Borislow responds to WPS termination threat, alleges attendance “fraud”
By Charles Boehm
Women’s Professional Soccer launched a stinging salvo in the direction of renegade owner Dan Borislow on Wednesday morning, eviscerating the magicJack boss for “unprofessional and disparaging treatment of his players,” “failure to pay his bills,” and his decision to engage in a “baseless legal action” to fight the league’s plans to terminate his franchise at the end of the 2011 WPS season, a move which had previously gone unannounced.
Borislow did not take long to fire back, sending journalists a substantial response to the league’s allegations via email wherein he accused league officials of extensive duplicity, incompetence and even “fraud,” and claimed that WPS wanted to shut down magicJack immediately, not at the end of the ongoing campaign.
“The management of the league is a lot better at lying than running a professional sports league. If you read my request for injunction, you will see that I signed this under penalty of the law. I am sure they would not do the same,” wrote Borislow. “The largest lie is they were not threatening to take the team away at the end of the season like their letter purports, they were going to take away the team this week.”
Borislow stoutly defended his legal moves to stop the league’s plans to terminate magicJack, but in a follow-up conversation with Potomac Soccer Wire, he suggested that he would be unwilling to continue as part of WPS as long as league president Anne-Marie Eileraas – the subject of many of his harshest words – is in charge.
“I tried for months to talk to them and even introduce intermediaries – nothing,” he said of his long-strained relationship with league officials. “I will not stay or do anything with Anne -Marie involved.”
Borislow alleges that WPS clubs and officials routinely doctor attendance statistics to a drastic extent and that the league deceived him when he bought the franchise formerly known as the Washington Freedom.
“The attendance is a huge lie,” he wrote. “The paid attendance is probably half of what you see on the [WPS web]site and some teams just outright inflate the attendance. Meanwhile ,the league is selling franchises based upon these numbers and I absolutely refuse to be part of that too. It’s fraud, just like the way they induced me into the league.”
He later re-affirmed his charges to PSW and clearly believes that it’s an issue worth walking out over.
“The allegations I made are very serious about [Eileraas’] instructions to boost attendance numbers,” said Borislow. “I will not be involved in a fraud.”
He continues to deny the main points of a grievance against him filed by the WPS players’ union which resulted in substantial discipline by the league, and caustically critiqued Eileraas.
“There isn’t one player we know of that signed the grievance and the [U.S] National team players were shocked to see it after the fact,” said Borislow. “We cut six players in a short period of time, and I am sure between them and a conspiracy with the league that is where the grievance emanated.
“My players are the highest paid players with the best benefits. Although they are the highest paid, Abby [Wambach], Hope [Solo], Christie [Rampone] and Megan [Rapinoe] combined do not make what Anne Marie makes and that is a crying shame.”
Borislow also expanded on his ideas for improving the league’s infrastructure, which he previously criticized as “clueless” and plagued by “ridiculous overhead,” by reaching out to the U.S. Soccer Federation and Major League Soccer for assistance.
“Embrace the WNT [U.S. Women’s National Team],” he told PSW, “cut down the markets to put on the best possible show, build a viable business plan to take to the USSF for help and get the MLS deeply involved.”