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An open response from Jay Sugarman

Photo: Earl Gardner

Editor’s note: Philadelphia Union majority owner Jay Sugarman e-mailed last night with the letter below, in response to Dan Walsh’s open letter to him that ran here on Tuesday. Sugarman titled it “An open response to Dan Walsh”. We’ve changed the headline because we think it more important to catch your attention with his name, but we share his original title here so you understand his intent. Other than that, these words are all his and offered without commentary or editing from PSP, other than to say we appreciate him taking the time to write, to read PSP, and to care enough to respond.

Dear Dan:

Let me first thank you for your support of the Union and the work you do at PSP. Neither goes unnoticed. The Union is a big part of my life and I am deeply appreciative of the fans who have made it part of theirs.

Now to the heart of the matter.

Here’s what we clearly agree on — the Union have not come close to fulfilling their potential on the field and the results are not acceptable. Like every serious Union fan, I lose a little bit of my being when we lose or play poorly. On the other hand, a good win makes everything a little better and watching the team play together and flow up and down the field is pretty great.

We have struggled way more than I expected, not just this year but for too much of our first seven years. There have been lots of reasons, a great many of which you have ably pointed out over the years. Most I have tried to fix, making plenty of mistakes along the way and perhaps not moving as quickly as some hoped, but with a clear sense that by making improvements we would get progressively better each year. But if we aren’t progressing, then ultimately, I am responsible. I accept the criticism and know it comes from a fan base that wants a team it can be proud of. It’s fair and it’s my job to fix it.

Here’s the thing. We have and will keep investing to make the team better. It’s been $5 to $10 million per year, every year, so far. We need to create environments for our fans, our players and employees that will be a foundation for excellence and long term success. Most of it has to be built from scratch.   We will keep moving forward in steps, making improvements for both the short term and the long term. While some things are not possible, providing Earnie and our technical staff the money needed to build a cohesive team with sufficient firepower to win an MLS Cup is possible and he would not have come without that commitment from ownership.

So where do we go from here? The league is getting better so we have to get better. Investments already made need to pay off and investments made going forward, including new DP’s, have to be productive. Everyone in the organization and on the field needs to play their role well, with passion and a commitment to be better.   I promise to do the same.

Sincerely,

Jay

92 Comments

  1. lopezzzz says:

    Start by showing up to your town hall and addressing the fans. Don’t use your employees as human shields.

    • schmitty says:

      outside of american sports, is there any ownership in the world that acts at the public face of an organization? almost always it is some kind of general manager or chairman. i am as frustrated as any union fan at our miserable failures, but i don’t think it is right for sugarman to be held to a standard of public accountability like a town hall.

      • lopezzzz says:

        They’re an American team last I checked… on an epic 16 game win-less streak. He needs to be there.

  2. I am grateful Mr. Sugarman has taken the time to respond. It’s more than I would have expected. That much I am thankful for. I’m also glad to see he realizes that expectations haven’t been met. He sees the fans’ frustrations and acknowledges them. He even seems to have more invested than just his money. That’s all well and good. It’s not enough.
    .
    ” Investments already made need to pay off and investments made going forward, including new DP’s, have to be productive. Everyone in the organization and on the field needs to play their role well, with passion and a commitment to be better.”….The youngest fans among us know this. A young man named Collin has written here about his distress and struggles supporting this team. But just saying this Mr. Sugarman, doesn’t make it happen. Wishing and praying and sacrificing to the gods, doesn’t make this happen. What has been done by those who represent you Mr. Sugarman, hasn’t made this happen.
    .
    What part of Einstein’s definition of insanity don’t you understand Mr. Sugarman?

    • John Ling says:

      “Wishing and praying and sacrificing to the gods, doesn’t make this happen.”
      .
      Or, in the immortal words of Pedro Cerrano: “Fuck you, Jobu! I do it myself!”

      • Nice!

      • John Ling says:

        I need to re-watch that movie. It’s been a long time.
        .
        I was floored recently to learn the actor who played Pedro is the All-State guy.

      • Oh yeah. I believe he also played the president on a TV show. 24 maybe?

