Here is the next installment of Q&A with Red Bulls Managing Director Erik Stover (previous installments HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE). Mr. Stover shares his thoughts on the his recent trip to Austria to meet with Red Bull ownership, followed by his usual Q&A from questions you submitted. This is Mr. Stover’s first public statements regarding this important trip. Again, we encourage you to submit questions for Mr. Stover to reply to in future additions, either in the comments section or by emailing: email@example.com (questions only please, as this is a no-reply e-mail address).
July 13, 2009
This month, I’d like to bring you up to date on my trip to Austria.
Jeff Agoos and I spent last week in Austria to meet with ownership on a number of business issues – including the team’s performance on the pitch. We met a number of times with Mr. Mateschitz and other Red Bull Soccer executives. We discussed the sporting division in great detail and identified several areas that require short-term and long-term corrections. We recognize that systemic changes are required and that our performance this year is unacceptable.
When news of our trip was reported, many people speculated that we would make a change in the coaching staff this week. However, after much deliberation, it was decided to keep the coaching staff in place. The coaches are all aware that they are judged on the team’s performance and know that their positions are on the line. But ownership is committed to its employees – at all levels – and wants them to succeed.
I have also met with the team as a whole to inform them of the decision. Everyone understands, from the players to the coaches to the front office, that we are accountable for our actions and that things must improve. And, we’ll monitor performance going forward and take actions as necessary.
As we’ve continually stated, we believe that we have brought in a strong nucleus of players from which we can build for the long-term. So, we are focused on turning things around and improving the team – for this year and beyond.
FROM THE MAILBAG
I’m sure you saw the Chicago game (a few weeks ago), and the one minute Section 8 had with flares. I have a few family members that are supporters in Section 8 (ages 27, 20, 21, 20, 15, 8), aAnd they use marine flares that are harmless to others. Is there any chance in RBA that the supporters could use them? I am totally for the F.O. making whoever is handling the flare have some kind of certification from the F.O. or HFD to use them. Another way of helping from other people from using flares in the stadium is having a glass wall so others (non- ESC-GSS) and using flares and getting in to 101 in RBA. I have heard that we might be able to use Fog machine/strobe light. But I think it does not give the same effect as it does for the real thing. Also can you let us know what other things the Supporters might be able to use…. mega flags and other supporter stuff would be great….
Some of the staff in the front office are advocating the marine flares, as well. If there is a safe and legal way to do this then we will consider it. Some time near the end of the year we will hold meetings with the leaders of the various supporter groups to go over all of these ideas in detail. So, I suggest you share your ideas with the leaders of your group so that we can have a thorough discussion.
Also, fencing in or walling off the supporter section is not something that we will consider. It raises serious issues regarding building codes plus these barriers normally create more security problems than they solve. You don’t need to look any further than the tragedy at Hillsborough in 1989 to understand the dangers these can create.
From The Penalty Spot:
For those of us that view the webcam on a regular basis, can you give us a timeline of when to expect notable events? For example, when will seats start going in, grass, etc.
Good suggestion…here is a tentative schedule for some of the most visible elements:
Beginning of August – Field Drainage System work begins
Beginning of August – Horizontal roof installation begins
Mid-September – Sod installation begins
Late September – Seat installation begins
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