Toronto fans are growing mighty restless with their previously beloved Major League Soccer franchise.Before the team ever took the field for its inaugural 2007 season, a group of hardcore fans formed the Red Patch Boys. The soccer hooligans sing vibrantly at home games, shower opposing players with streamers during corner kicks, travel by the thousands to road matches, and fill the stadium to the brink even as the on-field product sputters.
While the fans have built a community around the four-year-old football club, Toronto F.C. has made its obsession with the almighty dollar all too clear.
As a result, the New York Times says, there are problems.
It started with a last place record in the 2010. Then a Toronto Globe and Mail report showed that ticket prices were higher than those of Manchester United. Days later, the franchise raised ticket prices by as much as 34 per cent for the 2011 season.
The financial battle overflowed to the field when disgruntled team captain Dwayne De Rosario pretended to sign a check after scoring a goal, indicating his desire for a raise.
The fans feel alienated and have taken to the street.
The fan groups, organised and vocal, have felt as if they had an ownership-like stake in the team. This is not atypical in Europe and South America, where most clubs are historically rooted in a community and began as an affiliation of players and supporters. There, loyalty means influence. In M.L.S., though, every club is a business franchise, created, owned and operated by a corporation. The fans are customers, not stakeholders.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.