Jump to content


Photo

The Way Forward for the Fire


  • Please log in to reply
75 replies to this topic

#1 goldstone97

goldstone97

    Player/Manager

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 3,007 posts
  • Location:Chicago
  • Supports:Fire, Albion, Red Stars

Posted 21 September 2009 - 03:11 PM

It may seem odd to start a new thread quoting from the capo-protest thread, but I wrote a long answer to a point made there that I hope will open a constructive debate on how we can move forward.

Did the capos and the ISA over-react in this? IMHO, yeap. The ISA should have stooped to the level of the FO to dignifty this with anything much more than a 'We understand your concern, we will ask the dumbass to behave in the future and the dumb fuck will sit out a game. We hope you (the FO) understand that you cannot dictate who is capo.' Done and Done.

I am just fucking done w/ some of this juvenile BullShit that is going on lately.

If it could have been that simple in dealing with the FO on this, that would have been easier, certainly. Unfortunately they demanded more than that, even when said individual went well out of his way to apologise, make amends and discuss with the FO. We suggested some creative compromises that we hoped could obviate the need for any protest, but the FO didn't seem too interested. At the end of the day the decision of the Capos was their decision alone and we could only try to help as a go-between (our proper role). I'm sorry we couldn't find a simple resolution. Done and done would have saved me about ten hours I wasted on this, that's for sure.

Unfortunately leadership from the top is not conducive to resolving problems simply because there is a lack of understanding at the top of the entire concept of the ISA, the club's history, the need for a Charter, the need for mutually respectful relations based on trust, and the idea of soccer as a culture with certain specific exceptional traits in American sports. Instead, from the top, we are getting broken promises and serious breakdowns in customer service not just in Section 8, but around the stadium. The ISA has saved the FO's asses from further humiliating errors many times over the past year on issues which have remained private, because we want to prevent strife and problems.

At some point, though, they have to show some initiative and leadership of their own, instead of last-minute half-assed fixes to problems often of their own creation at the root of it (for example, this consistently happens as a result of their inability to provide respectful security and guest services staff to cut off problems before they spiral out of control). This goes beyond making all the staff wear crappy "Fuel the Fire" t-shirts or anything learned from a powerpoint presentation. But honestly, it's also not that difficult.

I walked around the stadium in the first half and at half time to see what the reaction was to the empty stand and quiet section, explaining to numerous people -- from season-ticket holders, casual visitors to club-seat holders -- what was going on. Each one understood, and then -- unprompted -- gave their own input on how they felt let down as supporters by the club. Their issues were wide-ranging, but 90% of them would be fixed by good customer service and some appreciation of the club's history and the need to build a long-lasting culture of support. None of these people were in Section 8, I know well enough the discontent there. What's worse is that this goes well beyond us who stand in 117/118.

Indeed, despite some presumptions to the contrary, there are good people within the Fire organisation from top to bottom who understand what the club should and could mean, and my belief is that they are being let down by the club's leadership as well. This is perhaps even worse for the club than letting the supporters down, because it feeds through the entire organization and ultimately into how the Fire as a whole work for the players and paying customers, the two key constituencies leadership has to ensure are treated well for the Fire to thrive.

As one example, why has the Club Charter gone nowhere on the Fire's end in the year since we were promised it? They apologize again and again for dropping the ball on it, and then nothing happens again until we raise it. Why have they not responded or called a summit with supporters to discuss it? Why do we have to explain to them again and again why we need it, when the reasoning was patently obvious (and accepted by them) last summer? Why has a promise on such an important matter not been followed through on?

This is a personal view, but I believe the buck for this stops at Dave Greeley's door. He has been here long enough now that being new to the club and the sport is no longer an excuse. I do think Andell are serious about making the Fire a worthwhile organization again, and I think they need to ensure the right leadership is in place to make this happen. We need a leader in Chicago who understands how to run a soccer club properly.

I'd be interested to know if others think it might be best -- if you are in agreement, and if not, I'd love to hear why -- that we should focus on this pretty obvious conclusion instead of a million micro-issues.
Section 8 Chicago Chair

WB05 :: Pitch Invasion

#2 pezkoreaddict

pezkoreaddict

    Pezkore Addict

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 3,469 posts
  • Location:The Region, Indiana
  • Supports:Chicago Fire - Ultras Red Side

Posted 21 September 2009 - 03:41 PM

As one example, why has the Club Charter gone nowhere on the Fire's end in the year since we were promised it? They apologize again and again for dropping the ball on it, and then nothing happens again until we raise it. Why have they not responded or called a summit with supporters to discuss it? Why do we have to explain to them again and again why we need it, when the reasoning was patently obvious (and accepted by them) last summer? Why has a promise on such an important matter not been followed through on?

