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.