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Moosehead

New Canadian League Thread...

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I think Canada needs a Nationwide Professional League or Semi Professional League to improve the performance of the Men's National Team.

I think the CSA along with the Provincial Associations and clubs should hold a meeting to get this league off the ground or the CSA should come up with a plan and then issue bid proposals for Cities and Clubs that wanted to participate in the League. The League would start out regionally say from May to July and from August to Ocotober the League would form an 8 team Nationwide Premier League. Local Clubs (non profit) would be the bidders to join the league. The CSA would contribute 500,000. The clubs would have to pay a 50,000 fee of which will be refunded if the team qualifies for the Premier League.

The League would be the formation of teams supported by the clubs in Canada. The CSA would provide financing for teams that qualify for the 8 team Nationwide Premier League. Justification for the CSA involvment is that the club structure needs supporting and that to develop national team players we need a pro league in Canada and also we need a league for players that cannot qualify for European pro club.

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--update

the league would be u23 league;

the CSA would choose the Cities that had the best plan in place for support and stadium (it would be understood that the bid would have to address that the clubs of each City would support the designated team), bearing in mind that the teams would be dispersed in a way condusive to travel and regionally;

athletes would have to be selected from the city/town or designated region and limited amount of imports would be allowed depending on size of region where team was selected;

no minimum salary requirements, but teams would have to meet minimum requirements for training on par with a pro club;

quote:Originally posted by Moosehead

I think Canada needs a Nationwide Professional League or Semi Professional League to improve the performance of the Men's National Team.

I think the CSA along with the Provincial Associations and clubs should hold a meeting to get this league off the ground or the CSA should come up with a plan and then issue bid proposals for Cities and Clubs that wanted to participate in the League. The League would start out regionally say from May to July and from August to Ocotober the League would form an 8 team Nationwide Premier League. Local Clubs (non profit) would be the bidders to join the league. The CSA would contribute 500,000. The clubs would have to pay a 50,000 fee of which will be refunded if the team qualifies for the Premier League.

The League would be the formation of teams supported by the clubs in Canada. The CSA would provide financing for teams that qualify for the 8 team Nationwide Premier League. Justification for the CSA involvment is that the club structure needs supporting and that to develop national team players we need a pro league in Canada and also we need a league for players that cannot qualify for European pro club.

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I was going to post this in the positive news about city X discussion. Regina is getting a new field turf facility at the U of R. I heard they were going to have close to 10,000 seats, but haven't been able to confirm it and since the huge new gym (which is completed) is grabbing a lot of attention, I don't really know a lot of concrete stuff about the proposed facility (concessions, facilities, that kind of stuff).

They built the field last year so the Rams could practice there (they played their home games at Taylor Field, but will move to the new field by 06 I think).

here's an overhead shot.

Field%20Arial%20View.jpg

cheers,

matthew

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quote:Originally posted by matthew

I was going to post this in the positive news about city X discussion. Regina is getting a new field turf facility at the U of R. I heard they were going to have close to 10,000 seats, but haven't been able to confirm it and since the huge new gym (which is completed) is grabbing a lot of attention, I don't really know a lot of concrete stuff about the proposed facility (concessions, facilities, that kind of stuff).

They built the field last year so the Rams could practice there (they played their home games at Taylor Field, but will move to the new field by 06 I think).

[photo edited out of reply to save bandwidth]

cheers,

matthew

Won't do for 2007 games. Gridiron markings not permitted by FIFA.

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Bloody football markings. Someone should invent a field that uses fibre optic blades that light up lines on the field. (Holy Crap, that's a great idea!)

I love this topic...it gets me fired up, and obviously, it fired up 10 pages worth of people the last time! Here's my dream setup:

Western Conf: Whitecaps FC, Victoria Villa, Drillers FC (EDM) Calgary Spurs, Rangers FC (REG/SKT) Wolves FC (Winnipeg)

Eastern Conf: Metro Blizzard (TOR) Ottawa United, Hamilton Athletic, Montreal Impact, Cosmos FC (QUE) Halifax Gunners, Atlantic Saints (STJ)

The top team in each division plays for the title in a one game championship at the home of the points leader, and then every team goes into a hat for a cup competition of 4 rounds using home and away aggregate (away goals) in the middle of the season. The Champ would play the winners of MLS and Mexico (or the top Central American team). Games would be played on Saturday afternoons and Wednesday evenings from Early April to late September, allowing for televised double-headers every Saturday. (Don't you think Saturday at 3 is the perfect kick off time? I mean, they've been doing it overseas for ages)

Eventually, every club would have a womens team and a reserve team playing half the amount of games as the Men, but piggybacking off the schedule. (No pay for the Women and Reserves either)

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quote:Originally posted by Richard

Won't do for 2007 games. Gridiron markings not permitted by FIFA.

