Precourt, MLS open to providing info to Crew buyers, records show
Precourt Sports Ventures and Major League Soccer are prepared to provide “pertinent information” to prospective buyers looking to make a bona fide offer to purchase Crew SC, according to an email contained in court documents as part of a motion filed by PSV and MLS counsel on Monday.
The email was sent by Marc Kessler, who is representing MLS locally in the lawsuit filed last month in Franklin County by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein, to Bridget Coontz, assistant chief of the constitutional offices section with DeWine’s office.
It indicates that When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday Where: Mapfre Stadium TV: Ch. 53, Spectrum Sports Radio: WWCD-FM (102.5)
financial information might be provided to prospective buyers “subject to an appropriate non-disclosure agreement.”
“We intend to seek to move forward with that process,” Kessler wrote.
Earlier this month, Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther wrote an open letter to Crew investor-operator Anthony Precourt asking that the team’s and league’s financial data be made available so that prospective buyers can make a serious offer to purchase the team.
The motion filed Monday asks the court to delay discovery — the pretrial gathering of evidence — in the state and city’s suit until Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey M. Brown has ruled on a motion expected to be filed Thursday by PSV and MLS to dismiss the suit on the ground that Ohio Revised Code Section 9.67, commonly referred to as the Art Modell Law, is not enforceable.
The law, enacted in 1996, states that a team receiving public benefit or playing most of its home games in a taxsupported facility must provide six months’ notice and provide locals an opportunity to buy the team before it is moved.
PSV and MLS counsel indicated in their motion that they do not believe discovery is necessary to determine whether the Modell Law is enforceable. They also believe the use of discovery to provide financial information to private prospective buyers of Crew SC is not a proper use of the court.
“It appears Precourt and MLS do not want to provide us with the documents necessary to enforce our rights under the statute, and we will make our arguments to the court as to why they should,” Klein said in a statement.
It is expected that both the motion to stay discovery and the expected motion to dismiss the suit will take weeks, and perhaps months, to receive final rulings.