New owners at D.C. United may be closer than anyone thinks.
Club President Kevin Payne indicated as much on the latest edition of DCUnited.com's Capital Soccer Show podcast, during which he also provided an update on the stadium pursuit.
"I believe that people understand that with the advent of new majority ownership with Will [Chang] maintaining a very significant stake in the team -- and we hope that will occur this month," Payne told the hosts. "There's no guarantee that's going to occur this month, but that's what we're hoping — that will make the converstion a lot easier with either [D.C. or Baltimore]. It will put us in better position to say, 'Here's what we're capable of doing as part of this process.'"
Payne indicated it was never the plan for Chang to be the sole owner of the club and the introduction of new investors alongside Chang could usher in a new era for the club.
"The first thing that happens is that by bringing in new majority investors, investors with substantial resources, it helps Will shoulder the burden and it gives the team the opportunity to think a little bit bigger about some things," Payne said on the show. "I think it will definitely help our stadium process and I think we'll be in a position where we'll be able to compete with any team in the league when it comes to the availability of resources. … We're not going to be left behind by anybody."
The long-time D.C. executive revealed that he felt the team was close to landing a new home in 2007 before plans "unraveled." But new owners have the potential of giving the stadium discussion a decisive push.
"I think that the plan we've discussed with the District makes some sense," Payne commented. "We have to get back together with the District and we've told them there's not a lot of point in meeting again and to rehashing the same conversations until we have a different position to reflect. And I think that that will occur once we're able to conclude a transaction to bring in new partners and we hope that will happen reasonably soon."