CARSON, Calif. (AP) — The LA Galaxy have fired president Chris Klein with the five-time Major League Soccer champion franchise sitting at the bottom of the overall standings.
The Galaxy announced the decision Tuesday to part ways with Klein, a former Galaxy player. He had been the team’s president since 2013, presiding over its steady decline over the past decade and becoming the primary foes of its frustrated fans’ ire.
Dan Beckerman, who runs the sports and entertainment conglomerate that owns the Galaxy, said the team has “not achieved our goals or met the standard that we have established for the LA Galaxy.”
“We believe it is in the best interest of the club to make a change and begin a comprehensive process to seek new leadership that will return the club to the level that our fans and partners expect,” Beckerman added in a statement.
Head coach Greg Vanney, who has been in charge of soccer operations since Klein’s suspension last December for financial misdeeds, will continue to report directly to Beckerman, the president and CEO of Anschutz Entertainment Group.
Klein was the target this year of several Galaxy fan organizations infuriated by the team’s miserable recent seasons and its inability to return to contention despite one of MLS’ biggest payrolls. The fan groups threatened to boycott the team if Klein stayed in charge, and they followed through on the threat to varying degrees in recent months.
Klein wrote a letter to Galaxy supporters last month promising to step down if the Galaxy didn’t make the playoffs this season, but the club decided it couldn’t wait any longer for a shakeup.
The Galaxy have missed the MLS playoffs in five of the past six seasons, and they haven’t finished higher than sixth in the overall MLS standings since 2014, the year of its last championship.
The franchise that once won titles with Landon Donovan, David Beckham and Robbie Keane has become an annual disappointment despite the recent additions of high-profile international forwards Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Javier “Chicharito” Hernández, the Galaxy’s current top star.
The Galaxy are 2-9-3 this season with an MLS-worst nine points at the bottom of the Western Conference.
The Galaxy were fined $1 million last December when Klein was suspended over the team’s undisclosed payments to Argentine forward Cristian Pavón in 2019. The club also was prohibited from acquiring international players in the upcoming summer transfer window.
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