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Thursday, August 8, 2013

EDITORIAL: Got Used To It and Still Getting Used To It...

I get it.
Toronto FC is a business. It’s a franchise. It’s not a "club". It’s not a community cornerstone.
Toronto plays Roma. They give Roma an appearance fee, and then Toronto sets out to recoup their investment by charging higher-than-normal prices and hope the fringe football enthusiasts, glory hunters or die-hards of both sides pony up the dosh to watch the match.
And this model obviously works.
The "get used to it" comment has been blown out of proportion, as gold as it has been comedy-wise, by hardcore supporters as a metaphoric middle finger.
Here are things we need to remember:
Because it’s a business, and a for-profit one at that, the object is to exchange entertainment for money.
The hardest-core of supporters sit in the lowest revenue generating sections of the stadium. Have you seen what they charge for the comfy back seats at the centre of the pitch? One of those season seat holders has to be worth at least 10 of the south-enders.
Who hasn’t noticed the increased number of advertisers this season? Every facet is sponsored by someone or something. The only time the PA announcer doesn’t remind us that something is sponsored by something is when he’s announcing the starting lineup, goals and substitutions. Otherwise, his primary function is to shill.
We, like most of you, hate that loyal supporters are an afterthought at TFC, but it is as evident now as it ever has been. And as much as we have romantic ideas of supporter-owned clubs or protests that actually result in something positive, that will likely never happen. Why? Because you already paid. Money is the only metric that matters.
14000 people show up for a game that 19000 paid for. Are they concerned? A little. What will they do to change that? Platitudes. Cultural nights. Our presence isn’t nearly as treasured as we think.
Remember: This is a business. As long as anyone pays, then that’s what matters. The dollar is a vote, and with every dollar spent, is a vote of re-election.
With the threat of a mass exodus of season ticket holders at the end of last season, that’s when REAL CHANGE took place. Out with Anselmi, in with Payne. Money was about to be lost and likely not coming back.
Minimize (or stop) giving TFC your money for kits, scarves, beers, chip buttys and especially exhibitions. Otherwise, get used to it.

@ignirtoq sometimes has a point and sometimes within that point, he can articulate it without a massive tangent that never seems to come back. One time he took a tangent that led him to explaining why it is bullshit that ice cream is no longer ice cream but "frozen dairy treats". Too bad he was talking about T20 cricket and why it's awesome. Where was I... oh yeah, so sometimes @ignirtoq has a point... 


  1. One points guys:

    Payne was brought in after renewals, no? And Nelsen was in January. I find it hard to connect the regime change with declining sales. The return to 2007 prices had already done its job.

    In comparison, the frantic introduction of town halls, the price freeze, and the Klinsmann was definitely a reaction to the botched 2010 renewal period. And look where that last one got us (even though the hardest of hardcore supporters were over-the-moon at the time).

  2. You're probably right as far as the time period, but I'd like to think MLSE doesn't do anything hastily and at that point, they knew what the order of things were going to be.

    I'd like to believe that the decline in attendance at the end of last season was the icing on the cake that was the calamity of mismanagement for, then, 6 seasons. Knowing that they couldn't sustain this model of price-gouge + stagnant on pitch performance = profit, the change was already happening, it just hadn't come to the forefront yet.

    Arguably, they should've instituted the rollback at the beginning of season 5, if only to head-off deep rooted resentment that now exists.

    And you're right about Klinnsy.