December 10, 2012
MORE FROM DE BONTIN
Red Bulls GM on his business experience, college draft system
Besides talking about Major League Soccer expansion and attendance, Red Bulls general manager Jerome de Bontin also tackled several other subjects with Deirdre Bolton on Bloomberg Television's "Money Moves" on Monday.
Among de Bontin's other thoughts:
On becoming Red Bulls GM:
"It is been quite busy…The past three months have been quite active. As you know, the season didn't end until November. In the meantime, we had a few tragedies in our club with the assassination of one of our coaches, Michael Jones, in early October. Then obviously we dealt with Hurricane Sandy and then the snowstorm, not to mention the end of the season. So it has been quite active and quite busy. Now the season is over, we're going to remain quite busy preparing for the next season."
On his business experience what he can do to make the team more profitable:
"First I have to recognize that it is a growth play here in United States. Soccer continues to grow. The league has done a fantastic job over the past 17 years and we look forward to growing with the league. We think to get more people in the stands and to get TV ratings up, we need to embrace all aspects of the soccer community. We need to reach out more to our local community, obviously New York and New Jersey. We need to reach out to all soccer players of all ages and all sex, because everybody plays soccer. 20 million people play, boys and girls, all ages. I started at 5--I'm 55 and I continue to play. There are many people out there who play and who don't yet come to a game. I have to focus on those people so that eventually every one of our games is a sellout."
On the college draft system:
"Let me congratulate the people from Indiana. Yesterday was the college cup and Indiana won 1-0. I played in college. College has a role to play. Soccer needs to be embraced at all levels, from the five-year-old to the 55-year-old. The schools and academies need to be looked at. We need to look at what goes into the process of developing players between the age of five and 21 or 22 when they come into the professional rank. At the New York Red Bulls we will probably focus more on college and the draft than our predecessors did."