Boyz taking a hit with MLS salaries

first_imgOn the field, Jamaica was better than the United States (US) during Gold Cup 2015. At the bank, however, US internationals are cashing in more than Reggae Boyz in North America’s top professional football competition.According to figures released recently by the union representing players in Major League Soccer (MLS), Jamaicans generally make far less than their American counterparts, which has left some Boyz claiming lack of respect.The disparity was glaring in the Gold Cup semi-final clash. According to MLS Players Union, the 2015 total guaranteed compensation for the five Americans who play in MLS, and who started against Jamaica, was US$12.3 million, averaging US$2.4 million per player. Captain Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey are guaranteed US$6.5 million and US$4.6 million, respectively. The lowest compensation will go to Gyasi Zardes, with US$223,000.Meanwhile, four Boyz who started against the US are guaranteed a combined US$787,658.33 in MLS compensation this year, an average of US$196,914.58 each.Darren Mattocks of Vancouver Whitecaps and Houston Dynamo’s Giles Barnes, goalscorers in the historic 2-1 win, are Jamaica’s projected top earners, with US$272,000 and US$275,658.33, respectively.Midfielder Je-Vaughn Watson of FC Dallas will get at least US$180,000, while fullback Kemar Lawrence of New York Red Bulls, arguably the tournament’s best defender, is guaranteed US$60,000, close to MLS minimum.Combined, 20 Jamaica representatives scattered across MLS will make some US$2.4 million in guaranteed compensation in 2015. Half will make less than US$100,000 and nine will earn below US$80,000.Current Jamaican players in MLS interviewed for this story requested anonymity, fearing backlash from their clubs. None suggested American players didn’t deserve their compensation, but some believe the Boyz are being overlooked.”(MLS clubs) do not respect Jamaicans at all,” declared one veteran. “They think Jamaicans are not used to money, so they can offer any kind of money and we’ll take it.”Boyz also claim MLS players from North America who make near-minimum are often inferior to Jamaicans making a similar amount.”Other players from Canada and US get low wages, but they are not the same quality as Jamaicans,” said a Reggae Boy.Jamaicans have a proven record of significant MLS contribution, with several being key members of championship-winning teams. Yet top salaries have not followed club success.”For the players coming from the smaller countries, like in the Caribbean, it’s gonna be difficult because … they’re not seen as being world-class players yet,” explained ex-Jamaica international, Tyrone Marshall, who won multiple MLS titles and is currently an assistant coach with Real Salt Lake.Meanwhile, MLS clubs spend heavily on big names, limiting what they can offer unheralded talent, including Jamaicans.”The MLS makes one mistake,” said Winfried Sch‰fer, head coach of Jamaica’s senior national team during the Gold Cup. “They take too many older players and pay them too much money. That is a problem for the development of the players. A big problem.”Brazilian Kaka is guaranteed most compensation in MLS this season – US$7.2 million. Ex-England internationals Steven Gerrard (US$6.3 million) and Frank Lampard (US$6 million), plus Spain’s David Villa (US$5.6 million), also rake in big bucks.Agents have been blamed for some disparity in compensation. Jamaican players believe they are occasionally caught in conflicts of interest.”Representation is a problem,” said a former Jamaican MLS All-Star. “… You’re never sure what’s going on behind closed doors.Jamaicans are, therefore, starting to take keener interest in their contract negotiations.”You have to put your foot down,” one player said.But Jamaican Damani Ralph, a former MLS player and current agent for several Boyz, doesn’t believe Jamaicans in MLS are unfairly targeted with lower compensation.Players’ value, he explained, is tied to several elements, including quality, experience, and exposure. Jamaicans, especially those coming directly out of US colleges or the local Premier League, are viewed as unknown quantities.”There is a structure,” explained Ralph last month. “… People don’t know what they will get out of (the players) at the beginning.”In national striker Deshorn Brown, however, MLS quickly found out. Brown scored 10 goals for Colorado Rapids in each of his first two MLS seasons after US college. This season, Brown plays in Europe after being guaranteed US$123,000 in 2014, according to the union. Ralph, Brown’s agent, denied money was the reason the player left MLS.”The aim was that Deshorn wanted to move to Europe,” he said.Colorado then signed Republic of Ireland striker Kevin Doyle, a former English Premier League (EPL) player. He is guaranteed US$1.2 million in 2015. Doyle had scored two goals in 12 appearances through August 16.Lawrence, sources said, was brought to New York as a backup to a player earning more than three times his