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Turmoil is not just an American phenomena

While I have been focusing on the issues that are facing the lower tiers of the American soccer system recently, please let's all remember that our issues here are not as bad as in other places.

In Scotland the Old Firm are constantly making noise about leaving the SPL and SFA for the supposedly greener patches in England. This is both an attempt to find more money (remember that the SPL lost its major TV money) and to woo more talent so that they can again compete in Europe effectively. It is notable though that there are no suggestions within the EPL that they are wanted. Not as members of the full EPL, nor as part of a newly created EPL2 at least not for several months.

But the Premier League itself also has issues. Most revolving around massive debts that its clubs have taken on in efforts to win Cups both on the island and the continent. These debts are so big that Portsmouth is eating up owners like the drunk targets Moons Over My Hammie at Denny's early Sunday morning. And yet they are still threatened with Administration on an already awful club. When two different Arab owners can't save the club things are certainly problematic.

Incredibly, eight of the Premier League's 20 clubs are vulnerable to takeovers or are in the process of being sold off.

Arsenal, Birmingham, Blackburn, Everton, Hull, Liverpool, Portsmouth and West Ham face uncertain futures.

In exchange for the prestige of owning a team at the top of football's pyramid, foreign owners take on a mountain of debt.

Premier League clubs are in hock to the tune of £2.8bn, with Manchester United servicing their £700m loans with annual interest payments of £60m.

It is for reasons like this that the mutterings about salary caps and roster limits are gaining popularity within European soccer, because outside of the Big Four (+City) in the EPL this is not a sustainable model, and eventually prospective owners will disappear. It no longer makes any business sense to own an EPL squad, which is why you see so many getting out of the ownership game.

Tottenham actually now has a self cap imposing that the highest paid players on their club will only make about 5.8M US$ annually. If that doesn't seem like much, that's because it isn't. In fact a certain MLS player is making that much right now, and it has been reported that TFC's de Guzman also passed that mark. With their self-imposed cap they have still finished in the top 10 of the EPL 4 of the last 5 years.

It is key to remember that while the CBA and roster rules are in flux for MLS, the financial climate has effected leagues at every level, in every nation. While MLS has become stronger during the crisis, they may be the "best" league to do so.

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