CHICAGO – The process to find a new owner for the Chicago Red Stars has begun on the first week of December.
Owner Armin Whisler announced in a statement on Monday that he is selling the team after a year of calls for him to do so and a reduction in his authority with the franchise. This comes two months after the release of the Yates Report, which detailed systemic emotional abuse and sexual misconduct in the National Women’s Soccer League.
The report was critical of Whisler’s handling of abuse claims that were made against former club manager Rory Dames.
“For the last 15 years, my family and I have proudly poured our hearts, time, resources and efforts into founding the NWSL and transforming the Chicago Red Stars into one of the top women’s soccer clubs in the world,” said Whisler in a statement. “It is clear now that we needed to provide greater support for our players and we deeply regret that we didn’t do more sooner.
“We understand this is an important time for new leadership and it is with a heavy heart that we have made the decision to start the process of selling the team.”
“Our group has engaged New York City investment bank Inner Circle Sports to facilitate the sale and our intent is to work with the league and the club to diligently find the right ownership that represents the diversity of Chicago and support a smooth transition of ownership.”
This move was set in motion back in November 2021 when Dames resigned ahead of a Washington Post report that detailed abuse claims against him with the Red Stars. Calls for Whisler to sell started then and increased after the release of the Yates Report on October 3rd, which said that the owner didn’t act promptly on abuse claims against Dames as early as 2014.
On October 4th, Whisler announced that he would step away from the day-to-day operations of the franchise, which he gave to his executive team. Just 48 hours later, the Red Stars Board of Governors removed him as Chairman of the Board.
“The board wants to help facilitate a sale of Arnim’s shares in a timely process which is both prudent and when complete can lead Red Stars players, coaches, and front office staff to a better future,” said the board in a statement after the decision was made to remove him.
Whisler has been part of the Red Stars since their founding in 2010 in Women’s Professional soccer as part of the initial management group. He took over the team after the first season and held that position since, but now that time is coming to an end.