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West Ham United fans look dejected after their team are relegated
The discussion of relegation is a really hot topic for followers of MLS. The English Premier League has the bottom teams relegated to a lower division at the end of the season while promoting top teams to a higher division.
In theory it’s an interesting practice, but in practice—even in the EPL—it’s negligible and almost useless.
The biggest reason why MLS rejected a relegation system with the United Soccer League, for example, is due to money. The teams in USL do not have the same spending money or the facilities to help grow itself or MLS.
Now if you look at teams that are promoted to the EPL, it’s the same thing. The economic discrepancy from the newly promoted teams and those at the top like Manchester United and Chelsea is astronomical. Newly incoming teams don’t have the cash to improve their squad to compete at such a high level, and eventually descent to a lower division after a couple of seasons surviving in the EPL.
For the relegated EPL teams, they get a large payout—to make up for lost television revenue—that allows them to do the needed upgrade in personnel to quickly ascend to the top flight.
It’s become a seesaw battle at the bottom of the Premier League with teams at the top of the Premier League left untouched.
For MLS to follow this pattern would be foolish and would kill any progress it has done over the last 16 years.