WPS and magicJack: Points off the table

(UPDATES: Solo’s Tweets have disappeared, and ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle says she denied deleting them. Also, the league is going to hire people to put up sponsor signage and shoot video of the games, then send magicJack the bill. See the harshly worded statement.)

Hope Solo was apparently surprised, judging by her Twitter output today. Others really weren’t.

WPS laid down the hammer today on magicJack, deducting a point for continued noncompliance with league rules. And as Jenna Pel and Jeff Kassouf tell it, this is merely the latest step in a weeks-long escalation from warning to fine to loss of draft picks to loss of a point.

Those punishments weren’t made public. And judging from Solo’s Tweets, we have to wonder if the players were even aware of the issues.

The most-publicized issue with magicJack was the lack of media access. Pel’s report says the team was indeed fined after failing to allow postgame interviews in its second home game. But players were available for comment after the team’s last game, so that issue might be resolved.

The quiet reassignment of head coach Mike Lyons is a non-issue. WPS requires a head coach to have an “A” license, but coaches have a two-year grace period. So in the short term, magicJack won’t be violating any policies, no matter who’s in charge.

A quick look at the other issues:

- Lack of sponsor signage. Some photos from the last magicJack game showed a few banners hanging near the field. We’ll have to see if that’s enough to appease the league. Sponsorship is one area in which the league has made progress; failing to live up to obligations on that front would undermine one of the bright spots in the league’s business history.

- Failure to upload game video for scouting and stats. That’s a competitive issue, and it’ll be interesting to see what magicJack owner Dan Borislow has to say about it. Jeff’s report says other teams are furious.

- Failure to have a functioning Web site. Jenna says the team got an extension, which seems fair for a new team. Borislow has said he’ll market the team at the appropriate time. A few people on Twitter have volunteered to keep up the team’s site, but it’s not really that simple.

- Stadium capacity. WPS might not have a leg to stand on here. They knew the situation ahead of time, and it’s really up to Florida Atlantic getting more bleachers ready.

- Pressbox sight lines. This complaint can’t go anywhere. Even at the Maryland Soccerplex, an ideal venue in every respect other than the distance from D.C. and Northern Virginia, the corners of the field are obscured from most seats in the pressbox.

So some of these issues should be easily resolved, and others will simply require patience.

The bigger issue: Borislow and WPS clearly have differing views on how to run a soccer team and league. Usually, negotiations about how to run things take place in the offseason. Here, they’re unfolding before our eyes. And unfortunately, we can see all this drama, but we can’t see video highlights of this wonderfully talented team in action.

The good news for magicJack is that the fan experience, by many accounts, is terrific. See Part I and Part II of this detailed report from a BigSoccer poster.

The players seem happy, judging by the few public comments and Ella Masar’s blog. The fans who can see the team seem happy. The questions are these:

  • What responsibility does a WPS team have to fans of the women’s game who can’t commute to South Florida? Highlights? More media access?
  • What responsibility does a team have to other teams in its league?
  • What responsibility does a team have to its league’s sponsors and backers?

Comments welcome.

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46 Responses to WPS and magicJack: Points off the table

  1. Gerry Marrone says:

    Beau – I truly respect your writing and what you are saying. IMO – the answers to your questions are rather simple. The league has an Operating Agreement, where all three of your questions are answered. This owner has simply decided to ignore the rules, repeatedly. Because of the state of the league, and his ego he feels entitled to do what he please because of the savior mentality. Good for the league for standing up to him and saying they won’t accept in any longer.

    Yes, all of these issues should have been handled in the off-season – but due to extreme time constraints they couldn’t be. I think the other owners and the league office had the trust and good faith that a professional would handle these matters professionally. Character is very difficult to vet in these types of processes. In this case I think the true character of the man is coming through loud and clear – he doesn’t care about the fans (no website or PR), he doesn’t care about the other teams (no video), and he doesn’t care about his fellow owners or the national sponsors (no signage which lowers the financial value of the league from a sponsorship standpoint and therefore effects everyone’s revenue potential).

  2. Bev says:

    Beau – The first time I read your post I saw Hope’s rants …

    But when I went back to look at it again later, her tweets end in March, now it’s all the way back to Nov 2010.

    Hope, it might be faster to just delete the account. You are the best keeper I’ve seen, but your skills on the field are the last thing I think of when I see your name these days.

