Friday, October 16, 2015

Sporting Club Linked with Takeover of Everton UPDATED

Sporting Kansas City has been one of the most successful teams in MLS since the club's rebranding before the 2011 season. The club has been on the up swing since they were taken over by OnGoal LLC late in the 2006 season. Now there are rumors that Sporting Club is looking to add to their profile of professional sports teams. Rumors out of England have started to pick up some speed that Sporting Club is looking to purchase English Premier League club, Everton.

The rumor started simple enough, as Everton has their Annual General Meeting coming up soon and with that came rumors that there were going to be VIPs in the director's box at tomorrow's game between Everton and Manchester United. Those VIPs were supposedly interested in buying the club. The VIPs were supposedly from Kansas, and this led one Everton fan to tweet at Sporing KC's President Robb Heineman asking if he was going to be at the game this weekend. In the middle of the KC Royals win on Wednesday night, Hieneman retweeted it, sending off a firestorm among Everton fans as it spread around. Now the BBC has gotten involved in the rumor, adding credence to the rumor, siting "City of London financial sources" saying that Sporting Club is exploring a purchase of the club.

Everton's asking price is £225m, about $347m US, would be quite a bit more than the price that they paid for the Wizards back in 2006. But it's not something that Sporting Club couldn't afford, both Neal Patterson and Cliff Illig, are worth over a billion dollars each, so the purchase could be afforded. Although KC has come out this morning and said that there is "nothing remotely accurate" about these reports.

For KC fans there is obviously a bit of concern with this potential news though. With that large of an investment into another team fans would have to be concerned that more focus and more money would be given to the EPL side. And while it would be perfectly acceptable for Sporting Club to do that it's still going to be something that is going to be extremely difficult to stomach for KC fans. Many will likely point to the likes of the Colorado Rapids or New York City FC who most fans see as being the neglected little brother of the club's owner's EPL team (Arsenal and Manchester City). It's certainly a concern that I share though, while Sporting would still be important to the owners, probably more so than the Rapids or NYCFC, there is still so much more money in the EPL than there is in American soccer right now that I'm worried about being the "little brother" in this scenario. Sporting has enjoyed a lot of success over the last couple years and I'd hate for the club to slowly become less and less important as owners

UPDATE: Robb Heineman has himself come out today to with a comment on the rumors as well. He confirmed that he's not in Liverpool for Everton's game tomorrow. The fact that he was there in August though hasn't helped to kill the rumors of Sporting Club's interest in the club. In fact his being there in August has helped fuel the rumor of Sporting Club's interest in a takeover, and that the pitch to purchase the club was made in August when Heineman and Mike Illig were there for Duncan Ferguson's testimonial.

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