Fans worried 49ers franchise in meltdown

December 27, 2010 8:11:17 PM PST
By his own admission, the 49ers' team president Jed York says he's focused on "building the franchise" as he talked to reporters at the team's headquarters in Santa Clara Monday.

He is looking for a new general manager and a new head coach. However, there are 49er fans who worry the franchise is in meltdown. Deborah Bress, a Santa Clara resident, is one of them. She points the finger at the ownership, which she says is destroying an organization that once was a sure contender for the playoffs and the Super Bowl.

"He says he's going to ask for help with other people in the league and his uncle and so forth, but eventually it's going to come down to him, and if I were a 49er fan, I would still be just a little fearful about a decision that he's going to make on a general manager," says Bress. "As a team, with the management and the ownership they have right now, there is no way they're going to become the team that we loved as San Franciscans, that we loved as a Bay Area team."

Sports commentator and radio show host Ken Dito of KTRB also worries about the 49ers organization being in disarray. He says the future of the franchise will depend on the choice of a new head coach to replace Mike Singletary. There is no time table on when a new head coach will be hired, according to York. He plans to consult with his uncle, former 49er owner Ed DeBartolo, for advice about the team's future.

Other fans are more patient, including Pat Wong, who was hanging outside the 49er offices on Centennial Drive in Santa Clara, hoping to snag some player autographs. Wong says he believes the fortunes of the team will improve once it starts winning again.

"I still believe in this team. It just takes time. You just have select another coach and start over, I guess you could say," says Wong.

While there's perceived turmoil in the 49er front office, there is nothing but confidence at Santa Clara City Hall that the new 49er stadium project remains on track. The 49ers and the city of San Francisco last week announced that they have negotiated an agreement to extend the lease for the team to play at Candlestick Park for five years.

Santa Clara Deputy City Manager Carol McCarthy tells ABC7 News that that deal makes sense since the new stadium in her city is now targeted for a 2015 completion date.

"We've been processing agreements, dealing with all of the necessary negotiation and paperwork to carry forward the term sheet and the deal to bring forward a stadium in 2015," says McCarthy.

But the nagging question remains -- can the 49ers restore their luster?


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