Sunday, October 31, 2010

Jurgen Klinsmann at TFC

The timing of the newspaper stories about TFC's move to hire Jurgen Klinsmann has to prompt serious questions as to whether this is primarily a PR stunt or a genuine attempt to revamp MLSE's soccer operations. Stephen Brunt's story in the Globe and Mail appeared the same day as an email to TFC season ticket holders about purchasing additional season tickets and a week before people on the various waiting lists get an opportunity to become season ticket holders for the first time. In years past with a 95% renewal rate it was easy for TFC to sell out their full inventory of season tickets. This year with a renewal rate of just over 80% and a stated desire to increase the number of season tickets from 16,000 to 18000 there are about 5000 season tickets available with the initial renewal process completed and an obvious need to generate positive publicity.

If MLSE were truly serious about a revamp of their operations why was Klinsmann not recruited weeks ago when there would have been an opportunity to examine the first team and academy teams action and form a clear picture of the role played by various coaches and front office and to assess the quality of their contribution? A second related question that has to be asked is why are there repeated assurances that existing TFC employees like Earl Cochrane, Jim Brennan and Nick Dasovic will have a role to play under whatever new regime eventually emerges at BMO Field? The failure to make this move promptly after the firing of Mo Johnston and Preki and the limited scope of the changes to the backroom staff being contemplated by Tom Anselmi and MLSE makes this look very much like a PR stunt with the high level of name recognition of their "consultant" being used as a marketing ploy to push season ticket sales back to 16,000 and beyond.