SBD/May 16, 2013/Franchises

Revolution Fans Believe Kraft Does Not Treat Club As A Priority Similar To Patriots

Kraft was voted as MLS' worst owner in an anonymous player poll conducted by SI
MLS Revolution Owner Robert Kraft has "come under fire recently," as many fans believe the club is Kraft's "second priority, rather than an equal investment" to the Patriots, according to Julian Cardillo of BOSTON.com. An anonymous preseason player survey conducted by SI's Grant Wahl also stated that the Krafts "are the league’s worst owners." Revolution President Brian Bilello said there is a "weird perception" with both the Krafts and the Hunt family, which owns the Crew and FC Dallas, because they both "have NFL sides as well." Bilello: “There’s a lot of great things about having the Krafts as owners. They’ve supported this league. They do things behind the scenes not just for the Revolution, but for the sport of soccer in this country.” Cardillo noted from a "standpoint of backing the league, few will argue against the Krafts involvement." They were "one of the original ownership groups" when MLS was founded and the Revolution have played since the inaugural season in '96. However, it "seems unlikely that the Krafts will spend Patriots player money for a Revolution player." Bilello "believes that having the backing of the Krafts is very positive for American soccer." Meanwhile, the "negative reputation" of the artificial turf field at Gillette Stadium could be "preventing them from signing a high-profile player." The state of the field kept Red Bulls F Thierry Henry "from playing on it this Saturday," while David Beckham and Antonio Valencia "decided not to play on the turf field in the past." Bilello indicated the Revolution are working on a new soccer-specific stadium, though he "still won’t comment on the status of the plan." Bilello: “We’ve been at it for six years and I’m confident about it. When you’re working with municipalities and cities it’s hard for us to necessarily control a timeline. Once we get our stadium project off the ground, a lot changes" (BOSTON.com, 5/13).
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