The New England Revolution announced this morning that they have re-organized their management structure in an effort to facilitate an upswing in club fortunes after two dismal seasons. Basically, it looks as though the Revs have heard some of the criticisms levied at them about the opacity of their front office chain of command - or at least they came to realize on their own that it's muddy, confusing, and ineffectual. Thus, the following moves were made:
Brian Bilello has been promoted from COO to the President of the New England Revolution. This puts him as the man at the top, overseeing all aspects of Revolution business activities and soccer operations. It also means he's solely concerned with the Revolution now - he has surrendered all leadership roles pertaining to the rest of Kraft Sports Group.
That's a move I'm a fan of, and not just because I think Bilello is a good guy. In conversations with him, I get the sense that there's a passion behind him and a frustration with the status quo within the organization. I didn't like what I heard about his handling of Fortgate, to be sure, but otherwise I think he's been a pretty good COO and giving him the freedom and authority to take a greater hand in things is a quality decision. Plus, he'll be a much more visible figurehead for the organization than they've had in some time, considering that he essentially succeeds Sunil Gulati, who is also at the top of USSF and a Columbia law professor.
Mike Burns has also been promoted to General Manager. According to the press release, "Burns will now lead all aspects of the club's soccer operations, which includes coaching staff and player acquisitions." As I have said before, Burns never had this level of authority in the organization. Now we will get to see the type of FO executive he really is, for better or for worse. I still think he needs extensive PR training, but that's not at issue here.
The only other person who seems to be affected by this is Sunil Gulati, who will apparently be retained as a special adviser to the Kraft Group and Kraft family. I'm not sure exactly what that means, but I am betting that very little about what he does is going to change, since he was mostly invisible to begin with anyway.
All we're really missing now is a technical director (optional, really) and a head coach, and the Revolution will actually start looking like a real team! In terms of structure, anyway. I'm hoping to join a 12:30 conference call with Bilello to go over all the changes, so I might have more on this later on tonight.