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Sea Change in Galaxy FO: Tom Payne out, Chris McGowan New Galaxy COO

The LA Galaxy announced today two changes at the top level of Galaxy management. Galaxy and AEG CEO Tim Leiweke announced today that Chris McGowan had been named Chief Operating Ofiicer, and will be in charge of all day-to-day business going forward. Concurrent with that is the news that Tom Payne has decided to leave the LA Galaxy.

"After nine great years here at The Home Depot Center," said Payne, "I have made the decision to leave the Galaxy organization. I have enjoyed my time with the club and have fond memories of all the great things that we have accomplished, including winning the MLS Cup last year in front of our home fans. During my time I have been able to see the growth of this club not only here locally, but also nationally and internationally, and I am proud to have been able to play a significant role in that growth."

McGowan is 38, and has spent the last five years as the Los Angeles Kings' COO, managing the business department and overseeing club revenues. McGowan will continue his Kings' duties as he takes over the LA Galaxy.

"I am looking forward to working in Major League Soccer and I am honored to be joining a championship organization that has a rich history of success both on and off the field," said McGowan. "I am very passionate about the sport of soccer and am excited to work alongside the rest of the front office staff to provide our fans with an organization they can be proud to represent."

The news is in line with scuttlebutt that AEG is undergoing a restructuring, which will result in a new branch known as AEG sport.

It will be McGowan's duty to oversee all elements of the Galaxy FO, including sales and service, marketing, communications, broadcasting, community relations, sponsorship and game entertainment. He's in his 16th year with the Kings and AEG, dating back to his time as an Account Executive in the Kings' ticket sales department.

What this ultimately means for the fan experience is yet to be seen. McGowan will have the power to enact new policies that can affect season ticket holders, supporter's groups, and even us in the media. Time will tell how things change as the Galaxy are now under new management.