Toronto FC has fired coach Aron Winter, replacing him with Paul Mariner, who has been with the club since January 2011 as Director of Player Development.
Aron Winter is out as Toronto FC head coach, and Paul Mariner is in.
Tom Anselmi, chief operating officer for Toronto FC’s ownership group, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, told reporters at a press conference Thursday afternoon that despite the organization telling Winter he could no longer coach, the Dutchman was offered another role at the club.
“My job is to put the right people in place, give them the resources, and let them do their thing,” Anselmi said. “We turned the keys over to Aron and this group of people and it hasn’t been working. Our job is to also hold people accountable, and 44 games, seven wins, that’s just not good enough.”
Despite Winter’s poor Major League Soccer record since his appointment in January 2011, he did enjoy success in cup competitions.
Under his leadership, TFC won back-to-back Canadian Championship titles, and made it to the semifinals of the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League, eventually losing to Mexican side Santos Laguna 7-3 on aggregate.
Mariner, the club’s new head coach, has been with Toronto since January 2011 as Director of Player Development. He becomes the club’s seventh coach in just its sixth season.
The former England international was an assistant with the New England Revolution from 2004-09, and his only time as a manager before this was at English side Plymouth Argyle in the 2009-10 season. In that instance, Mariner took over a struggling Plymouth and had half a season to save the team from relegation, but couldn’t manage to do it, as the club fell to England’s third tier.
While Winter wanted to bring a certain free-flowing style to Toronto, Mariner spoke in more practical terms while addressing the media for the first time.
“We have to get results, it’s very simple,” Mariner told reporters Thursday. “I think the philosophy of most fans throughout the world, is that if we’re getting points, if we’re getting wins, the style isn’t that important. This is the sharp, sharp end of football.”
Mariner takes charge of his first match June 16 on the road against Sporting Kansas City.