All signs of late were pointing toward there not being a deal between the New York Red Bulls and Sky Blue FC.
The Equalizer first reported in August that the New Jersey MLS and NWSL club were in talks of partnering up with each other. Over the last few weeks all had gone quiet on that front, with one source saying on Tuesday that no partnership or buyout would happen. According to BigAppleSoccer.com, the proposal of Red Bull is “dead in the water,” and the details are ugly.
The report states that the potential deal “had the blessing of Red Bulls general manager Jérôme de Bontin” and the Red Bull ownership group in Austria, as well as U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati, but that Sky Blue FC “rejected” an offer for controlling interest.
Sky Blue FC would have played games at Red Bull Arena, significantly closer to New York City than Sky Blue’s current home of Rutgers University.
There’s two sides to every story, but as it stands, the failure to complete a deal is an unfortunate setback for a team that through four combined years of play in WPS and NWSL has failed to establish a foothold with fans in central New Jersey. That Sky Blue rejected a deal to come under Red Bull’s umbrella looks even worse at a glance, but details are yet to be unveiled. Owners Thomas Hofstetter and Phil Murphy have guided the club through two different leagues since 2009, the year it won its only championship after a Cinderella playoff run.
Sky Blue FC have been teasing a forthcoming announcement for this week. What that entails is anybody’s guess.