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stop bothering the fans

Imagine if the National Hockey League forced Groupe CH to sell its shares at the Jazz Festival, otherwise Juraj Slafkovsky, Sean Monahan, Evgenii Dadonov and Kirby Dach wouldn’t be able to play for the Canadiens.

Posted at 7:45 am

Inconceivable?

Absolutely.

However, a similar situation has just occurred in Spanish football. Not even in the fourth division of Asturias. In the main league of the country. La Liga forced FC Barcelona to sell assets (television production studio and broadcasting rights) in order to incorporate five players acquired this summer.

Why ?

Because LaLiga, eager to improve parity between its teams, has created an administrative monster. An illustrative patent. Something that makes the madhouse go, in The twelve labors of Asterix, for a yoga retreat. He introduced a different salary cap for each club. The authorized amount varies according to the income and expenses of each team.

Obviously, the brothel took hold.

What is income? What is an expense? FC Barcelona, ​​​​LaLiga, fans, journalists, financial analysts, all offered their own reading of the regulations. A regulation that, I must specify, extends over 109 pages.

I consulted him for three days. It is dry reading. As much as that of thirty acres, for a high school student two. I’ll spare you the semicolons, the paragraphs, and the additions. All you need to know is that after days of confusion, contention and ranting, the two sides reached an agreement, oh my magic, the day before the opening game. I’m not sure everyone understood what happened, but FC Barcelona were able to use four of their five recruits.

* * *

Parity is great.

In fact.

It gives teams from small markets the opportunity to compete with those from big cities. So if the NHL had adopted a salary cap in the 1990s, the Nordics could still be in Quebec. Same thing in baseball; the Expos could have kept their stars and stayed in Montreal.

Therefore, I am in favor of parity. On the other hand, I am discouraged by the complexity of the mechanisms deployed by each league. All these rules, these sub-rules and these sub-sub-rules, have become laughable. The average partisan is lost. Fallen. Disgusted for not understanding the wiggle room of his favorite team.

Take the National Hockey League. Could you explain to a 12-year-old exactly how the long-term injury list works? Or how the Tampa Bay Lightning could legally win the Stanley Cup, with a payroll over the cap of 81.5 million?

In the ECHL, the Trois-Rivières Lions employed more than 80 players last winter. One of the reasons: COVID-19. The outbreaks have forced the club to look for a large number of replacements in the major leagues throughout the province. How did your opponents react? By claiming these players on exemptions, a parity mechanism. With what intention? play them? No way. They knew very well that these Quebecers would not leave their jobs to move to the United States. Their only goal was to prevent the Lions from calling them back.

“If we start hurting each other and put lightning between us, it’s a little ridiculous,” Lions general manager Marc-André Bergeron said.

In the CF Montreal league, MLS, teams can exchange imaginary money. There is also a salary cap. Sometimes a player’s entire salary counts. Other times, no. Even more surprising: clubs can register the names of the world’s best players (Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo) on a “discovery list” and then resell the rights to these stars with whom they are not under contract to an opponent.

Thus, the Impact paid imaginary money to the Chicago Fire to get the rights to Didier Drogba. It is to lose not only your Latin, but your Romanian, your Mandarin and your Creole…


PHOTO BERNARD BRAULT, PRESS ARCHIVE

Didier Drogba and Marco Donadel, with the Impact

The height of the height?

In the US women’s basketball league, the WNBA, the New York Liberty had to pay a $500,000 fine for traveling on a charter flight. The reasoning: it gave him an advantage over other clubs, whose owners invest less. To quote the Sports Illustrated “This is a unique scandal, in which a leading organization is accused of treating its players too well. »

Parity, I want. But make it simpler. Less complicated. Clean rule book. Simplify the mechanisms. Create official applications, with which fans can follow the room for maneuver of each team live.

Stop bothering the fans.

Everyone will win.

pay it later

A few weeks ago, basketball player Luguentz Dort signed an 87.5 million five-year contract, which makes him the highest-paid athlete in Quebec per season. But all this money hasn’t made him forget his humble roots in Montreal.


PHOTO DOMINICK GRAVEL, THE PRESS

Luguentz Dort (foreground) at his training camp for young Montrealers

On Saturday, Dort invited a hundred youngsters from here to a one-day training camp at the Complexe William-Hingston, in the Parc-Extension district. The children ran, dribbled, threw, without always listening to the instructions of the facilitators. And it was perfect like that.

The tone was more party than Spartan training. Dort walked from field to field. Here to demonstrate defensive technique, there to play 5v5, block shots or soak. He took photos with all the young people and generously answered their questions.

If I talk about it, it is because not all athletes of his condition return to the land of their childhood, and that they are involved in this way by young people from disadvantaged neighborhoods.

“Montreal is the city that made me, that built me,” he told me.

“This is where I started. Many young people here remind me of myself when I was a teenager. They have a lot of willpower. I love to see this. And I love that they can see that a player from Montreal, who speaks French, is playing in the NBA. Make my heart happy. »

Luguentz Dort has a rare talent. But even better, he kept the son’s heart from him.


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