The Instigator
Pro (for)
6 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

European Soccer is structurally preferable to American Major League Sports

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/14/2011 Category: Sports
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,790 times Debate No: 17912
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)




Hello, I am arguing that European Soccer (UEFA) is structurally preferable to the major American sports leagues (MLB, NFL, NBA).

By European soccer I mean the professional teams under the jurisdiction of UEFA. By major American sports leagues I am referring to MLB, NFL, and NBA.

By "structurally" I am referring specifically to the various domestic leagues, promotion/relegation, international competitions (Champions and Europa Leagues), reserve and youth squads- and anything else that pertains to the actual structure of the sport in Europe.

By "preferable" I just mean better- that is, whoever accepts this debate will argue that American sports are better structured. I would insist on my opponent arguing in favor of American sports structures, instead of making some sort of post-modern argument that they are just "different" or one cannot be inherently more "preferable", etc. Semantic and epistomological arguments aren't interesting to me and if you wish to have one please do so elsewhere.

I realize I am in the unpopular position here arguing against American sports, but hopefully the readers will realize I am arguing structures, not what sport is better.

Round one for acceptance only please.


Howdy, I am taking the con side of this debate and representing the structure of American sports. My opponent has requested the first round to be of acceptance, so I will leave it at that. I look forward to the debate on the structure of American sports and how it is far superior than that of the UEFA.

Good luck!
Debate Round No. 1


Alright, let us have fun my friend.

My argument, to restate, is that the structure of soccer is Europe is better than the structure of sports in America. This is Why:

Promotion and relegation is a great aspect of soccer in Europe. For those who don't know, promotion and relegation is a system where the top finishing teams in a league join the league above them and the bottom finishing teams join the league below them. How this works, for example in Italy, is there is Serie A (the equivalent to the NFL or NBA), Serie B (second division), Serie C1 and C2, Serie D, and Semi-professional leagues. Serie A is where the big bucks are, the star players, and the chance to play internationally (explained later). The bottom 3 finishing teams (out of 20) move into Serie B and the top 3 teams in Serie B promote at the end of the season. The same works between Serie C and B, except C is broken up into two leagues and there is a playoff between the top finishers for Serie B spots. Serie D is several regional leagues that feed into Serie C and the semi-professional leagues feed D. Every European country has a version of this.

This system is good for several reasons: it allows small towns and teams to work towards building a dynasty and becoming an nationally recognized team. This brings pride and economic incentives into the town. A semi-professional team, with good investing, good management, and strong supporters (ticket revenue) can be rewarded by playing bigger teams with bigger stakes. By extension, teams that have poor support and sloppy management are punished and get reduced for their terrible performances. Because the teams aren't property of the league (as in America- the teams being trademarks of the leagues), it is a more honest and fair system. Terrible MLB franchises SHOULD be sent somewhere to restructure, while ambitious clubs from smaller places provide new talent to the pool. Another reason this system is good is because since there are many more clubs, many more players can make a professional living playing sports. I would use statistics here but common sense prevails. In the NBA for example, there are 15 players a team and 30 teams, so about 450 players. There are semi-professional basketball teams in America, but still, very few make enough for an honest living. Take Italy again, there are hundred upon hundred of clubs, all with over 30 players, and many with good youth systems to develop talent. MLB does the best job of this of any American sports, with the farm system, but with no other major baseball leagues in the world, most are confined to very few spots on 30 teams.

The P&R focuses on the benefits of soccer on the lower levels, but on the highest level is Champions league. UEFA, the governing authority of European Soccer, organizes two major tournaments a year: Champions League and Europa league. CL and Euro are international, which means any club from any country in Europe can qualify. Each country is awarded berths based on past performances in the competitions, so England, Spain, Italy, Germany, France and Portugal get the most berths. The berths are awarded to top finishers in the leagues. Usually Champions League only being awarded to top 3-4 finishes. All countries get at least 1 spot in Europa league (which is lower than Champions), and how they perform with that spot determines whether they are allocated more the next year (again, a system that rewards success, unlike America).

Let me tell you if you don't know, Champions league is off the hook. Imagine if every North and South American country had a major baseball league, many as good as the MLB. Then imagine if the Yankees, Cardinals, Red Sox, and all the best teams in the MLB went to compete again dozens as teams as good as them, internationally, stocked with the best talent money could by. And there was a tournament to determine the best. Sweet Jesus that would rule. Well in Europe, it exists. The best clubs from England, Italy, Spain and Germany (the best clubs are usually from here, but outsiders often win) face off every year to determine the greatest in Europe. Many consider this more prestigious than the World Cup (the quality of play is much higher). We have called the Yankees, and many other teams the champions of the "world series", but this means nothing. They outplayed 29 other teams, all American, with no pressure from upcoming clubs. And the next year, they battle the same clubs. Year after year....

