On Thursday through an announcement by his agent, Adrian Cann stated that he was ending his holdout and was returning to Charleston South Carolina to rejoin Toronto FC as they finish up preparations for the MLS season starting next weekend in Vancouver against the Whitecaps.
The scuttlebutt is that Cann not only failed in his attempt to get the raise he felt he was due, but that the agreed to amount he settled for was far less than the two offers TFC made to him since the start of training camp. Without a doubt Cann got some bad advice here and now he literally is paying for it.
On top of this failure Aron Winter publicly stated that part of his requirement for Cann to be even allowed back with the club was that Adrian commit to making a full apology to his team mates and the staff of TFC. Perhaps it went something like this:
And I applaud Aron Winter for demanding one.
Whether one agrees with Cann and his demands is irrelevant. Whether one believes he is a good guy who had gotten some bad advice and was screwed by the previous regime at TFC is irrelevant also. The bottom line for me is that in a season of upheaval Cann threw his toys out of the stroller and ran home when he did not necessarily get what he felt he deserved. He left his team mates in a lurch and in my eyes added yet another unnecessary distraction in an off season that has been full of them.
And publicly stating his wish that Cann apologize to the club for leaving is a well designed message so to speak to the players and the fans of this club. The Mo Johnston way of doing business is over. Players will hopefully be treated fairly. The days of overpaying players is hopefully over, as it needs to be in a league that rewards prudent use of limited salary cap space. And keeping disputes like this behind closed doors should the standing orders from now on.
Ironically, in a trade Friday TFC acquired striker Alan Gordon from Chivas USA for midfielder Nick LaBrocca. If you remember last season at all you will recollect that it was Gordon who broke Cann’s nose late in the campaign in a meaningless game that led to Adrian having to prematurely shut down his season due to the severity of the injury. I don’t think there is anything subliminal in the timing of the trade and the fact that the day Cann apologizes to the club and returns to training the guy who ended his season via a reckless play in 2010 is acquired. Its good for a chuckle. Lets move on.
I feel that I am repeating myself ad nauseum in this space when I proclaim that no player is supposed to be bigger than the badge on their chest. Players will come and go, but the badge remains. And after this little episode I think Aron Winter agrees with me. And Adrian Cann must as well, whether he likes it or not.
What do you think? Your comments are always welcome and appreciated.