European Soccer Execs Warming up to MLS's Spring-Autumn Schedule

Harold Cunningham

Karl-Heinze Rummenigge, chairman of Bayern Munich, has stated publicly that he would prefer the switch as it just makes more sense.

I've argued in the past about how MLS should at least consider making the switch to a Autumn-Spring/Summer schedule in order to become more globally relevant. Not that I would personally prefer it (I actually really enjoy Summer games), but that, in the long term, it made more sense in order to grow and expand the league. Today, however, that latter point might not hold as much weight.

According to Sports Illustrated, the German executive, who is also chairman of the European Club Association which represents over 200 clubs in Europe, has publicly stated that it makes no sense for European soccer to play through the Winter, citing weather issues as a prime concern.

"Everywhere, be it Germany, France or England, summer is the best period of the year. And that is the season we don't play,'' Rummenigge said. "In deepest winter, when it is very cold and snowing, we play nearly all the time in conditions that are disagreeable for both players and spectators. It is not logical.''

We certainly know how that feels here in the United States and Canada. While I don't think Portland itself would be too much of an issue (though perhaps on some of the coldest days) I can't even imagine what it would be like in places like Chicago, Toronto, Columbus, or Montreal. Cities with high continentality always have more extreme weather and thus make the beautiful game significantly less, well, beautiful.

When asked, point blank, by France Football, Rummenigge stated that it's completely possible that this will happen and he believes they're heading in that direction right now.

Such a monumental shift in scheduling for Europe would result in an aligned schedule (or at least more aligned) for MLS and would negate one of the biggest complaints FIFA has about the league.

And now the bad part of this story, apparently Rummenigge is known for making bold claims and statements like this. While this doesn't mean he's incorrect or lying, it certainly puts a damper on any of this coming to pass anytime soon. Still, it would certainly be an interesting saga in European soccer history.

What would you think about European leagues matching MLS's Spring-Autumn schedule?

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