Report: Deadlines missed for Sacramento Republic MLS expansion

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(KTXL) — The Athletic is reporting that the ownership group did not meet certain deadlines for the Sacramento Republic’s Major League Soccer expansion.

One thing Friday’s report in The Athletic made clear was that its sources were not even sure why Sacramento’s ownership group, led by lead investor Ron Burkle, missed a planned $200 million expansion payment in December and failed to sign and submit its MLS expansion agreement.

Those whom FOX40 spoke with Friday night said it is something not only fixable but one source even suggested that there was not even a missed payment to begin with. The source within the Republic organization even questioned if either of the accusations were true.

In fact, MLS sent FOX40 the following statement regarding the report:

Major League Soccer continues to work with Ron Burkle to finalize the long-form expansion agreement and remains focused on a successful launch of Sacramento Republic FC in 2023, along with the opening of a new stadium at the Railyards.

Major League Soccer

The report in The Athletic suggests the group missed the deadline either because of an ongoing disagreement within the club involving co-founder Warren Smith or because of the “ongoing financial and logistical ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

FOX40 reached out to Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, whose office sent the following statement:

We have been in frequent contact with Ron Burkle and the Sacramento Republic ownership group, and they remain committed to our city and to finalizing their long-term expansion agreement with Major League Soccer.

Office of Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg

It’s important to point out that The Athletic also said their sources don’t expect the developments to jeopardize the club’s entry into MLS.

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