Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Precourt: Crew has lots of work to do
by Paul Kennedy, March 24th, 2014 5:25PM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ
TAGS:  columbus crew, mls, soccer business

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS SPOTLIGHT] Mark McCullers, who had been with the Columbus Crew since 1998, has stepped down as its president. The move comes less than a year after San Francisco investor Anthony Precourt bought the club from the Hunt Sports Group and six months before the end of McCullers' current contract. The Crew is off to a 2-0-0 start under new coach Gregg Berhalter but has lots of work to do on the business side, according to Precourt.

The decision came over the weekend as Precourt was in Columbus for the Crew's home opener against Philadelphia, a 2-1 win.

“Mark and I had the chance to speak this past weekend, and based upon that conversation, I told him that we would not be extending his contract with the Crew,” said Precourt told reporters in a teleconference call on Monday. “When we purchased the Crew, we said that we would evaluate the club in a thoughtful and thorough manner. After nearly eight months at the helm of the club, Mark and I both agreed that it would make sense for the organization to go in a different direction, so he offered me his resignation, which I accepted.”

McCullers' final day with the club is April 30. Precourt will serve as interim president until a successor is named to manage the club's business functions. Berhalter, who was coach and sporting director last fall, handles the club's technical side. Precourt said he wanted to be in a position to have his new president in place as business decisions related to 2015 are made this year. He said his decision to fire head coach Robert Warzycha before the end of the 2013 season similarly allowed him time to have Berhalter on board a week after the regular season ended.

“We’ll take a few months now to thoroughly and thoughtfully find our next level," Precourt added, "and let that person step into the organization and have a few months to be assimilated before 2015 business planning begins.”

Despite missing out on the playoffs, the Crew boosted attendance by almost 9 percent to 16,080 a game, its highest average since 2004. But it has yet to sell naming rights to Crew Stadium, the oldest soccer-specific stadium in MLS.

McCullers and Precourt received a lot of heat from Crew fans for the new local television deal signed with Time Warner Cable SportsChannel that leaves many of them out in the dark. The network is only available to subscribers of Time Warner, and an area-wide blackout (within 75 miles of Columbus) means fans without Time Warner service can't even pay to watch the matches online on MLS Live.

Precourt, who said he was very aware of the reaction to the deal, bought the Crew and its stadium for an estimated $68 million. The relatively low price reflected the Crew's under-performance on the business side in a city that has had one of the strongest economies in the country in recent years.



“The Crew has a lot of work to do in terms of improving its business operations to support what our primary goal is, which is to be a successful soccer club,” Precourt said. “Obviously we talked about stadium naming-rights opportunities and improving our season-ticket holder base and our corporate partnerships and other things I’d like to see improve with the Crew.”


No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Adam Straith    
"I had never even worn keeper gloves. That was the first time. I think you could ...
MLS players get all four goals for Canada in 4-2 win    
The Toronto FC trio of Jay Chapman, Jonathan Osorio and Tosaint Ricketts and the Montreal Impact's ...
What They're Saying: Palmeiras general manager Cicero Souza    
"Chape don't want to be treated as victims." -- Cicero Souza, general manager of Brazilian champion ...
U.S. Abroad: Gator star Jordan heads to Glasgow City    
Savannah Jordan, the first University of Florida player who was named an NSCAA All-American four times, ...
U.S. Abroad: Hyndman, Arriola, Yedlin set up winners    
Emerson Hyndman came off the bench to steal the ball and set up Kenny Miller for ...
What They're Saying: Dax McCarty    
"To my beautiful wife: Not only did I postpone our honeymoon, I also told you we ...
Video Pick: Self-assisted free-kick volley is gamewinner    
Our favorite goal of the weekend comes from a 24-yard free kick in England's second tier. ...
U.S. Abroad: Young signs with Werder Bremen    
Isaiah Young became the sixth American from the high school class of 2016 to join a ...
Video Pick: Lewy volleys twice for Bayern    
Bayern Munich is the Bundesliga "fall champion" thanks to a 2-1 comeback win over Freiburg on ...
What They're Saying: Joe Greenspan    
"Luckily, the higher ups in the Navy and the government made the decision to say we ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives