The Washington Diplomats, terminated two weeks ago but given two extension in their bid for revival, will die today, barring a miracle.
Diplomat President Steve Danzansky, who has twice prevailed upon North American Soccer League owners to grant him one-week extensions in his search for financial backing, said yesterday the group that surfaced last Monday to give him renewed hope had backed off after several meetings this past week.
"We presented them with the picture; they consulted with their financial backers and decided it just wasn't the thing for them to do right now," Danzansky said. "Right now, we don't have the backing we need and I don't have anyone on the line who might come through at the last minute.
"Phil (Woosnam, NASL commissioner) still has some calls out to people internationally but that's a very long shot. I won't give up until it's over, but right now it certainly doesn't look good at all. We can't ask for another extension because we're not that close and the league has to go ahead and make its schedule. It's already way behind because of us."
Even if some new group comes forward in the next 24 hours it is unlikely that Danzansky can get another extension since the league has already been putting together a schedule this weekend. The Diplomat players still under contract to Madison Square Garden will either be sold by the Garden or go through a dispersal draft along with players from Houston and Rochester next week.
"All along I've believed we'd find a way to make this work" Danzansky said yesterday. "I really thought we would."