Website MLS Talk is reporting that there is financial trouble within the AC St Louis family that may lead to the NASL men’s team and WPS women’s team folding. From their story:
Athletic Club of Saint Louis is on the verge of folding its North American Soccer League and Womenâ€™s Professional Soccer clubs, sources have confirmed. The clubâ€™s weakened cash reserves may not allow them to make their next payroll obligations, and despite ongoing conversations amongst the United States Soccer Federation, NASL, and WPS, no plan is currently in place which will allow the teams to complete their 2010 seasons.
The situation came to light when AC St. Louis failed to make a regular payment to the NASL league office. Each club within NASL periodically sends money to the league office to cover the owner-operated leagueâ€™s operating costs. Upon investigation, the NASL learned the Jeff Cooper-led group did not have the cash reserves to meet the obligation or its future operating expenses.
This would be a blow to St Louis soccer should the pro teams fold. It may have an impact on the St Louis Scott Gallagher programs in Missouri and Illinois as well.
The Post-Dispatch dug into the details a bit further in their story Athletica, AC St. Louis rumors
But something is going on. WPS has released a statement that says:
â€œWeâ€™re aware of the situation in St. Louis. The Leagueâ€™s Owners continue to review and monitor the situation in conjunction with the US Soccer Federation.â€
Asked what the situation is, the response was that there would be no further comment. U.S. Soccer says pretty much the same thing, that they â€œare aware of some challenges that are currently going on and we are diligently working through the situation.â€ The NASL is referring all inquiries to U.S. Soccer, since they run the league.
So thereâ€™s â€œa situationâ€ of some sort. The team has had no comment, and all most people over there know seem to know are the rumors that theyâ€™ve read online.
Finally, Inside Minnesota Soccer, which has distinguished itself in it’s coverage of the NASL/USSF 2nd Division soccer including the season preview I pointed to last month, offers some additional information on both AC St Louis and Crystal Palace Baltimore:
Several sources are saying that Cooper has indeed left his post of the two troubled teams and â€œhas distanced himself from the club.â€ One source believed that operating expenses of the Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park, which was given to Cooperâ€™s group last summer, was the main culprit of cost overruns.