ELMA, N.Y. - With the news Monday that the WPS league is suspending operations, the WNY Flash has reached out to the team's fan base. In a letter to fans and season ticket holders, the WNY Flash say the team intends to pursue other opportunities to field a team in 2012 in the United States. The team is also initiating the process of extending refunds to the team's season-ticket holders. Fans should expect a refund from the team within the next two weeks.
Here is the e-mail sent to season ticket holders.
To all WNY Flash fans & supporters,
We first and foremost thank you personally for your support of Women's Athletics, Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) and our club, the Western New York Flash. We sincerely enjoyed sharing the 2011 Championship WPS season with you. We could not have been so successful without your support and backing. You truly are the best fans in the WPS.
As you may be aware, WPS has announced a suspension of the 2012 season. WPS's revenue stream both at the league and team level suffered greatly primarily due to the fractured relationship among the owners and the distractions and legal ramifications of dealing with that circumstance. That loss of revenue has put the WPS and some of its franchises in financial peril to the extent that it is impossible for the league to compete in 2012.
It is WPS's intention to take 2012 off to attempt to resolve 2 major problems that confront WPS now;
1) resolve legal disputes between the league and a terminated franchise and
2) make needed adjustments to its business model.
The 5 owners of WPS recognize and understand the difficulty of taking a year off and attempting to restart the league in 2013. It is however, impossible to play a 2012 season while at the same time effectively addressing the problems facing the league.
The Sahlen family and its business interests remain committed to the Women’s game. In 2012, we intend to field a professional team and play in the highest level of competition in the United States . Our organization will contact US based leagues to apply for admission for competition in 2012. In cooperation with the appropriate league we would like to organize and be part of an elite/pro division to compete in. Our organization will operate much the same as it did in 2011, as a full professional entity albeit with a significantly shorter season. We are hopeful that the Flash continuing to play in 2012 will serve as a link between the 2011 and proposed 2013 season.
Obviously, this is still conceptual and much work has to be done on an organizational level with our yet to be determined league in 2012, but we as an organization are fully prepared to play the 2012 season. Please stay tuned to our website www.wnyflash.com as well as like us on facebook and follow us on twitter to receive all the latest news regarding our next steps as we move forward.
To our loyal Season Ticket fans, the Flash office is immediately processing refunds to those who purchased Season Tickets in full, made a down payment or a donation for the 2012 season. You will receive your refund check through the US Mail within two (2) weeks. Your support of the 2012 Flash was over the top and more than we expected!Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts for an unforgettable 2011 season! We look ahead to the future of women’s professional soccer and the WNY Flash specifically with hope and promise for the 2013 season and your loyal support during the 2012 bridge year.
Yours in Soccer,
The WNY Flash family