Jack Krumpe, executive vice president of Madison Square Garden Corp., said yesterday that MSG would be willing to hold back on the sale of any of the Washington Diplomat players for another week if the extra time would help team President Steve Danzansky in his quest to save professional soccer in Washington.
The North American Soccer League formally voted yesterday to give Danzansky another week to put together a group that can receive the defunct Diplomat franchise. Garden officials had agreed a week ago, when Danzansky was given his first one-week extension, not to sell any of the players on the Washington roster for a week.
Yesterday, Krumpe said that as long as the NASL is willing to push back the dispersal draft, now scheduled for Dec. 10, the Garden is willing to hold onto the players at least until next Monday, the new deadline.
"We are willing to do anything we can to cooperate with the Washington people," Krumpe said. "We would still like to sell the players in a group, not individually, and we still want very much for there to be soccer in Washington next year. If Steve has another week, we'll certainly try to cooperate with him in any way we can."
Krumpe met with Dip Coach Gordon Bradley Monday to discuss players on the roster, their value and where they could be marketed. "I'll call Gordon and tell him to hold off," Krumpe said."We're really not bad guys, you know." a
League owners meeting in Chicago unanimously voted yesterday to give Washington and Rochester representatives one more week to come up with financing for new franchises -- to replace the ones terminated eight days ago -- after Danzansky called Commissioner Phil Woosnam Monday night to tell him that yet another group of prospective buyers had "come out of the woodwork" late Monday to say they were interested in a NASL franchise in Washington. l
The owners drew up realignment plans yesterday, taking into account the possibility of having a 21-team league (the current number), a 22-team league or a 23-team league next season. Houston, the 24th team in the league, will not reapply for a franchise, according to league sources, and is definitely out.
Woosnam had no trouble yesterday selling owners on the idea of giving Washington an extra week. "If there's one thing we all agree with Phil on, it's that this league needs Washington," one club official said. "As long as there's any hope for them, we'll give them as much time as we possibly can."