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SBD/September 5, 2013/Franchises
Toronto FC Parts Ways With President & GM Kevin Payne After Just Nine Months
Published September 5, 2013
RED STORM: The GLOBE & MAIL's Jeff Blair writes it "appears an inability to spend [C] $25-million played a significant role in Payne losing his job." That was the "figure the MLSE board had approved for the purchase of 'designated players,' and Payne was unable to execute a significant transaction -- even though ... TFC had an agreement with Uruguayan striker Diego Forlan." But reports "soon surfaced Forlan wanted to play for another MLS team or he was merely using TFC as leverage in negotiations to remain in South America." The "crowning touch to another lost summer might have occurred last month," when Clint Dempsey -- who shares the same agent as Toronto FC coach Ryan Nelsen -- signed with the MLS Sounders. Payne said that the club "didn’t pursue" Dempsey for "what amounted to altruistic reasons." He said that it made "more sense from a marketing perspective ... for Dempsey to be with a U.S. team" (GLOBE & MAIL, 9/5). In Toronto, Kurtis Larson reports "whispers surrounding" Payne’s job security "began wafting beyond BMO Field’s walls late last month." The speculation "picked up steam last Thursday night" when Leiweke held a "semi-secret meeting ... for a small group of the club’s most ardent supporters." At the "top of the list," of reasons for Payne's dismissal "could be the discontent that was beginning to form throughout the Reds’ dressing room." However, Payne's "hard-line contract talks were a blessing and opened up a plethora of cap space for future signings whose impacts likely won’t be known until next season" (TORONTO SUN, 9/5).