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Chivas USA up for sale? World’s richest man in talks

Apr 24, 2013, 9:53 AM EDT

Mexican businessman Slim shakes hands with Microsoft founder and philanthropist Gates after the inauguration of a new research facility at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center Reuters

This one came out of the blue.

Reports from Mexico are suggesting that Club Deportivo Guadalajara owner Jorge Vergara is negotiating the sale of Chivas USA to the world’s richest man, Carlos Slim. (pictured on the right, shaking hands with Bill Gates)

The sale would include both Chivas Gualadajara in Liga MX and Chivas USA in Major League Soccer, as well as Estadio Omnilife.

A fee of around $700 million is being mentioned for the landmark deal.

Chivas USA have already had an incredibly lively start to the current MLS season, with new manager José Luis Sanchéz Solá and his side ruffling the feathers of plenty of established MLS players, coaches and franchises.

“El Chelís” side started the season on fire, but have lost their last two games to drop back into mid-table in the Western conference. However with the news of a new owner and potential new funds on the way, Chivas USA will undoubtedly continue to make noise throughout the 2013 campaign.

At the moment, it is unclear how close the deal is to being done. Mexican newspaper, Record, believes that a deal “is closer to being sealed that falling through,” and that negotiations have been fruitful so far.

So could we see some Designated Players suiting up for Chivas USA soon? That could be on the cards, but other things should come first. For too long now, the Goats have shared the Home Depot Center with the LA Galaxy. Dwindling crowds in Carson, Calif. have seen Chivas’ image damaged in MLS and a new soccer-specific stadium would go a long way to restoring pride and prestige into the Californian franchise.

If Slim does take over, a bright future could lie ahead for Chivas USA’s band of loyal supporters. Some of Mexico’s top talent could be attracted to MLS and Chivas USA, as Slim already has a stake in Liga MX sides Pachuca, Leon and Estudiantes Tecos. But then again, who knows? Vergara was instrumental in setting up the franchise and obviously holds the club close to his heart.

But with both Chivas sides struggling over the last few seasons, now seems like a good time to sell up and let someone else lead the march of the Goats.

  1. valiantdraws - Apr 24, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    Wait…a team struggles so they should be sold? Are you kidding? What kind of sports “journalism” is this? The whole things reads like a high school newspaper article, with almost no analysis whatsoever. All you’re doing is pointing out facts, sprinkled with “But then again, who knows?” and the implication that teams that lose should be sold.

    Yes, I’m being harsh, but this is a substandard blog post for PST.

    • overtherepermanently - Apr 24, 2013 at 11:20 AM

      Losing on the field and in the bank ledger due to incompetent management is a great reason to sell. Vergara surely realizes that he might be able to make money in Mexico, but he has failed to grasp the US market. Selling for a massive profit makes a hell of a lot of sense.

  2. chadmoon1 - Apr 24, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    This club should be renamed and moved to San Diego. Stupidest name in sports history. Cut off any Mexican support from ex-pats than were not fans of Chivas.

    Author was right about one thing, there truly are only “bands” of supporters for Chivas USA. Want proof? Check out the hundreds of fans who show up to games.

  3. smgraff4 - Apr 24, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    The problem with the SD argument, is that Tijuana is winning the SD market. No matter how well the Texas clubs are doing, they have to know they are competing for Texans’ support along with the two Monterrey-based clubs (also, right across the US border). If it’s an SD club, it may need to be an expansion of the indoor club San Diego Sockers into an outdoor club (easy brand recognition, given how dominant the Sockers are).

    I will say this, the Chivas USA concept doesn’t work–in part because Mexican-Americans will have much stronger feelings about Chivas (de Guadalajara) than most Americans. The best way to reach out is to have a unique American identity, or borrow from an older NASL, or ASL identity, to spend money on players, win, and play attractive futbol that they recognize and that can beat the Galacticos to the North or West. They can also have different policies at the stadium to potentially recruit a different fanbase.

  4. Omar Ávalos Gallegos - Apr 24, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    Slim could buy the Chivas MLS franchise, re-brand it and move it to Queens. Garber, who is from Queens, is very bullish about putting a second MLS team in NY and Slim is the kind of guy that can make it happen.

    • Omar Ávalos Gallegos - Apr 24, 2013 at 3:50 PM

      Oh, and Slim has been buying up properties in Manhattan like crazy AND he owns a huge chunk of shares in the NY Times. That doesn’t spell “I love LA” to me.

      • valiantdraws - Apr 24, 2013 at 4:53 PM

        That would certainly make it easier for the league to pick Orlando. But, it does mean, however, that the league wouldn;t get the estimated 100 million dollar expansion fee, which I know Garber wants bad.

  5. Omar Ávalos Gallegos - Apr 24, 2013 at 6:34 PM

    Because Garber wants NY 2 they’ll probably make it happen somehow. Within that quantity of money is the $100 million fee, I think.

    • eboe - Apr 24, 2013 at 8:09 PM

      $100 Million expansion fee? I’m not the best business man but I could look at Chivas’ fanbase in LA, and look at the poor attendance for NYRB, and ask myself, “how am I ever gonna earn that back based on how badly the second team in LA and the only team in the NY/NJ metro area draw?”

  6. chadmoon1 - Apr 26, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    The Sockers idea is a good one. Look at other teams that kept NASL names. I’m sure that Latinos that live in San Diego can split their allegiances between Tijuana and San Diego, as they would not play each other in any league other than Champions.

    Texas teams don’t compete for fan bases because we are spread out here. We could support multiple fan bases without cannibalizing each other.

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