Why should fans be left with "management issues" as the only reason? Packers fans have been way too financially supportive and committed to the publicly owned organization to be kept in the dark on this important issue.
The Packers owe it to their ever-supportive fan base to offer more specifics on this decision involving Jones, but apparently legal issues are getting in the way. What?
Maybe ‘the' real reason, or reasons, why Jones will never lead the Packers as chief executive officer will leak out of 1265 Lombardi Ave., but should it have to come to that? C'mon. After hanging around Lambeau Field for Harlan's press conferences over the Memorial Day weekend, as the Packers tried to cover up the news, and on Wednesday, it seems clear that Jones simply wasn't getting along with fellow employees at Packers headquarters.
That's the only hunch I'm getting from an organization that doesn't always seem to communicate well within its own walls.
Harlan would only go as far as describing "incidents" and "problems" as the reason for his decision to approach the organization's seven-member executive committee in recent weeks. That committee then decided enough was enough and pulled the plug on Jones step to the top of the organization. Think about it, does every boss always get along well with every employee in whatever business they're in? Probably not. So why can a guy that you've groomed for the last seven years?
"I had had some incidents myself with John, so I knew that a problem existed, but I wanted the staff to let me know what its everyday workings were, and when those problems continued to exist, I felt it was time to go to the executive committee," Harlan said.
Harlan said that other staff members informed him of "problems" with Jones. What those problems were is perplexing. Too demanding? Too degrading? Maybe other employees were a too spoiled with Harlan's style of management. If they were expecting the same out of Jones, they obviously were surprised. Are the Packers passing on Jones because of a few employees that report to him didn't like working with him? Seems immature. Seems like an over-reaction.
Whatever the case, now the team will have to act out of haste to seek a chief executive officer "who is well schooled in the NFL and knows the ownership, and knows the league office, and knows just what is going on in the league with stadiums," Harlan said. "Stadiums are increasing again as teams are moving into new stadiums. A great awareness of the league and knowledge of the league (is needed). You can't take a lot of time to teach somebody what the National Football League is all about. You need someone who has got that knowledge and is ready can step in and move forward right away."
Huh? Doesn't Jones have all those qualities? Wasn't it Jones and Harlan who led the crusade to convince Brown County taxpayers, including this one, that a sales tax is needed to keep football in Green Bay. Jones, having worked in the league office for 10 years, knows the NFL as well as anyone. He has been a longtime Packers fan and has a deep passion for the team. Plus, he has worked within the organization the past seven years. So now he begins the set the table the way he wants, and suddenly that's not good enough?
A subscriber emailed me the other day and suggested that Harlan seems to be having a tough time of letting go as team president, and that indeed may be the case. The subscriber also suggested that Harlan stay completely out of the search for a new CEO, but that won't be the case. Since Harlan is still a member of the executive committee, he will have input on the decision, though, he says it will be the committee's decision. Somehow, that's tough to believe. Harlan's involvement in the search may not be best for the Packers organization at this point.
So Jones rubs a few employees the wrong way, and now he's out? This is difficult to figure out and simply doesn't make sense. What's more, it will cost the Packers millions. First, they will have to come to a settlement with Jones, then pay the new guy.
However, they'll let you know exactly why they will have to raise ticket prices every other year, and why they charge what they do for seat license fees and luxury boxes.
Packers fans deserve a better explanation.
Todd Korth is managing editor of PackerReport.com and Packer Report magazine. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.