Membership has privileges
Toronto FC director of business operations Paul Beirne posed thequestion to some of the TFC supporters groups last week — if the clubhad a membership, what should it include and how much should it cost?
Let’s have some fun with this: Toronto FC director of business operations Paul Beirne posed the question to some of the TFC supporters groups last week — if the club had a membership, what should it include and how much should it cost?
TFC is looking at it in terms of the European model, which, in some cases, allows members to vote out presidents, coaches and have a say on the operations of the team.
The cynics, as they often do in this town, have jumped all over the quasi-proposal “as just another way for MLSE to get its money grubbing hands on our hard earned dollars.” It’s an argument that is as accurate as it is tired and worn out. MLSE is a business. It aims to make money. Get over it.
I’m by no means in favour of the blind-support movement, but the opportunity to get creative with this open-ended proposal is too tempting to pass up. Ask for anything? OK, I will.
Some things I’d like to see included in the Toronto FC membership:
One day a year, a Toronto FC player comes to your house to help out. Chad Barrett could cut your lawn. How about Carl Robinson cooking you breakfast? Or maybe Danny Dichio looks after your Grandma and has a nice cup of tea with her.
Maybe you’re thinking, “I don’t care how hard a worker Chad Barrett is. I don’t need him tending to my lawn. I want the team to win.”
So how about in years the team doesn’t make the playoffs, the members get to choose someone from the MLSE brass to go in a carnival dunk tank? Someone like Richard Peddie, for example.
In the same spirit, how about an annual Survivor contest? Fans could choose three players deemed to be the most overpaid/rated/played and send them off to an island. The survivor comes back next season to play with the team. This would take that whole competing-for-positions thing that coach Chris Cummins likes to another level.
Annual TFC WAG (wives and girlfriends) calendars; control of supporters’ section seating; and a lower, flat rate on beer would all be nice, too.
MLSE can dress it up all it wants, but at the end of the day the best way to engage soccer fans isn’t through gimmicks like a membership. The best way to engage soccer fans is through open, transparent dealings — something a lot of supporters have been clamouring for lately.