Archive for December 9th, 2011

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Barber cuts himself free of Whitecaps’ CEO job

The Vancouver Whitecaps will be losing CEO Paul Barber at the end of February. But the club won’t be putting up a help wanted sign.

The team announced Friday that Barber is leaving at the end of Feburary, two years after he arrived from Tottenham to help steer the Whitecaps from Div.-2 to MLS.

Barber was key in helping the Whitecaps evolve their business plan, and facilitating events such as last summer’s friendly with Manchester City.
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Impact takes care of its image and a Canadian roster spot with Sutton signing

The Montreal Impact finally has a Canadian player on its roster.

In a move that has to be seen as very sentimental in nature, the club has signed veteran keeper Greg Sutton. The deal now gives the Impact three keepers on its MLS roster for 2012. Sutton joins Evan Bush, who took over the No. 1 job with the Impact during its final NASL season, and former MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Donovan Ricketts, whoo was acquired in a deal with the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Sutton was acquired on loan from the New York Red Bulls during the Impact’s final NASL season. But he couldn’t usurp the excellent Bush for the No. 1 job — as Bill Gaudette sat on the sidelines with an injury.
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Rivals buy stakes in MLSE: What will it mean for TFC?

Can two bitter rivals join to run a sports empire?

That’s the, ahem, $1.3 billion question, isn’t it? That’s the reported sum the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Fund will receive for selling its majority stake in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. Telecommunications giants Rogers (which owns the Sportsnet range of channels) is in for 37.5 per cent. Bell (which owns TSN) is in for the other 37.5 pr cent, while current MLSE governor Larry Tanenbaum ups his stake to 25 per cent.

Of course, the MLSE empire includes Toronto FC, BMO Field, TFC’s under-construction training facility in Downsview and a majority stake in Gol TV Canada.

But, until we see how Bell and Rogers react to each other in the boardroom, it’s hard to figure out how it will change the governance of any of the sports properties. Remember, that, unlike the reign of the Pension Fund, no one here has a majority stake in MLSE. So, the guess would be that more, not less, decision-making would be tied up at the board level.
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