      • pragmatist says:

        President Palmer.
        .
        Not as strange of an evolution as Tim Matheson going from Stratton in Animal House to Vice President Hoynes in West Wing..
        .
        but I digress…

      • Dan Walsh says:

        Perhaps the greatest sports movie ever made. (Or, at least, definitely in the top 10.)

    • schmitty says:

      you can’t expect him to outline a game plan in a public letter. no club is ever going to outline a development plan–it allows competitors access to their secrets. the fact that he says that our investments need to pay off doesn’t mean that he is not making any internal changes. I think he is making changes. changes to parts of the club that are way down the pipeline will take a long time to be realized.

      • Access to their secrets….I’m sorry, am I missing something? Does their treasure room contain mounds of trophies I’m missing? What a laugh. Are you trying to call the Union the gold standard? AHAHAHAHAHA! Please just go away with this.
        .
        Changes way down the pipeline? How much longer do you think people are willing to keep his money pipeline open? Do you think as little about this fan base as he does? Enough. Sell the Monorail to Ogdenville not Springfield.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        Rather aggressive today. Jay got your dander all shook up. Love the passion.

      • I feel like the story of sisyphus. Both him and the bolder. I feel the weight of futility pushing against a rock. While my anger has become the boulder, gaining speed as it heads towards the bottom.

    • Collin Deckert says:

      Appreciate the shoutout. I completely agree with you.

  3. MikeRSoccer says:

    Respect for him taking the time to respond but it’s all irrelevant if we do not see this investment in first team players.
    .
    Here is the thing: If Sugarman is willing to throwdown for a real MLS 3.0 DP, then do it this summer. If Earnie Stewart does not want to throwdown for a real MLS 3.0 DP, then fire him bc that is insane.

    • Adam Schorr says:

      We have seen the investment in first team players. In the last two years alone, they’ve brought in Bedoya (1M), Simpson (500K), Ilsinho (500K), Medunjanin (500K), and Alberg (400K), while only losing Barnetta (700K) and Nogueira (400K). Their spending is up over 1.5M from this time last season. It’s not a lack of investment. It’s who Earnie has invested in.

      • lopezzzz says:

        Alright, but how much of that was paid through GAM, TAM, basic MLS salary? I believe Bedoya is the exception.

        .

        Yes, Union stink at Moneyball. They also don’t have an owner willing to make the necessary investments out of his own wallet.

      • schmitty says:

        i don’t think it’s fair to expect any ownership (in professional sports or otherwise) to make straight cash injections. they are allowed to expect the enterprise to be profitable, or at least break even. granted, they have a responsibility to create an end product which they haven’t done,but that’s a separate issue.

      • i’m probably more forgiving of stewart and curtin than a lot of other people, but lets stay real about the spending on players. with the exception of bedoya all of those players are paid for by a combination of salary cap and allocation money which is provided by the league. every team has that amount of money to deal with

      • The influx of spending is due mainly to the league increasing the amount of TAM to all teams. All of those players with the exception of Bedoya are on the league’s books, not the Union’s.
        .
        Granted, the Union pay their share to the league every season, but considering more than half the league spends more on DP’s than we do, the investment is not being made.

      • lopezzzz says:

        +1

      • Great One says:

        I would tend to agree with this, most of the spending has had caveats.

      • yeah, that is the point i was trying to make with my comment

  4. The Realist Brian says:

    Instead of spreading $5-10 million around on lackluster, cheap players, why not bring in a stud like so many of the other franchises do that costs $7 million for a striker, Jay?

    • Because spreading it around doesn’t cost him any money. If we go out and sign an attacker that’s on at least Bedoya’s level then we can’t complain, until then we can.

      • CPfeif13 says:

        I’m not sure it is clear what he means when he says “We have and will keep investing to make the team better. It’s been $5 to $10 million per year, every year, so far.”
        .
        .
        Does that mean $5 to $10 million new investments each year? Is it purely growth based or is it more of an operating budget?

      • Yeah, it’s a good question and an important one.

