In 2019, CF Montreal owner Joey Saputo revealed his organization’s plans to modernize Stade Saputo. Since then, nothing has been done.
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On Tuesday, Major League Soccer (MLS) Commissioner Don Garber came to the defense of the 57-year-old businessman when he questioned 98.5 FM reporter Jeremy Vilosa.
“I think we all know how much Joey Saputo cares about the popularity of football in Canada and the success of his team,” Garber said first. However, he would like to be able to offer a stadium for the fans that makes his team shine, for example like BMO Stadium or Field in Toronto, or like other stadiums here in the United States.
He then added, “There are many pitfalls in front of him. Her agreement for the stadium is unique and practically prevents her from investing more money there to continue providing the most modern experience to the fans. I know Joey wants to move on and he’s very frustrated. But we limit him to what he can do, It still has to remain logical and financially sane.
The pitfalls the commissioner is talking about seem to come from the city of Montreal, the Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve district and the Olympic Park. They all have their say regarding any changes made to Stade Saputo.
“Successful” change of identity
Not only is it his home setting that is not rosy in Montreal. The club has been without a president since Kevin Gilmore resigned in November. The latter was taken on by the club’s supporters after the organization embarked on a change of identity by giving up the “Impact” name in favor of CF Montreal.
Speaking of Montreal fans, some of them – Ultras of Section 132 – were banned from Stade Saputo last September. There has not yet been a reconciliation between the club and the group of fans.
Never mind, Joey Saboto is the guy for the Garber job.
“He’s also had difficulties on an organizational level, it’s true, but he recently showed us his business plan and also the identity change, which is now successful in my opinion. He’s working hard so that his club can go to the next level,” the MFL commissioner said.
Not a gang of retirees
On the other hand, Garber said he appreciates the interest of football stars like Neymar and Lionel Messi in his circle. However, he made it clear that he does not like MLS to be seen as a “retirement” league.
“We don’t need to bring in a great player at the end of his career because he decided to retire from MLS,” Garber said.
“We want our story to revolve around young players who come here at the beginning or at the height of their career, making our department their preferred choice.”
On YouTube’s “Fenômenos” on Saturday, Neymar said he “very much would like to play in the United States, for at least one season”.
“It’s a shorter tournament, with three or four months off. That way, we can play for many more years,” he added, before breaking out in laughter.
Neymar, 30, currently has a valid contract with Paris Saint-Germain until 2025.