Daly: European expansion on the horizon
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09-12-2008, 02:17 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Originally Posted by
Hopefully the posters here can discuss some of the business points raised by Daly:
*European taxation on salaries/teams
This will be a huge hurdle for any German team, as taxation is already a huge issue for the DEL, as one reason, why German teams are unable to compete with the Russian and Swiss ones when it comes to player salaries, is the huge difference in tax rates.
While German government has been generous to soccer teams and the soccer federation, it played hardball against the German Ice Hockey Federation, when it requested a waiver of the German withholding tax to cater the 2009 WC.
*Effect of distance on travel and TV coverage
I deem TV coverage to be a minor issue compared to most of the other topics raised by Daly. Travel however is a major concern and I have no idea how to solve this problem. This is probably more of an issue to the North-American teams than the European ones, as they could play up to 10+ games on a single road-trip and should be able to adapt to the American time zone.
The easiest solution is probably a heavy interdivisional schedule with the European teams playing each other a lot, which on the other side might limit the marketability of the league, as European fans aren't used to 82+ games schedules and love variety.
*Gate revenues expected to be less than NA teams
IMO this might become the second biggest issue, as Europeans are not willing to pay up to 80$ a night 41+ times a year to watch a single team. Most of the European leagues recently reduced the number of teams to shorten the schedule. Don't get me wrong, European hockey fans love the play-off-system, yet it is an anomaly in European team sports perception, which is dominated by soccer. Thus the casual fan is still used to a 34+ games schedule, where each team faces each other twice (one homegame and one on the road) and the final standings determine the champion. Moreover, soccer tickets are usually (Premier League aside) much cheaper than NHL ones', so this is another challenge for the league. The NHL however will need those casual fans to sell-out his games and generate half-decent gate-revenue.
*Sponsorships in Europe may be a higher value, or able to potentially mitigate shortfall in gate revenues
They are definitely able to mitigate the shortfall, but the NHL would have to allow ads on jerseys, socks and hockey equipment for this to happen.
*Competition from other European leagues
Good point as well, as Europeans usually stick to their (hometown)club, which are part of the cities' and sports' history. Thus it might be advisable to market potential European franchises as national teams.
*Transfer agreements-- any EU laws in play??
This is by far the biggest obstacle and I do not see this problem to be solved anytime soon. European lawyers, labor lawyers and most importantly antitrust agencies will be all over the CBA and tear it apart before the first game is played.
Trades without the player's permission? - Salary cap? - Restricted Free Agency? - Drafting and obtaining player rights?
All those things are inconsistent with European law and European jurisdiction, which has dratsically altered the European sport landscape since its foundation and has proven the willingness to take on big businees.
Last edited by Snoil11: 09-12-2008 at
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