  3. Dan Borislow says:

    Beau

    1.We have videos of the game and will poth them somewhere soon.The league decided to have New York on TV eight times and us once.We have 10 National team players,go figure.They should blame themselves for not having us on video.I guess that’s our welcome to the league.
    2.The league did a deal with a filed board company who refuses to live up to a deal,we cant even get the infrastructuure we need to put up the ads,which we want to do for our sponsors.
    3.The league knew about our field and other issues we would when they enticed us to join the league and save it.
    4.The constant leaks from the league to the press is absurd.
    5.We never cut off contact to the Press.I understand the importance and role the press play and we welcome honest reporting.
    6.This Press Box thing is too weird.Doesnt everybody use a laptop or tablet anymore?We have plenty of seats available at midfield if the reporter doesnt need a desk.
    7.Our field and venue really are very nice,with plenty of seats for everybody We even allow you to bring your own seat and sit on the edge of the field.
    These fines and penalties are not the real issue.It’s been 3 years and 5 teams have failed.Was it magicJack that caused this?If everybody wants business as usual,we will have a lot of super US women soccer players in Germany,England and Sweden next year.We have all this league overhead with nobody selling sponsorships, nor building a good business model to show the USSF and the league not dealing with the other real issues while it’s in crisis.Shift the blame,spread rumor and gossip and try not to be accountable,what a great strategy.

  4. Beau Dure says:

    Thanks for the response, Dan.

    1. Didn’t the late decision on a stadium site have something to do with the TV schedule? Also, can the FAU stadium support a quality broadcast?

    2. I’m curious to see what the league says about the field boards. I did see banners posted in the photos from your last game.

    3. I do think the capacity question is a non-issue. I’m curious, though, about the field width.

    4. There have been some odd leaks. I still find it puzzling that someone told Steven Goff that Tonya Antonucci was being pushed out, which doesn’t match with other stories I’ve been told.

    5. I did have trouble reaching players for preseason previews, and I know Jeff Rusnak was kept away from players after the second game. I do see, though, that several players were available for the third game. If you read BigSoccer, you’ll see that some people took issue with your comments in the Marietta Daily Journal and elsewhere about the press.

    6. Personally, I see the point about the pressbox — again, the Maryland Soccerplex pressbox was enclosed (and had A/C) but had obstructed views of two corners. The question would be how to make the change in the rules.

    7. You may have seen the links in this post to a report from someone who very much enjoyed the gameday experience.

    Women’s soccer is indeed a difficult sell as it stands now. The WUSA, which had overhead far, far beyond anything WPS ever dreamed of doing, had unrealistic expectations. The Freedom stayed intact after the WUSA folded and built a nice club system that was dismantled during the second WPS season for reasons I’ve never fully understood. (That was before you bought the club.) Surely some new ideas are needed. The question is how to implement them and whether they can be done unilaterally.

  5. Brian says:

    I have no reason to sugar coat it, so I’ll say what’s lots of outside observers seem to think – you’re a fool with a lot of money and even more excuses, Dan. Set up a freaking video camera on a perch and record the games instead of whining about whether you’re on the national TV schedule. For God’s sake, HIGH SCHOOL TEAMS manage to pull that off.

    And stop lying about how you treat the press and putting the burden on them to find a way to cover a game without a press box. Maybe you’re improving the access, but admit you screwed up instead of playing the martyr. I covered a high school soccer game the other day, had a choice of places to sit and do my work and had absolutely no problem interviewing the people I needed to after the game.

    You’re coming off as a bush league Napoleon who thinks marketing one gadget gives you the right to come in and determine whether you follow the rules of an admittedly struggling organization. You may have “saved” them fiscally, but that doesn’t mean you get to step on the people on the outside in the process.

    Video your games, let your players do interviews and accommodate the media. It’s not that hard. If you don’t like the rules, there are structures in place for change instead of stomping around like the kid who didn’t get picked early enough in a game of kickball so wants to ruin it for everyone.

  6. Random says:

    Beau – I appreciate how you are covering this as far as how well rounded the coverage is of not only Borislow, but all involved parties (League, Players, Fans etc). I really appreicated the links to MRADs experience down there, its nice to see a first hand account like that. I want the league to be around long term and I also want the players to be treated well and want to play in the League. Whatever the real story is on everything else, I think the one thing that is true is that the players are being treated really well. I do think that says something, despite all the other areas Borislow is trying to cut costs or make deals (or whatever), when it comes to the players it seems he doesn’t mess around.

