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Report: “Zero chance” Henry remains with Red Bulls following season

ThierryHenryNewYorkRedBulls3-MontrealImpactMLS2014 (USATODAYSports)

Photo by Jim O’Connor/USA TODAY Sports Images


Though there’s been no clear indications from the man himself, it’s looking more and more likely that this season will be the last for Thierry Henry in a New York Red Bulls uniform.

According to an report, there is “zero chance” that Henry will sign an extension with the Red Bulls after the conclusion of the 2014 MLS season. At 37 years old, Henry is on the precipice of retirement, and plenty of people have speculated that he could finish out his career with the club he’s most associated with, Arsenal.

The report, which cites a single unnamed source, states that part of the reason Henry won’t stay with the club is because Red Bull GMBH cut back on expenditures on their soccer properties outside of Europe. With falling revenues and a focus on teams closer to Red Bull headquarters in Austria, the report adds that the organization would even be willing to sell the New York Red Bulls if an offer came in at the right price.

The source claimed that if a buyer bid $300 million for the Red Bulls and their arena, Red Bull in Austria would finalize the deal “within 48 hours.” The club even were in talks in the past, the report states, to selling to a New Jersey-based investor group and then to Manchester City before the latter partnered with the New York Yankees and were awarded an expansion franchise in May 2013 for New York City FC.

Last August, reported that “some within the league are starting to doubt whether Red Bull will still be involved in MLS 10 years from now.”

For the fourth consecutive transfer window, the Red Bulls failed to sign a third Designated Player, despite seemingly having the resources and setting to be able to land a high-profile star willing to come stateside.


What do you think of this report? Would you be surprised if Henry left the Red Bulls, or feel it is inevitable? Do you see Red Bull selling the club within the next ten years?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I love it how MLS splashed for these BIG MARKET teams. What a waste. It’s no wonder Sounders and LA are the teams to watch..

    What ever happened to that manufactured LA vs NYC rivalry? LOL

  2. In thinking about the rebrand.. New York Red Devils or maybe New Jersey Red Devils, made even better if ManU owners were in the mix

    • Not a hockey fan eh?

      Manchester (Glazer) ownership would be interesting… Why don’t we just move that ugly city over here piece by piece?

      • Hahaha.. good call beto. I second the motion — Let’s plunk a team down in Newark too. Then we could have an “Ugly City Derby” on par with Sunderland-Newcastle

  3. MLS keeps failing to bring in the right investors and right stadium plans

    Major fail for NYRB placing a stadium in that location.

  4. this was the problem all along as I saw it with red bull buying the new jersey team; a business built on a disgusting fad energy drink was bound to fall on its face sooner or later after the fad passed. for their sake I hope new jersey gets sold to someone who can afford to make a go of it in MLS, else they risk becoming another miami fusion.

  5. Even though this news is sad for redbull fans such as myself it’s not all that surprising, really. The writing has been on the wall for the last couple of seasons. I recall reading about the potential purchase of the metro stars by redbull energy drink back in 05, seeing it more as a marriage between a fledgling league with a potential of high growth and an ambitious corporation wanting to promote their “brand”. I think they originally were gonna settle on partially selling the team through endorsement deals and investments in team stakes. It was a first for the league. I even think they were supposed to be named red bull metro or something like that. A few weeks later, red bull purchased the team outright with a stadium plan already in the works. The only reason I know this is because a client of mine at the time was part of the board which oversaw the project of building the new stadium for the city of Harrison.
    In Austria red bull Salzburg was supposed to be this powerhouse team but are really just a huge disappointment. They’re investing in RB Leipzig big time now since Germany is a bigger market. These owners always made it seem like NYRB will always be second fiddle to red bull Salzburg and now you have to credit the MLS for its growth. MLS is arguably a more competitive league than the Austrian bundesliga. NYRB is requiring.a lot more resources than before. It’s evident. They devising an exit strategy and this news from “anonymous” sources is a negotiating tactic.

  6. I remember a certain Gas&Oil company going great guns, even got their name on the Texas Rangers stadium. I got room rates at the downtown Houston Hyatt for $40.00 (normally $250) when I said I worked for them.

    Then one day….poof.

  7. The Wahl article is a load of crap. I don’t know who his handlers are, but his agenda is consistently anti red bull. He isn’t saying anything new – he’s been on this for a while now. I’d say if Wahl is telling red bull is selling, red bull is investing.

      • Wahl has better scoops and stories than most all other American soccer press. If that is “sucking up” then I’m fine with it. Just because he doesn’t cover your pet cause or issue doesn’t mean he is a bad journalist.