I do think Andell are serious about making the Fire a worthwhile organization again


i'd also like to know why it takes our effort to keep the charter idea alive and yet still go no where.

plus, is it possible to get andrew in a Q & A session and see how serious he is about this club? i'm sure there are a number of people who would love to speak their mind about various things, and i'd like to hear his responses.

#3 Section 8 El Guapo

Section 8 El Guapo

    Player/Manager

  • S8 Admin
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 3,455 posts
  • Location:Section 8
  • Interests:Chicago Fire...Beer....Women....Beer....Section 8....Beer....Women.....New England Sucks......Beer....Duck Fallas....Beer.....
  • Supports:Your mom at Polkatz

Posted 21 September 2009 - 03:53 PM

plus, is it possible to get andrew in a Q & A session and see how serious he is about this club?

The only way that will happen is when he finds out season tickets have dropped to an all-time low.


When his pocketbook gets affected I'm sure he will start to really care again.
WB05

UNA VIDA...UNA MUERTE...UN CLUB



#4 jogadubwise

jogadubwise

    First Team

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,307 posts
  • Location:Chicago
  • Supports:Fire, Liverpool

Posted 21 September 2009 - 03:54 PM

Why are we spending so much time on a charter when the front office clearly has no use for previous agreements that have been made? Why would we expect them to treat the charter any differently? Seems like a waste of time at this current juncture.
QUOTE (chicubfan @ May 29 2009, 03:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I interned in the FO for a little while and trust me they are so dumb had they payed off the refs they probably would have presented them one of those huge checks during halftime on the field.

QUOTE (joey @ Oct 8 2009, 07:35 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
halloween specific stadium.




#5 Es Brennt

Es Brennt

    Player/Manager

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 3,779 posts
  • Supports:FIRE

Posted 21 September 2009 - 03:55 PM

As one example, why has the Club Charter gone nowhere on the Fire's end in the year since we were promised it? They apologize again and again for dropping the ball on it, and then nothing happens again until we raise it. Why have they not responded or called a summit with supporters to discuss it? Why do we have to explain to them again and again why we need it, when the reasoning was patently obvious (and accepted by them) last summer? Why has a promise on such an important matter not been followed through on?

This is a personal view, but I believe the buck for this stops at Dave Greeley's door. He has been here long enough now that being new to the club and the sport is no longer an excuse. I do think Andell are serious about making the Fire a worthwhile organization again, and I think they need to ensure the right leadership is in place to make this happen. We need a leader in Chicago who understands how to run a soccer club properly.

I'd be interested to know if others think it might be best -- if you are in agreement, and if not, I'd love to hear why -- that we should focus on this pretty obvious conclusion instead of a million micro-issues.



That about sums it up.

In the long run, I want to spend my energy, money, and emotions doing stuff like this. I want to promote the team. I want to bring more coworkers, family, and friends to their first game. I don't want to worry about flag bans, capo demands, stolen banners, unpaid debts, broken promises, and rules that change from game to game, employee to employee. It just takes the wind out of our sails and makes the whole endeavor seem like a big fat waste of time.

I think commiting to a Club Charter and doing all of the work that it entails is the best possible way for things to improve.
www.theredcardna.org

#6 giaco

giaco

    Player/Manager

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 4,079 posts
  • Location:Chicago
  • Interests:Chicago Fire, Tottenham Hotspur F.C., Guiness, and a lot of other things.
  • Supports:Chicago Fire

Posted 21 September 2009 - 04:02 PM

.

#7 jogadubwise

jogadubwise

    First Team

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,307 posts
  • Location:Chicago
  • Supports:Fire, Liverpool

Posted 21 September 2009 - 04:05 PM

That about sums it up.

In the long run, I want to spend my energy, money, and emotions doing stuff like this. I want to promote the team. I want to bring more coworkers, family, and friends to their first game. I don't want to worry about flag bans, capo demands, stolen banners, unpaid debts, broken promises, and rules that change from game to game, employee to employee. It just takes the wind out of our sails and makes the whole endeavor seem like a big fat waste of time.

I think commiting to a Club Charter and doing all of the work that it entails is the best possible way for things to improve.

Here's a step-by-step account of what will happen if we have a club charter:

1. A fan tries to (legally) bring a flag on a pole through a gate.
2. Monterrey stops him.
3. Fan references club charter.
4. Security guard has no idea what the fan is talking about and repeats that no flagpoles are allowed through the gates.
5. Fan takes flag back to car and enters the stadium without it.
6. Fan mentions this on a message board.
7. A grievance is filed by Section 8 with the front office.
8. The front office does nothing.
9. Everyone says "but we have a charter!".
10. The front office does nothing.
11. Except ban all flags.
QUOTE (chicubfan @ May 29 2009, 03:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I interned in the FO for a little while and trust me they are so dumb had they payed off the refs they probably would have presented them one of those huge checks during halftime on the field.

