Relegated Rayo Vallecano explore possible sale of OKC

IMAGE, NASL.COM

by JAKE NUTTING

NASL expansion side Rayo OKC still has one more fixture left in its 10-game Spring Season, but recent rumblings out of Madrid suggest primary investor Raul Martin Presa may already be mulling a sale of the young club following Rayo Vallecano’s recent relegation from La Liga.

At a general meeting with fans and media members on Tuesday, Presa — also the owner and chairman of Rayo Vallecano — revealed that the Spanish club is exploring ways to possibly “retract the sails” when it comes to their strategy regarding the club in Oklahoma City, as tweeted by Maite Martin of AS.com.

The tidbit that is sure to raise some interest both in Oklahoma and the NASL front office is Presa’s blunt confession that selling Rayo OKC is on the table following his Rayo Vallecano’s relegation. According to Toni Lopez of Deportes Cardena, Presa is unsure what path they will take with the NASL side, but they’d look to lose as little money as possible if they did put the club on the selling block.

Today’s revelation stands in stark contrast to the assertion Rayo OKC’s Managing Partner Brad Lund gave Neil Morris of The Inverted Triangle Podcast exactly two months ago on April 7. In the interview, Lund held firm that the looming relegation of Rayo Vallecano would have “absolutely nothing” to do with the Oklahoma City team and that the majority of Vallecano’s investment was already “in the bank.”

Lund pointed out that the NASL requires new ownership groups to commit to at least three years of competition in the league before they can approval, and that Rayo Vallecano was no exception.

“It’s a fair question,” Lund told Morris. “I was just asked it earlier today by a fan that’s following those standings very closely. When you enter the NASL, you sign an agreement, or two or three, as an ownership group. There’s some minimum standards that you have to live up to. We have a three-year lease with the stadium that we play in, with options. And we have a minimum three-year agreement to complete three seasons in the NASL.

“It doesn’t mean after three seasons we all sit around and figure out which league we’re gonna go into. That’s just a minimum standard. So for the minimum, they’re committed to three full seasons.”

As Lund’s closing lines indicate, though, those standards are just minimums. There is no guarantee what happens to Rayo OKC after those three years are up and Rayo Vallecano no longer has interest in keeping the club alive, and it certainly doesn’t prevent Rayo Vallecano from shopping the team around in the meantime.

  • Stt

    If you were a Rayo Vallecano fan and you saw the club spending money on some project in Oklahoma while getting relegated, you’d be pretty pissed off.

    • MTF

      Rayo Vallecano fans have been protesting this very thing. Sounds like Rayo ownership is getting the message. A black eye for the NASL.

  • Daddy yankee

    The NASL is a league made for cosmos, as long as cosmos are there, NASL will be happy.
    Now let’s see what happens if red bull put all their moneyed their German red bull team,

    • Ace Face

      That doesn’t even make sense as a sentence.

  • Major Bob

    That gotta hurt. For them to be on sale that quickly will bring a bad image for the NASL. Such a move would also make other multi club owners look bad…. or not, Just Rayo.

  • The only garber

    Once cosmos leaves, nasl will go down but nasl will do anything for cosmos.
    Nasl is like a money laundry league for investors and nasl fans deserve better.
    MLS is about to go high with all their new expansion teams and stadiums and nasl will only sell their markets to usl or mls.

  • slowleftarm

    This league is, and continues to be, a complete joke. Once Minnesota leaves, all of the MLS worthy markets will be gone so what will be the point then? Just a bunch of teams Cosmos can beat so they can brag about being “champions”. USL is the future of American minor league soccer.

    • Joe Strupp

      I figure the NASL teams will join the USL including the Cosmos, and within 10 years from that point, under one structure, there will be pro/rel.

  • rebel fighter

    This does not look good. Nasl teams going to MLS, going under or looking for buyers. It seems possible that if the Cosmos don’t get approved for their stadium they will look to join MLS. Be it a third team in NY or buy Redbull.

    • slowleftarm

      Nah Cosmos had their chance at MLS and vastly overrated the appeal of their “brand”. That may result in the “global brand” going under with NASL. No big deal though for soccer in this country – we already have a thriving MLS and a thriving minor league with USL.

