New York Cosmos, once the most glamourous name in United States soccer which even lured Pele out of retirement, wants to become a major force once again – possibly with Arab money. The Cosmos disbanded in 1985 but sustained a programme of youth academies and merchandise sales and was recently chaired by former Tottenham Hotspur executive Paul Kemsley.
Kemsley has now stepped down and reports in the US said the Cosmos, who want to become the 20th Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise, could soon be owned by Sela Sport of Saudi Arabia.
“There are advanced talks of major changes here,” said Cosmos executive director Joe Fraga. “There is a discussion of one group totally owning the team and buying out one of the two partners.”
According to a statement, a new leadership team will be appointed “within the next 60 days.” But Fraga said the departure of Kemsley does not mean things will change too dramatically. “We’re still operating business as usual,” he added.
“Just because the chairman will change doesn’t mean we will change. It is unequivocally the goal of the current ownership to become an MLS team in the most expedient manner possible, and decisions for the club will be made with this in mind.”
A group that includes CONCACAF general secretary Chuck Blazer, former Cosmos goalkeeper and current New York Red Bulls announcer Shep Messing and ex-New York Jets running back Curtis Martin are understood to be keen on being part of the new franchise which would start in the 2013 season – 20 years after the MLS was founded and 17 since its first season in 1996. [Source: Inside World. Author: firstname.lastname@example.org]