Comunicado Oficial: CSB Confirms York United’s Sale To GPSG
As was reported yesterday, Canada Soccer Business has now confirmed the sale of York United FC to Mexican-based ownership consortium Game Plan Sports Group.
The sale comes just seven months after Canada Soccer Business had ‘bet on itself’ to purchase the club from its original founders in order to find a new, long-term owner of the club who could stabilize the club within the Toronto market.
“York United FC represents an incredibly important market for the CPL,” stated CPL commissioner Mark Noonan, who believes multiple CPL teams could eventually sprout up in the Toronto area.
“We bought the club believing that the right stewards can make it a model club in our league. In Game Plan Sports Group we have found just that: an experienced, world-class ownership team that is committed to developing York United FC into the thriving, first-rate organization we know it can be.”
As was broken by Joshua Kloke, the ownership group will be led by the Pasquel brothers, who all have deep and extensive ties to top flight Mexican football. Eduardo will assume duties as CEO, Ricardo will be Angus McNab’s successor as President and General Manager, and Miguel will serve as CCO and Head of New Strategy Alliances. All of them will be moving to Toronto to help with day-to-day club operations.
The brothers have quite family lineage of football operations: their maternal and paternal grandfathers have owned sporting franchises including Club Necaxa, while their father Miguel Pasquel Sr. has been the Mexican Football Federation’s General Secretary and Chief Financial Officer.
However, they don’t comprise the entire group: there are several other Mexican investors described as ‘prominent’ by the CSB, including a ‘pair of respected family offices’ with experience in the consumer goods and retail sectors connected to two multinational companies, opening significant potential sponsorship opportunities for the league.
Clearer details on those links are, of course, expected to come forth soon.
“They have the soccer and business acumen necessary to take York United to new heights,” assures Noonan. “I am particularly excited for the soccer-mad community in the Greater Toronto Area to have this group breathing new life into one of our founding clubs.”
Mexico Football Federation General Secretary Inigo Riestra had also called Noonan to vouch for the group, prompting discussions and credibility checks to progress in the earlier stages of negotiations.
“We want to thank Commissioner Noonan and the CPL Board for their backing and collaboration throughout this process,” said York United’s new CEO, Eduardo Pasquel.
“We are an ambitious group that has lived and breathed soccer all our lives, and we plan to make a massive contribution to growing the game in Canada. On the field, we not only expect to deliver trophies to this club by building competitive squads that will fight for championships year-in and year-out, but to simultaneously develop the next generation of soccer stars through an ambitious plan to invest in young athletes that will get more Canadians involved in the game.”
Eduardo also says that off-the-field, the ownership group will work had to understand the needs of their supports and community to improve the environment for all. York United has historically struggled to prove a draw in a crowded Toronto sports market, but it’s fair to say that the potential is there should the Pasquel brothers crack the recipe for success.
“By making a permanent move to Canada with our families, we will be able to ingrain ourselves into the fabric of the area,” adds Eduardo. “We can’t wait to build a special legacy within this club and this community. We are all-in on Canadian soccer.”
While the figures of the final deal aren’t known, Joshua Kloke reports that it is the highest fee paid for the club in league history, though there isn’t much to compare it to.
Fans eager to hear more about the York United’s new owners won’t have long to wait: an in-person introductory press conference with the Pasquel brothers is slated to take place early next month.
Header Image Photo Credit: John Jacques