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Is DC United Up For Sale?

MLS LogoA report out of Italy suggests that Inter Milan owner Erick Thohir is considering selling DC United in order to pay down debts on the Serie A club.

Thohir and his partners bought 70% of Inter last year for a reported €75m plus the clubs debt, which is around €200m.

According to the Italian newspaper Il Sole 24, Thohir is in the process of transferring the clubs loans from banks in Italy to banks in Indonesia. Reportedly the Indonesia banks are looking for a personal guarantee on the Inter debt, something that Thorir can lessen if he sells DC United.

Thohir, who also owns Indonesian football club Persib Bandung and is a partner in the Philadelphia 76ers has held joint majority-ownership in MLS side DC United since July 2012.

While the sale of DC United is good news for Inter fans, it should allow Thohir to pump some much needed cash into the club, the news is not so good for MLS fans.

Thohir is the big money behind the DCU ownership group, which also includes long-time investor in the club Will Chang and face of the operation Jason Levien. Without Thohir’s reportedly deep pockets, and we can debate how deep they really are, the sale could have a profound impact on United. Thohir was supposed to be the financial muscle behind the construction of a new stadium, which is expected to cost around $150 million.

Without Thohir’s backing can DC United afford to go ahead with plans for a new stadium? Will a new owner be interested in building a new stadium in the D.C. area, or would the unthinkable happen and could D.C. United be lured to another city with the promise of a new soccer specific stadium?

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