The two principals in the dispute are SS&EH's Kevin Nagle and Sac Republic's Warren Smith. Contrary to published reports, Nagle had not purchased controlling interest in Sac Republic, meaning that he and Smith must work out a agreement on Sac Republic's role in any MLS team.
MLS president Mark Abbott confirmed that Garber had worked as an intermediary trying to get Nagle and Smith to reach a compromise. When that didn't happen, Nagle submitted the Sacramento bid without Sac Republic, but that move prompted outrage from hard-core Sac Republic supporters.
“I’d like to minimize some of the brouhaha and hysteria about this,” Abbott said. “I think it’s fairly straightforward when you take a look at it.”
Sacramento Republic issued a statement on Wednesday:
"We are just as surprised as our fans to hear that various news outlets are reporting that a bid was submitted to MLS for Sacramento which does not reference Sacramento Republic FC. If these reports are true, this is deeply troubling to us. This journey has always been an endeavor to elevate your team, Sacramento Republic FC, to MLS. If the bid submitted yesterday by Mr. Nagle did not include Sacramento Republic FC, it was in violation of our agreements and without our authorization; and we will take this up with the appropriate parties immediately. We want to thank all of Sacramento Republic FC's fans for your continued support. This is, and always will be, your team."
That concern about losing Sac Republic fan support -- another essential factor for making Sacramento as close to a sure thing as there is the MLS expansion race -- was very much on the mind of new Sacramento mayor Darrell Steinberg, who by midday on Wednesday said he wanted Nagle and Smith in his office on Thursday to resolve their differences.
“They have the right and ability to negotiate whatever terms they want,” Steinberg said in a hastily arranged press briefing Wednesday afternoon at Sacramento city hall. “We have a higher priority.”
Keeping Sacramento at the top of the expansion list.