AJC Soccer Insider: Silverbacks’ future cloudy

The future of the Silverbacks franchise is in question.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The Silverbacks name will stay in Atlanta, but the NASL franchise may not.

A person familiar with the organization said the ownership group is considering several options as the league’s season wraps up with the Silverbacks at the bottom of the standings.

The ownership group, which includes John Latham, Boris Jerkunica and Henry and John Hardin are considering selling the franchise to owners in another market. The person wouldn’t identify the market or the potential buyers.

The sale could be finalized by late November.

Speaking to NASN on Thursday, NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson mentioned that Silverbacks are exploring options regarding their future. The team issued a statement later in the day saying that they hoped to find a resolution as soon as possible.

However, the franchise has failed to turn a profit despite having one of the lowest payrolls in NASL and now faces competition with Arthur Blank’s MLS team coming online in 2017.

If the franchise is sold, the person familiar with the situation said Jerkunica, Latham and the Hardins would start a team in Atlanta focused on developing local talent in another league. The team would be called the Silverbacks because Jerkunica is the majority owner of the Silverbacks name, which wouldn’t be sold. He also owns Silverbacks Park and Silverbacks Suwanee Indoor park, neither of which would be sold. It wouldn’t be affiliated with Atlanta’s MLS team.

The team has been performing poorly since qualifying for the 2013 Soccer Bowl. It finished last in this year’s Fall standings, after finishing eighth out of 10 teams in the Spring standings, after finishing seventh out of eight teams in the Fall of 2013.



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