INTERESTING STORY: FANS RALLY TO SHOW THAT THE SILVERBACKS ARE A WORTHWHILE INVESTMENT
Their fans don’t plan to let the Silverbacks go quietly.
The team as an NASL franchise may not be in Atlanta with the season starts next year. The owners are considering several options, including selling the franchise.
But several fan groups are planning a rally at 6:45 p.m. in Centennial Park on Wednesday to show the team’s owners, potential new owners and NASL officials that they want the team to stay in Atlanta.
“This rally is intended to show any potential investor and the NASL that the Silverbacks are a worthwhile investment, that they have passionate fans, and to encourage them to act to save the team,” a note on the website run by Terminus Legion, a soccer supporter’s group based in Atlanta, said.
NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson said he wants the franchise to remain in Atlanta.
“We appreciate the efforts of all of the Silverbacks fans that are showing support for their club,” said through a spokesman. “They are great fans, and always have been. As we’ve stated, we’re trying to work through an ownership restructuring. Our first priority is to continue to play professional soccer in Atlanta, and we’re doing everything we can to make sure that happens in 2015.”
Silverbacks co-owner Boris Jerkunica hasn’t responded to numerous emails asking for a comment about the rally.
The Silverbacks have mostly struggled since joining the NASL in 2011. They finished last that year and seventh out of eight teams in 2012. They qualified for the NASL Championship game in 2013 by winning the Spring season, but followed that by finishing seventh in the fall and falling to New York in the championship game. They finished last out of 10 teams in the combined spring and fall seasons this year.
The franchise has failed to turn a profit despite having one of the lowest payrolls in NASL. It now faces competition with Arthur Blank’s MLS team beginning play in 2017.