Major League Soccer (MLS) commissioner Don Garber has dismissed reports that energy drinks company Red Bull could be set to walk away from ownership of its New York franchise.
Sports Illustrated had reported that the Austrian-based multinational was “losing interest” in New York Red Bulls and that there was “zero chance” of marquee player Thierry Henry remaining with the team for the 2015 season.
Henry and Australia international Tim Cahill are the New York Red Bulls star designated players, but the report suggested the team was set to bring in a third overseas star on more moderate wages due to a decline in Red Bull’s global profits and owner investment.
In a statement, Garber said: “I can absolutely assure you that the New York Red Bulls are not for sale. Both the owner and the management team in Austria and in New York are as committed as ever to Major League Soccer, the club and their fans.”
Red Bull supported Garber’s words with a statement of its own. It read: “There are no plans to sell the New York Red Bulls. While interest in soccer continues to grow in the US and MLS continues to expand, Red Bull is confident now more than ever in the investment and committed to the franchise and its supporters.”
New York Red Bulls face increased competition in its local area in 2015 with the entry of New York City FC into MLS. The expansion franchise boasts former Spain and England internationals David Villa and Frank Lampard as its major names and is part owned by English Premier League champion Manchester City and MLB baseball team the New York Yankees.