Sounders to let fans vote to keep or replace GM

AdianHanauer (Getty)

If you have ever wished you could vote to have the person who runs your favorite sports team fired, or kept, the Seattle Sounders are making that dream come true for their fans.

Sounders season-ticket holders and members of The Alliance, the club's official member assocation, will take part in an online vote to either retain general manger Adrian Hanauer (pictured on the left), or to replace him. The vote will take place from Oct. 7th to Dec. 7th.

The practice is patterned after the model of some European clubs, like FC Barcelona, which allow club members to vote on the position of club president.

What do you think of this move? Like the idea of letting fans vote? Would you vote to fire the people who currently run your favorite club?

Share your thoughts below.

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62 Responses to Sounders to let fans vote to keep or replace GM

  1. jacktackular says:

    You would have to be insane to want to fire Adrian Hanauer after what we have accomplished/become in four years

  2. ayzzy says:

    This article would be a lot more helpful if it included any kind of information on Hanauer’s performance, key signings, major failures, why it got to the point where they’d need to decide whether to keep him or not, etc.

  3. Old School says:

    Fans voting online?

    So, just throwing this out there: opposing players, owners and front office could presumably help cast a vote for the future employment of a Seattle Sounder executive?

    I thought it was a fun idea they borrowed (from Barca, iirc?) but don’t they at least cast some form of balloting or voting in person?

    Neat concept, the delivery leaves a lot to be desired imo. *Disclaimer: Not a Sounder fan in the least*

  4. rob says:

    @azzy It didn’t “get to a point where they needed to decide”, this vote happens every 4 yrs regardless of the club’s or gm’s performance.

  5. Raul says:

    The main point of the article is that fans have the ability to vote, not on how they should vote. I believe it’s done every couple of years.

  6. couchtoast says:

    This comment would be a lot more helpful if it realized the whole stunt is just about pandering to the Sounders fan base and not actually a referendum on how the guy is doing.

  7. rob says:

    @old-school No, you have to be a STH and your account number is only allowed one vote (unless you have more than one ST on that account I believe )

  8. couchtoast says:

    Ugh. Voting is limited to season ticket holders and members of supporter’s group.

  9. RLW2020 says:

    it says season ticket holders and members of the Alliance. I assume only they can vote and they have some system of ensuring that only they can vote.

  10. The Imperative Voice says:

    You mean won the “bid to host” cup and not much else? With your attendance and likely balance sheet you should be giving LA a run for its money but you’re not.

  11. Derek says:

    Come on Ives, you make it sound like they just decided to have a vote! This happens every four years, whether the GM is doing great or sucking.

  12. The Imperative Voice says:

    Sounds like a mixed bag. I know the stereotype is they have the skin in the game, but my feeling with STHs and SGs is with mediocre to good teams they trend status quo, even if the team’s not getting serious silverware. Too bought in already. Their skin in the game may make it hard for them to throw out too much of what they are paying to cheer/ involved in cheering for.

    Seattle is OK where with its setup they should kick ass. Fire Hanauer.

  13. Shawn says:

    This was agreed on from the beginning. Drew Carey made it contingent on his joining the ownership group, and was promised to the fans who bought into the Supporters Club all along.

    Glad they’re honoring the commitment, and I’d say they’re safe.

  14. Hooray! says:

    Glad Imperative Voice is not voting.

  15. NaranjaFanatic says:

    I know this was declared before the team ever took the field and I know this is a PR move (“look at us, we let our FANS vote on our GM!”) but this is really stupid. It makes it look like a clown show. Just look at all of our stupid comments on blogs like this. Do you really want the leadership of your club being decided on by guys like us? I don’t.

  16. dan says:

    This idea is beyond good- it’s fantastic. The concept is the wet dream of many fanbases.

  17. rusty says:

    No.. if he sucked– like Gavin Wilkinson — he’d be HISTORY

  18. peterjh says:

    The reason why it “got to the point” is because 4 years elapsed. The Sounders’ Alliance charter requires a vote every 4 years.

  19. Alejandro 10 says:

    If only we the fans of DC United could do the same… I know Kasper wouldn’t be with the team any longer.

  20. peterjh says:

    Why not. A lot of the folks on this blog can vote for the President, and I’d dare say that position has more impact than the GM of the Sounders.