QUOTE (joey @ Oct 8 2009, 07:35 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
halloween specific stadium.




#8 milicz

milicz

    First Team

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 863 posts
  • Location:Chicago
  • Supports:Fire

Posted 21 September 2009 - 04:17 PM

I agree with your post Tom. Here is how I see it, Section 8 is like a gnat that keeps bugging Greeley. He does not understand how and why the group ever came into being and finds its existence to be a dangerous nuisance. He feels, as President, that he has a right to control what Section 8 does, thereby showing us that he does not understand what it is, and that's the root of the problem. If Greeley understood what an ISA is he would nurture it, he would grow it, he would know that with a strong ISA he becomes a strong successful President. Unfortunately soccer and supporters groups are so foreign to Greeley that no matter how you try to explain it to him, like what an ISA's role is and why Section 8 should be important to him, he will not get it. It's like trying to teach my Grandma about a thing called the internet, she asks me to print it off for her, she cannot comprehend what it is. Doubly bad is the fact that I am not sure Hauptman knows what it is either. If he did then he would nurture it from his post, the way Seattle or DC ownership has from its perches. I don't think he would have hired Greeley over Wilt if he understood it, but yet he did. Yet Andrew does not need to understand anything, he needs to hire Peter, or someone like Peter, to run this team.

I am a bit upset at myself, and we should all be upset, that we did not do an organized all-out push to have Peter hired when Hauptman was going through the motions looking for a Fire GM. It really was a no-brainer. It was a missed opportunity, but maybe Andrew wanted to put his stamp on the team, as many owners do. You don't do that by hiring a previously fired GM. Unfortunately the stamp he has applied is putrid and smells like piss.

#9 peter wilt

peter wilt

    First Team

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 658 posts
  • Supports:Chicago Fire

Posted 21 September 2009 - 04:19 PM

Here's a step-by-step account of what will happen if we have a club charter:

1. A fan tries to (legally) bring a flag on a pole through a gate.
2. Monterrey stops him.
3. Fan references club charter.
4. Security guard has no idea what the fan is talking about and repeats that no flagpoles are allowed through the gates.
5. Fan takes flag back to car and enters the stadium without it.
6. Fan mentions this on a message board.
7. A grievance is filed by Section 8 with the front office.
8. The front office does nothing.
9. Everyone says "but we have a charter!".
10. The front office does nothing.
11. Except ban all flags.


i disagree. i believe it will go more like this:

1. A fan tries to (legally) bring a flag on a pole through a gate.
2. Monterrey stops him.
3. Fan references club charter.
4. Security guard has no idea what the fan is talking about and repeats that no flagpoles are allowed through the gates.
5. Fan takes flag back to car and enters the stadium without it. (OR CONTACTS S8C LEADERSHIP WHO INTERCEDES WITH FIRE OR TP DIRECTOR LEVEL OR ABOVE WHO HANDLES IT OR FACES THE WRATH OF S8C AND/OR FIRE UPPER MANAGEMENT LATER)
6. Fan mentions this on a message board. (SEE ABOVE, NOT NEEDED...REALLY)
7. A grievance is filed by Section 8 with the front office. (SEE ABOVE, NOT NEEDED...REALLY)
8. The front office does nothing. (SEE ABOVE, NOT NEEDED...REALLY)
9. Everyone says "but we have a charter!". (SEE ABOVE, NOT NEEDED...REALLY)
10. The front office does nothing.(SEE ABOVE, NOT NEEDED...REALLY)
11. Except ban all flags.(SEE ABOVE, NOT NEEDED...REALLY)

#10 pezkoreaddict

pezkoreaddict

    Pezkore Addict

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 3,469 posts
  • Location:The Region, Indiana
  • Supports:Chicago Fire - Ultras Red Side

Posted 21 September 2009 - 05:44 PM

most of this is caused by the lack of communication between the FO, Monterrey, and Toyota Park. it amazes me that they can run an organization like this. you would think that they would get the majority of people in a room the day of a game and go over protocols and rules (especially people who are new, or change shifts often, ie. monterrey). we even go through the same issues when going in early for match crew and it's frustrating.

#11 Nudles23

Nudles23

    First Team

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 866 posts
  • Supports:FIRE

Posted 21 September 2009 - 05:50 PM

Very well written, Tom. I have to agree on all accounts.

For me the key issues are:

1. Lack of leadership who knows soccer and embraces the culture. Hell, I'd be happy if they even acknowledged that soccer has a culture that differs from any other sport and running the same type of front office doesn't cut it in soccer. I remember one of the first things Greeley changed when he took over was making everyone wear suites...REALLY? The ship is sinking and wearing suites is going to fix it? I'd have walked in and thrown life vests at people and said, "We're not going to sink, we're going to swim and this is how..." It's not with consultants and too many VPs, none of which have worked in soccer.

