America’s star-spangled approach to making the world sit up and take more notice of Major League Soccer may be about to enter a revolutionary new phase.
All the drum-beating hereto has been about attracting top players. Stars like David Beckham and Thierry Henry have commanded top dollar in the States.
Now the appointment of the Premier League’s Peter Walton to head up the creation of a professional refereeing set-up in America will have far-reaching consequences.
I understand it will lead to a recruitment drive for top officials from England And why not? It seems the money is in place and, let’s face it, the men paid to control our £100,000 a week superstars are princes among paupers at around £75,000. . . a year.
The MLS seasons runs from March to October, overlapping ours at both ends. A commitment to both is impossible, so what price a move between countries?
America may have particular appeal for referees in the latter stages of their career. Top target? Try our own Howard Webb, still only 40 but a man who has achieved most of his career goals after refereeing both the World Cup final and the Champions League final within a few momentous weeks in 2010.
Webb is England’s man at Euro 2012. After that. . .?