Thought Trail: Sheikhs, Queens, and a new home for MLS in NYC?
Eric: The details have been hidden in the shadows, but it comes as no real surprise to see the NYTimes reporting that Man City owner Sheikh Mansour eager to stretch his empire of influence in the world of football to America. Before we fly through this topic in our private jets, I think it’s worth recognizing that - to a degree - it’s impressive that MLS has a Middle Eastern oil tycoon fawning over it, right? Or do you see this as more of a “I want to be a part of it, NY NY” attraction?
Maxi: I get the cynicism towards the Sheikh’s interest; it’s the same sort of public opinion that trails oil barons whenever they buy clubs. But as a whole, this seems to me primarily a decision based in business. Or, as much as it can be given that football clubs aren’t usually all that profitable.
That said, it seems to vindicate that MLS is a league developing on a variety of fronts: whether in terms of quality, global recognition, or financial potential, there was something in New York that prompted the Sheikh to include the city in his plans for a global portfolio. It might be the global reach of a city like New York and the gratification that accompanies it, but does it matter when there had to be a functioning league in place to prompt the decision?