Connect with us

Sporting KC

Sporting Kansas City Release Gavin Wilkinson



Following a turbulent week of negative reaction from the fan base, Sporting Kansas City announced they have released Gavin Wilkinson from his newly-hired position as Sporting Director.

In a statement released Friday, Sporting Kansas City owner Mike Illig said that the club mutually agreed with Wilkinson on his release, explaining that it was the strong response from fans which led them to this decision.

“We ran a diligent and exhaustive process to identify our new Sporting Director. It was grounded in the deeply-held principles and standards we have adhered to since the day we acquired the team.

That said, the impassioned response from our fans reinforced to us a fundamental philosophy that has driven us since Day One: To honor and protect our valued relationships. It is in that spirit that we take this action today, reflective of our abiding appreciation for our unrivaled SKC fans and our Kansas City community.”

Gavin Wilkinson was named as Sporting Kansas City’s new Sporting Director just last Thursday, January 11. Previously a member of the front office for both the Portland Timbers and Portland Thorns, Wilkinson had been mentioned in Sally Q. Yates’s report on misconduct and sexual abuse in US Soccer, with allegations of advocating for former Portland Thorns head coach Paul Riley to be hired as head coach of the Western New York Flash, despite Riley’s termination from the Thorns as a result of misconduct. There was also a mishandling Andy Polo’s domestic violence case, which led to a fine from Major League Soccer. Wilkinson was eventually fired by the Portland Timbers following the release of the Yates report.

The hire drew immediate backlash from supporters, with multiple season ticket holders publicly threatening to cancel their tickets. The Cauldron released a statement following the hire that they had approached the front office conveying fans’ displeasure and the Ladies of SKC called the Wilkinson move “a slap in the face.”

Supporters Groups released statements affirming the decision to release Wilkinson following the announcement from Sporting Kansas City.

From an on-field perspective, there is no word yet on whether the club will seek another Sporting Director. In the move last week, Peter Vermes was named Chief Soccer Officer and Manager. Brian Bliss continues as Technical Director & Vice President of Player Personnel.


Recent Comments

KC Soccer Journal in your Inbox!

Be the first to know when news breaks, sign up to get all of our posts sent directly to your inbox.


Follow us on Twitter