On Wednesday, Chivas de Guadalajara owner Jorge Vergara held an impromptu press conference at the team’s Verde Valle facilities. In a room with first-team players, assembled media and other members of the club, Vergara surprised everyone with a mea culpa and admitted to making mistakes, vowing to change and improve his ways in order for the team to have success on the field.
As a man who does not lack confidence or bravado, what stood out from Vergara’s press conference was the tone in which he delivered his message. It was a tone of being resigned to accepting the reality of the situation around him which, at this moment, is dire even with a coaching change.
After the press conference, what is next for Chivas and for Vergara?
Now there are cynics out there who will state that what we saw and heard from Vergara on Wednesday was nothing more than a stunt, a publicity ploy to try and make fans of Chivas believe his words so they can once again go back to the stadium and boost what has been slumping game attendance and television ratings in the last year.
I acknowledge and agree that Vergara is trying to remedy a bad situation on the economic front; that said, I am willing to take the man at his word.
What I saw was a man, beaten down and somber to the point where the reality of what Chivas is as a team right now is one even he cannot spin into a positive. In essence, he finally fell on the sword by accepting that things are bad and need to change. Even if this is all part of Vergara’s plan to improve the commercial and economic appeal of the most supported club in Mexico, his brand cannot flourish if the on-field product does not improve.
Now the question is, what does Vergara do or attempt to do in order to fix the issues that have led Chivas to be at the point now where it must worry about being close to the relegation zone?
For starters, Vergara must let the people he hired do their jobs. Too often in his 11-year tenure as the owner of Chivas, Vergara has fired very good people or seem them leave their positions because of his actions.
For Chivas to get out of the situation it is in right now, Vergara must continue to let Dennis te Klosse do his job as a sporting director, and let coach Juan Carlos Ortega do his job to change things around on the field. While this is not some remedy/formula to go about improving things, it is the only way things will change for the better for Chivas.
The best evidence of this is rival Club America, who after several years of mismanagement and bad decisions, finally hit on a formula with Ricardo Pelaez as sporting director and Miguel Herrera as coach. Right now, they are by far the best team in Mexico.
While time will only tell if Vergara’s admission leads to significant change for better, he has at least taken the first step. In order to change, one must admit their mistakes, and Jorge Vergara has done that.