      • Section 114 (Former) says:

        I don’t think there’s any question that they are losing money on a current basis by any back of the envelope calculation.
        .
        HOWEVER, every year they are one year closer to owning their park. Every year the value of the MLS franchise goes up.
        .
        It’s disingenuous not to put some of that into the current year, but it makes sense if the ownership structure is cash-poor, as Sugarman has been rumored to be.
        .
        P.S. They are getting ordinary income losses for the $5-10 million a year, but when they sell they will be paying capital gains. So about 1/6 of the “loss” is actually being paid for by the US taxpayers.

  5. el Pachyderm says:

    Mr. Sugarman.
    .
    Not much one can say other than, kudos for reading, taking to heart the plea and responding to this plea… and it is a plea.
    .
    This is not something that occurs at almost any other level in any other professional sport.
    .
    Respect.
    .
    .
    .
    Sincerely,
    el Pachyderm
    ~
    Vision. Philosophy. Plan.
    Just. Play. Well.

    • msklem24 says:

      Bravo

    • I want to second that. Regardless of anyone’s opinion on the state of the franchise, to read, acknowledge and respond to a blog post is remarkable. Kudos to Jay.

      • Yup, and honestly the substance doesn’t matter to me too much, I mean really what is he going to say. Just the knowledge that he reads it, got the message, and responded is enough.

      • Zizouisgod says:

        Exactly!

  6. pragmatist says:

    I love that he responded. He was under zero obligation to do so, and I’d be willing to bet that about 95% of franchise owners in all sports would have just blown off the original article. This deserves respect.
    .
    It has to be frustrating to management, as well, that they are not getting results, especially when they are putting obvious money into underlying foundations of the club.
    .
    But at the end of the day, we won’t judge them on the Academy, or the facilities, or BSFC, etc. We will judge them as all teams are judged: on-field success.
    .
    The optimist in me reads into this line: “including new DP’s…” Huh…are there more on the way?
    .
    I was expecting growth this year, and a 4-6th place conference finish. Nothing extreme. If they can right the ship (I know, there has been little evidence of that, that’s why it’s a big “if”), they could still finish respectably. As long as there is improvement and a better product, things will be forgiven. But no one should expect some deus ex machina to save us from the current situation. Salvation will come from within, or it ain’t comin’…

    • the optimist/ conspiracy theorist in me thinks that there is one coming between that section in this letter and curtin’s offhand comment a few weeks ago about actively seeking more pieces

  7. Funny how he used sakiewicz as a shield

  8. Words are cheap as this organization is.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      Authentic: of undisputed origin; genuine.
      ~
      ~
      not sure about you, but first and foremost in my search through life I am in search of authenticity. In this world we live in it may be the greatest of all attributes. A response like gives me a sense of the authentic which gives me connection. Life, papa5 is about connection.
      .
      Whether or not you are in agreement with me or the response from the majority owner of our Union, the level of understanding we bring to life, the discernment, the willingness to be hopeful in the face of uncertainty are qualities I wish for you.
      .
      Lighten up, its a beautiful day.

  9. It is great that Jay responded but I think he is in la-la land if he writes: “While some things are not possible, providing Earnie and our technical staff the money needed to build a cohesive team with sufficient firepower to win an MLS Cup is possible and he would not have come without that commitment from ownership”
    .
    This is just not happening. We are not even close. A team like Sporting Kansas City is. And their budget is similar to ours. Why are they so much better than we are? I think they have a coach and players who are so muuuch better than ours. Comes down to who picks the coach and who picks the players.

  10. Dear, Jay
    I have struggled supporting this year due to my frustration going back to last year. I live in upstate New York, I drive 7 hours to go to multiple home games since 2013. I went to the home opener this year just like the last several years and will be attending the Houston game the day before my college graduation. I’m thankful for your franchise Jay but your losing me. Your team has helped me through a really rough point of my life. And I appreciate that I really do. Your team meant so much that I went to a Union game at New England with my mother the day of my high school graduation because none of my friends could go but my mother knew how much the Union meant to me. I love the team but it hurts to watch because I don’t see real progress. Jay please make major improvements and make them soon.
    Respectfully,
    Jake

  11. The Chopper says:

    Nice letter. Means nothing, except that we now know he or one of the PR staff regularly reads PSP.

