Letter from Independence CEO David Halstead to fans re: 2012 shutdown.

Discussion in 'Philadelphia Independence' started by Charge!, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. Charge!

    Charge! Member

    May 7, 2001
    BSG 75
    Text is as follows:

    "The decision has been made by Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) today to suspend the 2012 playing season in order to repair the business, and come out stronger in 2013. The fact is we have very serious legal and financial challenges facing us right now that are preventing the league from moving forward as a viable, sustainable business.

    "This is extremely disappointing and frustrating but it's nothing to be ashamed of - it's part of business and is something the WPS Board of Governors collectively feel is the right choice at this time. Said a different way, it's time to stop driving this WPS car, hoping that the engine will suddenly fix itself.

    "It's time to make a pit stop, analyze, repair and fortify the engine's capabilities and then get it back out on the track so it can compete from a much stronger, durable, and solid position. This is what responsible business enterprises do, and it's what the WPS and Philadelphia Independence are going to do.

    "Despite our best efforts over the past several months to avoid this postponement, in Philadelphia and around WPS in Atlanta, Boston, New Jersey, and Western NY, we are damaged to the point that we can't go on with any hope of success in the current structure and environment.

    "The required repair work includes first and foremost getting out from under the current litigation distraction and uncertainty. This has been a most unpleasant and all-consuming experience and one that is impacting WPS expansion efforts and national sponsor interests.

    "Please recognize that suspending operations in 2012 is not ceasing franchise operations. The Independence and all WPS teams will remain committed to the fans, sponsors, players and partners to bring WPS back improved and ready to move forward for many years to come.

    "Our vision for WPS is still to provide the world's best women's professional soccer to all the great fans, as we have done since WPS launch in 2009, but clearly we need to spend more time on the business enterprise side. We already have in motion the development of specific business improvements - that will include milestones and timelines - in order to deliver a better, stronger WPS in 2013.

    "During this postponement period, we will work to modify the business model such that team revenues and expenses are based on realistic data from 2009-2011 playing seasons; realign franchise budgets so the business projections are built with an eye toward year-over-year, modest, grassroots growth; refine and bring clarity to our expansion strategy so owning a WPS franchise is a desirable and reasonable business venture; and grow and cultivate our working relationships with US Soccer Federation and the WPS Player Union so we all work as partners to expand a robust and proud female soccer community in this country.

    "It has been, and will continue to be, an honor for my wife Linda and me to own this franchise. Philadelphia and its surrounding communities have been as welcoming and supportive as any in WPS and we are proud of what we have built to date, and intend to continue to use this extraordinary foundation to make women's soccer in Philadelphia a permanent and successful part of the Philly pro sports landscape.

    "The committed and great work of Paul Riley and his entire coaching staff, in my opinion, is the gold standard for soccer teaching, development, and competition and Paul will continue to be at the center of my efforts to correct our business deficiencies, build a youth program with meaningful community connections, and re-launch in several months for 2013 with a roster that can win the WPS Championship.

    "Part of why we exist, why you support us, and what we are trying to accomplish is to provide opportunities and dreams to female youth and adult soccer players, so deserving of a team in this city and a strong league in this country.

    "To this end, the players that played for this franchise over the past two seasons have been tremendous talents on the field and ambassadors for the game off the field. Too many to name them all, the Independence has been blessed to have these inspiring young ladies in our club and I am grateful for the sacrifices they make and the determination they demonstrate - it is this show of sincere love for the game, commitment to the communities, and authenticity of purpose that gives us resolve to build a better, stronger WPS for 2013 and beyond.

    "To the terrific and passionate fans, sponsors and partners of the Independence, we will maintain - but not lose - the momentum of what promised to be a very special 2012. We worked tirelessly in the offseason to deliver the most talented team and best fan experience yet. This organizational commitment to you will not change.

    "We will be Back, Stronger in 2013. Together we have started something very, very special and unique. Please stay with us, stay involved, and remain supportive. Help us make 2013 the banner year for the Independence. We cannot succeed without your help!

    "Finally, let me say, building a sports league is hard…building a women's sports league is harder, and doing it in one of the worst economic downturns this country has ever seen is next to impossible. We have done some things wrong but we have done many, many, many more things right.

    "We have lost millions of dollars, individually and certainly collectively, and the owners will be addressing that issue. But this women's pro soccer venture is worthwhile on so many levels. I am grateful for the lessons learned and for the owners of the other teams, whom are still with me at the table today as committed to make this work as on day one.

    "A successful WPS is a journey…a marathon. We've just completed a couple of early miles to this journey and are re-hydrating and re-tooling for the next leg. Stay tuned."
  2. angrybluebaby

    angrybluebaby New Member

    Jul 31, 2009
  3. StarCityFan

    StarCityFan BigSoccer Supporter

    Aug 2, 2001
    Greenbelt, MD
    Washington Freedom
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I assume that's pretty much inevitable. Even teams that plan on playing in the W-League or WPSL this year aren't going to do it while paying WPS salaries.
  4. Beau Dure

    Beau Dure Member+

    May 31, 2000
    Vienna, VA
    Also an important step so players can explore pro options overseas.

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