      • Ace Face

        Competition breeds success. Healthy leagues at the 2nd & 3rd & 4th levels are good for the development of the game. Just looking at how few players MLS develops for the USMNT tells you that MLS has a long way to go & so do the lesser leagues. The fact that the US has to scour the planet to find players with American fathers tells you everytjing you need to know.

        And please don’t bring up Dempsey & Bradley. Clint was developed ages ago & Bradley is terrible. People say “he’s good off the ball” which means he’s bad on the ball. It’s like calling a baseball player a “great clubhouse presence” which means “you don’t really want him in the line-up.”

        MLS is good but it is not really thriving. It is incrementally improving..

        • Gazza

          ‘How few players?’ You should actually watch a USMNT match every now no then. And then learn how to count

          • Ace Face

            Who are all the great players MLS developed for the Nats? Jermaine Jones? Bobby wood? Bedoya? Fabian Johnson? Pulisic? Not MLS.

            Bradley? Mr “Great off the Ball” himself?

            • OpenCupFan

              #bushLEAGUEmls = 20 years ZERO player development

            • Gazza

              Bedoya, Jones, Wood, Johnson are great players? Are you freaking high? Pulsic hasn’t started for theNats in a competitive match.

              How many great players has NASL developed?

    • DanGerman

      What leverage would the Cosmos have to gain access to MLS if they DON’T have a stadium? Seems that with a place in Elmont they’d have a stronger case but without they’d have a very weak one. No they need to focus on slowly building the fan base somewhere else. Joining MLS would help certainly but that doors closed to them right now.

  • Jake

    When the cosmos relaunched THEY made it clear playing in MLS was the goal. They bungled that big time.
    I am pulling for this team to succeed, but I would not be surprised if they and NASL folded for good. Zero interest in either on the US soccer stage. Hate to admit it.

  • OpenCupFan

    mls = #WalkingCorpse
    .
    NASL is the best long term bet. More action from zombies on the walking dead than a #bushLEAGUEmls session of “run around” soccer (not my words, but those of celebrated #mlssux DP from Italy, Pirlo)
    .
    Finally figured out what DP stands for, “D”oesn’t “P”lay for Italy.
    .
    Support your local INDEPENDENT soccer CLUBS!
    .
    #greentideworldwide

    • slowleftarm

      Best long term bet for what? Bankruptcy court? This clown league has a flagship franchise that just draws 3-4k a game to the lacrosse stadium. LOL…that is big time! Looks like opencupfan/William is feeling the pressure with his team’s super bowl only one week away.

      • Ace Face

        I believe that Larry, Slow Left Arm & Open Cup are one guy & he posts from three different standpoints just to keep himself amused.

        • OpenCupFan

          I stand by words, everything is moving in the Cosmos/NASL’s favor. Expansion, increased tv exposure, and higher level of play every season all point in the right direction.
          .
          #bushLEAGUEmls on the other hand has owners that don’t care about the game, “DPs” that don’t care about the mls except to collect a final paycheck, and fans that think they’re hooligans! Only thing worse is USL which has a majority of teams with lower attendance than multiple NPSL clubs. mls and USL = #WalkingCorpse MajorLeagueZombies

          • Ace Face

            I still think you three guys are one in the same.

          • slowleftarm

            LOL… a Cosmos fan talking about attendance. Can’t make this up. So everything is working in NASL’s favor includes all the best markets going to MLS (Montreal, Minnesota, Atlanta), an investor that just came in last year losing interest and getting out and a flagship franchise that draws 3k in a lacrosse stadium.

            • OpenCupFan

              Typical #bot, never wants to talk about the quality of play in his favorite league. Pirlo says it all. “Not enough soccer being played”! What the hell is your league doing if it’s own players don’t think it’s good soccer?
              .
              Zombies

              • slowleftarm

                No one is saying MLS is the greatest league on Earth. But NASL is made up of players not good enough for MLS so, by definition, the quality of play is lower.

                • OpenCupFan

                  Forget Earth, your boy Pirlo says #bushLEAGUEmls isnt even playing soccer.
                  .
                  #WalkingCorpse

                • The Truth

                  Just as MLS is worse than the English leagues as nobodies like SWP and Lloyd Sam can actually play well here .