compensation. He won the starting job, but ‘Taxi’s’ money metre is stuck on low.”He has outperformed his contract,” said Ralph, who represents Lawrence, “but it’s a contract and he has to honour it.”Former US international Cory Gibbs, an agent with Wasserman Media Group (WMG), which represents some of the biggest names in MLS, including Jamaicans Barnes and Mattocks, doesn’t believe Boyz are being deliberately underpaid either. Gibbs said players like Bradley and Dempsey earned big MLS paydays because of their accomplishments in top leagues and World Cup.”US players have proven themselves at the highest level,” said Gibbs. “… No disrespect, but they’ve built their names.”Slow development of professional football in Jamaica, some Boyz argue, has prevented them from doing the same, leaving little leverage to demand higher pay overseas, despite their talent.”(MLS clubs) like to say we need to establish ourselves,” said a player. “But still, they’d prefer to give big money to players who haven’t produced.”Meanwhile, Jamaican talent is being embraced by MLS. The current batch is possibly the largest ever listed on team rosters for a single season. Five Boyz were selected in the first round of the last two MLS SuperDrafts.But stigma remains. The decision by Alvas Powell (guaranteed US$68,700 in 2015 at Portland Timbers) to leave the national team during the Gold Cup is potentially one.”They (clubs) can say that they can’t invest heavily in players like Jamaicans because they don’t know when they will flip out and walk out,” a former MLS player said.Compensation fortunes for Jamaicans in MLS, however, could soon turn dramatically, following strong performances at Copa AmÈrica and Gold Cup.”The Jamaican player with athleticism, composure, discipline, there’s definitely an upside,” said Gibbs. “… Definitely there’s an upswing (in interest).”Options are opening outside MLS, too. Lawrence, for example, has attracted interest from clubs in top European leagues”If players have quality, they don’t have to play in MLS,” said Ralph, recalling his own decision to move to Russia years ago.Leagues like in Vietnam, for example, offer promising packages. Lower profiled Jamaican players in the “V League” have reportedly earned more than US$100,000 a season – after deductions. Ralph admitted Jamaicans’ MLS value could improve.”Market value of the Jamaican players is not what it needs to be,” he said.Barnes, whose club contract ends after this season, could be an early indicator if change is coming. Unconfirmed sources claim the striker is seeking more than $1 million next season.Barnes declined to discuss the issue during Gold Cup.Late last month, Gibbs didn’t confirm or deny that figure but declared the striker “put himself in a good situation” with recent international performances.So did other Boyz. If MLS doesn’t pay, someone else just may.”There are options out there; options that would surprise people,” said Jamaican agent, Baron ‘Mosiah’ Marshall, who has represented several Boyz in Vietnam and listed China, India, Thailand, and Malaysia among possibilities.”Everything,” Gibbs said, “is about supply and demand.”last_img read more

USA Gymnastics files for bankruptcy after sex-abuse scandal

first_imgLights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew USA Gymnastics filed the petition in Indianapolis, where it is based. It faces 100 lawsuits representing over 350 athletes in various courts across the country who blame the group for failing to supervise Larry Nassar, a team doctor accused of molesting them. Nassar, 55, worked at USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University for decades. He is serving effective life sentences for child porn possession and molesting young women and girls under the guise of medical treatment.Kathryn Carson, the recently elected chairwoman of USA Gymnastics’ board of directors, said the organization’s goal is to speed things up after mediation attempts failed to gain traction.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back Chriss“Those discussions were not moving at any pace,” Carson said. “We as a board felt this was a critical imperative and decided to take this action.”The filing does not affect the amount of money available to victims, which would come from previously purchased insurance coverage, she said. Carson said the insurance companies “are aware we’re taking this action and our expectation is they will come to the table and pay on our coverage.” Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award MOST READ ‘Mia’: Rom-com with a cause a career-boosting showcase for Coleen Garcia LATEST STORIES No.13 lucky for Orlando Bloom Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum FILE – In this Feb. 26, 2014, file photo, the USA Gymnastics logo is displayed at AT&T Stadium during an news conference announcing in Arlington, Texas. USA Gymnastics has filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018, as it attempts to reach settlements in the dozens of sex-abuse lawsuits it faces and to forestall its potential demise at the hands of the U.S. Olympic Committee.