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  • Bobby must go

    Duane Rollins

    A month ago this lead would have been more generous. It would have pointed to a stellar playing and coaching career and spoke about how much he had contributed to the game.

    Eventually it would have reached the same conclusion, but it would have been with regret. A suggestion that a humane option be presented to him would have been made.

    That’s off the table now. Now, 40 years of good will are out the window. There will be no punches pulled.

    Bobby Lenarduzzi must be fired. Not given an opportunity to “spend more time with his family,” or “move into a consulting role,” or any other way teams let long time servants save face when the time comes to move on.

    No, he needs to be canned. Sacked. Shit canned. Axed. Shown the door. Given a pink slip.

    Fired. Yesterday.

    As the most public face of the Vancouver Whitecaps and the person who was in charge when the alleged abuses (abuses that the Whitecaps internally, if quietly, decided were real at the time) and when the decision to hire a youth coach who was found to have thrown a banana at a black player, he’s got to go.

    It’s no longer a debatable point. It’s quite literally the least that the club can do.

    To be clear, this isn’t about the scoreboard, nor should anyone muddy the waters by bringing results into this.

    As the leader of the organization, Lenarduzzi oversaw a toxic work environment that legitimately has caused harm to people. That is inexcusable. Maybe a way forward could have been found when this first came out. Had Lenarduzzi and the team immediately apologized and agreed to make real changes to prevent it ever happening again then…maybe.

    But, they didn’t and they somehow made a terrible situation worse. So, the time for niceties is over.

    Bobby’s got to go.

    It won’t fix it. There’s a hell of a lot of work that needs to happen after he leaves, but that work doesn’t start – can’t start – until he’s gone.    

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    As I see it, he has to go for other reasons.

    The results on the pitch are very poor, and the play is poor as well.

    He reached his incompetence level years ago, and has not grown into the position nor shown any positive evolution.

    He screwed up on the Camilo case, he allowed Robinson to sign players that apparently a family member was making money off, and he has not shown any capacity to envision attractive football for the fans. He has undone the youth system, leaving us with a residency which goes nowhere. 

    Lenarduzzi has no experience in this position apart from being at the Whitecaps eternally. At the USL level you could say he was a good fit. At MLS, he has been over his head from day one, he is just coasting in a sort of pre-retirement mode.  With him, the owners and the FO are disengaged, and the product on the field is at the low end of the league--when the fans are smart enough to be able to enjoy a much better product. We are sold an unnecessarily inferior football.

    The failures of ten years ago, part of an overall internal inertia on the team and general insensitivity to such questions even such a short time ago; or the errors of signing the English coach chastised by their FA for racism, are more problems related to the club's rotten internal culture, and he is partially but not soley responsible for those things. 

    As I see it, put it all together, and do yourself a favour Whitecaps: hire a competent club president with a vision for winning and a personal bio that suggests he can actually implement it. And it makes no difference who he or she is, what nationality, none of that.

    I say it is time for Bobby to go as well, it was maybe midway through Robinson's reign. He definitely must go.

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