Stephen Ross Unhappy With USSF Limiting Relevent Sports' Ideas
Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross believes his business goals with soccer are "being stymied" by the U.S. Soccer Federation, and he has been "blunt about what he perceives as unfair and unwise resistance to his efforts by the American soccer establishment," according to Bill Shea of THE ATHLETIC. Ross' Relevent Sports Group in April filed a lawsuit against the USSF and "accused the federation of abusing its position by failing to sanction a proposed regular season match between top-tier Ecuadorean pro teams" at Hard Rock Stadium. The Relevent-USSF squabble "represents a particular tension: Growth of the sport domestically and the role of European clubs in that growth." Ross said that he "sees his effort to bring globally-dominant clubs" to U.S. fans as a "beneficial tool for all soccer in America." He added that it is the USSF’s "job to grow the sport but has done a 'poor job' and termed their efforts a 'farce.'" Ross: "They look for excuses for it not to happen. They’re in bed with MLS trying to stop competition or growing soccer as a sport in this country." Shea noted the "relationship he’s referencing is that between Soccer United Marketing, the profitable marketing unit of MLS, and the U.S. Soccer Federation." Relevent is spending $7.5M "over the next three years on the La Liga North America content-creation plans, and the joint venture calls for any profits to be split with the league" (THEATHLETIC.com, 8/5).