Jamie Vardy's MLS team Rochester New York pull out of league after investment deal collapses with future uncertain | The Sun
JAMIE VARDY'S American club have reportedly FOLDED after pulling out of the 2023 season.
Rochester New York competed in the inaugural MLS Next Pro in 2022, finishing fourth in their comeback after a four-year hiatus.
But talks for new investment ahead of the 2023 campaign collapsed.
And that forced the US club to confirm they had to withdraw from the third-tier competition – plunging the whole club's future into serious doubt.
That is despite Premier League and FA Cup winner Vardy taking on a minority stake in the club in 2021.
Rochester New York said: "This decision involved a great deal of input from many stakeholders including MLS Next Pro and was not one we arrived at lightly.
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"Our full intention for 2023 was to reward RNYFC supporters with another exciting season of professional soccer in Rochester.
"Our fans turned out in great numbers in 2022, cheered loudly, and were as impassioned as the players themselves.
"Most recently, we were in advanced discussions with an ownership group to acquire a majority interest in RNYFC.
"However, the purchasing group decided not to proceed earlier this week as we were moving to close.
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"This left us with no time and no choice but to decline fielding a team in 2023."
It means there will be no independent clubs in the MLS Next Pro 2023 – with all 27 members reserve sides for the MLS teams.
It remains unclear whether this will prompt the club – previously called Rochester Rhinos – to go under permanently.
The Athletic state they have ceased operations.
Co-owners David and Wendy Dworkin plus Vardy may opt to rebrand and relaunch the club in time for the 2024 season.
Speaking in 2021 when he invested, Leicester legend Vardy said: "I like to keep myself busy, don’t I? It’s really exciting.
“It’s going to be a lot different to what I’ve been used to for the last 10 years. But I’m looking forward to getting stuck into it.
“I think it kind of resonates with me because of what they’ve achieved in the past — the only lower-league club to win the US Open Cup, the only team to have ever done it who’s outside MLS.
"It’s all about bringing that back and trying to replicate it — but we also want to bring it back even better than it was before.”
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