Paul Kemsley Working To Land N.Y. Cosmos In MLS, Then Go Global
The N.Y. Cosmos' brand "is back," and club Chair Paul Kemsley is "touring the world to spread news of a second coming" for the soccer franchise that folded more than 25 years ago, according to the N.Y. TIMES MAGAZINE's David Segal, who writes under the header, "The New York Cosmos Want To Take The Field Again." Kemsley, a "former real estate mogul who flamed out spectacularly in England when the recession struck," recently acquired the rights to the Cosmos. Since then, the team "has been his all-consuming passion; he talks about building a stadium as well as Cosmos-related restaurants and hotels" in N.Y. Kemsley predicts that he and apparel sponsor Umbro will "sell a fortune's worth of shirts in Europe and Asia," and he "has a staff of 16 already." But for now, Kemsley is "missing just two essentials: players and a league to play in." MLS soon will "sell off rights to its 20th team," which Commissioner Don Garber has "earmarked" for N.Y. Garber said, "The Cosmos haven’t lived for 30 years. And unless it’s relaunched the right way, it won’t be successful." Kemsley said, "Bless Don. I accept it’s not a done deal. But he’s got to give me that franchise." In order to "drum the team back into the public consciousness, Kemsley hopes to recruit dozens of the world’s greatest players for a charity game to be played this year," perhaps at Citi Field. Kemsley notes his ultimate ambition is to turn the Cosmos into "the No. 1 soccer franchise in the world." Segal notes that is "precisely the sort of talk that spooks MLS." Garber: "They need to believe in the MLS system, which is not about one team dominating everybody else, like the Cosmos did 30 years ago. And if they don’t believe in our system, we won’t sell them the team" (N.Y. TIMES MAGAZINE, 4/17 issue).