"He loves to talk like that," a Cosmos official said. "He never gets tired of doing it."
Last Wednesday, the Cosmos were back home for a crucial game against Boston, which had moved into the Northern Division lead. Pel� rallied his crew to a 3-1 victory, restoring the Cosmos to first place. More than 18,000 fans came out in the face of thunderstorms, traffic tie-ups and the dim lighting system on Randalls Island, the home pitch. Clearly, Pel� is paying his way.
The Cosmos have boosted their office staff from seven to 20 to handle a rush of season-ticket sales, and they get half of the proceeds above the average pre-Pel� gross gate for road games—but there's no way the club can come up with $4.5 million on NASL gate receipts alone.
"They will make up more on European tours after the season," says Phil Woosnam, the league commissioner. "They will draw capacity in big parks all over Europe."
And, of course, the Cosmos can take a tax loss on any remaining deficit at the end of the year, which should reduce the difference even more. But Pel� is worth all they paid him just as a goodwill ambassador for soccer. And as a breath of fresh air in professional sports.