After The Athletic published an interview with Inter Miami manager Phil Neville, the club banned publication at its Media Day event. Interviews with Neville included criticism of the lack of a finite playoff structure a week before the regular season began, but the most interesting note is that Neville is a major player in his league and his promotion in football. Supporting relegation.
Inter Miami have banned Pablo Iglesias Maurer and Felipe Cardenas from the club’s media festival. But his two writers for The Athletic stood by the report and the story.
In fact, the original story included an editor’s note with comments from Inter Miami. The club wanted to make sure that the mixed feelings and criticisms of the playoff structure were entirely Neville’s personal opinions, not those of the club.
Nonetheless, Maurer said on Twitter that the club was unhappy with the content of the interview with Phil Neville and the timing of its release.
The MLS season kicked off on February 25th and The Athletic published an interview with the Inter Miami manager on February 19th.
Inter Miami target Athletic before playoff format release
Since the story was published, MLS has finally come to a conclusion regarding a revised playoff structure. This is significantly different from the seven teams per conference before the season.
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This season, each conference will have play-in games for the 8th and 9th seeds. And the opening game of the tournament is a best-of-three series, which is rarely played in football. These games cannot be resolved with a draw. After that, the conference semi-finals, conference finals and MLS Cup are all single-elimination games.
A total of 18 of the league’s 29 teams will advance to the playoffs for the 2023 season, with four of those teams competing in wild card matchups in the first round of the playoffs.
Still, this announcement comes just four days before the start of the season. Neville says the delay makes the league look unprofessional.
Neville, of course, wanted promotion and relegation. That seems unlikely given the risk that owners will spend hundreds of millions on the franchise.
Photo: IMAGO/ZUMA wire