2. Lack follow through on all issues...Charter, late payments on ticket commissions, pricing for season tickets (for that matter all kind of ticket issues), tent set-up...etc, etc, etc...

3. Not embracing the history...a former player said to me recently with some disgust, "There used to be pride in putting on a Fire jersey...not any more." That's powerful stuff. Here's another example..."Fuel the Fire"...do they not know that Fire fans hate that kitschy BS? If they knew their history at all, they could recall a few years back us completely mocking that kind of thing when NY ran their "Metro Play Fever Failure" campaign...we had freaking scarves made to mock it...Even the "Red Alert" campaign team Guppy/Washo (the same team responsible for the MPF) flopped and was openly mocked...heck, jokingly I still hear random "Red Alerts!"...We don't buy into that crap, we buy in to winning and good football. The sign is right there in the tunnel...every time they need inspiration all they need to do is look at it - TRADITION, HONOR, PASSION. Want to win over fans for the playoffs? Run a campaign showing the hardware....talk about winning and how we're going bring back another trophy....those are the kind of things people get excited about. I'd love to give the entire FO a quiz on the Fire and MLS...

4. I'd like them to understand that Section 8/ISA is, no matter how many times we explain, not a supporters' group. We're a non-profit that represents all fans, not just those in the north end and we are not responsible for actions of any individual or group; and that punitive actions by them just come back to them 10 times over in negativity.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
I don't sit in the supporters' section during games and spend as much time with people outside the section as I do with people inside the section, and like Tom, I hear story after story from disenchanted fans. Some are long time fans who have gone from feeling like the team is a family to it being a cold, sterile experience. At one time games were a communal experience. That was biggest home field advantage we had. Teams feared playing in Chicago...we had players that would run through them and broke their legs instead of going around them and fans who'd raise the roof signing, "You're going home in a Cook County Ambulance" while embracing the player that did it...They are also losing new fans...a friend of mine came with her family for the first time - the kids had a blast, sang and clapped (from across the stadium and thought the flares were the greatest thing ever)...and when she made three phone calls about potential group tickets for her daughters' soccer team, she never got a person to speak with. The stories go on and on...but I'm sure we all have heard plenty.

#12 WolfmanHasNards!

WolfmanHasNards!

    First Team

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,875 posts
  • Location:Hill Valley
  • Supports:Chicago Fire

Posted 21 September 2009 - 05:56 PM

What happened to the Supporters Bill of Rights (or whatever it was dubbed) a few years back. We are not the only fanbase getting the shaft from ownership and/or security. It's time everyone gets together because some of this is just flat out stupid bullshit. It's time for all supporters to get MLS and it's partners to get their acts together.

#13 Nudles23

Nudles23

    First Team

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 866 posts
  • Supports:FIRE

Posted 21 September 2009 - 05:58 PM

What happened to the Supporters Bill of Rights (or whatever it was dubbed) a few years back. We are not the only fanbase getting the shaft from ownership and/or security. It's time everyone gets together because some of this is just flat out stupid bullshit. It's time for all supporters to get MLS and it's partners to get their acts together.


Basically that has evolved into the Club Charter. There's a section which includes the Fans bill of Rights.

#14 jl_murtaugh

jl_murtaugh

    First Team

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,304 posts
  • Location:London SE4
  • Supports:Chicago Fire

Posted 21 September 2009 - 08:19 PM

Here's a step-by-step account of what will happen if we have a club charter:
(flag incident)

I agree with PW's response, but the reasoning behind club charter is not primarily about small incidents like flags for fans. That's only a part of the larger issue which involves respect and a sense of community around the club in every aspect of its being.

The charter can/should be equally applied if

• A club season ticket holder has his seat taken by a squatter
• A player does something to undermine the organization
• The marketing staff undertakes a new advertising campaign
• The food vendor sells poor quality hotdogs

It sounds ridiculous, but any of these or other unnamed issues (including those involving the ISA or Section 8) have a common link that must be addressed immediately.

WHO are we as a club? WHAT are we here to do? WHY are we here to do it?

Only the HOW comes later. We must define what the Chicago Fire is again/for the first time and what all of our stake is in it. Fans, staff, players, sponsors, ownership.

We need top-level leadership to commit to resolve this. As bad as it may seem, even Andrew Hauptman saying "I am the club, there are no Gods before me" would be an improvement because at least we'd all be aware what the situation is. As it is now with half-truths and mixed messages, no one knows.

PS: : Looking purely at the standings, this should be a happy and productive time for the club. But instead of excitement a spirit of disappointment, underperformance, disenfranchisement, and anger persists. This is why.

#15 BenBurton

BenBurton

    Dir. of Football Operations

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,904 posts

Posted 21 September 2009 - 08:48 PM

When you're here, you're family.

I just saw that tagline on an Olive Garden commercial and it made me nostalgic for the Wilt era.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users