WUSA shuts down

Discussion in 'NWSL' started by nsa, Sep 15, 2003.

  1. AndyMead

    AndyMead Homo Sapien

    Nov 2, 1999
    Seat 12A
    Sporting Kansas City
    It has nothing to do with the 30 or so players in the WWC. When you're running out of cash, your obligations can't be concerned with "sporting concerns."

    The league is taking the moral high road and quitting when they still have enough money to offer a severence to all current employees.

    The trade is one thing, but this is all about money.
  2. CUS

    CUS New Member

    Apr 20, 2000
    Which one?

    Does this mean the WWC is:

    1) A farewell tour for the Founders and the rest of WUSA players at the tourney? or
    2) A showcase for a new series of investors?
  3. AndyMead

    AndyMead Homo Sapien

    Nov 2, 1999
    Seat 12A
    Sporting Kansas City
    Here's the lowlights of the Press conference:

    WUSA 2004 is not going to happen unless a miracle occurs in the next couple of weeks.

    The financial problems stem less from ownership than they do for lack of sponsorship. Namely a 20 million debt. The league hoped to have 8 sponsors at the 2.5MM/year level, but they only have two: Hyundai and Johnson & Johnson. The 16-17MM deficit is the problem.

    The league will wind down the corporation and assents next spring. If WUSA 2005 occurs, it will not be the current corporation, but whoever owns/controls the trademarks and assets as they are sold off to cover losses.

    Speculation: The WUSA Players Association could be the ones that end up with the intellectual assets, but who know what, if anything, they could do with it.

    Analysis: This is a good "shock to the system" before the WWC. All the cards are now on the table. If there's to be a professional league in the US, we all know what the stakes and costs are. Potential investors and sponsors also know.
  4. AndyMead

    AndyMead Homo Sapien

    Nov 2, 1999
    Seat 12A
    Sporting Kansas City
    Re: Which one?

    Both. And add "sponsors" to investors.
  5. jri

    jri Red Card

    Sep 28, 2000
    Andy- ("they never...")...that may be in the Top Ten alltime worst calls on BigSoccer history....jeez...smile

    I have to side with those who see the timing as a bit ludicrous...they coulda waited somehow...
  6. Brownswan

    Brownswan New Member

    Jun 30, 1999
    Port St. Lucie, FL
    I would expect the veterans to retire and the determined, younger players to opt for the W-League.

    I would not expect MLS to start adding women's auxillary teams.

    Nor do I expect Rothenburg to say 'I told you so.'
    Too much class.
  7. wu-tang beez

    wu-tang beez New Member

    Apr 19, 2002
    Irving, TX
    So much for the 'Doom & Gloom' thread.

    I'm not a huge fan of women's professional sports, but this is bad for soccer in general; esp on the eve of the womens world cup.
  8. silentbob

    silentbob Member

    Aug 17, 2003
    DC United
    Agreed. Just out of curiosity, which countries are considered to have the best (in terms of quality of play) domestic women's leagues? I imagine some of the top WUSA players, including a few USWNT members, will end up somewhere abroad next year. Is the W-League any good?

    At least the Freedom will be reigning champions for at least quite a while...
  9. fidlerre

    fidlerre Moderator
    Staff Member

    Oct 10, 2000
    Central Ohio
    so i have a question being one who didn't follow womens soccer much besides the national team matches and occasional wusa matches on television:

    1> so what is going to happen now that that stupid "head protection" device doesn't have any "club affiliated" sponsors?

    2> serious quesiton; where will the better WUSA players go now? what leagues are there that could take them?
  10. M9fanatic

    M9fanatic Member

    Oct 31, 2000
    North Side.
    Son of a bitch.

    That's all I can muster right now.

    Be back later.
  11. SueB

    SueB New Member

    Mar 23, 1999
    Waterbury, VT
    Wow, what a shock. I can't believe I heard about this on TV via the MSNBC news crawl.
  12. The Double

    The Double Moderator
    Staff Member

    Nov 11, 2002
    Alot more bandwith for the boards.

