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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Insert Payne/pain pun (here): Toronto FC to name Kevin Payne as President?

"Get out ya seat and Jump Around!"

In the world of football punnage possibilities, TFC couldn’t hire anyone better than ex DC United president Kevin Payne. And, if multiple sources are to be believed, it is exactly what the leadership-phobic club has done today.
Hot off the heels of Payne announcing his resignation from his long-held post with United, it now looks likely that for the first time in its history, TFC may have a club president - and with actual MLS football pedigree. In his 17 years with Capital City Capitals FC, Payne is seen as an instrumental piece in the club's sometimes dominant league standing which includes four MLS Cup titles, four MLS Supporters Shields and two U.S. Open Cup titles. While his hire will not include a guarantee of success and trophies, it may just bring TFC closer to operating like a stable football club.
While many will see the proposed move as "bold" (Don Garber), there is a little hand-wringing going on regarding Payne. His apparent lack of knowledge of the "Canadian soccer landscape" has been floated but this seems to be reaching for pitfalls at best. Why is it a club’s responsibility to be near-and-dear to the national program? An inherently dysfunctional one at that. Yes its apples and oranges but would a club in England or Italy be concerned if a great presidential candidate had little previous dealings with the FA or the FIGC? No, they hire the best man to make their club a success as that is their responsibility.
The other concern in some circles is Payne's previous working relationship with Earl Cochrane and Thomas Rongen. In most cases, a familiarity with existing staff would be considered a plus but many in Toronto do not hold Earl Cochrane in great regard so there is worry that the existing rot may be able to continue. While not a hysterical fear, it is one that will only be solved if MLSE make this a complete deal. In other words, this seems to be a solid and positive move if the owners follow up 50% of the deal - identifying and signing Payne - with the second 50% - giving the new club president the mandate, and most importantly, the power to create change.
For the most part Kevin Payne is a complete outsider from MLSE with about as solid a resume as was available for this role. TFC supporters have been yearning for a "football man" to lead this club from the top for a long while and on the surface, we may have been given that. Of course, with Toronto FC it is always what lurks below the surface which makes all the difference. For now, we invite the Payne.

And we are legally obliged to include the following...


  1. At the very least, and I am hoping we get more than the least, this means a new voice and face at town hall 2013. My fear was that the new president would be Steve Nicol and Paul Mariner would get a lifetime contract....

  2. United fan here - we didn't always love the moves Kevin Payne made but the supporters respect him because he gave us respect. Should do a good job in Toronto without having to worry about stadium and owner stupidity. Peace

  3. Don't mean to brag, but I got the joke before scrolling down to the video. Yay!