Report: Erick Thohir considering selling his stake in D.C. United

Pier Marco Tacca

The Indonesian, who personally guaranteed the debts of Inter Milan when he purchased a majority stake of the Italian club, would use the proceeds to ensure adequate cash.

Well, this was probably in the top two or three entries on any D.C. United fan's "Worst Case Scenario" list when we learned of Erick Thohir's now-successful pursuit of a majority stake in Inter Milan. The list almost certainly included: "ignoring and failing to invest in United," but right behind it was "selling United before the stadium he promised could be built." A report today in Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore says that the Indonesian billionaire is now considering selling off his stake in United to cover the debts of his new Italian plaything.

Apparently, when Thohir's consortium bought a 70% stake in Inter, he personally guaranteed the club's 200-million Euro debts. Thohir is reportedly worth 300-million Euros, but much of that wealth is probably tied up on less-than-liquid assets, like a Major League Soccer club, so if Inter's debt owners come calling, he would need some liquidity to cover those debts. Hence the report, which is apparently sourced from "financial circles" - so this falls squarely into the rumor category.

Still, it's a bit disconcerting. Thohir is the big money of the DCU ownership group, which also includes long-time investor in the club Will Chang and face of the operation Jason Levien. My understanding is the two of them probably don't have the resources without a guy like Thohir to really invest in the club and finance construction of a stadium. Which would mean that this rumor could put the pending stadium deal into jeopardy, as it is dependent on the team financing the $150 million construction portion of the costs, unless another truly big-money owner steps up to buy Thohir's shares.

Then again, this could all be a non-story made up from whole cloth. All the same, I'll be daydreaming about an intervention by Uncle Ted today.

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