[MLS SPOTLIGHT] In a surprise move, Paul Barber, the former Tottenham executive who came to Vancouver to take charge of the the Whitecaps' move into MLS, announced his resignation as CEO on Friday. Barber's only explanation was to joke that the ticket he received earlier in the day for jaywalking was a sign it was a sign to, well, walk ...
"For me personally, I've been looking over this period during the club's season for signs, I guess, for the right moment to step away and leave the club to the future of people that will be here for the longer term," said Barber, holding the ticket he received. "I got that sign ... walking across the parking lot, 7 o'clock in the morning, pitch black, nobody around and I just jumped across the road to get a coffee. The VPD [Vancouver Police Department] stopped me and gave me a ticket for jaywalking. That was my sign that this was exactly the right time to step back."
Barber said the time was right to leave and the move was "a personal and professional decision," an indication that he might land at another club in an executive role soon.
"We didn't ever set a time frame," he said. "What I did know and what we did set was what the key objectives were for the first two years. That was manage the transition [into MLS], plan the transition, deliver the transition and that's what we've done and the club's in fantastic shape for the future and I'm very proud to be part of it."
Barber's duties will be shared by Whitecaps president Bob Lenarduzzi and COO Rachel Lewis.
"I knew that Paul and his family enjoyed it here, so when we got word that he was going to be leaving it certainly did come out of left field," Lenarduzzi told the Vancouver Sun.