The AP is reporting that VICTOR MACFARLANE the Ohio real estate developer who bought DC United along with San Francisco-based Wil Chang, has sold his interest in the club.
MacFarlane came into The District intending to use his ownership of the team as a wedge to get a major development off the ground in the then red-hot DC commercial real estate business. Like another partner, Cleveland's Randy Lerner, he wanted to get government help to build a stadium and use that as the centerpiece for a retail/office/professional development project.
As we all know, the DC government has proven resoundingly uninterested in putting money into a soccer stadium and it now appears that MacFarlane, whose last-gasp deal with Prince Georges County in Maryland has also fallen flat, has given up the ghost.
MacFarlane's exit in favor of Chang, will likely serve to increase speculation as to the long-term commitment of the team to the DC area.
While MacFarlane had a specific purpose for trying to work within the District of Columbia, Chang would appear to have no such goals.
From Chang's official bio at mlsnet.com:
As Chairman of Westlake International Group, William H.C. Chang is the driving force behind the company's vision and direction. Westlake is a privately held diversified investment company with operations in the United States, China, Latin America, Japan, India, and Canada. Investments span private and public equities, including venture capital, professional sports, media and entertainment, emerging technologies, life sciences, supply chain management, and real estate.
Mr. Chang is an active investor in early stage technology companies through his Edge Venture Capital Fund, with a particular focus on nurturing next generation mobile, social networking, new media and entertainment technologies.
Mr. Chang's associations and affiliations include: the Asian Business League (Founding Chairman); California Foundation on the Environment and the Economy (Director); California International Relations Foundation (Director); Chinese American Association of Commerce (Founder); City Club of San Francisco (Founding Governor); Harvard University (Asia Center and Committee on University Resources); The Asia Foundation (Trustee); and World Presidents' Organization.
In addition to D. C. United, Mr. Chang is also active in managing San Francisco Giants Baseball Club (Executive Committee).
Mr. Chang has a bachelor's degree in Economics from Harvard College, Cambridge, Massachusetts.