  7. Laura says:

    @Random – Right now he likes playing “sugar daddy” to his girls. So he puts them up in condos and is paying them. Most of the other WPS players have to live with sponsor families. That’s why Hope Solo is so loyal to Daddy. But that will quickly change now that his broken toy isn’t as much fun.

    The league is on its last legs and Borislow probably can’t afford to waste more money on the team anyway. He really just wanted an adult version of his daughter’s youth team to play with. So the magicjack players will soon be thrown out of those condos. Then we’ll see how much those girls love him.

  8. Dan Borislow says:

    1.I tried to give the league videos but their vendor stopped us from doing so.
    2.As far as TV goes,it was decided before they knew what our stadium was.I guess the league thought it wiser to show some of the teams with less talent playing than showing the two players with the most fan draw.Abby is far and away the largest draw in the country and Hope would be second.Then you have the super mom of the century and our WNT Team captain .They must think it’s cool to show soccer played on Football fileds.We can provide whatever Fox needs to televise a game.At least our stands are more full than many of the games they show.
    3.How can you question the width of the field,it is the exact size the league wants?
    4.When you say you ahd trouble reaching players,do you mean you do not have their phone numbers or emails?The Press has always had access,except for one unethical reporter.As far at the Marieta Journal,the quote was completely out of context.What was said,was why would the league talk to reporter who lie and defame the league?I would pamper any quality reporter who came our way.I would let you stay at my house if you came in to report on our team.
    The only reason why I came public with complaints is that the league decided to say somethings that are not true,attempted to smear me and penalize our players.The league is a dictatorship,with only one person making decisions,no appeal process and reminds me of the way dictatorships are run.Look to the Middle East for how that works.This person is both a puppet who sometimes forgets she is on strings.I believe this person is a lawyer without a license to practice anywhere,what does that tell you.The league has lost 5 teams in less than three years.No meaningless sponsorships have been sold and there has not been a solid business plan put together to the USSF on why they should help us.I feel like I am dealing with Zombies from the Night oif The Living Dead.They just don’t know they are dead yet.Their is no National media and for me to promote the game,would cost me more money than I would get back in ticket sales.The only chance we have is for the WNT to win,but we are not even friendly with our own players.Keep us out of the we please.The owners need to get reinvolved and come up with a strong gameplan so we can save this league and keep hope for millions of children.I am outspoken because I am passionate about youth athletics and after watching the devotion and dedication I know our Women need Profesional soccer.write what you want,but my heart is in the right spot.

  9. Kilted_Ref says:

    I’m curious what was done with all the material at the SoccerPlex. I have been told and I have no reason to doubt them, that all the property was transfered to the “new” owner. I would guess that would include the numerous sign boards that ringed the pitch, as well as the folding chairs for on field seating.

    I loved your comment about the fan that rolled their eyes when asked who was yelling instructions at the players during the game, and told you it was Dan. I can only imagine what it must have looked like, as I’ve seen that behavior so many times before at youth games.

  10. Beau Dure says:

    I have verified that the comments above are indeed from Dan Borislow.

  11. Alex says:

    Dan,

    I think you have been running a company for a long time and forgot a bit what its like to be part of one. May I suggest as part of a company you pick your battles that you think are worth fighting? Not fight over a sign board deal, video uploads and a website. These you really could have taken care of by now. Minor details.

    I think fans like your team, more people would like to see them. Your players have done a great job and by all accounts fight very hard out there.

    FAU’s new football field when it opens could be the answer to any stadium issues. It will also be natural grass not field turf so if you played there in the future, it would not be lined for football like Boston and Philadelphia are which I agree is ugly.

  12. Chris says:

    Dan,

    What about some of the “easy fixes”, like having some sort of social media presence i.e. a website, or Twitter account?

    You say media has access but you don’t even have a PR person or firm to contact, how are they to get in contact with player, coaches, etc.

    You have also told your players not to speak with the media, I know this from personel experience and can provide proof if needed.

    So just be honest with the fans, promoting does not only include having games televised why not sell the fans that do support your team some merchandise and allow them to be walking bilboards for your team/product?

  13. Dan Borislow says:

    Alex
    You are right they are all minor issues and believe me I have enough battles on my hands aginst AT&T and others.The Dinners I take the players out to after the game cost me more than these issues.The problem is that these unneeded itmes,are excuses for having to maintain too much staff in the league.The other thing is the field Boards,how do you do a an exclusive deal with a company and not negotiate a rate for the teams?then when I sign a deal,they said no and by the way,if you don’t sign this deal,we will charge you 150% pen and interest.How can a reasonable businessman say OK?The website we are working on,we have been trying.The league should have sent people down here if they wanted to help,instead of threatening and penalizing.What you say sounds reasonable,until your actually in my shoes.I wouldn’t have believed it either.Now I know why the reporters come out more negative than positive.I have rescued many companies out of bankruptcy…..