                  • The Truth

                    I mean BWP

                    • slowleftarm

                      BWP scored a ton of goals in League One too. MLS is about Championship level – I think the best teams in the Championship are better than most MLS teams.

                      What does this have to do with NASL being a league full of MLS reject? Please stay on topic.

                    • Don Cornelius

                      I think he is telling you to chill and be soulful. Guys in MLs aren;’ good enough to play in Europe. Guys in NASL are a step below MLS & USL is a step below that. But it’s all god. It’s all chill and we should all listen to Isaac Hayes. Got that my brother?

                      Please, Love & Soul, baby.

                      Get with the groove.

              • MTF

                What benefit is quality of play if the NASL is hemorrhaging teams and the Cosmos can’t get attendance past 4,000?

            • Eric B

              “Only thing worse is USL which has a majority of teams with lower attendance than multiple NPSL clubs.”

              And yet you never acknowledge that the NASL has ALL of their teams with a lower attendance than multiple USL clubs. See, I can play these games too!

          • Eric B

            I should address the rest of this comment as well.

            Expansion…by that definition, MLS and USL are also moving in the right direction.

            Increased tv exposure…well sure, something (2016) is better than nothing (pre 2016). But what kind of exposure is it when the tv audiences are often, and I’m not exaggerating here, lower than the meager in-stadium attendances? Having a national tv audience of 5,000 people isn’t really “exposure”.

            Increased level of play…that’s awfully subjective. I could say the same about MLS too if I wanted to.

            Someday I wish you would make a coherent argument that you could actually back up.

            • OpenCupFan

              Sure, here’s the back-up to my statement(s) that #mlssux – your own “DP” says they don’t play soccer.
              .
              mls doesn’t play soccer. WTH! Thanks Pirlo!
              .
              Support your local INDEPENDENT soccer CLUBS!

              • Don Cornelius

                Must we argue all the time?

                Can’t we just take a moment to enjoy the Spinners performing Rubber band Man from 1976 instead?

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKbADFJOCkU

                Peace, Love & Soul

              • slowleftarm

                Pirlo is an all-time great but he’s not good enough at this point in his career to make an impact in MLS. He just can’t hack it. That’s why his team lost 7-0 to the Kings of NY and he cried to the press about how MLS is too hard for him.

                It’s similar to how another all-time great, Raul, came to the US but wasn’t good enough for MLS at that point. So he signed with a minor league to cash one final paycheck.

                • OpenCupFan

                  He’s good enough to see they don’t play soccer in #bushLEAGUEmls
                  .
                  – who’s more interesting? You for ‘supporting’ a league that doesn’t play soccer OR your league continuing to start/promote/pay a player that says they don’t play soccer in that league?
                  .
                  #bushLEAGUEmls fans are _______________? (not too bright?)
                  .
                  Support your local INDEPENDENT soccer CLUBS!

                  • slowleftarm

                    Pirlo’s comments are sour grapes – he used to be one of the best in the world but now he’s old and can’t hack even at MLS level. Now players like Dax dominate him.

                    Meanwhile, regardless of the quality of MLS, NASL is made up of players who aren’t good enough to play in MLS so, by definition, it is not as good. Every time you knock MLS, you are knocking your own league.

              • slowleftarm

                Are Rayo OKC an “independent” soccer club? For all the talk about Man City and RB Leipzig, it’s an NASL team whose “parent club” has lost interest. Can’t blame them – I’d lose interest in something as dull and pointless as NASL too.

                • OpenCupFan

                  Typical #bushLEAGUEmls fan, puts more credence in a rumor than on the action on the field – frankly, only way to stomach mls on field action is to cover your eyes.
                  .
                  Here’s an actual analysis of #bushLEAGUEmls and not a rumor – the league needs to start playing soccer and not holding track meets – source? Celebrated mls DP, Mr. Pirlo.
                  .
                  mls doesn’t play soccer. WTH? Better start looking elsewhere for soccer action #bushLEAGUEmls fans, may I suggest a dose of your local NASL or NPSL or UPSL or USAAS clubs?
                  .
                  Support your local INDEPENDENT soccer CLUBS!
                  .
                  Franchises are not clubs, don’t get it twisted.