  8. Red Bull spent $200 million of their own money to build what remains the best MLS stadium at a time when the league and the sport did not nearly have the profile that it does now. Red Bull spent millions to bring in arguably the best player MLS has ever had in Henry for many years, and millions more on high profile hits (Cahill) and misses (Marquez). Red Bull even did enough to get a Supporters Shield (won by a fan favorite player turned manager), their first-ever trophy, and they have consistently made the playoffs and even made a final. Perhaps they could have done more or bought one more DP. Perhaps the team has underacheived at times (and they have), though blaming people in Austria seems misdirected. Perhaps “Red Bulls” isn’t a great name, even if we are being honest about marketing and notice that the advertisements dwarf the team badge on virtually every soccer shirt in the world. Maybe they want out now, or need out now, and that’s their perogative as a company. But I don’t see a credible argument for why Red Bull as an organization deserves scorn. They have been absouletly beneficial to the franchise and the league.

    • Compelling argument. At the very least, they are nowhere near as stingy an organization as what Kraft has allowed New England to be. The Rev have been a success in spite of Kraft’s lack of involvement, so he gets away with it. Signing Jones and the team making a good playoff run will continue to buy more time and goodwill. At least NYRB consistently shows some ambition, even if it isn’t enough at times…

    • You are correct up to a point. Full credit to Red Bull for their massive investment in the Arena and the team, especially Henry. But once the brand was planted and the team stabilized, they seem to have decided that they had done enough. They have never, ever marketed the team with any conviction, and their recent decisions make it clear (to me, at least) that they have lost interest and commitment to this team.

      • I think the Marquez thing really burned them bad — that was a huge financial loss with no on field results and no room for financial error. And having just won the Supporter’s Shield last year without that third DP or a big name manager, they might have reasonably wondered whether spending millions more to sign one would bring them better results or any ROI. If Henry and/or Cahill doesn’t come back, that’s when their commitment going forward will really be tested because that talent will need to be replaced to remain competitive.

    • You hit a lot bulls eye points there. It is true that NYRB has invested a lot into the team over the years, but I think the real problem has been poor management and some poor player signings. The inconsistency of player turn around and coaches has been a killer. I think a lot of harm was done at the beginning by firing Arena and not waiting until the season was over or giving him more time. The signing of Marquez really marred the club’s reputation IMO that has pulled RB from signing that open DP for 2 years now. NYRB lack of recognizing Metro history (until now) and lack of marketing has really hurt old and new fans. NYRB has invested in a new stadium and facility. It was supposed to field a USL Pro, but that isn’t happening. At least not any time soon. The idea of fixing something that isn’t broke also got escalated. We came of a good year in 2013. RB got rid of Holgersson only to have his replacements ride the bench in favor of a 18 year old. We tanked the US Open Cup and the CCL only to get embarrassed. As fans, we cannot hold ourselves with a winning mentality if all we ever accomplished was one trophy (Supporter’s Shield) in 20 years. But like you said, Austria isn’t the only one accountable, the front office to management is just as accountable.

    • They just never seemed to “get” the market or understand what it takes to matter to an American fan. From the name to the complete lack of marketing to the name.

      They’re as foreign and clueless as a Mentos commercial

    • Kudos to you Adam M. for the best defense of the Red Bull ownership to date. I do still believe they need to be out yesterday, but their legacy should not be entirely negative.

    • Very correct Adam. I think that Red Bull has been a huge boost to the league and they put an honest effort into the team and built a beautiful stadium. Its not a cakewalk to get to but just wait until NYCFC ends up building theirs….it may not be any easier.

      The “problem” has just been winning. People get excited about a winning team and they’ve not held that label for any length of time. Supporter’s Shield, great. But that was only last season and now they struggle to make the top half of a conference their payroll should easily have them in.

    • Ha. They’re trying to limit it to a Galatasaray-level retirement club at the moment (watching the two play today…. it was hard not to notice the comparisons between these clubs with so many expensive discards… Turkey in particular really is the ultimate home of the “oh I forgot about him” player… nice to see Pandev is still alive).

      But in fairness to the Gunners, Henry was basically a Juve reject when they picked him up…. he’ll still embarrass some people if he goes back…. and Pogatetz seems unwilling to set foot on an MLS field until he’s sure Henry won’t be there.

  9. NYRB’s identity as a team is closely tied to Henry now that it makes sense that he’s retiring back to arsenal and Red Bull corp is going sell the team. This would be the third or fourth (does going from NY/NJ Metrostars to just Metrostars count?) name change for this team.

