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NWSL board's blessing clears hurdle for Kang to take control of Spirit

Sources say that Y. Michele Kang has the support of team investors Chelsea Clinton and Jenna Bush Hager GETTY IMAGES

The NWSL BOG “voted unanimously to allow the Spirit’s non-equity, nonvoting investors, many of whom back" Y. Michele Kang as controlling owner, “to become shareholders,” according to Steven Goff of the WASHINGTON POST. With their support "as well as her purchase of other equity stakes, Kang would be in position to take over ownership" from Steve Baldwin, who has had controlling interest in the club since '19. The NWSL “will bless Kang’s takeover of the team from Baldwin” if the other investors “coalesce around her.” Backing Kang is former U.S. Sen. Tom Daschle, and sources said that investors Chelsea Clinton and Jenna Bush Hager “were also planning to support Kang.” Sources said that both Baldwin and Kang “were asked to address” the NWSL board, and that Baldwin spent an hour "listing all the reasons Kang should not run the team." One source said, "It was mostly petty stuff" (WASHINGTON POST, 1/23). The ATHLETIC’s Meg Linehan wrote it is "important to note that the Board's decision was unanimous." This vote was "essentially the biggest hurdle for Kang to not just aim for a controlling interest but also avoid a sale of the club" (THEATHLETIC.COM, 1/22).

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