Revenue sharing in Major League Soccer

  • Matthew Taylor

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Science by Research


The existence and practice of competitive balance in professional sport is arguably what makes the industry stimulating and like no other, especially in North America. Due to the vast number of publications on competitive balance and its effects on sport, it all but confirms the concepts importance in professional sport. With the noticeable increasing attention that Major League sports are receiving from the global audience, an investigation in to exactly how certain sports operate competitive balance in their league is a fascinating topic, especially in Major League Soccer. When recognising the mechanics of competitive balance and the additional strands that make up the concept in Major League Soccer, it is obvious that the extreme growth rates that the sport and the league is experiencing is not down to luck. The league formed in late 1993 and hasn’t experienced any plateaus in their growth rates – this is reflected in the increase in attendances and the number of franchise expansions. This research pays specific attention to Major League Soccer and one of the strands that contributes to competitive balance - revenue sharing. Revenue sharing’s importance is discussed in this study, along with the effects that the mechanism produces. Its use on a global scale is also studied, and in particular the methods that European football and the English Premier League implement, offering insightful comparisons from ‘the other side of the pond’.

In order to collect primary data for this investigation, the researcher conducted semi-structured interviews with those who possess significant knowledge of Major League Soccer and/or European football and how both manage their competitive balance. Following the interview analysis, key areas for discussion were identified to help build the main body of this research regarding revenue sharing. Where possible, the researcher has provided theoretical suggestions with substantial support from participants in aid of answering the given research question.
Date of Award2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Coventry University
SupervisorSamantha Gorse (Supervisor) & Benoit Senaux (Supervisor)


  • revenue sharing
  • football
  • soccer
  • major league football
  • major league soccer

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