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The Red Bulls sale whisper campaign: Garber says no, league source says yes

Expected denial from the big shots, but plenty are still saying Red Bull wants out.

No, the league source did not say "YES! YES! YES! YES!"
No, the league source did not say "YES! YES! YES! YES!"
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Looks like the league is in on Austria's whisper campaign.

In a report posted to the Daily News' website last night, MLS Commissioner Garber echos the team's denial that the Red Bull mothership is looking to end its New York project and cut ties with MLS, assuring fans that ownership is "as committed as ever" to the New York Red Bulls.

But not before the News could cite a league source saying Austria is "open to unloading" the Red Bulls.

Sure, it's not quite as forceful as the source cited in the Sports Illustrated report, where Grant Wahl has somebody saying Red Bull would close a deal in just two days if a buyer was able to muster $300 million, but it is another voice in the Red Bull wants out chorus. And Wahl isn't the only "person in the know" alluding to this sort of thing.

Red Bulls fans would be forgiven for cynicism regarding the recent news -- after all, many have been burned by the team, repeatedly -- but when you've got people in the league offices and well-sourced reporters saying "yes," and the league's faces saying "no." It certainly feels like MLS brass is mounting a whisper campaign.

Without openly saying the team is on the block while hinting that it is, Red Bull might be able to maximize the sale of the New York team, even if they'd be willing to part with the franchise for just $300 million. After all, they paid over $200 million for the stadium, plus the highest amount ever paid for an MLS team and the Chivas USA dumpster fire is reportedly going for more than $100 million.

That all comes with the "if true" caveat. However, one has to wonder that if Red Bull is going to start short changing the team they bought and slapped their logo all over, how much is that doing to show off Red Bull as a "lifestyle brand."