The news that Ron Burkle was officially pulling out as the majority investor in Sacramento’s MLS expansion team Friday was certainly a shock, and it appears it was at least somewhat unexpected within Sacramento Republic FC as well.
While the club has not released a statement as of publication on Friday evening, current club lead owner Kevin Nagle did make a statement on his Twitter account Friday in response to the bombshell news, which puts the club’s aspirations to go to MLS in major doubt.
1of2-This is obviously disappointing news. But anyone who knows me knows I’ve been a fighter my whole life.— Kevin Nagle (@KevinNagleMLS) February 27, 2021
I have invested way too much time, money, and effort to stop now. My partners and I are committed as ever to bring MLS to Sacramento, which this city and fans deserve.
2of2— Kevin Nagle (@KevinNagleMLS) February 27, 2021
When one door closes, another opens. With the help of Commissioner Garber, the Mayor, and the rest of our ownership group- we will continue on our quest.
We aren’t starting from scratch, this remains an incredible opportunity for our future partners.
More to come.”
It’s probably worth stepping back and explaining the ownership situation in some detail here for context. Nagle is currently the lead owner of Sac Republic. He is involved in helping to bring Republic FC to MLS, too, but the idea with Burkle was that Nagle would be a minority co-owner, alongside entertainment executive Matt Alvarez and possibly others, while Burkle would be the lead owner in MLS.
As a result, there’s been a bit of a split between the USL Championship-existing team operations and the future of the MLS effort. And now, with Burkle walking away, Sacramento are effectively back at the drawing board, unless there is another billionaire or group of very rich people waiting in the wings right this minute.
Is that backup plan there? That’s the many hundred million dollar question right now. We’ll see what happens.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.