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Toronto FC's Payne explains reasons for Mariner sacking

Toronto FC president Kevin Payne has explained the reasons for the sacking of Paul Mariner as head coach.

The 59-year old former Arsenal and England striker was relieved of his duties at the BMO Field earlier this week with Payne revealing why the Canadian club made such a decision despite improving under Mariner after he took over from Aron Winter during the 2012 MLS season.

"We needed to send a new message to the players and to the fans," he said.

"I spoke to Paul this weekend. It was my decision, supported by Tom (Anselmi) and supported by (TFC owners) MLSE (Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment).

"We felt that we needed to move in a different direction. We needed to change the culture around the club and the way we're going to do things."

Payne added: "I have great regard for Paul Mariner, he's a great friend. He's a guy I've competed against and I certainly wish him nothing but the best. I believed it was best for us and, ultimately, for him if we parted ways. He's free to seek other employment and opportunities and we're free to go forward with a new regime."

Toronto have appointed QPR defender Ryan Nelsen as Mariner's replacement with the former Blackburn Rovers captain set to officially take the reins when he completes his obligations at Loftus Road.

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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