    • Tim Jones says:

      We already knew.
      .
      One of his staff. I think he has said so at the time of his public comments following the Sakiewicz change.

  12. Andy Muenz says:

    I disagree with a general principal that many have put out here (Adam Schorr excepted). The Union have to be careful about spending money for the sake of spending money rather than spending money wisely.
    .
    Please don’t vilify me but outside of the Union, my two favorite teams in American sports are the New York Rangers and the Washington Redskins. While the Rangers have been competitive the last few years including a trip to the finals and a President’s trophy, they also went from 1997-98 to 2003-04 (7 seasons) without making the playoffs despite having one of the highest payrolls in the league every year.
    .
    The Redskins also tend to have a high payroll but really haven’t been competitive since before Dan Snyder bought the team and started a revolving door at head coach.
    .
    So money has to also be spent wisely in addition to just being spent.

    • but it does need to get spent

      • Tim Jones says:

        Dallas has an excellent team and very low spending.

      • i just looked at their salary numbers from last year and it made me want to weep when i compare it to what we pay for alberg, simpson, and ilsinho

    • Adam Schorr says:

      There’s far too much anger directed at ownership and not nearly enough directed at Curt and Earnie. It’s simply much easier to say “spend more”, because it’s easy to quantify. It’s much harder to say “spend better”, because nobody on here is a professional scout and nobody knows what’s going on behind the scenes, and saying “spend better” is throwing Earnie and Curtin under the bus and people here have an extremely strange aversion for correctly pointing out that both Curtin and Earnie have been f***ing terrible at their jobs by literally every metric.
      .
      FC Dallas is proof that you can win with a low payroll, and it’s not because of their academy. It’s because they spend smart. You can win with a low budget. You don’t have to spend more to win. So while “spend more” is a nice goal, in the interim, how about spending all of this energy complaining about how much we spend and focus it on how poorly we spend.
      .
      I am 100% with you Andy.

  13. Very appreciative of the response. Not manu sports owners would and that is a plus.
    That said, Inunderstand the need for foundation and buiding from the bottom, but the lre is another mindset: increased spending at the top club generates better results which generates more revenue for investment downstream. The growth from the bottom is great in a pre/rel system but the American sports system – right or wrong – needs success to equal fan investment beyond the sports diehards. You don’t have the ingrained soccer culture of the other countries so to bring in the casual fan you need wins. Now.
    Please take that into consideration.

  14. I do give him credit for responding. It is true that this simply wouldn’t happen in any other sport.

    Having said that, this letter doesn’t say much. It seems quite calculated in its blandness, in fact. My suspicion is that Jay does not want to usurp or undermine Earnie Stewart, who has been installed as the face of the organization. I also understand that Earnie has a scheduled townhall meeting with fans very soon to discuss the state of the franchise. Thus, I will judge this letter in the context of that meeting, assuming that Jay is deferring to Earnie. I hope that Earnest will be more earnest in addressing our entreaties.

  15. I think Mr. Sugarman deserves credit for responding. That being said, his response provides no specifics that lead me to believe the proper investments to be competitive have or will be made. I’m certainly not expecting exact details on what will happen, but the language doesn’t lead me to believe that the ownership realizes the situation it’s in with the fans.
    .
    Stating things it is possible for ownership to provide a sufficient team to win an MLS Cup is very discouraging. With the current money spent, it is very unlikely the team wins MLS Cup this year or in the future. I want this team to win trophies, but it’s more important to me that they are constantly competitive and not just desperately praying for a miracle run like Colorado went on in 2010.

  16. Arlos Martinez says:

    While I appreciate he took the time to reply, it’s put up or shut up time the second the summer transfer window opens.

    All of us won’t have to wait long to see if what Jay says is true or just fodder.

