Jump to content

Saputo Addresses Rumors Surrounding Montreal MLS Bid

Brian in Boston

Recommended Posts

Joey Saputo Meets the Media Concerning Montreal's Bid for MLS


In a nutshell:

* "Montreal never at any point withdrew its bid from the process. We were rather informed that our bid was not retained."

* "The Montreal partnership NEVER, at any point, had any trouble whatsoever financing its bid."

* "There was NEVER any question of using public funds to finance this project."

* "In March of 2008, the Saputo and Gillett families... decided to put forth a proposal (for MLS expansion to Montreal) that was basically turnkey for the league, since we believe Montreal is an incredible market for soccer. At that time, our detailed proposal projected a private investment, including franchise fee and stadium expansion, which totaled $43-million Canadian."

* "After a few months and no feedback from the league, we were then informed that we had to resubmit a bid, this time by October 15, following specific guidelines. Between the two bids, the financial landscape had dramatically changed... we nevertheless pooled our collective strengths and submitted a thorough, detailed bid which this time around, represented a total private investment of $45-million Canadian."

* "Finally, last week, after receiving an invitation to the MLS Final but still no news on our proposal... I was informed that our bid had been outright rejected because it never met the $40-million US expansion fee."

* "We strongly believe that a $40-million US franchise fee alone would seriously mortgage the future of soccer and of our team. The bid that was submitted was absolutely not meant to be interpreted as a lack of respect towards the MLS and the expansion process."

* "We have the capacity to pay the $40-million US expansion fee."

* "I can only assume that the expansion fee - and the expansion fee alone - is the predominant criteria for entering MLS."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Neither Saputo or Garber comes out of this looking good.

Saputo comes across as the type of successful businessman who has more than enough financial resources to simply pay the $40-million US (particularly when you factor in that he is only part of the bid team along with an individual of George Gillett's background), but insists on haggling like a street merchant because he feels it somehow gives him more "cred".

Meanwhile, Garber is made to look as if he was playing a game of semantics with his "Montreal has withdrawn its bid" comment during the MLS State of the League address. Plus, if he doesn't - or can't - refute Saputo's claims that MLS never got back to the Montreal partnership to discuss their various bids, it raises a question about just how MLS officials have conducted the expansion process.

Bottom line? I ultimately think that both MLS and pro soccer fans in Montreal have lost out as a result of a "pissing contest" between Saputo and Garber.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Would the expansion fee be used to pay some debts that the league already has?

I'm curious how they came up with that number. It's not like teams in the MLS are making money. Shouldn't they be trying to consolidate what they have right now rather than trying to expand? Don't get me wrong, I'd like to have a team in Montreal, but I don't believe that it's the right time.

Four times IHL Nielson Cup Champions - Montréal Shamrocks (2008-2009 // 2009-2010 // 2012-2013 // 2014-2015)

Five times TNFF Confederation Cup Champions - Yellowknife Eagles (2009 CC VI // 2010 CC VII // 2015 CC XII // 2017 CC XIV // 2018 CC XV)

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.