Regina is not bidding for the 2007 WYC, so this stadium (errr field currently in the middle of nowhere) is totally irrelevant to that. In a pie in the sky future national soccer league, it might be of some interest.

cheers,

matthew

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quote:Originally posted by Calgary Boomer

Bloody football markings. Someone should invent a field that uses fibre optic blades that light up lines on the field. (Holy Crap, that's a great idea!)

I love this topic...it gets me fired up, and obviously, it fired up 10 pages worth of people the last time! Here's my dream setup:

Western Conf: Whitecaps FC, Victoria Villa, Drillers FC (EDM) Calgary Spurs, Rangers FC (REG/SKT) Wolves FC (Winnipeg)

Eastern Conf: Metro Blizzard (TOR) Ottawa United, Hamilton Athletic, Montreal Impact, Cosmos FC (QUE) Halifax Gunners, Atlantic Saints (STJ)

The top team in each division plays for the title in a one game championship at the home of the points leader, and then every team goes into a hat for a cup competition of 4 rounds using home and away aggregate (away goals) in the middle of the season. The Champ would play the winners of MLS and Mexico (or the top Central American team). Games would be played on Saturday afternoons and Wednesday evenings from Early April to late September, allowing for televised double-headers every Saturday. (Don't you think Saturday at 3 is the perfect kick off time? I mean, they've been doing it overseas for ages)

Eventually, every club would have a womens team and a reserve team playing half the amount of games as the Men, but piggybacking off the schedule. (No pay for the Women and Reserves either)

Boomer, it's great to have your enthusiasm involved here. There's nothing in soccer that interests me more, than realizing the dream of a Canadian Soccer League. I just wish that the people who try to dampen our spirits, those who get hypersensitive when the current structure gets critized, because it's not being done in the manner they like, I wish they would stay out of these dicussions. They have nothing to contribute when it comes to presenting new ideas for soccer in Canada. They act like parents, who instead of talking soccer, feel inclined to make us conform to their standards. They are complete waste of my time and I wish they'd start their own discussion on Voyageurs' etiquette on the general discussions board. Enough about them. Let's talk soccer.

Several themes emerged during discussions on the the original New Canadian Soccer League thread which got deleted.

First, we need to accept where we currently stand, which is but a very modest soccer existance that can only be improved upon a lot.

Second, it is very clear that waiting for the CSA to take the initiative in starting up a national championship would extend beyond every living Voyageurs' lifetime. Some claim that it is not the CSA's responsibility. If that is true, why did they contract KPMG to do a feasibility study on a Canadian league? My take on that is, that this current administration of the CSA has decided that it can't be done and have given up on the idea of a Canadian league.

Third, if we chose to wait for groups of interested investors that are ready to dump God know how much money on something that doesn't even exists, we will be waiting even longer than well beyond the lifespan of all living Voyageurs.

The fouth option is we can work with what is in place today. What we can do to further enhance and develop the systems in place. Here we don't have to wait. This is the only viable option that we can start working on today.

I don't want to live my life waiting to die. Therefore, I personally have no use for the CSA. They don't satisfy my soccer needs, and they fail to show any indications that this might change in the future. Yes, we will always be able to scrape together various national teams and send them to FIFA competitions, where our kids will display their championship hearts, and we will continue to feel sad and dissapointed everytime their dreams get broken because we weren't able to provide them with a level playing field.

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I like your plan a lot. My plan had more teams in it as I thought that would further reduce the travel costs. The qualifying for the Premier was put in for excitement as well as reduce the teams that would travel (less teams to support) and with a shorter season to make it more affordable.

quote:Originally posted by Calgary Boomer

Bloody football markings. Someone should invent a field that uses fibre optic blades that light up lines on the field. (Holy Crap, that's a great idea!)