(Ron Jenkins/Star-Telegram via AP)USA Gymnastics is turning to bankruptcy in an attempt to ensure its survival.The embattled organization filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition on Wednesday in an effort to reach settlements in the dozens of sex-abuse lawsuits it faces and to avoid its potential demise at the hands of the U.S. Olympic Committee.ADVERTISEMENT Nicholas Georgakopoulos, a bankruptcy expert and law professor at the Indiana University’s Indianapolis campus, said USA Gymnastics is “hoping for a miracle” with its legal maneuvering.“The USOC says you violated this relationship, here are the consequences and USA Gymnastics is saying it filed for bankruptcy, there are no consequences,” Georgakopoulos said. “This is like a gambling addict who goes to the casino and gambles every day and one day the casino says you can’t come anymore, you’ve lost too much, and addict says, I filed for bankruptcy, you can’t stop me from coming to the casino.”If the USOC wants to go forward with decertification, it must now go to court.USA Gymnastics has no timetable on how long the bankruptcy process will take and did not offer a ballpark on how much it expects to pay in settlements. Its doors, however, remain open for business.“We are continuing to pursue all aspects of our current operating model,” Carson said. “This affords us an opportunity to reorganize as well as resolve the claims with the survivors.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextcenter_img After winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Flying high View comments Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Carson added: “This is not a liquidation. This is a reorganization.”John Manly, an attorney representing dozens of women who have pending lawsuits against USA Gymnastics, chastised the organization for continuing to “inflict unimaginable pain on survivors” and encouraged law enforcement officials to “redouble” their investigative efforts.“Today’s bankruptcy filing by USA Gymnastics was the inevitable result of the inability of this organization to meet its core responsibility of protecting its athlete members from abuse,” Manly said in a statement. “The leadership of USA Gymnastics has proven itself to be both morally and financially bankrupt.”USA Gymnastics insists that’s not the case, stressing that the filing is based on legal expediency, not fiscal distress.While Carson acknowledged that sponsorship is down since the first women came forward against Nassar in the fall of 2016, she described the financial condition of USA Gymnastics as “stable.”ADVERTISEMENT Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. USA Gymnastics reported assets in a range of $50 million to $100 million and a similar range of liabilities, with 1,000 to 5,000 creditors. The organization said its largest unsecured creditor is former president and CEO Steve Penny, who is owed $339,999.96. USA Gymnastics is disputing Penny’s claim, though attorney Cathy Steege declined to get into the specific nature of the dispute.Penny resigned under pressure from the USOC in March 2017. Two other presidents — Kerry Perry and former U.S. Rep. Mary Bono — have followed in what has become a revolving door amid the organization’s hierarchy.It’s that chaos at the top that led the USOC to initiate the process of removing USA Gymnastics as the sport’s national governing body at the Olympic level — a step that’s taken only under the most extreme circumstances.In an open letter to the gymnastics community in November, USOC CEO Sarah Hirshland said “you deserve better,” and that the challenges facing USA Gymnastics were more than it was capable of overcoming as currently constructed.Carson said the legal maneuvering Wednesday delays the USOC’s efforts to strip its designation as a national governing body.“We always have a dialogue going with them and intend to make it clear with them we have a lot to talk about and we want to keep that going,” she said.USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky said the committee is reviewing the filing’s potential effect on decertification. “Financial stability and viability are essential for a national governing body to operate in the best interests of the athletes,” Sandusky said.USA Gymnastics believes bankruptcy protects it from having opportunities or assets taken away by a debtor. Carson acknowledged that being a national governing body “is a big part of how we raise our revenue.”Carson, who replaced Karen Golz as chairwoman last week, said she accepted the position because she believes in the direction of USA Gymnastics, which she said doesn’t need money but rather time.“We think we’re changing the dynamic and we certainly believe that we will try to remain the NGB,” Carson said. “To be clear, it is our lawyers’ firm belief that the bankruptcy will automatically stay (decertification) … and we will work with the USOC to regain credibility.”last_img read more