  14. Deiter says:

    Geeze Dan, by all your comments it sounds like you’ve made an awful investment.

    Also, it seems obvious you have no PR person there, they might at least give you grammar tips.

    These comments from you here alone are better than the entirety of the discourse during the USL split.

    Keep it up!!!

  15. Mary says:

    At the end of the day, Dan really saved WPS from folding, and I think we all have to appreciate the fact that he stepped in. While things may not be going as well as they could be going at this moment, at least we still have a league. Hopefully Dan will be able to sort things out and get the team and the league moving forward again. It takes time people.

  16. PASoccerdad says:

    Dan,

    You keep going back to the boards…. did you not get the stuff from the soccerplex ? there had to be boards there for at least last years sponsors and that would have cut your cost

    btw… hire some kid to do the website for a few bucks a week…

    You are crying about stuff the other owners had to address

  17. Lauren says:

    “.When you say you ahd trouble reaching players,do you mean you do not have their phone numbers or emails?The Press has always had access,except for one unethical reporter.As far at the Marieta Journal,the quote was completely out of context.What was said,was why would the league talk to reporter who lie and defame the league?I would pamper any quality reporter who came our way.I would let you stay at my house if you came in to report on our team.”

    By having trouble reaching players, I (and I’m guessing Chris amongst others) mean that we had no way of GETTING phone numbers or email addresses. The press has had access to request that you, as the current media representative, allow us, the media, to speak with your players. That is where that ended. Plain and simple. One reporter not reporting what you would like to see printed is one thing. A complete media blackout is an entirely different story. The majority of writers that I know as reliable sources report facts. If the fact is something that is negative and that’s the TRUTH, then so be it. As reporters that is what we’re obligated to do. After all, it isn’t always all happy and fluffy and positive throughout the season.

    After struggling for over three weeks to gain access to several players to conduct interviews for features, I’m fairly sure that I’m not alone in saying it was less than smooth sailing until early this week.

  18. Dan Borislow says:

    Lauren
    I gave you my side of the astory on your interviews and I see you ignored to say what it was.
    Pa
    We still do not have access from the league to fix the website.
    Dieter
    If you were deaf most of your childhood,I wonder how your grammar and speech would be today.
    All
    Many of you have very good posts and I can see your Love for the sport.I believe my reasons for my actions and reactions will make sense one day to everybody.I am sorry Washington does not have a soccer team now,they deserve one.I would still Love to play a game there and would pay to do so.Somebody bother the league and I am there,My suggestion that the game Philadelphia and the league screwed up when we went there to play,should and could be played in Washington.That game has not been scheduled yet and the owner of Philadelphia would maybe give it a shot.

  19. Lauren says:

    Dan,

    You actually gave me personally three separate stories, none of which ever really added up (they still don’t). I was merely responding to exactly what you previously had posted – which still does not make sense to me. The fact of the matter is that the media were not up until recently given access to the players contrast to what you have said previously.

  20. Jeff Rusnak says:

    I believe I must be the so-called unethical reporter Mr. Borislow refers to, because it is me, Jeff Rusnak, who was prevented from interviewing players after the Philadelphia game. I emailed Borislow after that game, asking why he denied me access to post-game interviews and why he threatened to call the cops and have me removed. Yes, the cops. I’ve been writing about soccer for 26 years and needless to say this was a first.
    Borislow never responded to my email, so I’m guessing he took issue with an advance I wrote for the Sun-Sentinel before the Philly game. I questioned him about his 63-yard-wide field and whether he made it so narrow so he could play just three defenders. He said it was 63 yards because he needed standing room areas for fans along the sideline, completely ignoring the fact that FAU plays on a 75-yard-wide pitch and there is ample room behind the team benches to widen the field. He also told me 63 yards met FIFA regulations.
    This wasn’t my first brush with incredulity during three conversations with Borislow.
    I wrote about the width of the field because it cheats the game and his opponents. Also, it showed anyone who had been to a game at FAU that the magicJack owner is given to misleading his audience.
    Like I said, I think this is what turned him against me, but since he didn’t do me the professional courtesy of answering my email, I can only make an informed speculation. The Sun-Sentinel elected not to send me to the next game, when Ella Masar and Christine Press were made available to the reporter.
    To be called unethical by someone who treats so many other people in our game so poorly doesn’t bother me. His comments at this site speak volumes. Consider this: He hasn’t hired one person to work in his front office. It’s him and him alone.
    Who operates any organization, let alone a professional sports franchise, like this? No one. Ever. In history. Until now. It’s a one-man revolution and we can all guess how those turn out.
    By the way, I have two young daughters who play soccer and would love for them to have a team to support. Just not this one.