    Just kidding.
  13. TOTC

    TOTC Member

    Feb 20, 2001
    Laurel, MD, USA
    As I said elsewhere on this board, I think this may be a ploy. My high school made a big announcement it was shutting down and it "miraculously" opened a day later after a huge outcry.

    This being said, the collapse of WUSA does not bode well for MLS.

    Lynn Morgan places blame on "corporate America." I wonder if she really means Carly Fiorina, the only female CEO of any standing behind any trillion-dollar corporation.

    We must thank Mickey D's, Gillette, Maytag, Coca-Cola, Hyundai, and every corporate citizen that helped the WUSA unconditionally.

    As for the cable giants? Ehhhh.
  14. BenchRobSmith

    BenchRobSmith New Member

  15. TOTC

    TOTC Member

    Feb 20, 2001
    Laurel, MD, USA
    Sweden and Japan are much better than our W-League.

    It has been decent; Lilly and Scurry played for the Delaware Genies, Thori Bryan for the Alabama Angels, Jen Branham for the Charlotte Eagles, Hamm for the Raleigh Flyers, and Akers for the Tampa Bay Extreme.

    I do wonder, however, if there is going to be a "power struggle" between the W-League and the WPSL; Foudy played for Sacramento the year before WUSA started.

    The Cup, melted down, may be the League's most valuable liquid asset (pardon the expression).
  16. MichaelR

    MichaelR New Member

    Jun 12, 2003
    Sad day for soccer. Sadder day here in Philly. We'll miss Marinette, Kelly, Lorrie, Mittsy, Benny, Jen Tietjen, Melissa Moore and everyone else who made the Charge a delight to follow for three years.

    And a hearty "Allez France" for Marinette. We'll see you Saturday at the Linc. And we'll see you, Hope Solo, in future WWCs.

    Thanks to all.

    Wait a second. No thanks to the greedheads at Comcast.
  17. charcroson

    charcroson New Member

    Nov 22, 2000
    Well, on the "bright" side, once the World Cup is over, I'll never have to come back here again and put up with the casual sexism and virulent anti-Foudy crap that made this such an unpleasant place at times. And I'll never have to hear from Anson Dorrance ever again.

    I supported this League, and I really liked attending games, watching the games, and learning about soccer.

    Without this League and the Women's NT, I would never, ever have watched a soccer game. I never really cared about men's soccer, and never have watched a men's soccer game. And, after hanging out here for a bit, and experiencing the level of crap thrown at this League by a number of MLS and Men's NT "fans" -- I never will watch a men's soccer game -- MLS, Men's NT, or anything else.
  18. DavidP

    DavidP Member

    Mar 21, 1999
    Powder Springs, GA
    I ain't gloatin'....

    Although I was never a big fan of WUSA (I nearly threw up when they announced that Atlanta's team would be called the Beat, but I did go to a game, and I must say I enjoyed it), I certainly will not gloat over this. The Beat (ugghhh!) routinely got anywhere from 5 to 10 times the attendance our A-League Silverbacks did, and the fans here really seemed to rally around them. They advertised the heck out of their product (unlike some other team, ummm, wonder who it could be....?), and reached out to the soccer community. They had a real presence in A-town, and they will be missed, even by those of us who weren't big WUSA fans.
  19. RedZion

    RedZion New Member

    Aug 8, 2003
    It's really interesting- the timing. Not the timing explained in the article- that makes total sense- but the timing of things on the global scale.

    The timing of things as explained is quality. It's classy. I applaud the WUSA for doing what it has (gut wrenchingly?) decided to do- or rather- I applaud the Board of Governors for doing so.

    The office staffs of the teams are amazing, quality, incredible human beings!! They are some of the greatest ones around.

    I applaud those who were brave enough to hang on til the end... many left before this day.. and rightly so. Sometimes there are better opportunities in life.

    If the WUSA or any pro league is to succeed in the future they need sponsors whose economic structures are based on positive practices. The corruption, underdealings of many of the league's investors weren't so great... downfall on their end leads to downfall to all with whom they are involved to some extent.

