The United States Soccer Federation has used money from a preseason bond submitted by AC St. Louis to make the club’s Friday, men’s club payroll commitments, sources close to the situation have confirmed. The club, however, remains without adequate funding to complete the season, with the USSF continuing to work towards a solution that will allow its teams to complete the 2010 season.
The USSF stepped-in Friday and used money from the $350,000 bond submitted by AC St. Louis in the preseason to make Friday’s obligations. Such bonds were submitted by each Division-2 team before the season to cover situations such as these; however, AC St. Louis’s commitments for the rest of the season exceed the amount of the bond, meaning additional funding and significant cost cuts will be needed if the club’s men’s and women’s teams will complete the season.
AC St. Louis runs their entry in the NASL as well as the Saint Louis Athletica of Women’s Professional Soccer. Athletica did not have a payroll commitment this week, according to sources; however, the team will have an obligation to meet next week.
Womens Professional Soccer teams do not have the same bonding process as Division-2 teams. The athletic club does not currently have resources to make the women’s teams next payroll commitment.
Sources familiar with the situation have also confirmed that Jeff Cooper is no longer functioning in an ownership capacity with the club. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, last fall Cooper sold controlling interest in both the men’s and women’s clubs to Sanjeev and Heemal Vaid, who had been overseeing the clubs’ operations since December. It is unclear the extent to which the Vaids maintain involvement with AC St. Louis; however, sources have verified the Cooper’s involvement with the club is limited and not expected to persist.
For now, Cooper remains commissioner of the NASL; however, he is expected to be replaced soon, with the league scheduled to hold meetings in Montreal on June 2 and 3 in conjunction with AC Milan’s friendly against the Montreal Impact. Cooper could be replaced before those meetings.
As it concerns the future of both clubs, the funding for the remainder of the 2010 season is not in place; however, the current goal is to rely on a combination of bond money, cost cuts, and funding from independent sources to meet the team’s minimum 2010 commitments, saving the season. The plan being discussed addresses the athletic club as a whole, meaning both the NASL and WPS entries would be funded.
Before anything can be known with certainty, a complete accounting of AC St. Louis’s obligations must occur, an evaluation that is still ongoing.
St. Louis hosts FC Tampa Bay at Anheiser-Busch Soccer Park and then plays at FSC Minnesota next Saturday before having to make its next payroll commitment.
Saint Louis Athletica does not play this weekend and are in Atlanta to play the Beat on May 29, before which they have to make payroll, according to sources.
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