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Monday, April 19, 2010

EDITORIAL: MLSE are a supporter's best friend-ly

-----------------One block east of Lower Expectations

There can be no one reading this anywhere near the City of Toronto who can still truly believe that Toronto FC's owners, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, are really concerned about building a winner. If you are one of those disillusioned oddballs: stop reading this immediately, wash your brain out with soap and run, don't walk, to your nearest mental facility. No, MLSE don't build winners, they carefully gauge marketing trends and consumer spending and make their decisions accordingly.
Give credit where it is due, the Bay Street marketers know this game, and they are very good at it. They troll the message boards and they "listen" to fan concerns - but not for the purposes we would wish for. No, they aren't figuring out a way to improve the team's fortunes but how to manage expectations and make more profit at the same time. So what has been their modus operandi? That would be the money spinning "good will" of an international friendly.
MLSE realizes that TFC is a different beast than their other properties. The Leafs are a sell-out lock for the foreseeable future; the Raptors can get by due to the fact that the "right man" is in charge; however, TFC has a rabid support who are louder and complain vociferously. MLSE however aren't concerned with "the thinkers" in TFC's support - they want to distract the easily swayed supporter (you know the guy) who will forget how bad Toronto FC is and instead talk about an upcoming friendly for months, while TFC continues to lose and spin into mediocrity. Real Madrid anyone?
With this in mind we can probably judge how pleased with themselves MLSE is with the BMO Field vibe. The better they feel the club is being received - the less glamorous the friendly opponent. If it is tanking - "hello UEFA? Send us the special please." Here is a handy chart for you to refer to for 2010 - MLSE's TFC Inc. vibe followed by the corresponding possible opponent. (Based on those coming or rumoured to be coming to North America in 2010)
"Excellent - souvenirs and beer sales are brisk":

"Good - some mumbles but how 'bout those new white kits?":

"Fair - some hiccups but they're still singing their little songs":

"Bad – why are these people so obsessed with winning… and goals?":

"Awful - Chip Butty sales are way down! Red Alert!":

"Tanked - Wow they really hate that Scottish guy, gimme the phone":
The only thing getting in the way of this prediction is MLSE's amazing ability to naval gaze as they sharpen the axe next to the golden goose. If any of this does come true - think twice before you comment anywhere that "it's a crap season but at least (insert club here) is coming" because you are being played. Again.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, I never thought of it that way. It was a pretty big drop from Benfica/ Villa down to Indpendiente. Bring on Man U!!!