Montreal Impact Relieve Nick De Santis Of Functions


Montreal Impact owner and President Joey Saputo announced on Wednesday that Sporting Director Nick De Santis has been relieved of his duties.

The decision – which has long been rumoured to be coming – comes in the mist of a poor season for the Impact, where they are last in the Eastern Conference and have only managed three wins.

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“In business, the most difficult decisions to make are those involving emotions,” Saputo told the media at a press conference. “This is why, today, I am forced to make this decision with a heavy heart.

“I want to thank Nick for his dedication. He was a key element and architect of the organization and one of the reason we are in the MLS today,” Mr. Saputo said. “He’s acted as not only a great advisor, but was also a friend. However, we are in a results based business. Since July 2013, the reults are not at the level of our expectations.”

May 25, 2013; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Impact sporting director Nick De Santis and his children are introduced in a ceremony honouring the 2004 championship before the game against the Philadelphia Union at Stade Saputo. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

De Santis has been a staple in the Montreal soccer community for more than 25 years. He started his career as a midfielder with the Montreal Supra in 1988. The Supra folded in 1992, but De Santis was back in Montreal the next year as a member of the newly-formed Montreal Impact.

The Montreal native had a successful, ten year career as a player with the Impact, before becoming the club’s manager in 2004. He had an impressive 56.25% winning percentage at the time he stepped down as manager in 2008.

De Santis earned nine international caps with Canada over his career and Saputo said that the 46-year-old will be staying on board, but only in an administrative role.

Saputo also added that head coach Frank Klopas will be staying with the Impact through the 2015 Major League Soccer season. Klopas will also resume his role as Director of Player Personnel for the remainder of this year and up until the start of the next campaign.

In the end, De Santis will be missed. But it was a change that had to be made.