FC Bayern Did Not Know In Advance GPS Was Shutting Down
Unprecedented times continue with the abrupt closure of the mega youth soccer club GPS. FC Bayern Munich, who also is partnered with FC Dallas and the University of Denver, provides a contact for all former GPS Clubs who want to reach out.
FC Bayern Munich discovered Global Premier Soccer (GPS) was shutting down the same way tens of thousands of youth soccer players did … after the decision was made to close the doors.
How did the Bundesliga 2020 Champion react? By restating their commitment to the American soccer market — and with incredible surprise, as they had no advance warning either and were prepared to honor their contract with GPS until it ended later this year.
In response to our request for comment on GPS’ shut down, FC Bayern Munich sent SoccerToday the following statement:
“FC Bayern Munich remains committed to supporting the development of soccer in North America, investing in young talent, and providing pathways to professional soccer.”
“Global Premier Soccer (GPS) was announced as our first partner in North America when we opened our office in 2014, highlighting our commitment to youth soccer in this country.”
“We were surprised to learn about GPS filing for bankruptcy and we are currently speaking with stakeholders to get further information.”FC Bayern Munich
FC Bayern Munich is not walking away from the American soccer market and wants to be of help to the youth soccer clubs impacted by GPS’s demise.
The partnership with GPS was Bayern’s first major effort to get to know the American grassroots network. The global leader in soccer has consistently looked for ways to share their philosophy and successful player development approach.
In 2018, Bayern and MLS’ FC Dallas established a first of its kind partnership that offers players within their professional academies a pathway to soccer both in the United States and Germany. The European powerhouse and a founding Major League Soccer club came come together to exchange talent, allowing players to experience different coaching styles and settings to enhance their development.
FC Bayern Munich also partnered in 2018 with the University of Denver, creating a program for youngsters who were looking to pursue a career in soccer as well as completing their education. The comprehensive partnership delivers FC Bayern coaching philosophies and expertise to young players who are looking to pursue a career in sports while completing their education.
What Really Happened With GPS?
We first reported that GPS was shutting its doors last Friday. Keith Caldwell, CEO of Global Premier Soccer (GPS), had shared his dismay and disappointment on the club’s failure and forced closure in an email sent to players, and clearly was also surprised at the decision to shut the business.
Caldwell was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of GPS in late January of 2020 and confirmed in an earlier interview that the national organization had 101 youth soccer clubs in 22 states with its strongest concentration was on the East Coast.
In a heartfelt email sent to U8 to U18 GPS youth soccer players, which was preceded by a telephone call to coaches, Caldwell, explained he was sorry he could not have done more … and wished he was conveying better news. Caldwell wrote that GPS operations ceased in anticipation of Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing, that no player registrations fees were kept, and that all GPS emails would be shut down as of last Friday, June 19.
Caldwell, who did not expect this shut down, confirmed that GPS had even hired coaches just a week prior.
While these recent months have been challenging due to the Coronavirus COVID-19 for everyone in soccer, regardless of the level, GPS cited the pandemic as one of the many reasons for its closure.
According to our sources, below is an excerpt from the email sent by Keith Caldwell to GPS players.
“Our financial sponsor & LGS determined that the stress of the involuntary bankruptcy petition filed by certain creditors, in addition to the impact of the federal investigation, COVID and the uncertainty of the future in that regard – have had a severely negative impact on the organization and its viability moving forward.”
“As a result of these and other factors, they made the decision to shut the club down.”Exerpt from Keith Caldwell’s email to GPS players
Legacy Global Sports LP (LGS) filed to liquidate its national youth sports business on Monday, June 22 in bankruptcy court in Massachusetts. LGS cited the coronavirus pandemic forcing the company to cancel almost all live sporting events causing a “catastrophic decline” in revenue, as well as a U.S. Department of Justice probe into alleged illegal visa activities also hurt business.
On May 20, Legacy Global Sports, L.P. was embroiled in a Chapter 7 Involuntary Petition, dragged into bankruptcy court by multiple hockey vendors. CASE NUMBER 1:2020bk11157 in Massachusetts Bankruptcy Court.
Many of the former GPS clubs have looked for refuge with other youth soccer clubs. Rush New York has picked up GPS NY, as seen below in Chris Kessell‘s tweet.
It appears from this email that all regions in GPS NY will turn into Rush soccer.— Chris Kessell (@THEChrisKessell) June 20, 2020
Essentially GPS has been dissolved, but returns in the shape of Rush soccer.
Im not exactly sure how that happens/works. pic.twitter.com/Bu5UP0tN6G
Here is a copy of the Keith Caldwell’s email sent out to GPS players:
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