WPS terminates magicJack franchise

Jeff Kassouf October 27, 2011 9

One of sport’s most publicly turbulent relationships has ended. Women’s Professional Soccer announced on Thursday that the league’s board of governors voted on Tuesday to terminate the magicJack franchise.

The news comes just one week after team owners and league officials championed the fact that they expected all six teams from the 2011 season to return for 2012. Team owner Dan Borislow was hopeful as recently as last week that his team would be back in 2012.

On Thursday, Borislow said via email that he is “shocked” by the decision, adding that there is “no due process, nothing.”

News of magicJack’s termination ends a very public battle between Borislow and WPS that had recently calmed and exited the public stage. Just last week, new WPS CEO Jennifer Pogorelec O’Sullivan said she was optimistic that all six WPS teams would be back in 2012.

“As we stand right now, we are all six teams that are moving forward and looking forward to the 2012 season. Boston is very close to finalizing their ownership – securing the 100 percent of funding that they need,” O’Sullivan said on Oct. 19. “They have every intention of going forward in 2012, so that is great. As far as magicJack goes, the owners have internally been working with Mr. Borislow, on solving some of the issues that took place last year. So we are just excited to move forward with everybody and as of today it is working out that way. We are excited about it and we are just looking forward to next season.”

Borislow and WPS, led by then CEO Anne-Marie Eileraas, were very public in their disagreements, which looked like they were headed to court. But the problems were averted, it seemed anyway. This time, it does not seem that Borislow will put up a fight.

“There might be nothing left to fight for besides damages,” he said. “I am not very optimistic about the league’s chances after this mess.”

Borislow purchased the Washington Freedom in November 2010 and soon moved them to Boca Raton, Fla., rebranding the team as magicJack, the same name as his popular Internet telephone device.

  • LE

    So I guess the new WPS CEO Jennifer O’Suillivan isn’t very much in the loop? lol

    Man this is a Mickey Mouse league. I don’t know if it can make 2012. It’s just a joke.

    • Krissi

      @LE: I think you’re right – does a league with only 5 teams make sense? I don’t know…Thank god, here in germany there are other conditions

  • Cb

    @LE You are being unfair to Jennifer O’Sullivan. She has been with WPS for 4 weeks. Borislow’s antics have been going on for months, to the point where he was visibly intoxicated at the Super Semifinal match. I believe it was her hope that issued could be rectified. I believe this is best for the league. Maybe the team can be reserected as the Washington Freedom back in the DC area. The fan base is there.

  • This is a good move for the league. While Borislow did have many good points, his method of raising them made the entire league a farce.

    They’ll need to add at least one expansion team this year or risk folding all together. I imagine there must be something in the works, because really, 5 teams does not a league make.

  • pasoccerdad

    I think it is a shame that they could not work this out.. this league needs every team it can get. The fans suffer but then again, there would not be a WPS off season without one team folding

    I for one am going to miss crazy dan… his antics gave everyone a laugh and something to talk about…

    Maybe he will still have the greatest travel team and take his team to the W-League or WPSL – ala the Harlem Globe Trotters of women’s soccer

  • yankiboy

    Cb: “not being fair to Jennifer O’Sullivan”? Come on. This is not a U-7 girls instructional league. She’s in charge, so she’s gonna catch some heat. That what happens when you run a league. Why should she be treated any differently?

    I realize that she was just hired but given her statements less than two weeks ago–I think that it is “fair” to point out how laughable they were.

    But of course, as South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier once said “Hindisight is 50-50”.

    i agree that Boris was a loose cannon from day one. But he had ca$h. The league needed abnd wanted him until they realized that he was more headache than they wanted to deal with.

    This one of the only times in life that I can say that internet comments predicting egomaniacal and narcissistic behavior from an owner were accurate forewarning. Even people posting here and other blogs new what kind of guy Boris is, then the WPS had to know that it was rolling the dice when it welcomed him with open arms.

    Its a ashame that it didn’t work out.

    As far as us being able to support the Freedom in the DC area, our fanbase was clearly not enough. We needed something more, even when we had visionary owners with deep pockets (absolutely no sarcasm in the last statement–those folks did a lot for the game here).

    Given the socio-economics of the area, if we can’t support a club then this league really is in serious trouble.

    Time to pray for a miracle. Or another person with lots of ca$h that they can afford and don’t mind losing–who also “plays well with others”…

  • Jack

    Do you sensor the comments submitted to this page? I have noticed that you do not post all comments and I was wondering why??

    • Jeff Kassouf

      I don’t censor any comments. There is a computer automated spam filter on comments for spam bots, but that is it. All other comments are public.

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