  21. The Imperative Voice says:

    The problem is that by the level of crap product that the STH and SG revolt — IMO there’s probably a healthy amount of status quo fanboys in most STH and SG because of the requisite dedication to the cause (and the relative novelty of it all…..I think it might be different if we were talking Liverpool or Madrid fans right now, people not merely content to sing and take in the new thing of pro soccer)– traditional ownership groups and front offices would themselves be tossing people overboard. Portland, Toronto.

    I personally think Seattle is not as good as it should be and needs some kind of change. Surprisingly so-so for a Schmid team.

    I also think that there are probably many many more layers of Barca bureaucracy. I’m assuming their jefe is someone who you have to catch between lunches and golf outings. In comparison Seattle is probably leaner.

  22. g-dub says:

    Sounders STH here, and will be voting. I take this vote seriously. I’ll probably vote to retain Adrian but not before thinking about it twice.

    Good moves: Montero, Rosales, Alonso, big EJ gamble
    Busts: Nkufo, Ljundberg, Flaco as DP

    Good performance thus far for an expansion side 4 years in. But the expectation is that it’s time to win something other than the USOC with this nucleus this year or next.

  23. abc says:

    Great idea. Too bad Toronto, Chivas, Colorado, New England, New York, and Portland don’t have the same thing…

    He should win the vote easily unless the Sounders fans have gone completely mental.

  24. jlm says:

    dude, your list of so-called “good moves” were effing BRILLIANT moves. also, Ljundberg was not a total bust and Fernandez as a DP was not exactly detrimental either.

    complete neutral here, but if you are a sounders fan and even think about voting against him, you are crazy. maybe there is more to it than I realize of course

  25. Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

    Even as an informed fan I don’t think fans know more than GMs. Nice idea but is this to be taken seriously?

  26. vik says:

    Well, not sure whether this is a good or bad idea. Last year there was a sizeable majority of SJ fans who wanted GM John Doyle and HC Frank Yallop out. Had such opinions been expressed through a vote on management, maybe SJ would not be having such a good run this season. I’m not saying fans don’t know what they’re talking about, but their perspective can be short-sighted.

  27. Eugene says:

    I wouldn’t vote to fire Erik Soler from the Red Bulls, but I don’t know if Adrian Hanauer can survive this vote given that the club hasn’t reeled in an MLS Cup over the last few years since joining MLS. Someone has to pay for Seattle missing something every year.

  28. Lassidawg says:

    Last time I checked they are, and LAG has only had a few cap rules bent for them over the years.

  29. N1Yiddo says:

    “…and LAG has only had a few cap rules bent for them over the years.”

    That’s a stupid thing to say. The rules have been changed for everyone, not just the Galaxy. “Rules bent” implies the Galaxy received special treatment, which they didn’t.

  30. Jj says:

    At least in this vote I get to pick somebody I like whereas in the presidential election that is not the case.

  31. sounders season ticket holder says:

    Eugene doesn’t know what it’s talking about.

    This season ticket holder will be voting YES.

  32. Rod says:

    Seattle is the type of team that can bring in a big name DP and they haven’t since Day 1.

    They could be so much better if they acquired a quality Center Back to anchor the defense.

  33. Hr B says:

    While he wasn’t the same when he left, Ljungberg helped kick start the franchise and MLS 2.0 when he arrived.

  34. Sal says:

    He has had 4 years to fix the defense…

  35. FootyNut says:

    Yes, the rules changed for everyone, exactly when LAG needed it to to make a move. How funny how that turned out. Definitely just a coincidence. Not favoring or bending any rules at all for them.

  36. acj says:

    You mean the defense that’s given away the second fewest goals in the league?

  37. who said says:

    I doubt he’ll be removed.

  38. acj says:

    In the sounders four years of existence they’ve got the second most points of any team over that period. They’ve made the playoffs every season. They’ve made the champions league three times. They’ve gotten to the knock out stage of the champion’s league twice and they’ve won three US open cups. The only real knock on their record is that they haven’t won a playoff series yet, but that’s only a disappointment because the rest of the results have been so phenomenal.

  39. acj says:

    The defense has let in the second fewest goals in the league this year. If you take out a stretch where the starting keeper and his backup were both injured so the team started a 22 year old they’d be leading goals against by a large margin. Last year they were 4th best.

    Seriously where does that perception come from?

