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Union Delinquent On 2010 Tax Payments

[Front page bump - Ed.]

For those of you who theorized that many of the high profile offloads this summer without any notable additions may have been motivated by money (or a lack thereof), here's more wood for your fire.

Under the deal that brought Major League Soccer to Chester, the Philadelphia Union agreed to pay the impoverished city $500,000 a year in lieu of property taxes. Except that hasn't exactly been happening.

The team now owes the Delaware County city $1 million after missing last month's deadline for its 2012 installment. It has yet to cough up the 2010 cash, though they paid 2011's bill.

So the Union negotiate a special deal for taxes and can't even pay that.

Sakiewicz hasn't responded to requests for comment about the teams' lagging payments to the city, which were reported last month in Daily News SportsWeek. But a source close to the team said Thursday that the two sides are engaged in "intensive negotiations" - including a meeting Wednesday night - that could lead to an agreement on the new taxes and back payments.

The article notes that "unforeseen" construction costs caused the Union to miss their first tax payment. This is, of course, all while they had $87 million in public funding given to them.

So the team hasn't been able to pay its bills, which is obviously worrisome. Perhaps even more worrying, the outlook for a return on all that public money is getting dimmer by the day. Shocker, I know...

It certainly makes you wonder whether these guys ever had the money to pull off a venture like this. On its face, the Union should be a fairly financially stable club. They cut a pretty sweetheart deal for a new stadium, they continue to sell out games, they've got local TV & radio deals, have a major shirt sponsor and they appear to sell merchandise.

My suggestion? As part of the settlement with Chester, the Union agrees to sell Freddy Adu to Mayor's Office United for $3 million. That should cover the tax bill for a few years and provide the new Democratic administration in Chester some cover on the right.

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