    Carlos Martinez

  17. Perception. Perception, Mr. Sugarman, can become reality. At the moment, no matter what dollar amounts you quote, you are still perceived as doing things on the cheap. Some facts bare this out. Using interns to staff your offices as one example. Being 12th in payroll for the league, while being in the 4th largest market, is another. Having ONE DP, making a million or more, is the last dagger.
    .
    What you seem to fail to understand Mr. Sugarman is that this is a fan base that is exhausted from losing. Though relatively young, this fan base has experience with cheap owners. It has experience with owners who accept losing while gladly taking their money. Your fans, Mr. Sugarman, are drawn from a pool of people that have watched their baseball team become the least successful of ANY franchise in ANY sport in the history of mankind. They have watched football coaches like the FAT man and his star pupil, Puker Mcnabb, make the same mistakes year after year, only to tell us they need to be put in better positions to win. Their basketball franchise has taken losing to a whole new level so much so that the league has considered rules changes in order to discourage them and others from doing so. Their hockey team hasn’t seen silverware since before my birth. Mr. Sugarman, we know losing. We know cheap. We see the Union as both. We are not fooled by promises, and hopes to do better. We are tired of hearing these things. You had a honeymoon Mr. Sugarman. It has lasted way longer than you should have ever been allowed.
    .
    It’s time. It’s way past time, Mr. Sugarman. Put up, or shut up and leave. We deserve better, and promises to do so, will not soothe this savage beast.
    .
    Good Day Sir.

    • Dan Walsh says:

      Great point about the Phillies shaping Philly fandom.

      All you Eagles fans were always way too hard on McNabb. This Giants fan would have loved to have him in his prime.

      • Do you really hate worms so much, that you’d want to have them killed? Their population is finally just recovering at the Linc.

  18. scottymac says:

    $5-10M
    .
    Capital calls would be about 5, the years of the training fields and training complex would’ve added $3-5. That’s your $10M per annum investment.
    .
    Table stakes Jay, table stakes. Paying the rent ain’t investment.

  19. @underthebridge1 says:

    “Last year, two teams – Toronto FC and New York City FC – had guaranteed payrolls in the $21 million range, per MLS Players Union figures. Five teams were above $10 million.”

    https://sports.yahoo.com/news/mls-teams-spend-a-lot-more-than-you-think-213807623.html

    Is Sugarman bragging that he spends $5-$10 million? That’s obviously not enough. The Union were 15th out of 21 in base salaries.

    http://blogs.denverpost.com/rapids/2016/05/19/mls-player-salaries-2016-released-major-league-soccer-players-union/27671/

  20. Great One says:

    Not much to such except to reiterate what was said above. This is why soccer and The Union have a chance to be so loved and so great. Nowhere else would this have been done.
    .
    That said, put your money where your mouth is. Make change happen.

  21. Mr. Sugarman,
    .
    Thank you for responding. As a Founding Member I appreciate you taking the time.
    .
    The repeated on-field failure of the first team has now made even the hardest core fans, question their level of interest in this team. Forget the casual fan. You don’t get them with marketing, you get them with winning. Think – Phillies. Look at how many people cared when they got close to winning and then finally won. The city was red. They even over took the Eagles (for a short time). I applaud the narrative coming out of Chester – we want to build a legacy, build an academy, etc. As a Founding Member who is now 35 years old, I hope to be around for a while and see it all bear fruit.
    .
    But you can no longer to afford to sacrifice the first team. You have lost the casual fan. I have friends who hate soccer and have barely a modicum of interest (mainly cause I jam it down their throat)… who immediately connect the Union with losing. As an owner, those are the people you have to attract and keep as fans. Not me. Winning does that. Spend money on a name. Bring them here. Fill the stands with the casual fan. Get some wins. Repeat. Money makes money. As a rich man, you know that. This market, this team, this fan base, and people who have supported this team since Day 1 (and even before that!) deserve it. If you can’t, please cash out and keep your legacy intact with this club.
    .
    Thanks, Dave (Section 127)

  22. Mr. Sugarman,

    And while you’re at it don’t forget to hit that “Donate” button.
    Few grand a month would help a lot.

  23. Really enjoyed reading this. Thanks, Jay

  24. Thank you for the response. May these letters be the beginning not the end of dialogue.

  25. The more I think about this letter from Jay, the more I’m pissed off about it. This letter is just addressed to Dan(no offense Dan). It’s not directed to the fans. This tells me, more than likely, he only read Dan’s letter, and not the comment section below. This letter should have been addressed to the fans, not Dan. Are you that out of touch Mr. Sugarman, or just afraid to see what your customers think of you and the job that has been done in your name. Get a clue Mr. Sugarman. Have your interns be brave enough to show you the comment section below.