  21. KT says:

    This is bizarre. Just bizarre.

  22. Aim says:

    I have a friend who is a freelance writer. She, too, has run into the TOTAL media blackout. She does not live anywhere near south FL but has been writing for different teams for YEARS– she started with the NJ Wildcats & Sky Blue with W-League, then jumped up to WPS. I have NEVER read a bad article, or ANYTHING negative, from this person, yet Borislow had the AUDACITY to repeatedly claim that, basically, ALL reporters were writing MJ in a negative light.

    Did i mention she started trying to get contacts BEFORE MJ ever even stepped on the field???

    Yes. I am biased. But as far as I’m concerned, and from what I’ve read, this is what I have to say:

    BORISLOW: GROW THE EFF UP!!

    I’m from Kentucky for GOD’S SAKES and my HIGH SCHOOL team handled things better than this– and we STUNK! PERMANENTLY!

    Again– GROW UP.

  23. A passing train in the night says:

    Kudos for trying but to communicate with a lot of these people Dan but they’re pretty representative of why the league was failing before you came along. Keep on shaking it up and have fun. Leave the genuises to enjoy the pleasure of their genius. Run wild and free.

  24. Beau Dure says:

    For only the second time in SportsMyriad history (the other was in the Duke lacrosse post), I’ve deleted a comment.

    Harsh comments are fine, but please make a point other than “You suck.”

  25. Dan:

    My name if Jeff DiVeronica. I cover soccer for the Rochester (NY) Democrat and Chronicle. Have done that for 16 years. Covered Abby Wambach’s entire career for our newspaper. I’d like to talk to you and Abby Wambach, at least, next week to write preview stories on magicJack’s May 22 match here against the WNY Flash. Could you please e-mail me contact info for yourself, so I can set up interviews? My e-mail: JDIVERON@DemocratandChronicle.com

    thanks,
    jeff

  26. Deiter says:

    Seems really bad that because theirs no website and no PR for this team that writers have to comment on an article outlining how poor this operation has been to request interviews…

    Again, Borislow’s comments here are the clearest example that the things being reported about this organization are true. Very unprofessional…I’ll say it again, its not a conspiracy against you Dan, its just that you’re not doing a very good job…

  27. PASoccerdad says:

    “To quote Dan:
    ,My suggestion that the game Philadelphia and the league screwed up when we went there to play,should and could be played in Washington.That game has not been scheduled yet and the owner of Philadelphia would maybe give it a shot.”

    Dan, there were thunderstorms and Lightning just before the match and lasting well into when the mathc was to be played, HOW did Philly and the League screw it up?…. and you suggest to take away a home game from Philly season ticket holders?

    The league is blocking your access to the Website ?

    Are the blocking your access to the signboards used at freedom games also

    my PASoccerdad tag is the one I use at Bigsoccer, I can be found at nearly every Philly home game… Greg

    I have been following and supporting Women’s soccer very loudly since forever

  28. Robyn says:

    I, too, was at the Philly home opener vs magicjack. I cannot understand how anyone could blame that outcome (postponement) on the league or Philly. Thunderstorms happen, and are, as far as I know, an act of God, not WPS. The storms continued and lightning was present in the area for quite some time after the game was postponed. I don’t see how the teams could have played safely. I was a little surprised that it wasn’t played the next day. Does anyone know why it wasn’t? There were no Widener athletic events scheduled in the stadium on Sunday, according to their website.

    I agree it seems a little harsh to suggest Philly should give up a home game as a result of that. Unfair to the team to lose the revenue, unfair to the fans to lose one of only 9 scheduled home games.

    One name I haven’t heard mentioned recently is Brianna Scurry. I saw her in Philly–is she still with the team? Why doesn’t Mr. B. just have her handle the media issues, seems like it might produce better results than what we’ve seen so far.

