The repercussions of the Yates Report continue as Merritt Paulson, owner of the Portland Thorns and Arnim Whisler, owner of the Chicago Red Stars; each announced that they’re putting their teams up for sale on Thursday afternoon. Fans have been calling for both owners to sell their teams since the bombshell reports of abuse in both organizations dropped in October.
Paulson owns the Portland Thorns and the Portland Timbers of the MLS but is only selling the Thorns. In a statement he released on Thursday, he says he intends to help the NWSL find the “right group” to take over ownership. He also vows to be a “key partner” for the new ownership group and wants the Thorns to continue playing at Providence Park. Finally, he pledged $1 million to creating an NWSL Players Safety Office. Thorns and Timbers fans are not happy with Paulson’s decision to only sell the Thorns. Consequently, official supporter groups of both teams released a joint statement on Thursday:
A joint statement regarding the intention to sell the Thorns and split the club.#BAONPDX #RCTID #CutTheRotOut #OneClub pic.twitter.com/PimJdRDyuK— 107ist (@107ist) December 1, 2022
On the other hand, there is not much news surrounding the Red Stars. According to Sportico, the Red Stars board sent out an email to investors on Thursday informing them that Whisler hired a firm to sell his stake of the team. Whisler hired Inner Circle Sports, the firm helping the NWSL with their 2024 expansion. The Red Stars and Whisler have not publicly commented on the news.
Who do you think will buy the Thorns and Red Stars, and do you think either team will be relocated? Let me know what you think in the comments below. Follow me on Twitter and check out Beyond Women’s Sports for more women’s sports coverage. Watch live international and NWSL matches here.