Phoenix FC continues to go through major changes in just its second year of existence.
It has been a wild ride , mostly downhill, for the USL PRO club. But things may be changing for the better.
Phoenix FC will have a new ownership group, according to multiple sources. An announcement from the club and USL PRO could come within the week.
UPDATE: Confirming what ODFCnews.com reported earlier on Wednesday, USL PRO’s Phoenix franchise will no longer be Arizona Soccer Marketing,which was owned by last year’s interim president Tim Donald. This was posted on Phoenix FC’s home page today:
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The group that will take over the USL PRO franchise rights in Phoenix has taken 100 percent ownership. And the management of the team will change; with a new general manager as one of the main differences. The new group will likely help pay the debts the club accumulated through its tumultuous first season. It’s something that needs to be done before the club can officially sign players.
The new ownership and management have a lot of work to do. Phoenix FC is the lone USL PRO team that has yet to sign a player and start its preseason. The team’s first match of the season is March 30 at Colorado Rapids reserves. Its first home match at Peoria Sports Complex is exactly one month from now, April 12. The team is also scheduled to face the University of New Mexico in a preseason friendly at Grande Sports World in Casa Grande, Ariz. this Saturday.
The Phoenix franchise has much of its roster ready and many players are already in Phoenix, but official signings have yet to begin. Then there’s marketing of the team, which has slowed to a complete stop since the team announced its season ticket prices on Feb. 21. Phoenix FC, from its players to management to owner, has stayed quiet. It’s been six days since the club has tweeted or posted on its Facebook page. Word is the new group has people in place who have experience in sports marketing.
Phoenix FC was talking with another potential ownership group, led by Brazilian businessman Andre Chaves (who had connections with Brazilian power club Botafogo), to sign over majority ownership in late February. But Chaves told ODFCnews.com that Phoenix FC declined the deal and didn’t call him back when the deadline came and is ready to talk with NASL to bring a club to Phoenix.
The talk was that Phoenix FC had instead decided to work with the other group it was talking to. And that deal has been struck.