The big news in American soccer circles is the announced extension of collective bargaining talks between MLS & the Players Union. Talks have been extended until February 12, 2010. Training camps will go forward as planned. MLS released this statement from Commissioner Don Garber. “While we still have areas of disagreement, the talks have been constructive and both parties believe it makes sense to continue to work hard to reach agreement. This extension provides both MLS and the players the opportunity to continue our discussions while clubs are in training camps preparing for the 2010 MLS season.”
In other news, WPS signature franchise Los Angeles Sol announced that it will cease operations and not participate in the 2010 season. The League’s premier team had been the subject of sale rumors, but even that was not enough to keep the team afloat. The Sol are led by Brazilian star Marta, but lost a reported $2 million last year despite being the only team in WPS to have a shirt sponsorship. The deal, with Amway International, included the Amway name on the jersey, stadium signage and placement on an array of Sol items. WPS Commissioner Tonya Antonucci said, “While it’s regrettable to lose the Los Angeles market as part of our WPS footprint, we are pleased to have two new teams coming into the league in 2010.” The league and our ownership committee worked incredibly hard over the past month to complete the transaction. In the end, we ran out of time and came up short of where we needed to be funding-wise for the Sol in 2010.”
Finally, a couple of business related audio recommendations. Listen here to an intersting story on the Glazer family’s issuance of more than 500 million pounds worth of bonds to keep the EPL side afloat. The team is more than a billion dollars in debt! Also, our good friends as the American Soccer Show landed an exclusive interview with Rev striker Taylor Twellman. Some great business and CBA bits in there. Kudos for a great interview.