There's been less turnover in the New York Red Bulls roster this offseason than at any point in the past four years. But five days before their 2014 season opener, the club delivered the most jarring change – all the way at the top.
The Red Bulls announced on Monday that general manager Jérôme de Bontin has resigned for personal reasons. The former AS Monaco president had overseen the club’s business operations since October of 2012, replacing Erik Solér.
“My assignment upon becoming general manager of the Red Bulls was to help the club further increase its relevance in the Tri-State area," de Bontin said in a club statement. "We wanted to improve our performance both on and off the field so that our loyal fans as well as new fans would have a club that lived up to their expectations as the best club in MLS.
"I wish the club and staff success in the upcoming season and the future."
De Bontin's stated job description when he was first hired involved focusing on attendance and the business side for New York, while Red Bull head of global soccer Gérard Houllier was to focus on the sporting side.
According to the club, the search for de Bontin’s replacement is underway. The defending Supporters' Shield-winning Red Bulls open the 2014 season on Saturday at Vancouver (7:30 pm ET, TSN in Canada, MLS Live in US).