The Toronto Star on Wednesday reported that Toronto FC have parted ways with president and GM Kevin Payne less than a year after hiring the former long-time D.C. United chief executive.
Toronto FC declined to comment on the report when contacted by MLSsoccer.com. But Payne did speak to the Star about his impending departure, although the article says he'll stay on for the transition.
“I’m disappointed, but this is the way this business works,” Payne told the paper. “I was a little bit surprised, but I understand that Tim [Leiweke] wants to move — not in a dramatically different — but in a somewhat different direction."
Leiweke is the former chief executive of AEG, owners of the defending two-time MLS champions LA Galaxy, who was hired in April as president and CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, owners of Toronto FC. Leiweke came in a few months after Payne took over the reins of the soccer team as president and GM in November 2012.
One of Payne's biggest moves was hiring one of his ex-D.C. players, Ryan Nelsen, as new TFC manager. However, the wholesale changes made to the roster under Payne and Nelsen have not produced the desired results with Toronto FC compiling a 4-12-10 record in 2013, the second-worst in the league.
Sitting 15 points out of the fifth and final playoff spot in the East with just eight games to play, TFC look set to miss out on the MLS Cup Playoffs for the seventh consecutive season.
The Reds have yet to make the postseason since coming into existence in 2007.