Dell Loy Hansen Has Until January 8th To Sell Real Salt Lake Before League Intervenes
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Real Salt Lake owner Dell Loy Hansen has until January 8th to sell the organization before Major League Soccer intervenes and gets involved in the process, Sam Stejskal and Meg Linehan of The Athletic has reported.
Hansen, who announced his intent to sell the franchise on August 30th following allegations of misconduct, has owned Real Salt Lake, Real Monarchs, Utah Royals FC and other soccer-related assets since 2009. He took over as majority owner in 20013.
Rumors were circulating surrounding now Utah Jazz majority stake owner Ryan Smith and his interest in potentially purchasing Real Salt Lake. However, after getting a tour of the facilities and meeting with Hansen himself, negotiations have stalled and the two parties are at a standstill.
Smith bought the Utah Jazz for a reported $1.66 billion while Forbes estimates his worth at $1.3 billion. It remains unknown if Smith still has an interest in purchasing Real Salt Lake or if his purchase of the Utah Jazz has succumbed any need to own a soccer franchise.
Dark Future Awaits RSL
The future of RSL looks glim. Hansen’s pending sale has frozen all financial budgets. Very little money is coming in and no money is going out. So much so that Utah Royals is yet to place an order for their 2021 kits and equipment because Hansen has yet to sign off on the required money.
Real Salt Lake, on the other hand, is looking to replace Sam Johnson – a designated player, who recently had his contract terminated. However, with Hansen still overseeing all player purchases, the likelihood of scouting and signing a designated player in 2021 is slim.
“Sources do not expect Hansen to contribute any discretionary funds to the RSL roster, meaning the team, which missed the 2020 playoffs, is unlikely to add any designated players or targeted allocation money signings this offseason,” the report reads.
Earlier in the year, Hansen furloughed a number of employees as a result of the current coronavirus pandemic, those furloughed employees have never returned. The current staff is short-handed and is struggling to survive the daily stresses of working in professional sports. Prior to the pandemic, it was known that RSL had one of the shorter staff directories within the league, now that furloughs have occurred, that staff directory has become even shorter.
Those that remain employed by Hansen are frantically trying to sell 2021 season ticket packages despite being in the midst of a pandemic.
A dark winter looms while a darker next couple of years awaits.
The destruction caused by Hansen and his associates will likely result in years of rebuilding.