Today’s post starts in New England, where the Revs announced some rearranging of roles in the front office. Mike Burns and Brian Bilello are remaining with the club, but with new titles and new responsibilities. Bilello has been named President of the Club, with responsibilities on both the player and business sides. He had previously been the team’s COO and will report directly to Krafts. According to the press release, “Bilello will oversee all aspects of the Revolution organization – now including the club’s soccer operations in addition to continuing to oversee the club’s business activities.”
Burns has been named General Manager after four years as Vice President of Player Personnel. All of the team’s soccer related components, such as youth programs, the head coach, scouting, etc… will report directly to Burns, who will in turn report to Bilello. Sunil Gulati, who has long served in an undefined role for the Revolution, will continue to function as a soccer adviser to the Kraft Family. The new coach (who will purportedly be announced within a week), will seemingly come from a group of a dozen candidates that has been interviewed over the last couple of weeks.
So what does it all mean for the Revs? Over the last few years, the team has continued to fall off the pace on the field, while struggling to locate effective players in the international market. On the business side, the team has largely lagged much of the league in securing sponsors, selling tickets and, perhaps most importantly, building a soccer specific stadium. During a call with the media, Bilello reiterated that a stadium is his top priority and that the team recognizes that league structures have changed. Both men are familiar with front office staff and players, have a relationship with ownership and are familiar with the market. The team seemingly believes that redefining their roles and creating a more coherent hierarchy will lead to success both on and off the field.
Not surprisingly, many Revs fans believe that this is akin to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. During Burns’ four years as VP of Personnel, the team has struggled to locate and sign effective players. At the same time, while Bilello was COO, attendance has lagged, the team has been embroiled in a dispute with its most ardent supporters and the team has failed to announce any firm plans to build a stadium.
Of course, only time will tell. Feel free to drop a line with your thoughts on these moves.