  29. DCS says:

    I’ve been training girls/women soccer for 12 years now. A lot of my past clients are playing in the WPS, so I have great interest in what is happening with magicJackSC… having been based in Florida for a few years, I was really excited that the girls teams that I train here would finally have a realistic chance of catching womens soccer at the highest level.

    I have read every post here, and I must ask a question… what planet do you all live on? The league has been run TERRIBLY. Losing 5 teams in 3 years! That is by all means, pathetic. How can you seriously expect this thing to last, when your business proposal is basically (stripped down to its barest bones) ‘you’re going to blow $2 million a season, and have no way of making even close to that back’??? Oh yes, we take all of the decision making ability away from you as well.

    Then someone like Dan Borislow comes along. Someone who has a solid track record in taking nothing… and making it something. Someone who has the money, and heart, to burn $2 million a season to basically promote Womens Soccer in this country. Yes he has daughters who play… but lets be realistic, he hasn’t brought a team to guarantee his daughter a starting place.

    We need to encourage business people like Dan Borislow into investing in the league. YES! Bend the rules to help with easing the transition for new or relocating teams. YES! Support the people who are burning money. YES! Help new owners, don’t hinder them! WPS are acting like they want to be dissolved, just like WUSA was, just like every womens professional soccer league in the US will do unless something changes!

    Why not have a triangle system? Each team has to have an exclusively girls soccer club/travel program to encourage good technical training for the youth players who live in and around the clubs? If they play at college, whatever pro club trained them gets first dibs if they do indeed one day turn professional? Thats just one idea I’ve had in the last 30 seconds… an idea that would work.

    This league needs money. This league needs winners running it. Not dinosaurs who are making it doomed to fail. Open your eyes, stop taking everything Dan Borislow says personally, and look at what good things he can do for this league. If I was running WPS… I would be knocking his door down asking for his help with marketing.

    Just sayin’…

  30. Deiter says:

    Yeah knock down his door for marketing when he shown no desire to do it himself since owning the team. This is not the sign of a marketing genius.

    The checks against him are all things I would expect someone of his stature to be able to handle without batting an eyelash. There’s a reason these things are called “Minimum Standards”…If you can’t hold to them then the league as a whole suffers. It seems Mr. Borislow and whoever’s posting for him here don’t understand that.

  31. Robyn says:

    It’s one thing to bend the rules, it’s another to bend over…

  32. Roger says:

    DCS: When you say promoting the league, you mean things like, running local ads, having a web site where people can get information about the team, talking to local and national media, etc? Or running infomercials at 2 am?

  33. Kilted_Ref says:

    Poor ol Dan. I’m a bit confused. If I decided to purchase a franchise that for all purposes had really good potential and a good location, why on earth would I move it, fail to advertise my new location, choose a location that handles a quarter of the customers, refuse to install the required signage as required by the franchise? Every other franchise in the US requires specific rules regarding their logos and signs, why should WPS be different and why should you be exempt?

    Ol’ Dan wants to play the victim, but in reality he has had his own motives from the beginning. I don’t for a minute believe that it is about “saving the league”. If that was his first motive, then he would approached the league about becoming a major sponsor and working with them to advance the league, instead of hiding and refusing to show everyone his plans for his team. Sure he treats his players great, and they deserve it, female athletes are under paid and under appreciated. But his generosity is more about just getting the end result of a trophy that he can put in a case and to stroke his own ego.

    All franchise have rules that they enforce. This includes signage, publicity, and respect to the league. Soccer is about rules, Dan knew this going in, why should he expect to be treated any differently than any of the other teams?

    DCS – Sure Dan knows how to market his company, but he has failed miserably to market his team. Lack of a website for months, lack of advertising, lack of a front office, lack of respect towards the fans and media, and now the League. Sure he is more than capable of doing all of these if he chose to, but it’s not for lack of time or money, but for lack of willingness. He had all this in DC/Maryland, but decided to move it so he could show it off to his daughters.

    If he was such the marketing genius, then why not work your butt off getting the word out for people from all over south Florida to come see the games. Why not use Twitter, Facebook, WPS Web Pages, newspapers, Radio, TV? Hell, why not use his own infomercials?

    The reason, is that doesn’t need them to win a trophy, all he needs is time and players to win. He already has the money to buy it.

  34. Kilted_Ref says:

    I missed the comment by Dan that they should play the rescheduled game in Washington. My response is two fold, one is in my opinion, you are too little too late. We had a team, a great team, with lots of support, fans and a great venue. While we will support the all the players and the league, why should we support you after what you did to us?

