FC Edmonton owner Fath hopeful NASL can still salvage Div-2 status after U.S. court defeat By Steven Sandor Posted on November 4, 2017 3 0 402 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Tom Fath PHOTO: CANADA SOCCER FC Edmonton owner Tom Fath expressed his disappointment after an American judge rejected NASL’s plea for an injunction that would have allowed it to keep Division-2 status for next season. And, despite what looks to be a severe blow to the league, Fath would not close the door on FC Edmonton’s participation in NASL, if the league was to find a way to continue. “I was very disappointed in the initial decision to not sanction NASL as a Division-2 league, because it should be,” Fath said Saturday. “And now I am very disappointed that the injunction didn’t go through. Now, the league will look at options, we’ll be looking at the next steps.” Judge Margo K. Brodie issued her ruling Saturday morning. In September, the United States Soccer Federation’s executive voted 9-1 to not sanction the league as Division-2 for next season. The league took its case to court, but, ultimately, Brodie denied the injunction, stating that the league “has not made a clear showing of entitlement to relief.” The league had previously stated that it would not continue into 2018 unless it got the injunction. NASL has operated as a Div-2 league since it launched in 2011. FC Edmonton, as the lone Canadian team in what is currently an eight-club circuit, was not part of the NASL governance committee that decided on the suit. After all, it would be inappropriate for FCE to push forward on a suit that targeted another country’s soccer federation, just as it would not be the New York Cosmos’s place to, say, sue the Canadian Soccer Association. But, Fath said he would not close the door on participating in NASL for 2018 if the league finds a way to continue. “I’d really hope that the USSF can take the next steps and meet with NASL. After all, the NASL has done so much for pro soccer over the last several years. I am hopeful we can find a way forward and continue on as a Division-2 league.” The court heard that the Eddies were not included in the league’s proposal for 2018 as initially presented to the USSF. Now, of course, that didn’t mean the Eddies were out for sure — the team could confirm its membership at a later date. Also, the San Francisco Deltas, which won’t continue under current ownership after this season, was not part of the NASL, while expansion teams in San Diego and Orange County were. Plus, in court, there was discussion that North Carolina FC would follow the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Ottawa Fury as teams that jumped from NASL to the USL, the other USSF-sanctioned Div-2 league. Meanwhile, Fath has been going to the meetings of the Canadian Premier League, which has sanctioned teams in Winnipeg and Hamilton, a club in Halifax that’s securing a stadium deal, a group in Surrey, B.C. looking to put together a stadium plan and owners looking to kick off a franchise in Saskatchewan. The question with CanPL is if the league will indeed kick off right after the 2018 World Cup is done, or if it will need to wait till 2019. The league’s president, Paul Beirne, has stated that “you only get one chance to make a first impression” and that the league won’t launch unless it’s truly ready to go. While Fath has been going to meetings, he has not confirmed nor denied that CanPL is the team’s future destination. Nor would he confirm nor deny that the team might not survive. Currently, all Eddies players are still under contract. No one has been released from the club. The earliest a contract will expire is Nov. 15.