Chicago Fire FC announces changes to club management


CHICAGO (Oct 18, 2022) – Chicago Fire FC today announced a series of leadership changes at the club.

The club has exercised the 2023 contract options of sporting director Georg Heitz and technical director Sebastian Pelzer. The 2023 season will mark Heitz and Pelzer’s fourth campaign in Chicago.

Additionally, Ishwara Glassman Chrein will step down as President of Business Operations for personal reasons. FC Lugano CEO Martin Blaser will serve as interim president of commercial operations, overseeing the commercial functions of both organisations.

“I’m thrilled to have Georg and Sebastian back in 2023,” said owner and president Joe Mansueto. “As we approach next season, we feel we have established a solid foundation with a new coaching staff, led by Ezra Hendrickson, and a core group of players to build around.

Initially joining the Fire in December 2019, Heitz and Pelzer are tasked with overseeing the club’s football operations.

During their first three seasons in Chicago, the Club achieved several successes and milestones such as:

On the business side, Glassman Chrein leaves the organization after expanding the Club’s front office relationships within Chicago’s corporate and civic communities during his tenure.

“I am grateful to have had the opportunity to be President of the Chicago Fire. I loved my time at the Fire and would like to thank Joe Mansueto, the staff, players, fans, sponsors and the City of Chicago for such a warm welcome to me and my family,” Glassman Chrein said. “I’m so proud of the progress the Fire has made over the past 18 months, and I’ll always be a fan. my role at the Fire, it has been extremely difficult for my family and I to be away from our home, close friends and family in New York. With the offseason now underway, it was a good time to make the transition back home and pursue other opportunities. I wish nothing but the best for the future of the Club and will continue to support the Fire from afar.

“Ishwara has expressed his desire to leave his position in order to be closer to his family, and I support this decision,” added Mansueto. “I enjoyed working with Ishwara and appreciated all his efforts to develop the business side of the Club. We wish Ishwara and her family all the best for the future.

Blaser, who was appointed CEO of FC Lugano in August 2021, brings over 30 years of experience in the sports and entertainment industry. In his first season with the Club, FC Lugano won the Swiss Cup for the first time in nearly 30 years, beating St. Gallen 4-1 at the Wankdorf Stadium on May 15.

“I had the opportunity to work with Martin over the past year and was impressed with his work at FC Lugano,” Mansueto continued. “Given his extensive industry experience and the synergies that already exist between the two Clubs, we felt that Martin was the right person to lead the business operations of the Fire during this transition.”


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