The long anticipated sale of FC Kansas City became official on Wednesday. Minnesota businessman Elam Baer has purchased the club from the Likens family and Brian Budzinski who founded the team together in late 2012. The Blues are the second NWSL club to be sold this week but unlike the Western New York Flash, will remain in Kansas City. The club also named a new general manager, Jean-Yves Viardin. Huw Williams resigned the post last year.
“This is a good day for Kansas City, one of the greatest sports towns in the United States,” Brad Likens said in a statement. “With Elam and his partners committed to the club and our region, I know our organization will be stronger than ever and this move is not only good for the team and our fans but the league as a whole.”
Baer, who operates North Central Equity LLC, has been in touch with head coach Vlatko Andonovski who will have full charge of the soccer operation.
“I’m honored to be part of the future of FCKC whether that is on game day or in the greater Kansas City community,” Baer said. “I am fortunately to be joined by exceptional partners who want the same thing that I do, and that’s a club built for long-term stability and success in Kansas City.”
The future of the Likens group had been in doubt since last summer when litigation between the Likens’s and Brian Budzinski includes accusations that the Likens’s sent inappropriate emails about players on the team’s private server.
On the field, FC Kansas City has been a rousing success. They were the only NWSL club to qualify for the playoffs each of the first three seasons. They won the NWSL Championship in 2014 and repeated in 2015.