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Robert Kraft says lack of a salary cap keeps him out of English soccer

Robert Kraft AP

Patriots owner Robert Kraft says he’d be interested in buying an English soccer team, but there’s one thing holding him back, and it’s the one thing that’s largely credited for maintaining the NFL’s competitive balance and cost certainty: A salary cap.

Kraft owns the New England Revolution of Major League Soccer and has an interest in expanding his sports business operations abroad, but he’s not going to go about that by buying into the English Premier League as long as that league doesn’t have a cap.

I would only do it if there was a salary cap. It’s the same thing I said three years ago,” Kraft told CNN. “We could have bought Liverpool before the two ownership groups who preceded us and in the end I don’t want to compete in a business where people throw money at something. I want to be able to compete. The fans in Liverpool are awesome and they are expecting to win every year, and if you are competing with people who have different rules then it makes it difficult.”

Kraft suggested that the way European soccer currently works, if you want to win big you have to be willing to lose money. And he’s not willing to lose money.

“Manchester City won the championship this year and I hear they’re going to lose $156 million,” Kraft said. “I would rather give that money to charity if I had it. I want every business to stand on its own.”

The Patriots can win on the field and make Kraft a nice profit. He doesn’t want to buy into a team where that won’t be the case.

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17 Responses to “Robert Kraft says lack of a salary cap keeps him out of English soccer”
  1. butch815 says: Jun 27, 2012 1:26 PM

    Those darn capitalist. I guess Kraft has not heard of spread the wealth around. (sarcasm)

  2. flapjackdaddy says: Jun 27, 2012 1:34 PM

    Kraft doesn’t want a soccer team because it would cost money…Why is this not surprising in the least?

  3. thegreatgabbert says: Jun 27, 2012 1:47 PM

    The Brits hate filthy rich American owners. “Sheiks without keffiyahs!”.

  4. thegreatgabbert says: Jun 27, 2012 1:48 PM

    Bob will just have to serve more Kraft Dinners.

  5. CKL says: Jun 27, 2012 1:58 PM

    Yeah as soon as I knew Mr K was at the forefront of the CBA talks, I knew there’d be a cap. He’s definitely made those type of comments before.

    The NFL is a weird business model and I’m glad it’s not like the rest of business, but I do think it’s necessary for this sport to be like that if it wants to stay viable to all of the fans.

    Mr Kraft’s biggest asset is his big picture mentality. Pats were far far from a “good investment” when he bought them, He MADE them a good investment. Usually business decisions made with any sentimentality backfire, but Mr Kraft made owning his beloved hometown team work.

  6. londonbengal says: Jun 27, 2012 2:01 PM

    Kraft is a very wise man. European football desperately needs a salary cap.

    So many times over here in England, you hear about people ‘investing in English football’. You don’t ‘invest’, you spend. Don’t expect to get back what you can’t afford to lose.

    Success in football (soccer) totally depends upon how much money you have to spend.

    Let this be a warning to all those NFL fans who want to see the salary cap removed so that Jerry Jones or Dan Snyder can ‘buy’ the Superbowl each year.

    The NFL and its salary cap system ensure a wonderful level of freshness and close competetion, and long may it continue.

  7. Matt says: Jun 27, 2012 2:03 PM

    This is really funny to NFL fans because “LOL who wants to own a soccer team amirite?” and really funny to soccer fans for two reasons:

    1) “English Soccer” is a totally American term. It’s called football, bloody hell.

    2) Kraft is the cheapest owner in MLS. The Revs suck. Terrible team. They’re in the red too, at least, they used to be. So it’s not like his MLS franchise is doing much better than the Man City’s and Man United’s of the world.

  8. castleofcheese says: Jun 27, 2012 2:28 PM

    Seems perfectly sensible to me.

  9. Max says: Jun 27, 2012 3:06 PM

    English Football is much larger than the NFL, the league is supported globally by its local and international fanbase, which dwarfs any American Sports League, Basketball is the only thing that comes close to European Soccer on a global scale.

