On Thursday, November 9, the Front Office hosted members of the Timbers Army Steering Committee, Game Day Operations and the 107IST board in a neutral setting to meet with Heather Davis, CEO of the Portland Timbers and Thorns, Ned Grabavoy, GM of the Portland Timbers, and Phil Neville, the newly named Timbers head coach. This meeting was an opportunity to meet Phil, and ask questions to Heather and Ned. The format was Q&A, and after Phil departed early (to catch a flight), there was time to have more-personal conversations in smaller groups.
The Q&A was respectful but pointed: We made plain that the hire was tone-deaf, pressed on changes within the Front Office and asked about plans to re-engage supporters who’ve walked away from the clubs. We wanted Heather, Ned and Phil to hear from us that we want the club to show up for supporters, the city, and the broader community. We questioned Phil on his intentions to work with T2 and the Academy, what “engaging with supporters” looks like, and how he and Ned plan to build up a scouting team to recruit quality players as more clubs and high-profile players join the league.
We’ve been down this road before with the Front Office, and we know there will be continued challenges before things get better. We are approaching our conversations with them with transparency, respect and direct communication because, at the end of the day, we are RCTID, and we will be here long after they have moved on.