The former D.C. United executive is joined by chief scout Pat Onstad and director of team & player operations Earl Cochrane as TFC front office members who have exited the club.Updated on Thursday, Sept. 5, at 10:24 a.m. EDT.
The Kevin Payne era in Toronto is over.
Toronto FC announced Thursday that, less than 10 months after he had joined the beleaguered club, Payne is no longer the team's president and general manager.
Sources confirmed to Goal that chief scout Pat Onstad and director of team & player operations Earl Cochrane have also left the club, with the latter departing on his own accord.
Payne was hired in Nov. 2012 as the club's first ever president after residing over D.C. United for 17 seasons. He brought Onstad, a former Canadian international who had worked as an assistant coach at D.C., into the TFC fold weeks later.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Toronto and with TFC,” Payne said in a statement. “This is a great city and the team's supporters are terrific. I'm proud of the foundation we have built and am confident the team is well positioned for significant improvement. I understand, though, that [Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment CEO] Tim [Leiweke] wants to move forward in a certain way, and it's best for all if we part ways. My departure is amicable, and I continue to have great respect and affection for MLSE and everyone at TFC”.
Leiweke will begin the search for Payne's replacement immediately, but head coach Ryan Nelsen's job appears to be safe. Nelsen was hired by Payne in January, when he was still under contract as a defender for then-Premier League side Queens Park Rangers.
The rookie TFC coach and his former boss had become increasingly at odds over the club's direction, which is said to be part of the reason for Payne's departure.