More details have come out regarding the management of the San Antonio Scorpions after several sources revealed information with how the club is run. After Saturday’s dismissal of Alen Marcina at the airport in front of the general public, sources have come out revealing even more damaging issues.
The status of players contracts has already been mentioned by the San Antonio Soccer Examiner, with all bar one player, Stephen DeRoux going off contract on November 1st. That situation comes from players being given just eight month contracts, making them seasonal employees, which one source described as semi-professional.
That used to be considered common in the NASL but as the league gets more top class, that trend has fallen away and this is now an unusual thing. Only three other clubs who will be in NASL in 2016 have been offering their players these style of contracts, and two of those clubs have been in turmoil relating to ownership so could see that change in 2016.
Without a coach, Howard Cornfield stated in the press release that they would not be advancing on signing players without a new coach in place. Given the players with the Scorpions in 2015 are now all off contract and not taking a wage, if Cornfield is true in his statements, those players will not be offered new contracts until the new coach comes forward, so fans should expect few players to wait around and be at the club in 2016.
The other major problem in attracting players to the club is the lack of health insurance, with sources confirming that Scorpions players are not offered health insurance. While players who get injured on the field are covered that is minimal and there is no further health insurance offered to clubs, meaning that they need to acquire that insurance privately if they want coverage for themselves or their families.
Talking to sources outside of the Scorpions, this is unfortunately not an anomaly for the club, as it appears that most American NASL clubs behave like this. That is likely due to NASL standards, which don’t require any coverage of players or their families’ health insurance, which does not constitute a breach of the Affordable Care Act as very few clubs have 50 employees.
As for expenditure on players, sources have confirmed that the Scorpions wage bill has gotten lower throughout Cornfield’s tenure at the club. That could well be due to an order from above Cornfield, so he should not be blamed solely for that issue, but sources showed that the Scorpions dropped to the bottom half of the league for wage expenditure.
While Major League Soccer in 2015 has shown that you can win with lower salaries, proven by New York RedBulls and FC Dallas this year, that downward trend will make it harder to attract players. Those numbers will lead to more dissatisfaction for fans, who have already started a petition for the removal of Howard Cornfield from the club.