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AC St. Louis, Athletica and Crystal Palace Update 5-21-10

2010 May 21
by Brian Quarstad

St. Louis
Players of AC St. Louis were called into a meeting this morning at 11:00 am CT to explain the ongoing financial situation with the club.

The financial situation of the team came to a head when it was evident the organization would not be able to make its payroll this week. According to Richard Farley at Major League Soccer Talk, “the situation came to light when AC St. Louis failed to make a regular payment to the NASL league office.” Farley reported that payroll is today, Friday, May 21.

To temporarily alleviate the problem, the USSF has released some of AC St. Louis’ bonding money back to the team to make today’s payroll. Every team must pay a yearly bond before the start of the season. The bond more or less insures the league in case a team has financial issues during the season. It’s believed that this year’s bond for USSF D-2 Pro teams is around $400 thousand dollars.

Dave Lange of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat reported last night that within the last several weeks a local St. Louis coach had been approached to take over the coaching reins at AC St. Louis. Currently the team has the high profile and most likely highly paid coach of Claude Anelka. The team is currently sitting bottom of the league at 1-5-1 with 4 pts. in 7 games played. It’s believed that St. Louis will also need to undergo dramatic budget cuts in order to survive the season.

Meanwhile it’s understood that USSF is working closely with Jeff Cooper himself to try to find a longer term financial solution for both AC St. Louis and Athletica.

Crystal Palace Baltimore
It’s been confirmed that the Medds have come up with between $60 to $70 thousand dollars which may be family money but is believed to keep the team away from immediate collapse. The organization has shown plans to the USSF for a revamped business plan which, as mentioned yesterday at IMS, may include releasing some players. The team has 24 listed players on their roster at the current time. Expect other deep cuts to take place with the team to allow them to make it through the season.

NASL
It’s also rumored that Andrew Nestor, owner and President of the Tampa Bay Rowdies has taken over the position of interim commissioner of the NASL, a position formerly held by Cooper. The NASL has a board of governors meeting set for June 3 and 4. I can imagine what at least one of the agenda topics will be when that group meets in Montreal, Canada.

8 Responses
  1. Luis permalink
    May 21, 2010

    I’m interested to see what Baltimore’s revamped business plan looks like. I hope they can find the right combination of investors and cut backs to field a competitive team. I wonder if there is a more economical stadium situation out there for them.

  2. CVO permalink
    May 21, 2010

    And later today, a 4-word press release from NuRock:

    I told you so.

  3. yankiboy permalink
    May 21, 2010

    BQ brings the 411. Again.

    The Medds are great folks and they have already sunk a lot of money into the club. I hope that the club can survive. I worried about the franchise moving up a level, mostly related to all of the new expenses that the ownership group would have to incur.

    The warmer weather is here and maybe more folks will get out to see the team play. That could help the bottom line but probably not enough to “save” the team. Maybe some more investors can be convinced to come in.

    The squad is playing better but if they have to release a lot of players because they can’t afford them then they are going to have even a harder time winning games. Which will result in even fewer fans caring about the team and making it out to games.

  4. Bart permalink
    May 21, 2010

    For Baltimore to raise $70,000 is great, but that will in no way get the team to the end of the season.

    What I don’t understand is why USSF simply does not allow the teams to go dark, and use each team’s forfeited bonds to fortify the rest of the season for the other teams?

    It is early enough in the season to revamp the schedule, and Division II would go on without this black eye that hovers over it now.

  5. bert permalink
    May 22, 2010

    NASL has been pitching its “MLS lite” the NASL model is not responsible. Cooper and his big month are quite now….Nester if he gets his silver spoon out of his month you will see he is a tool as well. What happened to the Wellmans who were never short on words and how NASL would be better. Baltimore, Rochester and Minni-hopless all drank the Kool-Aid. So where is MIAMI FC? I read somehwhere that they could not draw ants to a picnic! A shame of the USSF they need to take ownership of their failure concerning D-2. They need make and shape a second pro division with cost controls. Forget USL 1 and 2 and have just one pro league where travel costs are controled!

  6. lskjosljgfrw permalink
    May 22, 2010

    “And later today, a 4-word press release from NuRock:

    I told you so.”

    NuRock are even bigger tools than the NASL owners.

    All NASL has proven so far is that they are just as unstable as the USL was/is.

  7. lskjosljgfrw permalink
    May 22, 2010

    Also, why no mention of the Vaid brothers. This is a rather significant little detail that everyone appears to be missing (from another news source; google it):

    “Athletica founder Jeff Cooper sold majority interest in the teams to the Vaid brothers, Sanjeev and Heemal, of London last fall and Heemal has been overseeing the team’s day-to-day operations since December. The severity of the financial problems is unclear, and the funding situation is said to be fluid. Cooper has resumed active involvement in the team’s financial dealings.”

  8. May 22, 2010

    You may want to read more than just this one post lskjosljgfrw. Please!!!!

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