  10. If red bull get sold and rebrand to cosmos, metrostars or empire fc, I wonder if San Jose would feel bad about their name since they just got a new logo and could of gotten a new name.
    Not only San Jose but Columbus is about to get a new logo, but not a new name wtf.
    Oh and Chicago fire is on the same list like red bull and it’s not bad news but good news for MLS fans, since we want the best for MLS.

  11. Very difficult to hammer out a contract for someone like that anyway.

    Huge risk with a 37 year old… add on top of it that he is playing so well so he would “deserve” to be paid.

  12. In my dream world, we have enough people in the NY Metro area to crowdsource the purchase ourselves and become the only supporter owned club in MLS.

  13. you would think that now would be the time to invest. New stadium, new cross town rivals – guaranteed that they take at least a year or two to get it together, weak Eastern Conference, last year with Henry & Cahill…

    whatever.. their loss. I hope they miss the playoffs and get sold asap.

    Henry and Cahill go play for teams in England and Australia.

    • it’s down to the fact that Red Bull, as a company, has declining revenues and that is in turn causing them to have to cut back on expenses. it’s clear the board back in Austria is choosing to focus on their European soccer investments over their other ones, which includes NYRB.

      to be honest, it’s kind of nice to hear them say this and be up front about having to cut back on spending and that, because of this, they are willing to talk about selling. Vergara, despite his complete disinterest in Chivas USA, refused to sell for awhile.

      • well, that’s fair. but my comment is under the assumption that Wahl’s sources are not lying and that, behind closed doors, Red Bull GmbH are saying it’s for sale and are willing to make a $300m sale happen over a 48 hour window.

  14. First the Chivas USA contraction and now this. Foreign ownership (that owns other more famous teams) has been a problem for MLS quality. Enjoy Yankee stadium NYCFC…maybe you can upgrade to New Jersey soon.

  15. Wow so all those negative comments I would get after commenting about red bull, now might become true.
    Remember I said, red bull wouldn’t survive and not getting ronaldinho was an obvious signal that they were going down sober or later.
    I also said, cosmos are waiting for the right time to join MLS and even buy red bull or make some sort of deal.
    What about David Beckham going to New York if Miami takes too much time.
    Or MLS buying red bull or some rich owner buying red bull for 200 to 300 million then rebranding the team to cosmos or metros stars.
    All I gotta say, MLS needs to find a buyer ASAP or buy the team before red bull becomes a mess and rebrand this team ASAP.
    Too bad Henry won’t win MLS cup and will leave with a bad taste in the mouth.
    So it’s now or never MLS, take over red bull or send them a letter stating you got 48 hours to get it together.

    • Nobody remembers you saying any of that. you could even claim that, a year ago, you said Donovan would be left off the WC squad and some 18 year old would score for us in OT in the round of 16, and it wouldn’t matter.

    • Agreed, though I’m thinking $150 million without the organization. Those twits got rid of Bradley and Arena. Always thinking…………………….NOT.

    • I’m guessing $300 mil because the stadium did cost $200 mil and a franchise fee is $100 so it’s a wash on Red Bull pretty much.

      • When there is an existing franchise, there is no initial franchise fee. The construction costs were $200 million, I don’t think it is worth that as an existing used facility. The franchise itself loses value because Cahill and Henry are gone after this year, and that was the majority of your player value right there. Hence, my $200 million mark. 150 for RBA and 50 for the team.

      • Are you serious? Vergara sold his crappy a$$ s#it team for
        $70 mil and in turn, MLS sold it for $100. It’s business not a charity. Also, the stadium is property, not some used honda or ford. Properties in general tend to go up in value. $150 seems a bit generous.

      • Agreed plus losing Henry or Cahill doesn’t mean the team loses value. The new owners can just sign new players.

      • The MLS did not sell Chivas to the LA investors, they sold the rights to operate another MLS team in the huge market that is LA. Chivas USA had no stadium, no players (MLS owns all players contracts) and little fan goodwill. history or legacy to buy. MLS bought out Vergera to get him and the embarrassment that was Chivas USA out of the picture

      • I think you’re depreciating the value of the existing stadium as well as overestimating the dollar value of Cahill and Henry.

        It currently costs $100 million to enter the league as an expansion franchise. That sets the minimum value of a team, roughly. At the very least it gets you a ballpark figure. Throw in sponsorship deals, assets, customer base, stadium, profitability, etc., and you can get a better idea of NYRB’s value. It’ll be at the very least $250 million, maybe as much as $350 million.

      • $50m?! according to Forbes, NYRB is worth $114m before including RBA. $300m actually seems like a good deal.

      • Dont listen to guys like H-Town.

        They want MLS to be worth less or even worthless, it gives them pleasure. $50mm LOL.

