Aside from sharing a British origin, baseball and football have little in common. Even in terms of format, the MLB and association leagues like the Premier League differ greatly. Like other North American leagues, the MLB relies on a single-elimination series playoffs, which culminate in the World Series. The Premier League promotes and relegates its teams, including crowning a champion, with a points system.
Still, the leagues don’t exist in a vacuum. What succeeds in any major league sport is likely to see a bit of curiosity from other leagues. Many would argue the attempted Super League formation in Europe was a prime example of association football attempting to score big with an Americanized format.
But the intersections between these two leagues run a bit deeper. Super League attempts aside, what do these leagues have in common?
Todd Boehly Wants All-Star Matches
Todd Boehly owns the LA Dodgers and Chelsea FC, two of the top teams in their respective leagues. The American businessman recently generated a lot of opinions on his suggestion that the Premier League adopt an All-Star game. In the MLB, an All-Star game pits the top players from both conferences against one another.
For example, MLB American League MVP winner odds favor players like Aaron Judge and Shohei Ohtani. An All-Star game is a chance for fans to see these two team up together rather than battle on the diamond. Boehly’s Premier League All-Star game would pit players from the north and south against one another.
Unfortunately for Boehly, the idea has been trashed by pundits, including ESPN’s Craig Burley. Still, the idea may find traction later on.
Short & Sweet Contracts in the Premier League
The primary reason Boehly wants an All-Star game for the Prmeier League is to rake in more cash. Earlier this year, Boehly pocketed huge returns from the All-Star game in Los Angeles, which brought in around $200 million. But not all exchanges between the Premier League and MLB are based on flash.
Instead, they’re based on short-term contracts. The Athletic’s Adam Leventhal recently published an article regarding the proliferation of pillow contracts in the Premier League. Pillow contracts are short but ‘sweet’ deals designed to help players grab attention and smaller teams gain a star player, such as Nottingham Forest’s one-year deal with Jesse Lingard.
So far, the trend seems to be picking up… but there’s one major obstacle for pillow contracts: they don’t offer teams big money from transfers.