Two weeks after the Red Bulls dismissed GM Erik Soler during the thick of the team’s push for the playoffs, head coach Hans Backe has told a Swedish sports outlet that he will not return to the club next season.
“My contract runs out and I have not heard anything, so I will be moving home (Sweden) in December,” Backe said to SportExpressen yesterday.
So there you have it—sweep up the floor and turn out the lights, the season’s over.
What’s that? Oh, there are two games left? A playoff spot still remains to be clinched (or not)?
What is wrong with this organization’s sense of timing?
Before Soler was let go, they were battling for first place and had lost just once in their previous eight matches. Since his dismissal, they’ve lost a pivotal matchup at home against Chicago, slipped to fourth place, and heard their coach say he’s finished at the club.
Backe’s comments look like the last link in a chain of events that RBNY set in motion (intentionally or not, and, really, either way is pretty much equally damning) when the club shuffled Soler out the door. Soon after that, Soler’s replacement, Jerome de Bontin, gave a ringing non-endorsement of Backe, telling the press, “We’re unequivocally behind Hans until the end of the season.”
That line should have come with a pause after ‘Hans’ and a rimshot (ba-dum-dum) after ‘season.’ Seriously, what an insult; it’s no surprise that Backe is returning the favor in public, through the media.
Of course, the ones bearing the brunt of this mismanagement are the players and more importantly, the fans, who’ve suffered through 16 previous years of this kind of nonsense only to have it rear its head right at the moment it looked like the club had turned a corner.
Was there any reason all of this couldn’t have waited till, you know, after the season?