Honestly, when Doug Hamilton was hired as Galaxy GM, I had mixed emotions. Tim Luce had been in that gig for a while and I thought he did a decent job. But Hamilton had done a respectable job in Miami…well, if you ignore the fact that the franchise was folded on his watch.
During his tenure with the Galaxy, long-time fans have been upset with the way the organization treats the most loyal fans while focusing attention on single game ticket sales…or at least that’s the impression I got as a season ticket holder. I’d buy season tickets well before the season starts…then see that tickets around my seat are bought at a lower price than my per game average. Extra freebies are also a common tactic to increase ticket sales as well.
But we as loyal fans put up with things because we supported the players and the shirt…and it didn’t hurt that Sigi Schimd had a team that brought silverware to LA.
However, the coaching change last season has brought the level of dissatisfaction in the organization to a head. Long before my move away from LA was even considered, I had pretty much decided I wouldn’t be renewing my season tickets and just attending games when it was convenient. It wasn’t an easy choice–I’d hardly missed a game the first 9 seasons–but I just couldn’t justify spending the money on, what in my opinion was, a half-assed product.
With the arrival of Chivas USA at the HDC, it seems those who call the shots in the organization started to listen to the fans. Finally, they outlawed those damn horns at Galaxy games. Galaxy fans had been asking for that for years. But beyond that, not much has changed.
However, the team isn’t winning…and the blame needs to be placed entirely on Doug Hamilton. Weather he made the call or not, he’s the one that took responsibility for the coaching change. He needs to take responsibility. However, he hasn’t. I don’t know who this Bill Urban is, but he brilliantly stated my opinion.
Apparently, the “A” in the acronym AEG does not stand for accountability.
Rather than admit that his move for Sampson was the wrong one, Hamilton has chosen the strange course of an attempt to motivate his coach and players through the media. Whether the final result of this media manipulation is supposed to be improved Galaxy performances, or that it is in fact the first step in a nicely-spun dismissal of Sampson, Doug Hamilton’s public reference that his coach and players are in a “fishbowl” has opened the door for his tenure as Galaxy President/General Manager to be adjudged in a similar fashion.
Galaxy supporters are already making their own decisions about the team and the match-day experience, and the announced sell-outs at the HDC cannot disguise the whacking gaps in the stands caused by supporters with tickets who choose not to attend the game. The players are not playing well, Sampson’s inability to coach attractive soccer or effectively to deal with strong player personalities was well known before he took the Galaxy job, and the cherished bottom line may well be affected by the continuing absence of bottoms in the HDC seats.
That would be a situation for which the President/GM of an MLS franchise is held accountable.
Of course, he brings in plenty of money from sponsorship and did a bang-up job with the current TV deal the team (and Chivas) have…but that’s only part of what his job is. Strangely enough, I’ll be he’s named “Exec of the year” again.