Another element that makes European Soccer better is the cultural differences. Poor announcers of MLB love to talk about how the National League plays "small ball" and NFL announcers "West Coast Offense". Something about the sports fan loves to draw comparisons about different "styles of play". But in Europe, where Spain can play Greece, Russia against Ireland, England against Italy, etc. every week, it really is prominent. Italian teams for example play a very rigid, defensive, tactical style which sees a team counter attack, get ahead 1-0, and grind out a victory with Spartan discipline. Whereas Spanish football is very lovely and open- they flowing runs and swift passing sees a typical game in La Liga score in at 4-2. England plays physically and over the top with lavish passing, and Portugal plays technically and skillfully due to Brazilian influence. So, when all these styles clash in European play, when Inter Milan plays Manchester United or Real Madrid plays Bayern Munich, there is a national element that gives an added dimension to the aficionados pleasure. This is rooted in the structure of having a national league and an international tournament as well.

Something American sports fans love to laugh about, yet I think secretly admire, are those insane rivalries we see on television. Because of how the leagues are structured with promotion and relegation, almost every town has a team, and as we know from European history, those towns aren't always friendly. El Clasico, the greatest rivalry of all, showcases this. After victory in the Spanish Civil War, the Fascists in Madrid suppressed Catalan culture, not even allowing them to fly the Red and Yellow flag. So they flew the Barcelona crest instead. Even now, when Barcelona and Madrid do battle, it is a thing of beauty. Because every town has a club, local rivalries born through history can playout again, giving passion and meaning to the local people. When Fiorentina (from Florence) plays it's local rival Siena each year, the Sienese chant "Monteperti Monteperti" at the Florentine players. Monteperti was a great upset battle where Siena defeated Florentine troops at Monteperti... in 1260 CE!!! While division is not always a good thing, local pride, character, and passion are good things and why we arbitrarily support our local sports teams. But since American sports don't allow for movement and many clubs, I can never see my beloved Seahawks destroy a Portland football team.

So as I have argued, European Soccer is much better structured than American sports. It allows for stratification, international competition, and the fulfillment of historical and cultural signatures. The fact that soccer isn't hindered by contrived nonsense like a "draft", mandatory college, and a salary cap allows for teams to do whatever they can to reach the top. European soccer rewards craft, risk, passionate fans, and good business with more money, more prestigious competition, and international fame. Any player can work his way up from small teams to European giants through determination- not what he did in college. American sports allow lousy teams to keep being pathetic, throwing them a measly draft choice to help. Teams with poor support play in empty stadiums knowing there will always be a next year, when great fans of the game in cities without teams know there city will never have one.

thanks for reading and good luck


akphidelt forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Well it's a bit of a shame that you forfeited. It's okay though, just post your argument in round 3.


akphidelt forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by waylon.fairbanks 5 years ago
AKPGIDELT- This essentially what my argument is: soccer has a much more dynamic and decentralized model than American leagues. In soccer, you could start a private club, hire good players, and work your way up through various leagues until you are in the "major" leagues. You can play champions from other countries, and if your team begins to fail you can relegate into lesser leagues with less prize money. In American sports, if you are poorly supported and get dead last every year, nothing really happens except you get a cozy draft spot next year. The league basically owns everything and there is no mechanism for smaller teams to compete. This is biased obviously, but it is also factual, and I would like to debate someone that thinks the American system (30 something teams, VERY powerful central association, no promotion/relegation) is superior. So, basically I am arguing that soccer is better in every way except the actual game itself- so I call it the structure. I do believe soccer is an infinitely superior game in itself, but there would be no point in arguing this because it's my tastes. Does all that make any sense?
Posted by akphidelt 5 years ago
I would love to debate on American Sports vs Soccer, but even after reading your definitions I still have no clue what your argument is. How does one argue "structure" of a sport?
Posted by Itsallovernow 5 years ago
You all know that soccer is the most popular sport in the world? Huh...I thought it was NASCAR (That one was for you, Papaw!)
Posted by waylon.fairbanks 5 years ago
Well I'm an American so I say soccer- which is an English term to begin with. Not all Europeans call it football though. Calcio
Posted by TheBaldKnobbers 5 years ago
European football american soccer
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by CD-Host 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: double forfeit, excellent round 2 by pro