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Posted: Dec 6 2011, 02:55 PM
World Class Playa
Member No.: 117
Joined: 14-May 06
For Immediate Release
LONDON CITY SOLD
LONDON – Tuesday, December 6th - London City Soccer Club, a fixture in professional soccer in the Canadian Soccer League since 1973 and the longest uninterrupted professional soccer club in North America, has been sold to out-of-town interests.
Ryan Gauss, the club’s CEO and General Manager, has announced the takeover by a group headed by Hamilton entrepreneur Andrew Crowe, successful in the environmental recycling business. The team will remain in London.
Ryan Gauss is the third generation from a family that launched the club on St. Valentine’s Day 1973. Headed by Markus (Max) Gauss, a German immigrant with a passion for soccer who arrived in Canada in 1958, the club was managed most of time by his well-known son Harry Paul Gauss until Harry’s death on October 31, 2009 at the age of 57. Harry’s son Ryan, always a visible member of the organization helping out mostly on game days, took over the club five years ago and hinted a sale becoming a possibility, but “only to the right ownership.”
“This is one of the hardest decisions I ever made - but I know the club will be in good hands with individuals who have passion and all the financial resources to continue to move the club forward,” said Ryan Gauss this week.
Gauss will remain involved with the club in a transitional capacity for the upcoming 2012 season, in order to ensure a smooth changeover to the new ownership group.
“I look forward to helping Andrew and his partners further develop professional soccer in London, Ontario. I know it is not easy for anyone to jump in immediately with both feet; therefore I am happy to lend my assistance when needed to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible.” said Gauss.
The elder Markus Gauss, now a member of the London Sports Hall of Fame, set a policy in the early years of heaping praise and encouragement on young players and those who received individual awards or were high achievers, were held in high esteem. This led to London City becoming known as a club that placed increasing emphasis on developing young players while still maintaining a will to win, a rare compromise in a win-at-all-costs environment that was the CSL through the years.
Highly-rated players from throughout southwestern Ontario and outside were assured of a trial at Cove Road and several were signed before moving to higher levels in Europe and in North America. The earliest was defender Frank Sauer, signed by the New York Cosmos in the old North American Soccer League in 1976 to play alongside Pele, while a more recent notable was striker Paul Munster, signed in 2005 by Slavia Prague a top club in the Czech Republic.
Goalkeepers Scott Mueller and Haidar Al-Shaibani, forwards Semir Mesanovic and Cameron Medwin became established on the team and ventured overseas for a place in top-flight soccer. Al-Shaibani was selected for Canada’s national team in 2010.
The best player development success was defender Tyler Hemming who, at 16 was one of the youngest players to wear the London City jersey. He landed a position with Toronto FC.
The transfer of ownership has received conditional approval by the league - no financial details have been disclosed.
London City is one of nine equity owners of the CSL, which in 2011 had 17 clubs in membership fielding 24 teams in two divisions. The Canadian Soccer League, with offices at Mississauga, Ontario, is now in direct membership with the national governing soccer body CSA and aims to be a level two professional soccer league playing on a regional basis across Canada.
Media enquiries should go to London City Soccer Club at 519 630 8138
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Posted: Dec 6 2011, 08:21 PM
Not asking for miracles.
Member No.: 273
Joined: 16-October 06
No fact checkers or georgraphy majors in London apparently.
Posted: Dec 6 2011, 10:07 PM
Member No.: 699
Joined: 15-May 07
Well now...I may start going to games now.