New Orleans (February 23, 2009) -- The New Orleans Jesters are informing the league this week that the new team will not need the status of a PDL-Pro franchise.
The Jesters' soccer league, United Soccer Leagues (USL), developed a new concept for 2009 called the PDL-Pro. This concept allows franchises in the PDL to sign and to pay professional players. In January, the Jesters announced that it would be a PDL-Pro franchise. However, the Jesters now do not need that classification.
"We recruited very well and were able to sign quality players without paid contracts," explains Dana Stumpf, CEO/Owner of the Jesters. "Our league is pretty confusing and it takes a while to understand that it is a professional-level league, with professional-level players that are not paid to play."
Stumpf explained that circumstances changed after the Jesters' PDL-Pro announcement. Two of the players that were to sign paid contracts with the Jesters were signed to MLS contracts in early February. During the same time period, the league adjusted several of the rules that applied to the new concept and several teams have since opted out of the new distinction.
"When we announced our intentions to be PDL-Pro, there were approximately fifteen teams intending the same. The league adjusted a few of the rules and it became less appealing to most of us," stated Stumpf.
Since the rules change, the Jesters were able to renegotiate a few professional-level players to non-paid contracts. They also were able to recruit top players from NAIA teams.
Stumpf added, "Regardless of the PDL distinction, the Jesters will represent a higher level of soccer than the City has seen in years, if ever. These players will be top class on and off of the field and fans will enjoy watching them play in New Orleans and on MLS teams when they move up."