Things are not quite so rosy in the City of Roses.

The Portland Timbers have one of the most passionate fanbases in MLS and things boiled over on Twitter after they were defeated on Tuesday night.  The 3-1 defeat to Olimpia in Honduras knocked them out of the CONCACAF Champions League on goal differential.  With the Timbers on the outside looking in for the MLS Cup Playoffs with the final week of the season approaching, it represents the end of any likely trophy hopes for this season.

After the game, the Timbers Army supporters group voiced their frustration on Twitter with the team’s front office and the season as a whole.

Timbers owner Merritt Paulson was not very happy with the public criticism.  In a since-deleted tweet, he told his leading supporters group, in no uncertain terms, to “shut the f— up.”


Ironically enough, that very same day The Oregonian published an article saying that the Timbers and Timbers Army had become the “ideal model” for the sports world.  It even cited the working relationship between the franchise and the fanbase.  Yikes.

After sleeping on it, Paulson expounded further on his Twitter account this morning:

In a weird way, it’s somewhat refreshing to see both a supporters group and an owner freely speaking their mind in public and not hiding behind faux contentment.  The Timbers have one of the best fan cultures in professional sports.  That’s why everyone is flocking to Portland to see how they can duplicate it and bring that success and passion to their cities.  Both sides should be frustrated with the 2014 campaign, especially after a 2013 season that saw quite a bit of success.

Buuuuut… sometimes discretion truly is the better part of valor.

If the owner of one of my favorite teams told fellow fans to “STFU” I would question whether or not I really needed to dedicate time, money, and interest in that team.  An owner telling his largest supporters group, and one of the most prominent supporters groups in MLS, to “STFU” isn’t a good look and it’s not going to do anything to continue to better the culture in Portland.  This takes the whole concept of “fan relations” to a very strange place.

About Matt Yoder

Award winning sportswriter at The Comeback and Awful Announcing. The biggest cat in the whole wide world.

71 thoughts on “Portland Timbers owner tells Timbers Army “STFU”

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