Late this afternoon the news leaked out - Kevin Payne had been fired as Toronto FC's President. While there's still no formal announcement from the club, this article from Cathal Kelly outlined the details. Less than 10 months from his hiring; a hiring that was supposed to be the beginning of yet another turnaround for TFC, sees the bombastic exec being shown the door.
Immediate response was part outrage, part celebration and part numbing acceptance from TFC fans blowing up twitter:
Hey, what's been the club's biggest problem for its entire existence? Constant turnover. What should be do? MORE FUCKING TURNOVER— Daniel Squizzato (@DanielSquizzato) September 4, 2013
Had a feeling that might happen. #TFC— Alan Jacobson (@MrTuktoyaktuk) September 4, 2013
Surprised to hear about Kevin Payne been fired at #TFC ! Have a lot of time for him and what he is/was doing!— Darren O'Dea (@odea_darren) September 4, 2013
It seems obvious that Payne's need for outrageous statements and lack of restraint in interviews are a big reason why new MLSE bossman Tim Leiweke saw fit to send him packing. There's lots to consider in this latest move by MLSE in regards to the TFC front office - is this the right time to yet again send upheaval through the club? Was Payne's influence waning that much? Had he lost not only the locker room but the coach too?
And of course the will of the fans has to figure into the equation - Payne had shown a growing disregard for the fans especially with the now infamous "get used to it" comment. It seemed that the relationship between the club and the fans and supporter groups was souring right before our eyes but that they weren't willing to do anything to change that.
Whether it was the underwhelming transfer window (really $25 mil and nothing to show for it?) , the trading of Luis Silva or any of the other possibilities mentioned above, it's that time in TFCLand where we yet again begin speculating wildly on what the future brings. Will Leiweke hold to his word regarding Ryan Nelsen and give the newbie coach at least another year? Or is this the beginning of yet another wholesale change? We'll have more in the days to come as infomation becomes available - let us know your immediate thoughts in the comments.