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Report: Potential Crew buyer wouldn’t sign non-disclosure agreement


The Columbus Crew saga continues.

A prominent member of the Columbus community was handed a non-disclosure agreement in December to scan the Crew’s financial information after the potential buyer expressed interest in purchasing the team. However, the document was never signed and returned.

The information was revealed in an affidavit that was part of a court filing by Precourt Sports Ventures and Major League Soccer on Tuesday.

“A signed non-disclosure agreement was never returned to Crew SC, nor were any efforts made by the recipient to negotiate over the terms of the non-disclosure agreement,” the affidavit signed by Crew president Andy Loughnane read.

In a separate affidavit, Major League Soccer general counsel William Z. Ordower said the same person with interest was provided a new non-disclosure agreement as was an additional party.


  1. I want to see SBI covering some of the other aspects of this story. There hasn’t been much written about potentially one of the largest turning points in MLS history. This is a pretty big fork in the road that MLS is approaching.

    Which is going to win out? Typiclal American football mentality or traditional soccer values?

    • It’s neither. Money talks. When the money gets so big a super league in Europe is going to happen and they are the heart of so called soccer values. This isn’t ever about soccer values people fantasize about that. The real situation is everyone is in it for the money the faster people realize that the better we all will be. If EPL could rid themselves of pro rel they would because it’s not about values it’s about maximizing the dollar. Which ever fork mls picks it will be made by money plain and simple.

      • Whichever way this goes, it’s going to set a precedent. There is a chance big money doesn’t win out this time.
        This is a little more nuanced as well. It’s more about failed relationship building and Garber not getting what he wanted out of the CBus business community. There is money to be made there, considering they consistently top the charts for USNT viewership and overseas leagues.
        This is why I want to see more written about it.

    • Money is there sure but if there is more money to be made somewhere else that’s where they will go. In business you invest it what’s important to you and if those Cbus officials and businesses were down for the crew they would have not have tried to save the day when it’s almost to late. The musical chairs of moving won’t end until TV money can help offset people being at the game. As much as I hate to say it but if Cbus was selling out every week we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Last thing soccer fans have to stop thinking their connection to their clubs is any different then other sports because it’s not. Teams move and life moves on. Nobody had save the Browns or save the Hornets when they moved it’s just sporting life in America.

  2. Per the linked article the underlying issue is whether the Crew, under the Modell Law put in place after the Browns left, gave 6 months’ notice and made an effort to sell the business locally before going to Precourt/Austin. I assume the argument is that the NDA means they weren’t really trying, or made such impositions it wasn’t worth it. I would say that many businesses ask for NDAs when buyers kick the tires.

    • Right or wrong, the sports teams are NOT going to be open about their finances.

      I wouldn’t either if I “lost millions” every year, then had my franchise value trend towards 1 billion ( well over for many US franchises )

    • “MLS wants to be FIFA when it grows up.”

      Probably the most forward looking statement you could make and highly accurate imo in terms of MLS’s long term aspirations. Questionable if MLS could ever reach that level of success, but lets play anyway.

      What if in 50 years MLS grows that large and dominates the sport. The NFL guys running the league probably see it that way long term. FIFA wouldn’t even see it coming till it was too late probably. NBA and MLB players are getting 5 year 200MM contracts, money talks and the money is in North America if the sport grows with each new generation.

      Would the money/revenue side of things ever get so big that that power becomes greater than FIFA’s rights to oversee the system. That scenario happened already in England when the Premiership was established so its possible given enough financial incentive.

      FIFA v. MLS/SUM can I buy that on pay per view? Could we force TAM and GAM on the rest of the world?


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