MLS denies reports of Chivas USA takeover

By Paul Kennedy

Reports out of Mexico that Mexican Carlos Slim, the richest man in the world, is negotiating to buy Chivas de Guadalajara from Jorge Vergara have put in doubt the future of Chivas USA, but MLS denies it is going anywhere.

MLS issued the following statement on Friday:

"Major League Soccer is aware of recent media speculation concerning Chivas USA. Such speculation is completely unfounded and untrue. MLS is fully supportive of the current owners of Chivas USA and has never considered taking over the club or moving it."

Since Vergara bought out his Chivas USA partners, speculation about the MLS club's future has run rampant as attendance has plummeted, the club has cut its payroll, and it failed to secure a local television contract.

If Slim were to buy Chivas de Guadalajara and Vergara's other Mexican soccer interests, he would unlikely want to continue the Chivas USA venture, which has led to talk of Chivas USA being sold or taken over by MLS.

A fire sale for Chivas USA is the last thing MLS or its investors want as they seek to increase the expansion fees they can get for teams. Those fees have reportedly increased from $10 million a decade ago to $40 million in the last rounds of expansion and $100 million for the new team MLS wants to launch in Queens.

FOX ENDS EPL RUN. FOX will sign off on its coverage of the English Premier League Sunday with coverage of the final day of the 2012-13 season.

FOX Soccer, FOX Sports Net and FOX Soccer Plus, together with digital platforms and FOX Soccer 2Go, will carry nine of the day’s 10 matches live at 11 a.m. ET.

Pre-match coverage begins at 10:30 AM ET on FOX Soccer, followed by coverage of Tottenham-Sunderland. The two big games are Tottenham-Sunderland and Newcastle-Arsenal (on ESPN) to decide third and fourth place and the last two berths in next season's UEFA Champions League.

The EPL will move to NBC and its various networks next season, while FOX Soccer's remaining soccer programming will move to FOX Sports 1, which will launch in September.

FOX has held EPL rights since 1998.

NASL FRONT-OFFICE MOVES. The North American Soccer League has appointed Brian Melekian as its chief operating officer and has restructured the p.r. department.

Michael Preston assumes the role of director of public relations, having worked within the NASL p.r. structure since January. Steven Torres, formerly with Concacaf, has been appointed NASL p.r. coordinator. 

D.C. TO GET ITS OWN BEER. DC Brau will brew a D.C. United-specific craft beer -- the only one of its kind in the D.C. sports world. The brewery and MLS club have partnered to launch a contest giving D.C. United fans the opportunity to name the new brew.

One thousand gallons of the Ale will be produced and will be made available exclusively at participating D.C. United official bar partners and at the DC Brau Brewing Company.
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3 comments about "MLS denies reports of Chivas USA takeover".
  1. David Sirias, May 17, 2013 at 6:34 p.m.

    Lol MLS trying to protect its expansion fee, scrambling to say the entire worldwide Spanish speaking media is wrong. As if the Sheik don't know guys who can translate .....
    The owners should have thought of what ChivasUSA was doing to MLS value and goodwill the last 5 years when CUSA was operating like a bad minor league team. Too little too late. NYC2 just decided its going on pay 75 million instead of 100. MLS can't do anything about it. Right now.
    Hopefully some MLS suits start looking more closely at what Kraft and Kroenke are doing. Put it this way, benign neglect does NOT add value to your product when it's all made by the same machine. Rather it actively hurts the product.

  2. Jacob Wang, May 17, 2013 at 8:51 p.m.

    Chivas USA "failed to secure a local television contract" in over-saturated Los Angeles market. Have the Bulls ever had its own stadium?

  3. Karl Ortmertl, May 18, 2013 at 8:29 p.m.

    I originally thought Chivas USA was a good idea as a Mexican club in US soccer and I still think it would be. There's a huge Mexican base in Southern California and Texas and why wouldn't you want to tap into that market. The problem with Chivas USA is that it was half-a$$. go all the way. Put a Mexican team out there and stock it with real young prospects and some veteran over the hill guys with big names and let Mexican fans come out and see their old stars and upcoming stars. The absolutely lame product that the MLS put out was idiotic. I'd also put them in a border town like San Diego - and I'd bring in Mexican teams for friendlies. I just don't get it - a huge market waiting to be tapped - and you don't tap it. Go figure.

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