  40. Greg Sage says:

    WORD.. but that’s never going to satisfy the homers on this site. They’re the type who’ll buy a Beckham jersey when LA comes to play their side

  41. Paul says:

    Lots of misinformation here, so I’ll try and clear a few things up. (I’m the Sounders FC Alliance Council President, so I’ve got a pretty good inside view on this.)

    The vote will be audited by an accounting firm. One of the Council members is also an accountant/auditor, so he’ll be auditing the auditors.

    The vote will be using a third-party online voting provider. There are security methods in place to ensure the voting is on the up-and-up.

    We’ll also be doing voting in person at the stadium for games in the next couple of months. We’ll have tablets or netbooks or something (undetermined yet, someone at the Club is setting them up) and use them to log on to the vote site.

    Only Alliance members (and each season ticket comes with an Alliance membership) can vote, so we don’t have to worry about someone from the outside.

    The reality is that the Alliance, and the notion of “Democracy in Sports”, is something that is taking some time to grow- but being able to vote on your team’s GM is a pretty damn big deal.

    We have confidence that by getting a large representation of the Alliance overall, and the season ticket base, we’ll get a good result.

  42. N1Yiddo says:

    Silly fool, without the Galaxy making high profile moves the league would still be floundering about and your precious Sounders would still be in 2nd div.

  43. timmytwoshoezzz says:

    I’m no expert, but this doesn’t seem like the type of thing that makes MLS look very credible in the eyes of the general, non soccer-obsessed public. What a farce

  44. Neal says:

    This is not without precedent in US sports. The Green Bay Packers are owned by stockholders who are allowed to vote on the Board of Directors each year

  45. AtleticoUnionCity says:

    Frankly Timmy, i don’t give a flying f@@k what the general, non-soccer obsessed public think of this. This is a wonderful development in the progression of club futbol in the USA. This adds to the organization’s credibility as a football CLUB. Well done Sounders FC.

  46. Gnarls says:

    Can they vote out the artificial turf?

  47. RK says:

    Do you have to show a picture ID?

  48. Gnarls says:

    I disagree. Even to the non-fan, corporate accountability is (or should be) of the utmost importance. A soccer franchise is like a miniature corporation. The more fan (or customer) input, the better.

    I’d like to see more of this in soccer and other sports.

  49. Gnarls says:

    Wocka wocka! Oh, election season.

  50. Ceez says:

    see: FC Barcelona.

    A farce of a team.

  51. Charles says:

    Thank God it is only open to Sounder’s fans.

    One guy literally called this a farce ? wow.

    On a side note, the Sounders will not include “the big friendly” in the season ticket package. You have been able to opt out for a while, and they probably have one still, but with more leverage when negotiating with other teams.

    They have done many things correctly, Adrian is the reason

  52. Aguinaga says:

    If NY had this for our coaches, they wouldn’t be around long enough to be voted out, they’d just quit and run just beforehand.

  53. smash says:

    I think I recall they brought in some Swedish guy who used time be an underwear model, hmmm what’s his name? Oh yeah, Failburg or something. So yes they have tried, but failed. Also other Big name DPs have been approached they don’t want to play on your plastic pitch. Great organization and fans. It’s too bad you have to ruin it with a tire retread field

  54. Kejsare says:

    You can vote out a GM, but his replacement is not yours to make, no?

  55. Gnarls says:

    No one expects fans to know more than GMs. Fans need only be concerned with the success of the club. By any reasonable measure, Seattle is a successful organization, from wins to attendance to fan enthusiasm and loyalty.

    The vote will be a formality this time around, but maybe it won’t be in four years. It’s nice to have the option.

  56. Knuckles says:

    Why is that an “ugh”? I’m a STH, and I don’t want some idiot who goes to two matches a year and doesn’t know the name of the coach voting for the GM. They are giving the vote to those who have committed themselves to the team by buying those STH packages or becoming voting members of the Alliance.

    Also, you can vote both online and in person at CenturyLink Field.

  57. Knuckles says:

    No. You’re allowed multiple votes on your account if you have registered someone else with the club. I split my season tickets with a friend, and he is eligible to vote.

  58. Duran says:

    Llungberg was a success in his first season, but he was brought in even before Day 1 in MLS….nothing since

  59. Aguilar says:

    Defense has to be stronger in the playoffs

  60. Knuckles says:

    Flaco was disappointing at times, but anything but a bust. To think otherwise is silly. I wish we still had him.

  61. ayzzy says:

    True. Thanks to everyone’s replies for giving me some context for this news