The Sweeper: Despair in Dallas
When your club’s biggest fan since day one sends an open letter of despair to ownership in lieu of a season ticket renewal, you have serious problems. Dustin Christmann is known to FC Dallas supporters as the “First Fan”: a season ticket holder since day one (even though he lives 1,000 miles away from Dallas now) and a founder of supporters group The Inferno, he was given membership number 0001 in Hoops Nation.
Christmann wrote to owner Clark Hunt that “I’m tired of enabling an incompetent organization in which performance is clearly optional.” He went on to iterate the numerous poor decisions by ownership that, despite a move to a soccer-specific-stadium, sees the team consistently struggle to succeed on the field and at the box office.
Christmann is at his most bitter when he discusses the re-branding of the team from the Dallas Burn to FC Dallas: “Yeah, I know… “Dallas Burn” is a crappy name, but nice job finding a different but equally crappy name and outfitting the team to answer the question “Where’s Waldo?” The bigger question for FC Dallas is where their leadership is.
- The Observer looks at the growing crisis in Scottish football, a topic we’ve touched on frequently here. “What is clear is that a production line that once delivered international-class players at the rate of a car plant has been reduced almost to idleness,” Glenn Gibbons writes.
- All the newspapers have their say on Liverpool’s loss to Aston Villa, with many pointing fingers at Steven Gerrard, and the word crisis bandied around endlessly. A week ago it was Manchester United getting this treatment, and Kevin McCarra contemplates if the “the Premier League is shedding its predictability.” Lets check back after 30 games, shall we?
- Three games was enough for Bayern Munich fans, though, who have posted an open letter questioning the club’s play on the field. It seems awfully early, but as Raphael Honigstein points out, the club have had their worst start to a Bundesliga campaign since 1966: with champions Wolfsburg visiting the Allianz Arena this weekend, many are already starting to wonder if Jurgen Klinsmann’s tenure was really so bad.
- Valencia fans have made a major effort to ease their club’s financial problems, with 26,000 fans purchasing $26.5 million worth of shares in six weeks. But with the club still hundreds of million in debt, the club’s new stadium development remains stalled.
- The Philadelphia Union’s official website has a story on their supporters group the Sons of Ben, a legend in MLS before the team has even played a game. Their “membership” has passed 5,000: though the caveat is they seem to count members as people on their email list as they have yet to go to paid or formal membership, this is still very impressive.
- The unsung superstar of Grant Wahl’s The Beckham Experiment was journeyman Alan Gordon, stealing the subplot as perhaps the most likeable character in the book (not that that was much of a challenge when the others work for AEG or Beckham). So it’s curious to learn that Gordon is not pleased with the book (despite not having read it), saying that “Obviously, to sell books, you need controversy, and you need to bring out the negative in things. To be honest, I don’t want my name in that book.” At least read it first, Alan!
- The New York Time’s Goal blog has an update from Jack Bell on Nike’s sale of USL, confirming MLS will not be the buyer. The question remains what kind of a relationship whoever does buy USL pursues with MLS: will it be more cooperative? Bell says a consortium of USL owners are attempting to buy the league.
- An interview with Jack Cummings, the departing President and CEO of WPS’ Boston Breakers, answered one question fans of the league had been asking: why did the WPS season start so early and end before September? He explained that it came down to facilities, with too few teams having enough control of a venue with college interfering in the fall. Also on women’s soccer in the US, the Equalizer has a good interview with the W-League’s Director of Operations discussing similar scheduling issues and looking at the structure of the league.
The Sweeper appears daily. For more rambling and links throughout the day every day, follow your editor Tom Dunmore @pitchinvasion on Twitter.