USL’s Tim Holt Makes Statements Concerning the Minnesota Thunder
The President of the United Soccer League (USL), Tim Holt, spoke to IMS this past week and stated that the USL has officially terminated all three Minnesota USL franchises: The Thunder in USL-1, the Thunder PDL team in Rochester, Minnesota and the W-League Lightning.
“There’s a lot of confusion in the Twin Cities regarding the state of professional soccer,” said Holt. “We have previously not gone public with some of this information due to the very positive long-term relationship we have had with the Minnesota Thunder up until the past several months. Unfortunately, the extent to which there have been misrepresentations in the market have made it necessary for us to clarify a few things.”
Holt went on to say that all three of those teams depart USL in “bad standing” with nearly $100,000 in total still outstanding to USL. He also stated that the USL have advised the relevant soccer bodies of this fact and have “initiated the formal process of moving to collect the amount it is owed.”
“We have been directly contacted by other individuals and groups over the last several months, informing us of the significant money they are owed by the Minnesota Thunder,” said Holt. “This includes other USL teams, team employees, and league vendors. The aggregate amount of just those non-USL debts of which we have been made directly aware is several times greater than the amount owed to USL.”
Holt’s disclosure seems to counter a statement made earlier in the week by Carolina RailHawks owner Selby Wellman, who stated that the Thunder’s financial foes have been fixed.
“It’s a shame that things have devolved to this extent with a once-proud soccer team,” said Holt. “But on a more encouraging note, we have been making significant progress over the past days to bring together several groups with a genuine interest and the ability to keep a USL-1 team in the Minnesota market.”
Previously, Holt had reported to IMS that the USL was interested in keeping a team in the Twin Cities area and felt it was a good market for the league.
The USL president also said the league is working with the local operating group in Rochester, MN to ensure that a PDL team will continue to operate in 2010.