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Red Bulls fire top executive

Jack Bell reports that the New York Red Bulls have fired Chris Heck as the club’s president of business operations. He was on the job a little more than one year.

Bell writes that Heck’s position with Red Bull had been tenuous for several months but the final straw was the club’s midweek, midday game on July 25 that was played in stifling heat. Heck had apparently blamed MLS for putting the midday game on its schedule, a game that was sandwiched between a match that began at 4 p.m. the previous Sunday and at 2:30 p.m. the next Saturday. But it was his decision to start the match at 1 p.m.

Heck had worked as the senior vice president of marketing partnerships at the NBA since 2004 and also managed business operations for USA Basketball’s men’s and women’s senior national teams before hired by Red Bull. He alienated ardent Red Bulls' fans by raising season-ticket prices.

Bell quoted a "team insider" as saying: “I don’t think people really comprehend how much damage he’s done in the little time he’s been there. He just came off as arrogant and ignorant, and in this business it’s a very bad combination. He was so arrogant, you just couldn’t talk to him. You don’t have to be a 100 percent soccer guy, able to name all the players on Brazil’s 1970 World Cup-winning team, but you have to have a basic understanding of the sport you’re working in. And that was clearly lacking.”

Read the whole story at New York Times »

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