                  • slowleftarm

                    Is Rayo OKC and “independent” soccer club? You dodged my question so you repost the same pointless rant about MLS. And, like I said, every time you knock MLS you are knocking NASL because NASL is full of players not good enough for MLS.

                    • Tony Rome

                      Conversely, every time you praise MLS you are praising a league full of players who could not make it in Europe including Michael “The Bench is that way” Bradley. I am a Roma fan. He is Crap.

                    • slowleftarm

                      Not really – maybe they couldn’t make it in a top 5-7 European league. I guess your theory is that unless a league is literally the best in the world, it’s just crap no one should watch?

                      In any event, Bradley is a terrible example for you since he was successful in Italy and would still be in Europe except that MLS offered him a 6X increase in salary. I’m sure making an extra $5m a year had nothing to do with MB’s decision to come here right?

                    • Tony Rome

                      Yes, but he’d be on a bench in Europe because he sucks.

                    • slowleftarm

                      That’s a cool story but in reality, MB was a full-time starter for the team you are supposedly a fan of. Until he left to get paid 6 times more.

                      In any event, you are saying NASL is better than MLS even though it’s all MLS rejects. I’m not saying MLS is better than top 5-7 European leagues because it isn’t. So your analogy is flawed for that reason too.

                    • Tony Rome

                      Well, your theory is that “just because a league isn’t the best in the US means no one should watch.” Why do care if people watch NASL? Are you Garber & Sunil’s adopted child?

                    • slowleftarm

                      That’s not my theory – I was responding to your claim (under your other user name) that NASL is somehow better than MLS even though it’s just a bunch of MLS rejects.

                      And it isn’t my belief that no one should watch NASL. However, it is true that no one watches Cosmos games.

                    • Don Cornelius

                      Brothers & sisters, there is just too much anger here. You all need to hop aboard the love train.

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2syR4On4xDI

                      Peace, Love & Soul, baby!

                    • OpenCupFan

                      The question is why doesn’t the #bushLEAGUEmls play soccer? -. source -> Pirlo, mls superstar
                      .
                      Add Dunga to the list of coaches that say #bushLEAGUEmls players aren’t good enough for their teams.

                    • slowleftarm

                      Well Dunga called Kaka into the Brazil team so…

                    • slowleftarm

                      Besides – what does that have to do with NASL? Stay on topic please.

                      Which NASL players are getting Brazil callups?

                    • OpenCupFan

                      You mean a track meet? Sorry, you’re confused, #bushLEAGUEmls is a track meet, not a soccer playing league. I’m sure no NASL players get called up to track meets, I’d agree with that.
                      .
                      Pirlo – mls doesn’t play soccer
                      .
                      mls response – give him a big check
                      .
                      mls, keeping over the hill Euros employed for 20 years!

                    • slowleftarm

                      LOL…this from a guy whose team employed Senna and Raul last season and the old Cosmos whole existence was based on washed up former greats.

                      That statement is even more absurd than when you are talking about attendance.

                    • Don Cornelius

                      The real question, my man, is “Where is the Love?”

                    • Don Cornelius
                    • OpenCupFan

                      Lol, lookie lookie at the #bushLEAGUEmls fan dodging Pirlo’s “mls is a track meet, not a soccer league comments” – lol
                      .
                      You wanna know how #bushleague mls really is? It put Grammars on the all star before he even played one minute in the league! u can’t make this stuff up
                      .
                      Wanna know how #bushleague mls is? It even has an All-Star game! Lol, fake $ss soccer league

                    • MTF

                      I think OpenCupFan just posts out of fear. He realizes that the Cosmos will not be winning the Belmont bid and will be up a creek. They can try moving to Belson Stadium or MCU Park but will likely not see much improved attendance. The NASL and the Cosmos are probably three years away from a ‘Come to Jesus’ moment: fold or merge with USL. Even worse, if MLS was willing to have a third team in NY and the Cosmos came around, then they will have joined the hated MLS. Things are not looking too good. If the Cosmos were the marquee team in the NASL and drawing 8 – 10K they could keep the thing going, but the Cosmos are sadly irrelevant.

                    • Don Cornelius

                      If the Cosmos want to succeed, they meed to move to Brooklyn & draw some ladies to the games.

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mJlcW3X4PQ

                      You dig?