Our members, Vancouver Southsiders, have been working non-stop to work with the club in regards to the scandals surrounding the club. We asked for them to give us an update on happenings during May so that we may keep up with what is going on. Please read all the information provided to us below.
Supporters met with ownership and executives for the second time May 7th, to discuss the walkout protests and the scandals surrounding the club. In that meeting, we pleaded with them to engage with their former players on their terms. This meant setting up a meeting between ownership and the former players without the Whitecaps executives involvement, as some of them were the same people who were in charge back in 2007/2008. We also pleaded with them to reconsider their media strategy of silence & avoidance. That meeting ended in an impasse, though we were told to expect an announcement from the Whitecaps on an independent review they were commissioning "withing a couple of weeks".
Supporters groups held two more protest walkouts after that meeting, including during the May 10th Cascadia Cup match between Vancouver and Portland. We were very grateful for the support of the travelling members of Timbers Army who chose to join our walkout en masse.
The next notable event happened May 20th, when a meeting between Whitecaps owners Greg Kerfoot and Jeff Mallett, as well as former players was held. Supporters did not learn of this meeting until a few days later when the former players that we continue to be in contact with filled us in. Ciara McCormack talks about the meeting in a May 27th blog post here: https://ciaramccormack.com/2019/05/27/3-months-after-the-blog-a-meeting-with-whitecaps-owners-a-massive-thank-you/
May 25th was the Whitecaps Pride match. No walkout was held, instead we asked people to shine a light on their phone for the 35th minute, as a symbolic gesture of support & recognition of victims of harassment and abuse in sport. The gesture also shows that we're still watching the Whitecaps actions closely.
May 27th started with Ciara publishing her blog post (linked above), and also included the expected announcement from the Whitecaps regarding the independent review they are commissioning.
The Whitecaps detailed announcement can be found here: https://www.whitecapsfc.com/post/2019/05/27/whitecaps-fc-retains-nationally-recognized-sport-management-group
The Southsiders have already published a list of topics and questions that we want answered by the review, and we will be contacting the Sport Law & Strategy Group soon to make sure they're aware of our concerns. The list can be found here: https://vancouversouthsiders.ca/2019/05/supporters-questions-for-whitecaps-executives-ownership-stemming-from/