    On a second note, since you have no honor or ethics considering how you treated the season ticket holders that had already paid to see the Freedom this season, I doubt you would understand this. The Philadelphia fans have already paid to see a game that was cancelled due to weather. Are you seriously asking them to give up their right to see a game that they have paid for, so that you can appear to make amends to the DC fans? Isn’t this like stealing from Peter to pay Paul? I don’t buy it and I don’t think the Washington fans will buy it either.

  35. DCS says:

    ‘Yeah knock down his door for marketing when he shown no desire to do it himself since owning the team. This is not the sign of a marketing genius’.

    - How on earth do you know this? You have no idea what goes on behind closed doors, neither do I. I can not imagine someone like Dan purposely ignoring all of this. He has probably come up with his own ideas that the league have shot down, you see, to be an owner in WPS, you’re actually only paying $2 million a season for that title, they like to tell you how to do EVERYTHING.

    ‘Sure Dan knows how to market his company, but he has failed miserably to market his team. Lack of a website for months, lack of advertising, lack of a front office, lack of respect towards the fans and media, and now the League’.

    - Again, you do not know all of the details. Do not take everything the WPS front office says as gospel. I love the whole ‘Big Bad Dan’ drama. This guy saved the league, now they are selling him out, big time. He’s not innocent… but his name is not Lucifer, as the WPS would have you believe.

    ‘Sure he is more than capable of doing all of these if he chose to, but it’s not for lack of time or money, but for lack of willingness. He had all this in DC/Maryland, but decided to move it so he could show it off to his daughters’.

    -This statement is ridiculous. This guy has made millions and millions… companies he has been involved in have made billions… people like this are shrewd businessmen… I can guarantee you he did not buy this club to ‘show off to his daughters’

    ‘All franchise have rules that they enforce. This includes signage, publicity, and respect to the league. Soccer is about rules, Dan knew this going in, why should he expect to be treated any differently than any of the other teams?’

    ‘It’s one thing to bend the rules, it’s another to bend over…’

    - This is true… but you must agree that the league have acted underhand in all of this as well. People have got to stop taking everything so personally… yes, including Dan. This is whole thing is a business. Dan is a very, very successful businessman… so why not take advantage of his incredible success and help him out? Instead of making him into the fan hate figure? The WPS needs to get off their high horse. They are NOT A BIG LEAGUE! They need to stop acting like it. They are a fledgling league, and their behavior has definitely scared off future investors. Give the league to Dan… and it would not only survive… but it would flourish, leave it in the hands of the muppets who are running it now… it will die.

    I don’t know Dan, he may be a complete douchebag, he may be a really nice guy. All I know, is that if you look deeper than the official line, this is basically a high school argument with the WPS trying to come out of it the most popular… why leak info otherwise?

    I speak to my clients who play in the WPS week in, week out, and these are high profile players…. NONE of them are certain that the league will be around next season, and that my friends is a shame.

  36. Beau Dure says:

    They weren’t certain last year, either.

    You or you clients might want to contact me offline. I’d love to hear more, I could also tell you more, having covered this sport for 10 years.

  37. PASoccerdad says:

    Bare minimum Standards to which all teams are held to….

    It is the Owners of all the teams with the league office (when there was one) that decided what the standards would be. The league can make money, they have to grow the fanbase and the sponsorship… I think the original plan was 5 years but in this economy, ad 3-4 more years to that figure. Support will come for the teams that tighten their belts… who would have figured that ATL would 6K tonight, very impressive and they seem to be going in the right direction. IF they can grow that to 8 or (dreaming) 10 K next year… Then I proclaim Fitz as a genius who is operating with the same standards as the rest of the league

    When any one takes on a job, there are standards to be met. Talk with any owner of the WPS teams,

    If he wanted to freelance he could have had a W-league or WPSL team…wait, they have minimum standards too

    BTW, the 2 teams that have folded have capital issues brought on by this economy… I am sure that most of them would have like to contiinue in the WPS (out of the 4, 1 was in it for 1 year only, one folded when he decided to sell the team and not get any money up front for it, 1 could not raise capital and the other could not keep up with losses after blowing the money to win the championship) I don’t see how the league could have done any more to help them.

