Adrian Hanauer has essentially offered Seattle Sounders FC season ticket holders their money back.
In the wake of the worst loss in franchise history – a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of league-leading Los Angeles Galaxy – the Sounders general manager has quickly and publically made it clear that the performance is not indicative of the product the organization seeks to give Seattle.
“[The performance by Seattle against Los Angeles] last night wasn’t good enough,” Hanauer said, in a statement released on Sunday. “The effort wasn’t good enough. The execution wasn’t good enough. The heart wasn’t good enough. The passion wasn’t good enough. The only thing that was good enough was our fans. So we decided that we’re going to give our fans their money back for that game.”
“It’ll come in the form of credit against next year’s season tickets because we want people in for the long haul. It just wasn’t good enough. It’s not a precedent. We don’t plan on giving people money back every time we have a bad game. But as the owners of the club, we reserve the right to do whatever we think we need to do to treat our fans the way they’ve treated us.”
Hanauer, in the statement, also called the performance “embarrassing” and “humiliating.”
Seattle has some of the best fans in professional sport, and the respect the organization has given them is a big reason why. There may be no greater sign of respect than an organization figurehead showing that the club’s leadership, at the time when the franchise is at a low, has the fanbase at the forefront of his thinking.
That said, there is a bit of irony in the reaction: Seattle was not as bad as the score indicates. The Sounders were below their own lofty standards and surely are nowhere near the level of the Galaxy (who are in their own world, at the moment), but the 0-4 result was a big generous to Los Angeles. Seattle were closer to equals than vanquished in the first half, and the second half goals which put the Galaxy out of reach came on set pieces – the Omar Gonzalez goal being near-perfect in its execution.
Los Angeles did not run all over Seattle. This match had the feeling of a 2-0 rather than a 4-0.
Even if that is the case, Hanauer’s statement to the fans tells the team that there’ll be no excuses. The Sounders are not producing the desired product, according to the club’s decision makers.
But what do you think? I suppose we can all agree that this is a great gesture on the part of SSFC, but is it too much? Did Seattle’s weekend performance justify this step by management?