Jeff Cooper to recover $3 million after St. Louis club's fallout

Jeff Kassouf April 29, 2011 3

Reports out of St. Louis state that former St. Louis Soccer Club owner Jeff Cooper stands to recover $3 million from a Missouri man who failed to carry out an agreement to purchase a controlling interest in the club.

According to the Madison Record, Cooper agreed to sell his controlling interest to Gateway Sports, a company owned by St. Louis native Ryan Woods.  Gateway Sports was supposed to transfer $3 million to Cooper once the deal closed and, according to Cooper, the deal did in fact close but no money was received.

WPS’ St. Louis Athletica of course abruptly closed up shop and released all players last May.  The men’s team, A.C. St. Louis, soon followed, officially shutting down earlier this year. It seems that this failed transaction was the final blow to AC St. Louis.

Part of the old Collinsville, Ill. site that was supposed to be part of a $572 million soccer complex is now for sale.

WPS fans were irate over the collapse of St. Louis Athletica, although the league would have been worse off had it decided to financially support the team through the end of the season.  Following the collapse of Athletica, the issue of off-contract compensation was raised as teams found ways to work around the salary cap.

  • WPS fans were irate, but at Jeff Cooper and co., not WPS (except maybe for letting Jeff Cooper own a team in the first place). You have to wonder how much of a domino effect there was, and whether we’d still have teams in Chicago and Washington were it not for this spectacular, mid-season collapse.

  • Andy Crossley

    Jeff,

    I read the Madison Record article much differently than you. It appears the sale in question was made in October 2010, meaning it was only for the rights to AC St. Louis and the related holdings. Athletica was already gone by then – that was previously attributed by Cooper to his dealings with the Vaids from England. But you’ve made a leap here that I don’t think the article or the timeline supports…which is to say that this Cooper-Woods deal impacted the demise of Athletica. It doesn’t look that way.