SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The deal is still not done.
Despite an announcement by the Sacramento Mayor in February about a “deal in principal,” the two ownership groups behind Sacramento’s Major League Soccer dreams have yet to come to terms with one another.
“It’s a little concerning,” said season ticket holder Alex Tasker.
Fans had their doubts about the MLS future.
“Confused, shocked, scared,” said Don Gibson, another season ticket holder.
The issue is that MLS lead investor Kevin Nagle and Sacramento Republic Founder Warren Smith are feuding over money. Specifically, how much Nagle should pay Smith for the rights to his Republic team and branding.
“It’s not finalized, but it’s very close,” said Smith.
Without divulging any details on Friday, Smith assured the city and fans that a deal would get done.
“I can tell you things are going very well and I’m excited about where they are,” said Smith.
“There is no sticking points frankly,” he continued, “no transaction is easy, so ultimately you have to work through the details and make sure everyone is comfortable.”
As the sale is finalized, Smith skirted questions about his long-term future as the Republic FC owner.
“We’re not going to get into the details today because I honestly…I want to respect the private nature of the conversations we’re having,” said Smith.
But he made it clear that his role is not with Major League Soccer.
“It was always envisioned that it was going to be an ownership group that is going to step in and call the shots,” said Smith.
“It goes beyond just going out and rooting for the team,” said Daniel Tyree, who’s been a fan since day one.
He says he’ll stick with the team and the ownership group who made them.
“The people who really helped build that culture of the club, we want that to continue through,” said Tyree.
High ownership expectations from fans, if the MLS comes calling.
“I hope the ownership group can get a deal signed because I think that’s what’s best for the city and best for Republic FC,” said Tasker.
The MLS will announce the 25th and 26th expansion teams in late summer, early fall to begin play in 2020. The 27th and 28th teams will be announced at a later date.