The Portland Timbers and Portland Thorns announced today that president of soccer Gavin Wilkinson and president of business Mike Golub have both been relieved of their duties from PTFC, effective today.
President of Soccer Gavin Wilkinson and President of Business Mike Golub relieved of their duties— X - Portland Thorns FC (@ThornsFC) October 5, 2022
The announcement comes one day after Timbers and Thorns owner & CEO Merritt Paulson announced he, along with Golub and Wilkinson, were “stepping away” from Thorns-related decision making.
This all comes on the heels of a damning report from the investigation from U.S. Soccer into the NWSL abuse scandals led by Sally Yates, which was released on Monday. The investigation revealed the full extent of the systemic culture of abuse within women’s soccer in the U.S., and also painted the fullest picture yet of the role the Thorns played in the mishandling of the allegations against Paul Riley.
After the release of the report, pressure started to rapidly mount against Wilkinson, Golub, and Paulson. The 107IST, Timbers Army, and Rose City Riveters called for the ousting of Wilkinson and Golub from both clubs, along with a sale of both clubs by Paulson.
United States Women’s National Team captain and Thorns defender Becky Sauerbrunn also expressed during a press conference that every executive named in the report who failed to protect the players or fully cooperate with investigations “should be gone.”
Sauebrunn continued: "It's my opinion that every owner and executive and U.S. Soccer official who has repeatedly failed the players and failed to protect the players, who have hidden behind legalities and have not participated in these investigations, should be gone." #NWSL— Jeff Kassouf (@JeffKassouf) October 4, 2022
Now, both Wilkinson and Golub are out of PTFC.
Current Timbers technical director Ned Grabavoy will oversee Timbers soccer operations, while Thorns General Manager Karina LeBlanc will continue to over see Thorns soccer operations.
Wilkinson had been with the Timbers since 2001, working as a player, manager, and then technical director. Golub had been with the the Timbers organization since 2009.
Paulson still remains as of now as owner and CEO of both clubs, and the club announced that pursuant of the announcement yesterday of him stepping away from Thorns decision making, general counsel Heather Davis has stepped into the interim president role of Peregrine Sports— the company that oversees business operations for both the Timbers and Thorns.
You can read the full press release from the Timbers and Thorns here.