— Jason deVos (@jasondevos) March 6, 2013
Don Garber in July 2012:
Let’s put Mellberg aside. The league hasn’t nixed that, Toronto has decided that economically it didn’t make sense for them, and at the end of the day it was a decision that they felt was in their best interest.
Don Garber in March 2013:
Our view on Mellberg was that it was just not a decision that would be smart for TFC, or smart for the league as a whole. We are hesitant to ever say no but are really strong in assuring that we work with our clubs to have them make good decisions.
Now before we get into WHAT THIS MEANS, I should state that I still stand by my column last year which excoriated Cathal Kelly for his article on Toronto FC under Paul Mariner. I agree with 11.ca’s take at the time that whatever happened to the deal, it was very poorly conceived. Clubs cannot simply act as if they’re in England without the weird vagaries of single-entity. Toronto FC’s so-called “shock” considering the factors at play was disingenuous at best.
However, Don Garber clearly said one thing in July 2012, and another thing in March 2013. Mellberg is history, but this isn’t effective damage control, nor will it fill already skeptical fans with much faith that the league will operate transparently in these deals.