Portland Thorns and Chicago Red Stars, two NWSL teams, start the process of selling their majority stakes.

According to reports, two NWSL teams with long histories were apparently put up for sale on Thursday in a matter of hours. Meritt Paulson, owner of Portland Thorns FC and the Portland Timbers, has said that he will sell the Portland Thorns franchise rather than the Timbers team. Arnim Whistler, the owner of the Chicago Red Stars, reportedly contacted the investment bank Inner Circle to assist in the sale of his 75% ownership share.

Following allegations of sexual misconduct and coercion involving former Thorns head coach Paul Riley from 2015, the team was decided to be sold. Since the beginning of the Sally Q. Yates-led U.S. Soccer inquiry, Paulson has come under public pressure to divest his ownership of both franchises. Additional information on the clubs’ resistance to cooperating with the investigation and their obstructive behavior was included in the report’s full findings.

I think it’s ideal for the Thorns to have a new owner,” Paulson said in the statement. “The Club can operate at the league level with a fresh voice to be a driving force for the NWSL.”

“This has been a tough choice for me, but I think this is the greatest approach to set up the Thorns for ongoing success throughout this new era of the NWSL and the game,” the owner said.

After the Yates investigation was made public in early October, players also felt the heat from the public, with several members of the US women’s national team calling for the expulsion of owners and executives. “I believe that any owner, executive, and U.S. Soccer official who has continually failed the players and failed to safeguard the players, who have ducked behind legalities and has not fully cooperated in these investigations should be gone,” USWNT captain Becky Sauerbrunn told the reporters.

The Thorns will be sold when?

Although Paulson’s statement indicated the team wants to cooperate with the league to “ensure we locate the proper group to assume the reins,” there is presently no set timetable for the sale to occur. Paulson has pledged $1 million to create a new player safety office within the league in the interim.

Two NWSL teams put up for sale

In a statement released by the NWSL, commissioner Jessica Berman reaffirmed the league’s commitment to working with Merritt Paulson to find new ownership. “I support Merritt Paulson’s decision to sell the Thorns, his commitment to helping ensure a smooth transition for a new ownership group in Portland, and the $1M contribution to the league,” Berman said.

“With the help of this funding, a new NWSL Player Safety Department will be established, and we will come out of this chapter in the league’s history stronger than ever and create a league that the players are happy to play in. We’ll keep collaborating to make sure the club and the players have all they need to succeed both on and off the field.”

Additionally for sale: Chicago Red Stars

According to a report by Sportico, Arnim Whistler, the owner of the Chicago Red Stars, has contacted the investment bank Inner Circle to assist in the sale of his 75% ownership interest. Shareholders were informed in further detail about Whisler’s hiring of a third party by board chair Kim Vender Moffat. A few hours after the Thorns’ declaration, the news broke. Additionally, Inner Circle is in charge of the sales of two upcoming NWSL expansion teams.

The information differs from Whisler’s prior announcement from October, in which he announced that he will stand down from organizational decision-making. A timetable for the sale of Whisler’s majority shareholding is not yet available.

Next steps

The 2023 season’s schedule structure has already been released by the NWSL. There are several important events on the schedule, including the beginning of the regular season on March 25 and the NWSL championship game on November 11. On January 12 during the United Soccer Coaches Convention in Philadelphia, the NWSL Draft is scheduled to take place.


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button