    And..the lack of $paying$ sponsors wasn't an unknown... but.. how many sponsor and marketing office staff are going to come here and share that??????

    Interesting some of the sponsors the Breakers picked up this year.. Annie's (mmm... I may have to have me a box tonight!) .. and before.. Stonyfield Farms- who also sponsored the SJ CyberRays and Lilly. These are two of the best companies- practice-wise inside of New England.... Ben and Jerry's being a noteable exception. Wonder if their budgets were bigger if more could be done.. in some regard.. not suggesting that Annie's and SFF bale out the league- no way. But- set a small example of quality- sure!

    Anyhow.. more will be said.. more will be done.. may healing be with all... and peace of mind.
  20. LMoroney

    LMoroney Member

    Jan 28, 1999
    I just came back from the press conference, saddened but not surprised at the news. Perhaps the most eye-opening statement was from Hendricks, who, in his words, drunk and high on the euphoria from WWC 99, expected corporate sponsors to line up to sponsor the league.

    When the legue started it was then spending money as if those sponsors were already onboard. So, they learned the old lesson of counting your chickens before the eggs hatched -- the hard way.

    Commiserations to those who have lost their jobs as a result of this. Thanks for trying.

    I have had my problems with the W*USA, and how it was managed, but I only met one player I didn't like! I hope things will work well out for all of them, and soon.

    Here's hoping that this isn't the death of womens pro soccer in general...

  21. LMoroney

    LMoroney Member

    Jan 28, 1999
    Andy: I wish I had your confidence. I honestly saw the 'open door' statements as a way of Hendricks attempting to save face.

    "*We* aren't closing the door" the subtext was saying, "The lack of CEOs who want to subscribe to Womens Sports are. It's not *our* fault."

    W*USA is dead.

    Hopefully someone out there wont equate W*USA with Womens Professional Soccer, and realize that the latter may live.

  22. truthandlife

    truthandlife Member

    Jul 28, 2003
    Houston Dynamo
    It is not a soccer thing but a women's thing

    We need to separate failure here. It is not a soccer failure it is a women's failure. Don't get me wrong, women had nothing to do with making the WUSA fail, it has to do with marketing.

    Look, I have the utmost respect for women's soccer players -- they're hard-working athletes and inspirational leaders, who could circles around a lot of men players here on Big Soccer. However, I'm just not of the belief that the WUSA is the greatest creation for anyone to watch. Many people would admit that this game is just not entertaining enough to be promoted on an equal footing with the men's game. Sports is about entertainment and 90 minutes of women's soccer is not an entertaining product I have played soccer all of my life and have coached for a while. I .have a daughter and I would not spend $1 to go see an WUSA game.

    There are plenty of sports where the women's game is just as entertaining as the men's -- tennis, volleyball, and gymnastics, figure skating but I don't think soccer is one of them.

    People might argue that the men's game is just as entertaining as the women's game but if the men's game in the U.S. has a hard time surviving how do you think a women's league will do.

    The WUSA can be compared a lot to WNBA. Basketball is a very popular sport in the U.S. and without the NBA the WNBA would be out of business just like the WUSA. The NBA's economic power puts the WNBA on ABC and ESPN. But it
    can't force people to watch. Last July, when the WNBA held its All-Star
    game in Orlando, it couldn't sell out the arena. League officials had
    to move people down from the upper seats to fill the lower levels just
    to make things look better for their television audience.

    This is America, (a market economy) and it really is survival of the fittest in the business world. We have so many entertainment choices and the WUSA is way down on the list.

    I am sure the WWC will be a rousing success but that does not translate into a league that will make money.
  23. #8

    #8 Member

    Jul 5, 2000
    Washington DC metro
    Does this mean no more Heather Mitts pictorials in FHM...
  24. TOTC

    TOTC Member

    Feb 20, 2001
    Laurel, MD, USA
    Re: It is not a soccer thing but a women's thing

    Spoken like a true Yale man. Sheesh.

    Soccer is soccer, athletes are athletes. Enough said.

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