Goudie: firing Desjardins was a ‘tough decision’ but record was ‘not good enough’

Photo courtesy: TD Place

Marcel Desjardins felt the Ottawa Redblacks made a “mistake” firing him on Monday morning and OSEG President & CEO Mark Goudie admitted that it wasn’t an easy move to make.

“It’s a tough decision with a guy I have a ton of respect for. He’s done nothing but his best and has been truly, truly committed to the Redblacks for the nine years he was with us,” Goudie told Tim Baines of the Ottawa Sun. “At the end of the day, you look at our record over the past couple of years – it’s just not good enough.”

Jeremy Snyder, who has been with the organization since 2013, will serve as the team’s interim general manager until the end of the 2021 season, while Jean-Marc Edmé will assume the role of interim assistant general manager.

“The way we run our football operations is very hands off from a management perspective. For all our sports properties, we’ve hired people we have confidence in and give them carte blanche to run their organizations,” said Goudie.

“I got to a place where I felt I was not going to be able to have 100 per cent confidence in what came next for the Redblacks going into next season. That’s not a fair position for somebody to operate in. So we decided to make that decision now that we’re officially eliminated from the playoffs and start preparations for next season.”

Ottawa has had a miserable season thus far and sit last in the East Division with a 2-9 record following a 32-3 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Saturday. They’ve officially been eliminated from playoff contention for the second consecutive season after finishing 2019 at 3-15.

“Everybody knew coming out of 2019 the next season was going to be very important for the Redblacks,” said Goudie. “My hope and my expectation was we were going to get back to where we needed to be, which is being perpetually competitive and hosting home playoff games. That didn’t happen.”

The veteran administrator hasn’t made any decisions regarding Desjardins’ long-term replacement, indicating that there will be a full review period before the club decides who will be the next general manager.

“Given that we’ve been so hands off, this gives us a longer runway until we understand what we need to do as an organization to get to where we need to be,” said Goudie. “I expect (Snyder and Edmé) have aspirations to continue to climb the ladder in terms of football management.”