense the US has beaten teams such as Brazil, Spain, Germany (twice) etc. and currently they are 33 in the world but at one point they were number 4 in the world and will be rising up. They even have a top league which has guys like David Beckham, Thierry Henry, and Rafa Marquez. This got me thinking that if a country which has 75% of its population hating football can do all this then why not India which has football ranked more popular than in the USA. Anyway I found the United States Soccer Federations Criteria to determine if a league is professional or not and I have decided to post it here...



    I. General Requirements for All Professional Leagues (Additional Specific Division Standards Listed Below):
    Composition; Play

    i. League must determine a champion each year based on seasonal play or by means of a post-season playoff tournament.

    ii. League playing rules must comply with all relevant FIFA guidelines and Laws of the Game.

    Markets; Stadia; and Fields
    i. At least 75 percent of the league’s teams must be based in the United States.

    ii. League stadiums must meet the following parameters:
    - All stadiums/arenas must have controllable ingress/egress.
    - All outdoor leagues: Playing surfaces for all teams must be at least 70 yards by 110 yards and be FIFA-approved.

    Coaches; Referees
    i. The coaches of each of the league’s teams must hold a USSF “A” coaching license (or equivalent from the appropriate federation) within two years of their appointment.

    ii. All games played by league teams in the United States must be refereed by Federation-licensed or approved referees assigned pursuant to league-specific policies set forth by the Federation, if any.

    Financial Viability
    i. As specified for each division, the league must require each team to post with the league or, if so directed, with the Federation, an adequate performance bond or other security to secure the performance of the teams’ obligations (including, without limitation, player and staff salaries and wages, stadium lease commitments and third party vendor obligations in addition to commitments by each team to the league) for the current season. In the case of a single-entity league, the league must provide, or demonstrate that it has, adequate security to ensure the performance of the league’s obligations for the current season. The amount of any such bond or security shall be set by the Federation in its sole discretion.

    League Office
    i. League must have a central office that is open during regular business hours year round.

    ii. League must have a full-time employee who handles the responsibilities of a chief executive officer or commissioner.

    iii. League must have an active publicity/public relations program.

    iv. League must have an active marketing and sponsorship program.

    v. League must have a director of officials or, with the Federation’s approval, may delegate such function to the Federation.

    vi. League must have a professional registrar.

    vii. League must have a disciplinary body or an executive group to review misconduct.

    viii. League must have an executive committee.

    i. League and each league team must produce an annual media guide.

    ii. League must generate and disseminate weekly statistical reports and regular press releases.

    iii. League or its teams must produce a line-up card or other similar guide for each individual game.

    Team Organization
    i. Each team must have individuals handling responsibilities of the following positions: general manager, director of marketing/sales, director of communications/media relations, director of promotions/community relations, director of game operations, head coach, assistant coach, trainer, ticketing manager, finance director, and clerical staff.

    ii. Each team must demonstrate its on-going commitment to the promotion of soccer at all levels in its home market.

    iii. The league shall impose limitations on each team, set from time to time by the Federation, regarding the number of non-domestic (as defined by the Federation) players that may be listed on the roster.

    iv. No owner may exercise control over more than one club in such a way that the integrity of any game or competition would be jeopardized. If it is necessary for the viability of the league for an owner to own more than one team, the league and the owner must present the Federation with a plan how such owner will relinquish ownership of all but one team as soon as possible. However, all teams must maintain independent operations to maintain the integrity of all games and competitions.

