Worse Than A Penalty Kick: NASL Files Suit Against Oklahoma City Ownership

On Friday, June 5, the North American Soccer League filed suit against Tim McLaughlin, the owner of an Oklahoma City professional soccer franchise, seeking more than $2 million in damages.  This claim arose due to McLaughlin improperly withdrawing from the league, thereby breaching a contract that he signed with the NASL in 2013.

In 2013, negotiations began as to the Oklahoma City soccer franchise’s entry into the NASL, which, according to the complaint, included McLaughlin purchasing an interest in the league and signing a payment guaranty and a performance guaranty.  However, in 2014, McLaughlin stated on behalf of the franchise that the team would be completing an immediate “proper withdrawal,” which the NASL argues constituted a breach of contract.

Per the complaint, in order to proceed with a “proper withdrawal” under the terms of their 2013 league entry contract, written notice must be given to the league by the end of the current calendar year, full payment must be made, and the team must play for the entire season of that calendar year.  Though McLaughlin paid the league $500,000 when he attempted to withdraw the franchise, the NASL deemed this to be an inadequate amount.  Accordingly, the league is seeking a total compensation of $2.5 million, which includes the $500,000 payment from 2014.

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