    • The stadium is worth about $200 million (you aren’t going to buy the team without the stadium), and the rest is for a NY-market team with a $100 million-franchise fee second team coming on with a raised profile all around. If you are valuing the franchise and the stadium, it should be north of $300 million and perhaps closer to $400 million. Perhaps Red Bulls would take less if they held on to the stadium naming rights and shirt sponsorship.

    • The problem is who wants to compete with a NY team that’s going to play in the actual city and has the billions they have? It’s a no-win situation. You’ll always be the baby. No one has pockets as deep as oil.

      • I agree that competing with NYCFC’s money is a concern, but it’s mitigated by the fact that in MLS only so much money can actually be spent. Also, it’s not a foregone conclusion that NYCFC will have a convenient stadium, which I would argue is key to it turning NYRBs into the “baby” NY team. As for Beckham, reports were that Becks was looking to partner with Jay-Z in Miami (they even attended the PSG-Barca game yesterday). If you’re those guys, and you’re intent on creating a designer-team in a high-profile market you’ve got three options, NY, LA, Miami. And Miami includes some of the same risks as re-branding the NYRBs–stadium site and uncertain fan following. So I’m not sure a Beckham-led takeover doesn’t make sense.

    • That’s a thought…and a very interesting one. That stadium deal at Elmont has been stalled seemingly forever…seems like it’d actually be cheaper for the Cosmos, for the same money, to buy out Red Bulls and maybe develop the parking/transit issues around Red Bull Arena.

      I’d strongly lean in that direction, if I was the Cosmos. Wonder if you might have hit on something, because the quiet coming from both the Red Bulls and Cosmos organizations lately has been deafening…which is weird, when you think about it, because NYCFC is about to come in heavy next season with all sorts of oil money.

      • Maybe the leak is a negotiating tactic. You have to believe if they talked to Man City that they talked to the Cosmos group.

        As a NYRB fan I can honestly say that one of the awkward things to do is root for an energy drink. I love the team and I know they were Metro and all that, but they’re not the Sounders, not the Galaxy, they’re “Red Bulls”, a corporate entity. Same as rooting for the Coca Cola’s! or the Lunchables!

      • I know the name bothers a lot of people, which is one of the reasons I’d be happy if they sold (to an investor willing to shell out $ to compete with the NYYFC). But crests and logos and nicknames are all corporate branding exercises, at least for teams created nowadays.

        Another reason it would be great if they sold is the current organization is staffed by clowns.

      • i wish they would just give them the Washington Redskins treatment and refer to them as “New York” or “the team from New York”

        Adrian Healy said the words ‘Red Bulls” over a million times during the LA-NY game without getting paid by the drink co!

        Real shame that MLS had to sell out that much, i mean name the stadium, jersey sponsor, everything you want but don’t re-name the team! however I am appreciative of the nice stadium they built.

      • Back in 2006, it wasn’t so easy to find people willing to invest in MLS. Don’t get me wrong I’m happy for them to sell because the ownership is inept, but I never understood what the big deal is with the name. Metrostars was a really stupid name too.

      • Bimbo bread company sponsors a lot of teams. I could see them with their own women’s club. The LA Bimbos lead by Pamela Anderson up top and Paris hilton in the back. They could play the soccer moms who make up the Orange county Lunchables.

      • Is the punchline that you don’t know how to pronounce Bimbo Bakery’s name? It’s pronounced “Beembo”. Or that you’re willfully making a misogynistic joke?

      • There is no misogyny in what he wrote. Now, if there was a word dedicated to describing one’s contempt for Paris Hilton or Pamela Anderson…

        Best to learn the definition of words before calling people out, STX.

    • That would be fantastic actually. Can’t imagine a better way to build a rivalry with NYCFC (who I think will find success with support regardless of their weird stadium scenario just due to the spending power behind the team and its yankees affiliation) and bring renewed interest to the Metros/Redbulls franchise to help compete with the shiny new club in town. Not that I have a problem with the Metros legacy, but I don’t see new owners, should Red Bull get out of the game, bring back an MLS 1.0 brand, so Cosmos seems like the best option.

    • You say Cosmos, but do we know where their head is at these days?
      The sticking point with them was complete ownership and control of the Cosmos brand.
      Merchandise, TV – everything.
      Have we seen evidence that they’ve had a change of heart?

  16. Sure, there have been a lot of rumors before and it was getting more and more obvious that Red Bull was pulling back their support. But given the circumstances, this story is HUGE. Wahl’s pretty reliable with his sources, and if they’re talking this negatively about the team’s future then things are definitely coming to a head.

    The team and MLS better address the situation damn fast. If they let this stuff linger with NYCFC right around the corner, the fans will leave in droves.


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