    English Football governs itself but they belong to the governing body of Europe which is UEFA. English teams compete at UEFA Competitions versus other European Leagues such as the Spanish La Giga and Italy’s Serie A. So English Football must comply with some UEFA regulations to be eligible to play in UEFA competitions.

    An individual league such as the English FA will be committing suicide if they were to impose a salary cap in their domestic league, since the best players in the world will go to Spain, Italy, Germany, anywhere without a salary cap. The only way this works is if FIFA not UEFA imposes a global salary cap.

    I say FIFA because UEFA won’t do it, because then leagues outside of UEFA will then be able to grow and eventually have a competitive advantage against them, since they won’t have salary caps. In this scenario UEFA would most likely be worried about the MLS growing and attracting the world’s best players.

    It has to be a global cap. Thats the only way it works. Maybe it can be Tiered club system with a max ceiling for each tier.

    But all of that is a lot of policing and Fans really don’t care… Fans rather it stay the way it is. We want to continue to see the best players play together consistently. Right now the brand of European Football is of the highest quality, and there are enough superstars and enough money in the game to have multiple powerhouses in each league.

    Imagine that every league in Europe has a Superbowl for Soccer. Now Imagine all those SuperBowl Winners from each country going against each other in one competition, that is what UEFA Champions League is, and its big!

    Let the ignorance flow…..

  10. ndnut says: Jun 27, 2012 4:40 PM

    You do know that MLS has a salary cap right? Stars still come here and stay here every once in awhile. But you are correct that the English FA could not and would not impose a salary cap.

  11. billobrienschindimple says: Jun 27, 2012 4:47 PM

    @ Matt

    Actually soccer is a very English term. That is what the game was called by the nobles and upper class, while football was the term used by the working class peoples.

    @ Max

    I’m shocked that you would even hint (regardless of the fact that it is true) that there is any sport or league larger than the NFL. I have been told over and over that there is no more popular sport on the planet and no bigger event than the Super Bowl. In fact I am astonished the PFT censors let your comment pass with such blasphemous statements.

  12. arkadyrenko says: Jun 27, 2012 4:55 PM

    Kraft is right. Aside from the 4 or 5 teams owned by Russian billionaires, nobody in the UK reasonably expects their football (soccer) team to win championships.

    If you’re a fan of a mid-level team, you accept the fact that the system is rigged against you unless the team is sold to a Russian with more money than sense.

  13. jjbadd says: Jun 27, 2012 6:15 PM

    I sit & wonder at times, if people remember what football was like years ago, when there was no salary cap. I kinda remember, and one team that sticks out above all, is SF 49’s….they had so many star players.. but I think a salary cap is absolutely necessary, if not, football wouldn’t be competitive like it is now. These days, a team can go winless one season, to the SuperBowl the next…and viceversa…

  14. ilovekoolaid says: Jun 27, 2012 6:36 PM

    He’s right. Its impossible to maintain an international football team that is both winning and fiscally responsible. Another victory for America!

  15. captfoxboro says: Jun 27, 2012 9:08 PM

    Dear Europeans …

    European , and I’m not.

    Your soccer system is corrupt & plays you suckers for fools .

    ( see Major League Baseball )

  16. nycprbro says: Jun 27, 2012 11:31 PM

    @billobrienwhatever

    Im pretty sure the world cup is bigger than the super bowl…

  17. backindasaddle says: Jun 28, 2012 9:03 PM

    “Max”

    “Let the ignorance flow…..”
    ____________________________________________________

    You should understand something Max. We Yanks are indeed very ignorant relative to English Football. Yes… guilty as charged. But what I’m afraid you’ve missed….. we don’t care about English Football. Actually, I think hearing the reports of the Drunken English Football Hooligans traveling around Europe and leaving a wake of destruction and mayhem everywhere they go is far more entertaining.

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