Earlier today the USSF Audited financials were FINALLY released.
CHECK THEM OUT HERE
So let's take a look at some of the stuff held within them.
WTF? @ussoccer & lame-duck @sunilgulati SECRETLY signed a new contract w/SUM DAYS BEFORE THE USSF PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION! Contract was for the ENTIRE duration of the new USSF presidential term? This horrible governance! Scared of @kylemartino @EricWynalda @hopesolo @CACSoccer? pic.twitter.com/Zj6J92snUs— Brian Costin (@BrianCostin) June 20, 2018
Well, that doesn't look good. Without even looking at anything else... that looks really bad.
Now let's go a little deeper. The USSF held off on releasing the Audited Financials until AFTER the World Cup vote even though they had them in their possession. .
BDO USA, LLP prepared and completed the audited financials on June 8, 2018. In them, they acknowledge prior accounting errors by #USSF, regarding a Copa America 2016 subsidiary & sub-subsidiary.— WikiMLS (@wikimls) June 20, 2018
Why did #USSF wait until after the #United2026 #FifaWorldCup vote to release these? https://t.co/DwglxB2Ybl
Now let's take a look at BDO USA, LLP... a very quick Google search brings up some glaringly bad business practices including this one from 2016. The PCAOB issued a report on BDO USA, LLP.
“It appeared...that the Firm...had not obtained sufficient appropriate audit evidence to support its opinion that the financial statements were presented fairly”
READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE
This was during the time frame of the USSF Audited Financials.
This news about the firm is in addition to $6.5B in phony tax shelter losses, Federal Fraud convictions leading to long prison sentences, and issuing false and misleading unqualified audit opinions about the financial statements.
Why did USSF choose such a potentially shoddy firm to do their audited financials?
Now lets look at the fact that in December USSF Vice President and Presidential Candidate Carlos Cordiero made the statement that he was going to create a new Commercial Rights Committee...
On 12/6/17, @CACSoccer promised to create a Commercial Rights Committee to oversee #USSF marketing & TV. “No conflicts.”— WikiMLS (@wikimls) June 20, 2018
Per today’s released Audit, #USSF instead formally executed a new 4-year agreement with SUM in January 2018, effectively rendering Cordeiro’s promise void. pic.twitter.com/Yd233DBfT2
This timeline leads to two possible ways that things happened in December/January concerning the SUM deal with the USSF. The USSF BOD members had already approved the new SUM contract and Cordiero ran on a platform that he was going to make sure that the USSF was going to get the best deal possible... while already signing away his ability to do anything about it or once Cordiero went public with his plan to make sure that the SUM deal was going to be reviewed by people outside of the Garber/Gulati/MLS/SUM power structure a new deal was immediately signed.
Neither of these two options look good.
Now lets take a little deeper look at the business practices of SUM when it comes to dealing with US Men's and Women's National Team media rights.
A short paragraph on the SUM marketing arrangement, which has apparently been a no-bid arrangement from 2004 and now extended to 2022. SUM is a partner of MLS which USSF also promotes and regulates. MLS helps to govern USSF. If that seems a bit incestuous, well it is. pic.twitter.com/0vucUgsIti— Roger Pielke Jr. (@RogerPielkeJr) June 20, 2018
We know that MLS/SUM sold ESPN, FOX and Univision the 2015-2022 rights to the USNT games in early May 2014. That is 4.5 years before MLS/SUM officially acquired the rights.
The eight-year deals with ESPN, Fox and Univision are priced five times higher than the average annual value of the league’s current media deals.
ESPN and Fox will share the English-language rights to MLS and U.S. Soccer matches over the next eight years.
READ THE ARTICLE HERE
Could the fact that USSF did not have an official contract with MLS/SUM been the reason why Gulati/Garber/MLS/SUM signed a secret deal so close to the USSF Presidential Election?
We also need to not forget that the USSF renegotiated this no bid marketing deal that didn't improve the monetary guarantee due the federation. We also have a good idea that the original deal is very undervalued on the open market. When we ask who was in charge of negotiating on behalf of the USSF with MLS... Oh, wait... Josh Westerman already discussed that in his great blog piece.
And if you’re wondering if USSF is receiving fair value in the SUM relationship, don’t worry because the Committee is also responsible for reviewing conflicts of interest of the directors and for implementing processes to deal with them. Oh, and from USSF’s side of things, its top employee, well, the Committee is in charge of his performance evaluation and for setting his compensation. That’s right, Section 5 of Bylaw 431 puts Garber (who is absolutely conflicted with respect to SUM) in charge of navigating the SUM transaction on USSF’s behalf and of setting the compensation of the USSF employee with responsibility for negotiating USSF’s side of the deal against Don’s own company. That’s marvelous.
“What are we doing?!”
READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE
One last thing for today thanks to the keen eyes of Miki Turner (who you should give a follow if you want to keep up with all the lawsuits that the USSF is dealing with) we can ponder about that just doesn't look good...
Why would the USSF provide different dates in different documents like this? One to the IRS and one to Federal Court. Just doesn't make sense at all.These dates for the SUM agreement don't match up. Did @MLS/@ussoccer amend the agreement that was filed with the court? Has that 2018 agreement been submitted to the court? #NASL v #USSF/#MLS pic.twitter.com/t4Gbwc3ZYt— Miki Turner (@turneresq) June 20, 2018
I just can't stop thinking of the phrase.... "Where there is smoke there is fire..."