Tom Anselmi – We vs They
Take close look at the document to the left.
Some of you might remember seeing it.
It was posted on the TFC website back in October of 2010.
Some of you, like yours truly, might have been in the room during these 2010 TFC Town Halls after the end of Mo/Preki era and before Aron Winter and his staff were brought in. This document/open letter was produced by the club at the end of that process.
If you look at it closely you might notice what I noticed, namely that they used the word “We” in it well over twenty times.
And Tom Anselmi, the current MLSE “Under-Boss” that represents TFC on the MLSE board, signed his name to it. And at the time I was one of those saying that I was relatively pleased with what came out of that process considering how angry the fans were at the time and how some important precedents were set (you can find my original thoughts here: http://viewfromthesouthstands.com/2010/10/tom-anselmi-blinked/).
What I especially liked I think most of all was that a senior MLSE executive was ready to stand up in front of fans face to face and take some ownership of the mistakes that had been made and was willing to put his name to a list of promises that were being committed to.
To me it represented what might have been considered a real cultural change when it comes to this team and how it fit into the MLSE culture overall. Finally it seemed the senior management of the team were willing to take ownership of the problems and not just try and gloss over them with platitudes.
Well it took “Under Boss” Anselmi just over a year and a half to reassert his weasley corporate persona, which he did earlier this week in an email to the Canadian Press when queried on his thoughts on TFC’s 0-6 struggles so far this season in Major League Soccer.
And it only took one word in my opinion in that email rather than twenty plus “we’s” in the other document for him to reassert his old tricks from the dark days, and it was the word “THEY“. Below is the actual quote from Tom.
“Obviously, after the strong end to last season and the strong start in Champions League this year, it’s a huge disappointment … THEY have to get this straightened out. Our fans deserve better.” Tom Anselmi (April 23 2012)
Do I have to say it? Do I have to state that parsing his words is such a Machiavellian/weaselly way to cover his own ass is nothing less than reprehensible?
I understand that Anselmi has been successfully covering his ass at MLSE for over fifteen years (he has been employed there since 1996), and a business that has had such a poor record of producing winning products across their entire organization I guess breeds a certain CYA discipline from survivors the likes of “Under-Boss” Tommy here. Ass covering is the way it obviously is in the upper echelons at Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment.
Richard Peddie would be so proud of him.
Its up to us TFC supporters to let him know that he needs to stop trying and blame others for the mess that he has largely created. He hired Mo. He fired him well over a year too late. He was the one that took well over three months to put Winter in place and ended up not giving the new regime in 2011 not nearly enough time to make the changes necessary to prevent TFC from crashing and burning in the league for the fifth straight year. He was the one signing off on ticket increases year after year in spite of negligible improvements to the on field product. He was the one telling the Front Office to crack down on scalping only when it suited them and not the fans. And I am sure he had to sign off on the millstone contract that was given to Julian de Guzman.
Now I get that he is not a “Soccer Guy” in the conventional sense of the word. He is simply an “under-boss” in a sports/entertainment cartel and he is currently angling for promotion to “Capo” in the style of his dearly departed corporate protector Don Ricardo Peddie hopefully (to him at least) eventually overseeing the entire enterprise. Having the stain of another losing season and another supporters revolt on his hands might not be the type of publicity he is seeking right now if he is to get where he wants to go. Bad press and corner offices usually don’t mix.
But we are a lot smarter than Tommy Boy apparently thinks we are. Hopefully the new ownership of MLSE is a bit savvier than Tommy Boy thinks they are as well.
Everyone understands that on field tactics and day to day player decisions are not part of Anselmi’s job description. That’s Aron Winter’s job. But that does not mean that he is any less responsible for the results of those choices that Winter and his staff are making. Just like Nadir Mohammed at Rogers has to answer for his underlings to the shareholders when they don’t sell enough overpriced cell phone plans our Tom has to answer for lower crowds, disillusioned fans, lower revenues, and eventually for the results on the field.
And parsing his pronouns is not going to be enough for him this time.
Not nearly enough.
Excellent work…so how do we get this out to the mainstream press to put some heat on Tommy A? The guy has been a disaster of epic proportions at TFC, but in corporations, shit floats and this joker does not deserve to benefit from his tenure at TFC as it seems likely he may.
I wrote this letter to TFC Management today without any hope that they’ll take any action:
I’m sure TFC has many Season’s ticket holders submitting many complaints about the state of this team. I have 8 tickets in total between my personal and my company seats. I seriously doubt that I will be signing up for season’s tickets any longer in the future. I had enough.
I have to tell you that I have never been so disappointed as a client and as a fan in my life. This is extremely frustrating that nothing is being done by management to make changes to this team. It’s pretty obvious that the coaching team needs to be completely replaced and it is very clear that the wrong designated player selections were made and I would like to see releases for all of these non performers . I renewed as a client this year as I was hopeful about what Frings/Koevermans would bring to the club including being hopeful about Winter. I used to love watching Frings play for Germany and the Bundesliga clubs over the years. It’s painful watching him play for TFC. Clearly Frings is still way out of shape and Koevermans has done nothing for this team. The expectations from the most critical players should be much higher. Further de Guzman has not proven to be a deserving designated player. Winter is all about excuses. There is apparently a plan for this team but the root cause is that Winter does not have a clear understanding of good soccer strategy because if he did, this team would not be without a single point. The team is not functioning well because there is not a good strategy for every game. He’s trying to establish a 4-3-3 and 3-4-3 system when it’s clearly not working because he doesn’t have the right players to execute this type of system and he doesn’t place players in the proper positions from what he has anyways. You can’t pretend you’re going to play Barcelona style soccer when you don’t have the appropriate resources. This is purely painful to watch and absolutely frustrating to think about.
I was extremely bought into the spirit of the team and the experience from the fans has been fantastic from the start. I have brought clients and fellow employees from our company to games that know little about soccer including fans that felt they would not enjoy soccer and they were all blown away about the fan experience and the electric environment in the stadium.
Unfortunately the coaching staff and players have not delivered the same level of excitement. The soccer level is extremely poor. MLSE has the resources to build a world class team that consistently wins. The vision to achieve this is obviously not there or there would have been more due diligence done to ensure that only winning coaches/players would be part of this team by now. I’m extremely frustrated that after 6 years there has never been a top notch team here. More frustrating is wondering why Vancouver has been able to master such a great team in their First Year and Montreal Impact is even doing better than Toronto.
It’s time to clean house I believe and it’s time to spend top dollars to bring only the best here with an established vision to have TFC as a top contender for the number 1 spot every year. It needs to start with MLSE embracing this winning vision because I don’t think it’s there; I mean look at all the other MLSE team results over the last 10 years; extremely poor to say the least. It has to be in the culture of MLSE and the culture is not there so MLSE needs to bring the right executives to embrace this winning positive culture.
I would like to understand from the senior leadership MLSE what the plans are to turn this club around. Giving me hope and showing no action will not compel me to renew as a season’s ticket holder.