Rocco B. Commisso: “This is my way of saying thank you to each and every one of you and to help ensure that you and your families have a joyous holiday season.” (FrontRowSoccer.com Photo)
By Michael Lewis
Thanksgiving Day came a day early for Rocco B. Commisso and the Cosmos this year.
In an email sent to players, coaches and staff Wednesday morning, the Cosmos owner pledged to pay the salary of everyone on the North American Soccer League club until at least Dec. 31. FrontRowSoccer.com obtained the email Wednesday afternoon.
That will mean the Cosmos won’t relive the financial problems that befell the club in late 2016.
“I want to allay some of your concerns by letting you know that anyone on the Cosmos payroll as of today, November 22nd, whether your contract has expired or not, will continue to receive your salary until at least December 31, 2017 as long as you continue to work for the Cosmos,” Commisso wrote. “This is my way of saying thank you to each and every one of you and to help ensure that you and your families have a joyous holiday season.”
The NASL is contesting a U.S. Soccer Federation decision in court that rescinded its Division Two status for 2018. In his letter, Commisso called it “an epic battle” with the federation.
“I would like to thank everyone employed by our club for your unwavering support during this difficult period,” Commisso wrote. “I know our current situation has taken a heavy toll on you and your families and for that, I am sorry. But our battle with the USSF will go on because I strongly believe that it is in the best interests of U.S. Soccer, the Cosmos Family, and our fans.”
Due to club financial difficulties late last year, players and staff members were not paid by the Cosmos owner. When Commisso bought the team in January, he made sure members of the Cosmos organization were paid their back salaries.
The NASL has appealed a ruling by Judge Margo K. Brodie for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in which its quest for a preliminary injunction to change the USSF’s decision was rejected.
On Monday, Nov. 13 the league filed a brief that argued why the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York should overturn the U.S. District Court’s ruling.
The USSF responded Tuesday.
Oral arguments in the appeal are scheduled to be heard Dec. 15 at 10 a.m.