I love this topic...it gets me fired up, and obviously, it fired up 10 pages worth of people the last time! Here's my dream setup:

Western Conf: Whitecaps FC, Victoria Villa, Drillers FC (EDM) Calgary Spurs, Rangers FC (REG/SKT) Wolves FC (Winnipeg)

Eastern Conf: Metro Blizzard (TOR) Ottawa United, Hamilton Athletic, Montreal Impact, Cosmos FC (QUE) Halifax Gunners, Atlantic Saints (STJ)

The top team in each division plays for the title in a one game championship at the home of the points leader, and then every team goes into a hat for a cup competition of 4 rounds using home and away aggregate (away goals) in the middle of the season. The Champ would play the winners of MLS and Mexico (or the top Central American team). Games would be played on Saturday afternoons and Wednesday evenings from Early April to late September, allowing for televised double-headers every Saturday. (Don't you think Saturday at 3 is the perfect kick off time? I mean, they've been doing it overseas for ages)

Eventually, every club would have a womens team and a reserve team playing half the amount of games as the Men, but piggybacking off the schedule. (No pay for the Women and Reserves either)

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News today is that BC Place (domed stadium in Vancouver seating 50,000) is to have the playing surface replaced with Field Turf - I think they said they bought the surface from the Big-O in Montreal. The report said this will make it suitable for international soccer so presumably there are no gridiron football markings or there is some way to switch them out.

Edit: Just seen in the other thread that turf will be on trays so soccer only markings will be possible. Good news for Vancouver's bid for 2007 youth games.

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my god, do we really need to discuss this AGAIN!?

You don't have to discuss it.

Three big things have happened since the KPMG report...the Country proved it could host a major event in Edmonton and then landed the 2007's which is forcing several markets into doing something about a facility. (Which in my opinion, the MOST important factor in the report) AND a fellow named Greg Kerfoot fell out of the sky in Vancouver, who is committed to creating the environment for his club/business to excel. (Tied for first in the report; the lake of proponents with the resources to finance a league) Greg himself has enough resources to fund the whole thing! He's a billionaire, and he's as big a fan of the National team program as us! Montreal winning the title last year didn't hurt either, and if the lads can do final 8 or better in the Netherlands this summer, then I think the momentum ball is picking up some speed. I don't think there's been a more positive time for soccer than I can remember, except after the World Cup of 86 and maybe after the Gold Cup.

(The league plan I wrote up is actually a fantasy league idea for a video game, but it got me thinking...in a best case scenario for the sport to succeed in Canada, what do we need?) We need to create a soccer specific environment (rip-off what they do in Europe really) so that's why the names are all quite traditional sounding.

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Those who have expended many words in this forum cursing the CSA for doing nothing for Canadian soccer have the CSA to thank for:

a. Paying attention to the need for upgraded facilities and pushing for the York stadium

b. Securing the 2007 championships which is already beginning to pay off as Calgary Boomer has pointed out.

Credit should be given where credit is due.

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Those who have expended many words in this forum cursing the CSA for doing nothing for Canadian soccer have the CSA to thank for:

Not cursing but constructively criticing, get it right Richard.

a. Paying attention to the need for upgraded facilities and pushing for the York stadium

Its abought bloody time!!! I guess when Holger Osiek said he doesn't understand why there was no national stadium and they hadn't saved for a stadium they got to thinking.

b. Securing the 2007 championships which is already beginning to pay off as Calgary Boomer has pointed out.

Well have to give credit here, this is good.

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quote:Originally posted by Calgary Boomer

AND a fellow named Greg Kerfoot fell out of the sky in Vancouver, who is committed to creating the environment for his club/business to excel. (Tied for first in the report; the lake of proponents with the resources to finance a league) Greg himself has enough resources to fund the whole thing! He's a billionaire, and he's as big a fan of the National team program as us!

cargocult.jpgsoldier2.jpgnma.img-cu20030038-000_300.jpg

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Guest HamiltonSteelers

My personal concern with the CSA is what their stance on the success and failures of the Men's National Team. I mean, the system works relatively well up to the U-20s and then it falls apart. If we can send teams to world championships in every age category except the biggest one, then there the system is failing at that top level, and shipping our best talent overseas for a 'finishing school' isn't enough. However, if the CSA is satisfied, then there we should expect nothing from them, in terms of aiding a new league off the ground.

