A little history
A few years ago, Joey Saputo declared that the Impact has lost an average of $ 10M per season, and this since his arrival in MLS. Solutions had to be found. At that point, the club had yet to enter the dance of selling and transferring players.
Olivier Renard arrives with a game plan to overcome this problem. If the team can’t seem to make a profit through sponsorships, ticket sales, jersey sales, or television rights, selling a few players can at least help balance the books better.
Hence the vision of recruiting young players to try to sell them at a profit a few years later.
We must tip our hat to Renard who in the space of a few seasons has unearthed several rare gems. Players like Mason Toye, Djordje Mihailovic, Kamal Miller and Joël Waterman who have all seen their value climb since arriving here. It is not impossible that one or more of these players will be sold for a profit this winter or next year.
This is great news for the team owner. It is a little less so for fans who get attached to the best players and see them go quickly. But whatever, it’s part of the soccer business, and everyone understands it.
Back to our question
For an MLS team there are two big leagues to achieve, the MLS Cup and the Concacaf Champions League Trophy. Here we are at the dawn of the draw for this last competition in which CF Montreal will participate in the spring of 2022.
Last summer, the CFM had the wind in its sails and appeared to be heading towards a potential playoff spot. But after assessing the market, the club decided not to add any significant piece to their squad, in an effort to secure this place in the playoffs.
Two obstacles stood in front of the club at this time according to the technical director Olivier Renard, constraints at the level of the collective agreement, but also the amounts that would have had to be paid. Renard explained that the Whitecaps had made additions to them, but that they had to increase their budget in order to complete these acquisitions. Investments that would not have been worth it according to their assessment. It can be justified.
Finally, and unfortunately, the club did not advance to the playoffs.
Fortunately, however, there was this victory in the Canadian championship. But let’s face it, the Voyageurs Cup, in the eyes of many, is by far the least prestigious of the cups, if we compare to the trophies mentioned above.
What the Canadian championship gives, however, is the chance to participate in the Champions League. A large portion of the greatest moments in the club’s history took place in this competition. The Impact has never been more popular than when it participated in the Conacaf Champions League final in front of more than 60,000 fans at the Olympic Stadium against Club America.
So when is the time to try to win?
Two years ago, when the team had qualified for the Champions League, the timing did not seem right for the club to try to get into this tournament to win it. Renard had just arrived, he was trying to put his first imprints on the club, and the team from which he had inherited did not represent anything he wanted to build. The majority of the supporters understood it and accepted it.
Today, two years later, in the same situation, when the question was asked at a press conference, whether this time the club intended to aim for the cup by making some major acquisitions, the answer was that qualifying for the Champions League wasn’t going to derail the plan to recruit mostly young people.
A reality that quickly brought back to earth those who still hoped to see the CFM sign a big name. Especially when you hear names like Lorenzo Insigne and Andrea Belotti in the transfer rumors to Toronto FC.
There are several ways to help yourself aim for a title, without however messing up your organizational plan. A few short-term acquisitions can also give a boost for a given period, while keeping the focus on the long-term vision.
This team, when healthy, is only a few players away from being a competitive team capable of competing for a title. Without saying that you have to embark on the false lion every year, you also have to show the fans from time to time that this time we are “all in”.
Like a father who saves his money all his life, in order to give a better quality of life to his family, but finds himself unable, when the time is right, to take out the checkbook to take advantage of the moments that will please his family. . You have to know how to manage, but you also have to know how to take advantage of it.