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.
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.
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.