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Ownership Watch: A new challenger approaches?

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Is no news good news? Who knows, really — but the rumors are flying.

Portland Timbers v Real Salt Lake Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images

Well, it’s still officially quiet on the ownership front, so I don’t have any big updates for you today.

I do have a bit of speculation, though. Let’s get to the candidates and see if we have any new information to share here.

A new challenger approaches

Last week, I heard from multiple sources that the CEO of a high-value Utah tech company has become interested in owning Real Salt Lake, either on his own or as part of an ownership group.

The rumored interested party is also a high-powered political donor, and he has often ruffled feathers with his political actions. I will refrain from naming him as I have yet to have this information confirmed by the party themselves — but with multiple sources providing a tip there, it’s one I’ll be paying close attention to.

Now, I don’t think said party has the cash on hand to buy the club outright — not like Ryan Smith might (though I have no idea if he actually does) — which means he might have to involve other parties. That could open up another can of worms.

Ryan Smith

Another thing I’ve heard from multiple sources over the past week: Ryan Smith, Qualtrics CEO, may still be interested, and he may have previously been interested enough to have made an offer already — although I’ve heard conflicting reports all around on this one. It appears his camp is not particularly leaky, which is always interesting.

Altidore/Watts/et al

Nothing here. I don’t think it’s dead, but I don’t think it’s living its best life at this point.

An interesting, probably unrelated note

Alan Pace, a former president at Real Salt Lake from 2006 to 2008 (and associate of Dave Checketts at SCP Worldwide at the time) is apparently in talks to buy Burnley F.C. through ALK Capital. I truly don’t believe this will tie into Real Salt Lake at all, but it’s a reminder that there’s crazy money in soccer.

Of course, the valuation numbers I’ve heard about Real Salt Lake at times triple what I’ve seen Burnley valued at.