    • offence* not offense…dammit I did it again.

      • Tim Jones says:

        Not to worry, All4U. We all damn the spellchecker to the lowest circle of hell regularly.

      • At this point, after using google and Merriam Webster, I may have been right the first time. My blood has been brought to such a boil that thinking straight is near impossible. As such it’s time to step away for a cooling period.

    • Dan Walsh says:

      Sugarman clearly intended this to be for an audience much larger than the stated recipient. That’s the point of open letters. Mine was the same. I could have just emailed him directly. I wrote it as an open letter. I don’t think this is something worth beating him up over.

      • It gives me the feeling that you have been used as a proxy. He applauds your work at PSP, which I agree with, but in a way belittles the contributions made by those who come here day in and day out to show their passion. It seems by design that you have been propped up as a sort of pied piper leading us lemmings. As unexpected and unusual as it was, this response was poorly executed. It could have been much better. But at least he did it.

  26. Mr Sugarman, Thnx & kudos for responding to an extremely frustrated yet dedicated fan base. I myself am a founding member STH and a soccer player/fan my entire life. You sound sincere with your plan to continue to improve this club even if it is slower than most fans seem to expect. I am a true Union Supporter, not just a fan, and bleed blue & gold, but will not deny I myself am totally ‘pissed off’ at the level of play being put on the field week after week. I hope to see the club turn this around starting by taking all 3 points from the “Pink Cows’ this Saturday!!! UNION! UNION! UNION!!

  27. Because I’m sure that Union management is likely tuned in to these comments, I’d like to encourage them to be as forthright as possible with fans about what the real plan is with this franchise. I do think Stewart, Sugarman and Curtin have been honest with us, but I still feel like there are aspects to the plan — particularly with Stewart’s vision for the club — that have not been spelled out. If the plan is to have a team composed primarily of academy products in 5 years with careful and methodical infusion of overseas/veteran talent, tell us. Whatever the plan is, tell us. I think you’ll find fans of this team are smart and might cut you a little more slack. And of course, winning games will go further still. But regardless: Let’s hear more from you all about the plan. Don’t wait for it to be teased out by a reporter at a press conference. And again, kudos for the response. It’s demonstrates class and character.

  28. HopkinsMD says:

    Respect for responding, as mentioned by many here.
    .
    There HAS to be a plan. The challenge is that there are almost certainly aspects of the plan that Jay and Earnie cannot come right out and say plainly.
    .
    For example, you have the players you have until those limited windows of time each year. Do you publicly say we are trying to upgrade the talent at position X Y and Z (insert player names here) or the manager?
    .
    There are no guarantees that you will find the right replacement at the right time. There may be trades in the works or other conversations taking place. But there are no guarantees.
    .
    In the meantime, you have the players (and manager) you have right now… and those people have to train together and play together in between now and then.
    .
    Having said all of this, the fans who spend their money have a say… Spend money or don’t spend money.
    .
    We know in our heads that players generally play better when they believe people believe in them and show their support.
    .
    Yet, in our hearts, we are frustrated and don’t want to be duped.
    .
    The irony… Doop.

  29. Dear Mr. Sugarman,

    Believe me when I tell you that the days of you and the management and coaching telling us what you think we want to here are over. Twelve of us, TWELVE, would carpool it down from New York for years to attend Union home games. I was the last to attend vs NYCFC. I for one will not attend another game until there is a proven DP striker,#10, DM, LB. I want to see a truly competitive team at every level moving forward. That means the talent to compete for team and individual awards. I want this organization in the conversation and not address as league bottom feeders. This fan base deserves the best and should not accept anything less.

  30. Old Soccer Coach says:

    It takes courage to do what Jay Sugarman did.
    .
    His fellow owners may not like the precedent, both domestic and international.

    The Commissioner may not like it.
    .
    For the final decision maker to step out from behind his shields can backfire.

