by DAVE MARTINEZ
The NASL, Traffic Sports relationship has been a source of intrigue ever since former league chairman and Traffic President Aaron Davidson was indicted by the United States on charges relating to the ongoing FIFA corruption scandal.
Since his indictment, the league has eliminated Traffic’s presence on the club level, introducing Stephen Malik as the new owner of the then-Traffic owned Carolina RailHawks. Despite that initiative, Traffic continues to have a stake in the league’s operations.
But that may soon change.
In a conversation with EoS, NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson touched on the league’s current relationship with Traffic, suggesting change may be afoot.
“We have severed ties in everything except an investment [Traffic] made in the league a long, long time ago — and they weren’t alone,” Peterson explains. “It was a group of owners, not just Traffic, that made an investment in the league five or six years ago
“We will probably work to wind that down at some point and then there won’t be any relationship with us.”
As EoS has learned, the NASL’s business structure is separated into Class A and Class B shares. Class A shares come at the club level and directly influence the day-to-day business operations of the league. Traffic owns Class B shares; a status obtained by their initial investment in the league. With their Class B designation, Traffic and the other initial shareholders have a say in bigger picture decisions for the league, such as the price tag of expansion fees.
NASL has been working to pay down the initial investors, and are currently in discussion with Traffic to find a solution for an amicable split with them as well.
“I can’t go into it because it is a private matter,” Peterson suggests, “but it is a matter of discussion and everyone finding something that makes them happy, so we are working on it.”