The Impact celebrated its 25 year existence yesterday, May 21st 2018, but celebrations were short lived as Impact faced another disappointing result. Last week, it was revealed that owner, Joey Saputo, had spoken to the players after their very poor performance against Philadephia. He asked them to play their best every game. He wanted to see the capabilities of the team and evaluate if they were just not good enough or just no giving it their all.
After the game on Monday though Saputo addressed the fans instead of the players. In this interview on 98.5 with Jeremy Filosa a lot was revealed on what is to come with the club and this set off some fans.
First off, Joey Saputo is an owner but he is also a passionate soccer fan who absolutely hates losing. This interview was just after the game and he might have been speaking in the heat of the moment but here are the key moments to take away from the ten minute segment.
Impact Will Make Moves Very Soon
The first point made, other than giving a recap of what went down in the lockerroom postgame against Philly Saputo explained that it was clear to him that the team was not good enough. With the upcoming transfer window that opens July 10th Saputo explained that fans should expect moves to be made and that some would displease fans.
This is when all hell broke loose. With Piatti rumours surfacing again during the week and now this statement made by the owner and inevitable end between the love story of the beloved Nacho and Montreal seem to be sooner than expected. I do also think fans are taking the statement too literally.
Piatti is most likely not the first on the list to be moved but Saputo was unahppy of the way everyone was performing hence no one is safe from the changes. I do think it would take a lot for Piatti to be sold/traded out of Montreal as he has not only been the team MVP in recent years but always in the run to be the league MVP.
Fans also need to realize that Piatti is not getting any younger and if management can get a great return for him as he currently has very good market value it might be in the clubs best interest for the future. Although management has also proven that they can spend a lot but not on the right players. They have many expensive players warming up the bench or not doing the job on the pitch. Using money wisely is more important that having a lot of money to use.
Admitting to His Mistakes
Hopefully it wasn't just for show but Saputo also admitted that the club under-evaluated the league and over-estimated where they sat. They also over-evaluated some players they acquired and ended up in the one position that Saputo did not want to be in, playing catch up.
It should be noted though that Saputo is not happy of the situation the team is currently sitting in and a rebuild will happen! He made it clear to fans that he is not just going to give up and say well year is over let's just throw in the towel and make moves once the season is over. Saputo wants to salvage whatever he can from this season and make the moves as soon as possible. He ultimately wants to bring the club to where it should be.
Explaining his Dilemma
Saputo knows he can't compete with the bigger dogs in the business (Atlanta, Toronto, LAFC, etc.) but also knows that they are or at least should be better than some of the teams they are currently struggling and losing against.
Filosa also brought up the issue of the domestic versus international players. International players are more expensive to bring to Montreal as you are asking them to move their entire family overseas or far from their home. Saputo admitted that he attempted to follow the trend of the league but now it is something he is looking into.
The Impact are 6th in spending and 21st in revenue (7500 season tickets sold with a 10000 league average and average ticket cost of approximately 25$ while the league sits at 35$). Realistically speaking, Saputo cannot continue spending like such and needs to reevaluate how the spending is done and how it can be as effective as possible.
The Return of FC Montreal
Short note, Saputo made it clear for the time being that the return of FC Montreal was very unlikely at least for the time being. He wants or can only focus on the first team if he wants to be able to create some success for the city.
So what does this all mean? No one can get ahead of themselves the dust will settle and a plan is being put into place if it isn't already. Saputo hates losing and wants the club to be successful and will do everything in his power for this to happen. He admitted to some errors or at least made it clear he knew errors were made and he is reevaluating his decisions made. Some players will be leaving and new acquisitions will be made. As I previously stated the important part will be to build the foundation of this club. Build around players who will make your club better in the years to come and not momentarily. The Impact is still struggling to find the recipe to success but hopefully they can get some answers come July. Until then fans will need to be patient as there is nothing that can be done for the time being. For the full interview click on the link below: