U.S. Soccer Declines NWSL's Plan To Go Independent, Offers Alternative
U.S. Soccer's BOD has declined to "approve a plan proposed by NWSL owners that would see the league become independent but receive a major funding boost" from the federation, according to sources cited by Caitlin Murray of YAHOO SPORTS. In a "surprise move," U.S. Soccer on Saturday in a closed-door session instead "offered to keep managing the league for another year while negotiations continue." Sources said that NWSL owners had asked for U.S. Soccer to "end its management agreement overseeing the league but fund NWSL operations" through '28, allocating $7M in '20 and $5M every year after. The league's owners have been "eager to transition it into an independent league, a move U.S. Soccer also wants long term." The federation's counter proposal was one that the two sides "had not discussed beforehand." It would see both work together on a "concrete resolution" by '21. The offer does "include additional annual funding for the NWSL" of up to $1M for "specific expenditures that the federation must approve beforehand." USSF's current management agreement with the NWSL is "set to expire on Dec. 31." Sources said that one of the concerns from the BOD is that the NWSL's "funding request" of around $47M over nine years "far exceeds the NWSL's funding level to date." The league's commissioner search is underway, and sources said that President Amanda Duffy is a "candidate for the job." Sources also said that an "early hurdle in the selection process was building a consensus" among the league's nine owners on "what exactly the commissioner's role should look like" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 12/9).