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Peter Wilt – Does He Have a Future With the NASL?

2010 January 7
by Brian Quarstad
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Peter Wilt

Peter Wilt was recently featured on the Kick This radio show in Rochester, New York. Wilt had some very interesting comments concerning the newly proposed North America Soccer League. He was not shy in defending the league and what they are trying to accomplish. Wilt of course was once involved with the USL with both the Milwaukee Wave and the Minnesota Thunder. He also spent considerable time starting the Chicago Fire of MLS and recently started the new WPS team, Chicago Red Stars. Currently Wilt is working with the Milwaukee Wave indoor team.

Following the show I contacted Wilt and asked him if he had ever been contacted by the NASL to be the commissioner of the league or if he had been contacted by NASL for any position within the league? I also asked him if he would consider the position in the future if the league was sanctioned in 2011?

“It was discussed (commissioner of the league) prior to my accepting the Wave position, but the NASL was not in a position at that time to make me a formal offer,” said Wilt. As to a future position with the league Wilt responded, “I’d rather not speculate on a hypothetical situation.” He added, “The second division has stagnated in recent years and I think the new leadership of the NASL owners who are vested in it will spur growth.”

Here are some of Wilt’s quotes from Saturday’s show with host Jeff DiVeronica of the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester, NY.

– It’s a very unfortunate situation but a very necessary one. The NASL owners have a legitimate desire to control their own destiny. The owners of the teams are the ones investing the money into the sport, so why shouldn’t they get to decide the nature of their league, where they go and how they go.

– Unfortunately there is a schism. You have two leagues of a smaller number of teams that aren’t strong enough on their own to be successful. I think what US Soccer has decided is correct to force the issue. To force the two parties in some sort of compromise to create one stronger league. It’s really like King Solomon in the bible. It’s telling to the two parents that they’re going to split the baby and the two parents suddenly, hopefully, realize we can’t kill the baby, lets find a way to resolve this.

– Asked if he was surprised the US Soccer didn’t pick a side instead of pushing a compromise instead or making a decision on a league and saying NASL would be sanctioned:
That sounds easy and logical, but if US Soccer did that, it would result in lawsuits by USL. US Soccer would be in the middle of it and NASL would be prevented by these lawsuits from getting off the ground. I don’t think US Soccer can sanction them. There are legitimate points that the NASL has not shown that is in the sanctioning minimum standards for US Soccer.

– This can’t be one party wins. The old USL clubs and the USL itself has a stake in this and they’ve invested a lot over the years. They deserve to have some sort of participation in the solution or a benefit from the solution. But in the end, the owners should be the leaders in this league. They should determine the direction of the league, the marketing of the league, the growth of the league and benefit from any success of the league.

– No other sports league, soccer or otherwise, in the history of the world that I know …  have ever been controlled by the league other than the USL. …every other league in the world have had the owners elect and vote for league officers. The USL is the one example that I’m aware of that doesn’t have that.

– I think it’s unwise to have, I’ll call it, an independent party … to determine the fate of teams and the team owners. The team owners are the ones putting money in! They should decide who gets to control themselves. As it currently stands at USL, that’s not the case.

– Last year how many of them (USL-1 teams) made a profit? If the owners thought that this was the best model, wouldn’t you think that they would keep that model? Shouldn’t the owners, the ones investing the money, be the ones who decide if that’s the best model or not?

Yesterday, Wilt made some bold predictions about the new league in his weekly column at Pitch Invasion. Check out what Peter had to say.

4 Responses
  1. January 7, 2010

    Appointing Peter Wilt commissioner of NASL would be the single smartest move in the history of soccer in this country! ;)

    He “gets” the American soccer fan better than any other executive I’ve ever heard speak about the business of soccer in this country.

  2. evan eleven permalink
    January 7, 2010

    Commissioner would be cool, but i’d like to see an NASL team in Milwaukee…

  3. January 7, 2010

    If NASL gets sanctioned for 2011, I think you may very well see that happen.

  4. leper permalink
    January 7, 2010

    So Wilt would be the Bud Selig of the NASL then?

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