clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

AC Milan's Umberto Gandini Among Candidates for TFC Presidency

New, 19 comments

Before the season started there were rumours that Garth Lagerwey could become Toronto FC's president, before he ultimately joined the Seattle Sounders. It appears the clubs search for a president hasn't stopped, and their first candidate has emerged.

Harold Cunningham/Getty Images

Yesterday, in the aftermath of reports that Greg Vanney could be on his way out as coach of Toronto FC, rumours surfaced that the shake up could make its way even higher up the totem pole.

In light of the club's disappointing start to the season it appears no stone has been unturned in the front office as MLSE look to shake up Toronto's management.

Just a day later, Sportsnet has confirmed that Toronto is in fact looking for a new club president to oversee the team's soccer operations. They also named the first candidate,who Toronto is trying to convince to take the position: AC Milan club director Umberto Gandini.

Gandini is a well respected European soccer figure, having been in his position with the Italian giants for nearly 20 years. In that time Milan has won the Serie A three times, won a Copa Italia, won the UEFA Champions League twice and the FIFA Club World Cup once.

Also of note is the fact that he is on the board of the European Club Association. It is an organization with plenty of authority in European soccer that has 214 member clubs. Those aren't bad connections to have, especially within Major League Soccer.

However, while Toronto FC could become more Italian that doesn't necessarily mean they will be any less American. Tim Bezbatchenko and Vanney are still expected to be with the club for the foreseeable future according to Sportsnet. Bezbatchenko would work under the new president.

The president's position was never truly one that suited Bezbatchenko, who always seemed more interested in being behind the scenes and focusing more on building the team than building the brand. Hopefully, bringing in a new president would help him focus on his originally intended role.

While this might not be the move that supporters were hoping for in terms of a shakeup to the management team, it is undoubtedly a step in the right direction. Especially when Tim Leiweke leaves his position there is worry as to whether or not soccer will still be a priority for MLSE.

With an experienced executive like Gandini at the helm the interest of the soccer club will be closer to heart, as he will insure the club is not disrespected or dropped down the hierarchy. He would also hopefully be able to help the club further its reputation in Europe among players and clubs.

The one problem with Gandini is of course the fact that he doesn't exactly know the ins and outs of Major League Soccer, which has always been a sticking point. Bezbatchenko would be there to help him, but this will make it difficult for him to immediately carry out his role as best he can.