  38. PASoccerdad says:

    if they gave the league to Dan… it would be the most expensive travel teams never to be seen

  39. Random says:

    One thing I think that continues to be forgotten is Borislow didn’t save the league on his own, Sahlen also brought a whole new team into the league and without that team it didn’t matter what Borislow did b/c there wouldn’t have been enough teams to play. Both of them coming into the league saved it, not one individually. 2nd Sahlen not only brought in a whole new franchise, he also nationally sponsored the league. Guess what? National sponsorship money now trickles down to each of the teams on an individual basis. So not only did Sahlen help his team, he has helped each team in the league (including MagicJack). How much did each team get? Probably not much. However, if we want to talk about doing something for the league that says a lot.

    Finally, none of us knows exactly what is going on behind the scenes with any of the teams, maybe Sahlen also has issues with some of the things Borislow has issues with, but if he does, for some reason it hasn’t leaked. Lets say it is the same, my guess is no leak on Sahlen is b/c he has complied with league rules unlike Borislow. My point: work to make the league better, I want nothing more than to see it succeed and who better than experienced business men? But wouldn’t sucking it up for 1 season and doing it behind closed doors have made more sense?

  40. Beau Dure says:

    I think Random gets to the heart of the matter. WPS was already a different model than we’ve seen in failed leagues of the past, and it evolved further with Antonucci’s departure and a bare-bones league office. (Really, the only way to scale back the league office any further is to merge the league into the USL or WPSL as a fully professional division within a league that already has an operations staff.) And I think WPS would be open to new ideas, certainly.

    But do you effect that change by essentially charging the league office (run in a very real sense by fellow owners) with idiocy? In public?

    There are a couple of types of civil disobedience. One is a nonviolent sit-in (being a former resident of Greensboro, NC, I’m well aware of that one). Another is to decide you don’t like the 55-mph speed limit, so you’re just going to drive 90. Which is being practiced here?

  41. Brian says:

    Wait a second – “my clients who play in the WPS.” So the one person vociferously defending the actions of an owner who has shown open contempt to everyone except his players is an agent?

    Shocked, I tell you. Completely shocked.

  42. Gerry Marrone says:

    Why is it that Dan is the only successful businessman in the ownership group? All of the owners are successful business peoplet. Look into the owners before making comments – do some homework. Google the owners and look at their backgrounds The “lack of success” to date isn’t about the owners backgrounds. Dan has simply chosen to disregard anyone and everything that came before him. His arrogance is overwhelming Nd he is getting what he deserves. You can’t continue to act like a baby who hasn’t gotten what you want and expect everyone to roll over.

  43. Beau Dure says:

    I think Sahlen’s a pretty successful businessman. So is the Hendricks family, which stuck with the Washington Freedom for a decade.

  44. Mike says:

    Dan, When you purchased controlling interest from the Hendricks’ did WPS lay out all the requirements (financial and otherwise) before you signed on the dotted line??

    Assuming yes (because what businessman wouldn’t know this) did you sign with the full knowledge that you were just going to ignore those requirements and do your own thing??

    Also, not so much for Dan but why wouldn’t WPS have just given Mr Borislow an expansion team in FL and kept the Freedom brand alive in the DC area….maybe back to W-League or WPSL for a year or two??

    What was WPS asking for expansion fees?? What could the Hendricks’ possibly have gotten from Borislow for the team?? Or is he just assuming their debt?

    And of course most importantly….who deleted Hope’s tweets????

  45. Dan Borislow,

    Sir, I’d like to thank you. I’d like to thank you for giving the rest of the world a reason to shake their head at the league we’re trying to create that would in turn be the top tier of a global sport. I’d like to thank you for instead of privately handling your qurals with Women’s Professional Soccer, you decide that a forum…mind you, a forum, is a much better spot to discuss your complaints for a corporate entity. I’d like to thank for showing your lack of professionalism, that future business leaders and student-athletes can look up to. Most importantly though, I’d like to thank you for giving me enough sad, logic-defying, unethical, thought revoking comments to keep my blog running for at least the next year.
    Sir, your field may not have camera’s rolling, but the media world is enjoying watching every self-indulging, petty step you take.

    -D-

    P.S. Bring back Hope Solo’s tweets please.

  46. Aldo says:

    Can I just point out that Dieter who was slagging Dan’s grammar wrote “theirs” instead of there is and seems to have forgotten the uses of the comma.
    Quote “Seems really bad that because theirs no website and no PR for this team that writers have to comment on an article outlining how poor this operation has been to request interviews…”

    If I called someone out I would make sure I didn’t do the same thing in my very next post.

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