Well, the decision we've all been waiting on pins and needles for over the last few months is finally here and it's not good news. The North American Soccer League announced on Monday night that the league will be suspending operations of the Atlanta Silverbacks for the 2016 season and possibly beyond.
The league took over ownership of the team before last season and were on the search for new ownership both locally and all over the country. Unfortunately, after months and months of searching they exhausted all efforts have decided to shutdown the team for the 2016 season instead of pour more money into it for another season.
"The goal all along has been to secure committed local ownership in Atlanta, but despite significant conversations with a number of interested parties, we were unable to identify a group that could lead the Silverbacks in a direction consistent with the rest of our clubs," NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson said. "It's unfortunate, and particularly sad for the Silverbacks' passionate fan base, which has supported the club tremendously throughout the years."
It's obviously a very sad day for all those involved with the club from the front office staff who are forced to find other opportunities, to the players who are left in peril, and especially the dedicated and boisterous fans. They've been there through thick and thin supporting the team when an owner wouldn't.
"Unfortunately in Atlanta - a market we continue to believe could be successful in the NASL - there wasn't an ownership group identified that met the very specific standards we hold ourselves to as a league."
With Atlanta United arriving the future of the Silverbacks was always in danger with such a tenous ownership situation, this appears to be the final nail in the coffin of a historic franchise. Only time will tell if this is truly the end, but it's hard to see them coming back from this.
Our sympathies to all of our readers who have supported this great club over the years. Please share your thoughts in the comments or just feel free to rant and let off steam.