    Relationship with Federation
    i. League must apply to become a member of the Federation and all teams must be and remain in good standing with the appropriate federation. As part of the application process, the league must pay reasonable costs the Federation may incur for any review of the financial viability of the league and its teams.

    ii. League must become and remain a member in good standing of the Federation.

    iii. League must pay all applicable Federation fees and dues on a timely basis.

    iv. League must submit to the Federation an annual report setting forth, in reasonable detail, the status of its compliance with these standards, including a description of how each team in the league is demonstrating its commitment to the promotion of soccer in its home market and the development of players at the youth level.

    v. League must release its players to play on the U.S. national teams and shall actively support the U.S. national team programs.

    vi. League must register its players with the Federation on a timely basis.

    vii. Federation shall have the right to review any financial information, books and records of the league and teams, including any audits conducted by either the league or teams. In the event such an independent audit establishes material irregularities, the cost of the audit shall be paid by the league or team, as applicable.

    viii. League must have a code of conduct that is signed by all teams and players.

    ix. Teams shall provide attendance figures and gross gate reports as requested by the Federation.

    x. Team and league shall notify the Federation if the team has payables overdue by thirty (30) days or more for the team’s players, its stadium authority, the league or the team’s key vendors.

    I just want to see if you guys think that if something like this does happen then will we finally get the proper leagues we want.
  • Here are the 2nd Division standards:

    II. Division II Men’s Outdoor League: (This is about the 2nd Division of Football in America)
    Composition; Play
    i. League must have a minimum of eight teams to apply. By year three, the league must have a minimum of 10 teams. By year six, the league must have a minimum of 12 teams.

    ii. U.S.-based teams must participate in all representative CONCACAF competitions for which they are eligible.
    Markets; Stadia; and Fields

    i. In the first year, U.S.-based teams must be located in at least two different time zones in the continental United States. By year six, U.S.-based teams must be located in at least three different time zones.

    ii. At least 75 percent of the league’s teams must play in metropolitan (In India's case, big cities like Bangalore, Kolkata, Delhi etc) markets of at least 750,000 persons.

    iii. League stadiums must have a minimum seating capacity of 5,000.
    atleast 1 team is in a stadium below 5000.

    iv. Not later than 120 days prior to the start of each season, each team shall have a lease for one full season with its home stadium.
    Financial Viability

    i. Each team must submit a letter of credit in the amount of $750,000 with the joint beneficiaries being the Federation and the league in a form satisfactory to the Federation on an annual basis. The letter of credit will be used to cover the costs of the team’s operations (including, without limitation, player and staff salaries and wages, stadium lease commitments and third party vendor obligations in addition to commitments by each team to the league) for a season should that become necessary. The letters of credit must be submitted 120 days prior to the start of the next season for each team. Any team that utilizes the letter of credit during the season will be required to replenish the letter of credit at least 120 days prior to the next year.

    ii. Each team ownership group must demonstrate the financial capacity to operate the team for three years. As part of the process of demonstrating financial capacity, each ownership group must provide detailed financial history, verifiable individual financial net worth statements for each member of its ownership group owning at least a five percent (5%) interest in the team and projections (including a detailed budget) for the team to the Federation in a form satisfactory to the Federation.

    iii. Each team must have and designate one principal owner that owns at least 35% of the team and has authority to bind the team. Such principal owner must have an individual net worth of at least twenty million US dollars exclusive of the value of his/her ownership in the league or team.

    iv. Any prospective team principal owner must meet with Federation staff regarding the responsibilities of owning a team. In the case of a new league, each team principal owner in the new league and the senior league personnel must meet with Federation staff on an individual basis, as required by the Federation.

    v. The league will furnish to the Federation prompt written notice of the following (and, in any event, within five business days of the league obtaining knowledge thereof):
    any violation of these standards, specifying the nature and extent thereof and the corrective action (if any) taken or proposed to be taken with respect thereto;
    the filing or commencement of, or any written threat or notice of intention of any person to file or commence, any action, suit, litigation or proceeding, whether at law or in equity by or before any governmental authority, against the league or one or more teams in the league that could reasonably be expected to result in a Material Adverse Effect.
    any development that has resulted in, or could reasonably be expected to result in, a Material Adverse Effect.
    “Material Adverse Effect” shall mean a material adverse change in or effect on the business, condition (financial or otherwise), results of operations, assets or liabilities of the league and/or its teams, individually or taken as a whole; (b) the ability of the league or its teams to perform any of its obligations under these Standards; or (c) the ability of the league or its teams to meet any of their financial obligations.

    [bTeam Organization][/b]

    i. All of the required positions must be filled by full-time staff during the season.
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