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Sad Day for North American Soccer

It looks like the Sounders' arch rival maybe on the ropes. We certainly hope Vancouver can find a new source of capital to keep our Pacific Northwest/Canadian Southwest rivalry alive.

From: (Alan Douglas)
Date:          Wed, 18 Sep 96 12:30:11 -0800
Subject:       NAS Vancouver 86ers likely to fold :-(

   A long long time ago
   I can still remember how that team used to make me smile
   And I knew if I had my chance
   That I could make those people chant
   And maybe they'd be happy for a while.

   But this morning makes me shiver
   With every email I deliver
   Bad news on the doorstep
   I can't take one more step.

   I can't remember if I cried
   When I read how much the owner tried
   But something touched me deep inside
   The day the Sixers died.

Vancouver 86ers owner Milan Ilich, having been unsuccessful in
attracting new investors and facing losses of $350,000 this
season and $1,500,000 since he took over the team 7 years ago,
has told a local newspaper reporter that he will be withdrawing
his involvement with the team.  Ilich is currently away on a
business trip and an official announcement is expected next week.

It seems unlikely at this point that a new owner can be found or
that the West Coast Soccer Society, the community owned
organization that started the team in 1986, can raise sufficient
funds to keep the 86ers operating, although efforts to save the
team are under way.

This is a very grim day for North American soccer.  The 86ers
have averaged close to 4500 fans, won 11 major trophies over 10
seasons, play in a beautiful little stadium on an immaculate
pitch, get good coverage from the media, and have very modest
salaries.  If they can't stay afloat, then I have trouble seeing
how most of the other A-League teams will manage.

Now if you'll excuse me, I think I'll go throw up now.


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