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  • CSA elections 2012: Circling the wagons


    So last week I let the whole world know the upcoming round of Canadian Soccer Association elections will be covered as a public process, regardless of how private some within the organization might wish them to be.

    Interview requests had gone in to both CSA vice-presidents – Victor Montagliani and Rob Newman – and there was every reason to believe a useful, friendly, inside look at the implementation of governance change.

    Ah, but free publicity’s not free if it’s public, as an old Max Webster song used to say.

    My opening story – and its sharply worded warnings to the Old Boys Network – has, for the moment at least, brought down a cone of silence on Metcalfe Street.



    Good afternoon Ben,

    Following this weekend’s Board of Directors meeting, I was asked to hold off on any media interviews around the new governance for now. There’s a fact sheet in preparation (which I will share with you as soon as I receive a copy) and once this is ready we will look at organizing some follow up interviews with the media.

    Please do not hesitate to call me should you wish to discuss this further.


    Michéle Dion

    Communications Manager | Gértante des communications

    Canadian Soccer Association | l’Association canadienne de soccer


    Two reactions to this: charitable, and frank:

    On the charitable side, clearly they weren’t expecting this kind of scrutiny, and certainly not this soon. And please don’t think this new development speaks for either Newman or Montagliani. This is an organization-wide control-the-message edict – imposed from above – perfectly reasonable when you get caught sleeping in the open and the bats show up.

    We are clearly promised a fact sheet, and the possibility of follow-up interviews.

    But frankly, this is a poor start. The contrast between last week’s open chattiness and this sudden early-December frost is palpable. But, as stated and as always, it doesn’t speak for everyone involved.

    Yes, there was a defiant tone to last week’s Onward! But it was only aimed at selected Old Boys. Canadian Soccer News continues to be a loyal advocate of CSA reform. We’re just not going to let it happen offstage, in the dark, in a back room somewhere.

    If we can’t get you this story on the record, we’ll get you this story off the record.

    The next step is finding out if the five-man nominations committee has been selected. These are the people who will recruit outside help for the six new appointed CSA board positions. These board members will bring professional expertise – soccer, business, marketing, fund-raising – in areas that badly need a bolster.

    All we know this morning is that the committee will consist of two CSA directors and three outsiders. The two directors will not be able to stand for CSA office in the spring.

    Who these people are – and what they bring to the table – is on the runway, cleared for takeoff. It would be very good to get this info directly from Rob Newman, who was head of the CSA governance committee that brought forward the encouraging changes that will be implemented in the spring.

    The door is open, sir. I accept that this is a political game, but the soccer fans of Canada really want to hear from you.

    All these stories are is a bid for transparency. As long as the old CSA board exists – and however well they’ve done recently – scrutiny is not only advisable, it’s mandatory.

    I look forward to working with the CSA, uniting their new governance structure with the higher hopes and aspirations of the Canadian game.

    Me to them: This process will go on anyway, but would be so much better with your willing and welcome contribution.


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