AC St. Louis, Saint Louis Athletica On the Brink of Folding
Athletic Club of Saint Louis is on the verge of folding its North American Soccer League and Women’s Professional Soccer clubs, sources have confirmed. The club’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 league’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.
The United States Soccer Federation has been notified of the circumstances in St. Louis and is in contact with the NASL and WPS, attempting to find a solution that will allow the teams to continue through the 2010 season. As of Thursday afternoon, those attempts were ongoing.
AC St. Louis’s next payroll obligation comes due Friday, May 21. Efforts were being made as of Thursday afternoon to try and meet that obligation. According to sources, Saint Louis Athletica must meet payroll the following week.
AC St. Louis is prepared to fold its teams before the end of the season; however, in recognition of the importance of the St. Louis market and its teams, USSF has been working with the leagues to try and keep both clubs in operation.
Women’s Professional Soccer in continuing to monitor the state of Saint Louis Athletica; however, WPS was unavailable for comment at the time of this submission.
The North American Soccer League referred all requests regarding St. Louis to the USSF, otherwise declining comment on the story.