Y. Michele Kang is closer to becoming the Washington Spirit’s controlling owner.
The National Women’s Soccer League announced Saturday that its board of governors unanimously approved what it termed “important changes” to the structure and makeup of the Washington Soccer Properties ownership group, the entity that manages the Washington Spirit.
These changes could could lead the way to Kang running the show. Steve Baldwin resigned as CEO and manager partner in October.
“Our collective focus is to create the best environment for the Washington Spirit players, fans, and team employees, and to operate the NWSL in a manner that supports excellence on the field of play and in front offices around the league,” the NWSL board said in a statement. “Our priority is determining what is in the best interest of the NWSL, Washington Spirit, its players, and the D.C. soccer community.
“We believe Y. Michele Kang is fully committed to elevating this club and delivering for its players and it is now a matter for WSP shareholders to determine who holds a controlling interest. We are committed to allowing the required ownership process to be resolved in the appropriate, orderly manner. We will provide any additional updates once that process has taken place.”
According to a NWSL press release, the ownership of WSP has been held by three people, each of whom have held the entirety of WSP’s equity positions and voting membership on the team’s board of managers. The WSP has had a number of investors who have held non-equity and non-voting positions with the team, the league said.
Subject to the satisfaction of routine legal conditions, the NWSL board approved the conversion of those investors who wish to convert to full equity shareholders, and as such, voting members of the WSP board of managers. The NWSL board also has approved the transfer of certain equity stakes to Kang, providing Kang with additional shares, though not a majority or controlling interest.
WSP will start a process to determine whether Kang will receive sufficient support of its voting members, as required by the WSP bylaws, to operate the Washington Spirit as its controlling owner, according to the press release.