December 7 – The National Women’s Soccer League’s (NWSL) Utah Royals FC franchise will relocate to Kansas City, once the sale of the team is finalised, according to US media reports.
In 2018, the Royals moved to Utah when current owner Dell Loy Hansen invested in the now defunct FC Kansas City, but last September Hansen revealed his intent to sell the franchise and a deal could be inching closer with asset management group Palmer Square Capital Management. Palmer Square have their headquarters in Kansas City.
In August, reports alleged Hansen and his chief business officer Andy Carroll, had used racist and sexist behaviour in front of employees, signaling the start of a turbulent time for the franchise. Both the NWSL and the MLS announced an investigation.
On the pitch, the club’s fortunes were sliding as well with the dismissal of Craig Harrington as head coach and the departure of both Christen Press and Kelley O’Hara, stars from the American women’s national team.
The sale of the franchise is not finalized yet, but a deal is imminent. The Royals had quickly become a fan favorite in Salt Lake City, averaging about 10,000 fans in both 2018 and 2019.
Hansen is also the owner of the MLS’s Real Salt Lake. The imminent sale of the Royals raises questions about the future of the men’s franchise. Hansen has until January 8 to sell before the MLS steps in.
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1611020982labto1611020982ofdlr1611020982owedi1611020982sni@o1611020982fni1611020982