    Sugarman has decided to risk the gesture, an act of faith in the rationality and openness to reason of most of us on this blog.
    .
    That he cares about the team seems clear.
    .
    That he acknowledges fans are essential and are more than just wallets is also clear.
    .
    At the same time we are not shareholders in what is a privately held corporation.
    .
    Step back for a moment and read some of the deeper implications of his act, and think about the implications of the facts he has revealed.
    .
    It strikes me that revisiting his letter after 48 hours of thought may reveal useful conclusions.

  31. I read the title and thought this was going to be a satirical fan post written by someone like UnionHulk…
    .
    I don’t agree with everything he said, but ludos to Jay for writing himself and making an effort to engage

  32. I don’t admire Jay for responding. Quite the contrary. It’s about damn time! Why does it take an open letter from Dan Walsh in the first place? All respect to Dan! If Jay Sugarman is as concerned about this team as he professes to be in his response why was it in the way of a response? As an owner and someone who claims to care about this team and it’s fan base why didn’t he get out in front of this before being called out in an open letter? In my opinion there is nothing admirable about it. This is why his credibility as an owner is in question. He obviously knows that the stadium is losing attendance and eventually that will affect the paid attendance bottom line. He needs to demand that Stewart bring in a proven DP striker, #10, LB, DM if he wants us to buy what he said in his response.

    • I’ve been saying the same thing for a while. The same could be said for Ernie. So what he speaks to a few Sons of Ben before a game. The entire fan base needs to hear from him. Every week, they let Curtain be the punching bag when at some point, they should have been forthright and addressed the fans on their own.

  33. Thanks for the note Jay, but a real estate-investors-type-plan of buying 3 buildings a year for the next 20 years then living off the rent is not what we want to hear as the vision of this franchise.
    Am sure we have all heard the joke about the two guys in the woods. They see a bear and the one guy stops to put on his running shoes. The other guy says “what are you doing – you can’t outrun a bear.” He replies “I don’t have to outrun the bear, i just just have to outrun you.”
    It is not really that relevant what he is spending if he continues to get passed by other teams. He needs to spend enough to pass them – or find someone that can pass them using the money he is spending. This league is blowing up in scope and quality and he is not keeping up. He is falling behind.
    He does not have a small problem. He has a giant damn hole in the roof of his building that he seems to be willing to fix over the course of years…..in the meantime the rain keeps pouring in…

  34. The Truth says:

    Lame response. No fire, no heart, I don’t care BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  35. Thanks Dan and Jay! Both have started something special for the fans! One guy makes money for his trouble…the other gets a lot of Pat’s on his back… I thank both men for their efforts! We have a ho.e pro team to cheer,talk about,be pissed about…we Also have the best site in pro Football to do it on!!

  36. soccerdad says:

    Much respect to mr. sugarman for reading and responding. He did not have to do that, and I doubt any other owner would have. But it speaks volumes to me that he did. Full stop.

    Unfortunately, it really didn’t address my point of contention, namely, this is MLS 3.0, and he’s still spending like it’s 1.0. Listen sir, your investment has increased immensely in these last seven years, take your millions off the table and sell to an owner ready to play in the 3.0 world. I sincerely thank you for bringing us a team. I love the Union. I want to continue to love the Union, but that love is being severely tested.

    I was one of the first 50 into the SOBs, I was one of the first 100 to get on the list to buy season tickets. This league has changed, Mr. Sugarman. You are a very rich man, you could buy and sell me 100 times over. But un-FORTUNE-ately, you are not in that level above you where many other owners and ownership groups are. We NEED a better team, better players. Moneyball isn’t working. Either open you wallet or Sell your stake and move on with our sincere thanks.

  37. UnionGoal says:

    Thank you, Mr. Sugarman.
    I appreciate you took time to respond, and to prove you are not an absentee owner with no interest in the game.
    You have many balls in the air, with usl team, academy, training center and the Union so I applaud you for all you are accomplishing.
    Patience is needed of course but a win this weekend is a necessity.
    A motivational speaker would probably be more beneficial than a tattoo artist….just saying.

    Thank you.

    UnionGoal

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