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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Empty seats at home opener the dying squawk of a “Golden Goose“?

Last one left... Golden Egg butty anyone?

With a few of days left before Toronto FC opens its 2011 home schedule, the local buzz around the club has reached a noticeably low ebb. Since its inception, TFC has been "the little team that could" in Toronto with its widely publicized game atmosphere drawing crowds from across Southern Ontario. However, it seems evident that the latest "Golden Goose" in MLSE's empire has been seriously wounded by the ownership’s follies.
 
Sell-out crowds and wild flag-waving "authentic football" supporters have been the norm at BMO Field since 2007. However, instead of nurturing the on-field product, MLSE decided to bask in the league-wide spotlight of this sudden marketing gem. A long list of mistakes began to mount, among them: annual ticket cost increases pricing out many "working class" holders; decisions regarding matches like the Real Madrid friendly and the MLS Cup Final which smacked of opportunism and greed; and, the worst mistake of all, allowing the woefully inept Mo Johnston to control the club for four years causing massive damage with his terrible record of player transactions, revolving managers and contract negotiations which harm the club even today. These, along with numerous other "customer service" blunders, have proven to be the "death by a thousand cuts" to the TFC Goose.
 
Despite these errors, TFC has an incredibly loyal and thick-skinned following. The problem for MLSE may be that the once wide-eyed and optimistic supporters have grown football savvy and lost that outlook after constant club soap operas. As 2011 opens, The Reds supporter, particularly the more casual type, sees another long rebuild ahead, a roster slightly better than an expansion team, a shiny new Vancouver club which looks so promising and delivered TFC a harsh blow last week and a potentially Arctic-style day ahead for BMO Field's Saturday opener. The sad fact that the home opener is not a sell-out for the first time is a great shame, but also a dire warning.
 
For those still rabidly loyal to the club, the sudden "unfashionable" TFC strikes as a shame. Under the new Aron Winter and Paul Mariner regime, the club has never had more capable tutelage. While the road ahead will indeed be long with a few tough bumps in it, there is a real reason for optimism for the first time. Unlike the former "Mis-Management" team, Winter & Co. have a plan, plus the minds and skills, to succeed. For their hiring, MLSE deserves to be lauded. For the club's sake, let's hope it isn't too little too late. The sell-out crowds will be missed in the short-term but we can hope that the "good times" will return... this time to watch "good football" and not just to wave flags.

12 comments:

  1. Could'nt have said it better myself. Only they could have found a way to screw things up. Hope things go back to feeling like 2007.

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  2. Great post. Been a season ticket holder since day one & even though I've been a frustrated fan I'll still support my team. Very excited to see the direction that Winter & Co. take the team.

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  3. Accurate evaluation.

    Paul Beirnie is on his own with his marketing people. Without the supporters input watch this bankrupt group introduce failed PR blunders in sequential order.

    Season seat sales will collapse to a fraction of current levels this fall. Sad at how stupid, greedy and non-conceptual about football these clowns have been for 4 years.

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  4. Stevanovic is evidently in the works. Contrary to his agent's statements last week, seems that MLS HQ have received paperwork for a loan to TFC.

    By the way, De Rosario is being shopped by TFC. This explains his candour and elusiveness. Houston has the greatest interest in De Rosario. Rumoured trade involves a first round pick, allocation money and an International slot. Houston has not bit...yet.

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  5. Perhaps FO should think about dropping ticket prices and city of TO should think about putting up a roof.
    Welcome to re-re-re-rebuilding year ;)

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  6. @12:01 That Dero rumour was just the imaginings of a American blogger. #1 reason Dero won't get traded is because no team in the MLS would give anything back good enough. No way Houston would ever make close to that deal. And - who would TFC replace him with? An acadamy player?

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  7. Best post yet guys. Love it.

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  8. @4:10 De Ro shopping has been confirmed by several sources.

    Heard it here first, on Yorkies comments. De Rosario if sold opens the door for our new DP. The speculation market in Europe is positioning Seedorf for Toronto. (Winter's friend).

    The trigger, is the De Ro trade/sale. Just sayin'

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  9. @8:53
    Something psychic here.

    Saw the Yonge Dundas hullabaloo organized tonight by PB and MLSE. Oh my God. Disaster.

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  10. ^I've heard that it was a brutal showing. More TFC personnel than fans.

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  11. Just back from the Dundas Square "party". I've been to funerals with more celebration. Felt humiliated for the players and staff except for PB and his gang. Way to kill this club morons. I say bmo 65% full at best.

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  12. Went with the wife last night. Arrived around 5:30 left by 6:10 pm, before the players arrived. Cold did not drive me away, lack of anything organized to do or see, did.

    There were more people going to the subway than in the square.
    The TFC website video this morning is well edited. Biggest public relations misfit I have ever attended for this team. I feel stupid for awasting my time.

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