I have the optimism that a national league (of any scale) can succeed, as most of the country has attended a soccer game of some kind (namely their kids). The game is not alien to the public, but the professional edition is, meaning, people do not know what good soccer looks like.

Perhaps a structure where the pay scale is like the CHL/NHL... any players under the age of 19 cannot get paid, and over the age must be paid a minimum game wage (say $100, for the sake of arguement). Clubs can remain amateur or go professional as needed.

In its structure, the league should mandate a maximum wage on players, but one that would be rediculously high for the starting point... say, no player can make more than $30K a season. This would merely be a failsafe for clubs who may want to get involved in a bidding war, but stop them so that both players can be satisfied and the clubs are paying a decent wage.

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quote:Originally posted by HamiltonSteelers

My personal concern with the CSA is what their stance on the success and failures of the Men's National Team. I mean, the system works relatively well up to the U-20s and then it falls apart. If we can send teams to world championships in every age category except the biggest one, then there the system is failing at that top level, and shipping our best talent overseas for a 'finishing school' isn't enough. However, if the CSA is satisfied, then there we should expect nothing from them, in terms of aiding a new league off the ground.

I have the optimism that a national league (of any scale) can succeed, as most of the country has attended a soccer game of some kind (namely their kids). The game is not alien to the public, but the professional edition is, meaning, people do not know what good soccer looks like.

Perhaps a structure where the pay scale is like the CHL/NHL... any players under the age of 19 cannot get paid, and over the age must be paid a minimum game wage (say $100, for the sake of arguement). Clubs can remain amateur or go professional as needed.

In its structure, the league should mandate a maximum wage on players, but one that would be rediculously high for the starting point... say, no player can make more than $30K a season. This would merely be a failsafe for clubs who may want to get involved in a bidding war, but stop them so that both players can be satisfied and the clubs are paying a decent wage.

With this scheme the cream of Canadian talent i.e most prospects for the MNT, will still play offshore and you will end up with the equivalent of a diluted USL Division One or a jumped up CPSL/PCSL which would not necessarily be a bad thing but certainly not a top flight pro league. I also question whether it would be economically viable. Would be interesting to see a detailed business plan worked up based on this model.

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quote:Originally posted by HamiltonSteelers

My personal concern with the CSA is what their stance on the success and failures of the Men's National Team. I mean, the system works relatively well up to the U-20s and then it falls apart. If we can send teams to world championships in every age category except the biggest one, then there the system is failing at that top level, and shipping our best talent overseas for a 'finishing school' isn't enough. However, if the CSA is satisfied, then there we should expect nothing from them, in terms of aiding a new league off the ground.

I have the optimism that a national league (of any scale) can succeed, as most of the country has attended a soccer game of some kind (namely their kids). The game is not alien to the public, but the professional edition is, meaning, people do not know what good soccer looks like.

Perhaps a structure where the pay scale is like the CHL/NHL... any players under the age of 19 cannot get paid, and over the age must be paid a minimum game wage (say $100, for the sake of arguement). Clubs can remain amateur or go professional as needed.

In its structure, the league should mandate a maximum wage on players, but one that would be rediculously high for the starting point... say, no player can make more than $30K a season. This would merely be a failsafe for clubs who may want to get involved in a bidding war, but stop them so that both players can be satisfied and the clubs are paying a decent wage.

Excellent post. You have hit the nail on the head, H.S. It is a fact that Canadians are very competitive internationally up to their twentys. Why? Because we have adequate structures in place up to that age catagory, beyond that the Canadian system fails and international results have confirmed this year after Kevan Pipe year. The CSA is not currently planning, organizing or supporting any efforts into starting-up a national structure for our O20s to develop in. I agree with your perception that there is a solution to every problem. The CSA is either unwilling or unable to look for it. They have one report that states that one particular model is not financially feasible for Canada. So be it. Let's move on to searching for a solutions that will work. But that doesn't seem to suit Kevan Pipe's agenda, whatever that may be. Oh, maybe it was winning the 2007 bid, which no one else bid for (Korea. Common, that was just a token bid thrown in a few weeks prior to the decision by a country which had just hosted the last World Cup). Our Argonaut/UoT/csa National Stadium, complete with grid-iron? Whoopee. markings. On the money side, I personally don't believe in salary-caps, just look at the NHL. Let our players negotiate for as much money as they can get. If it's not enough, let them try selling their talents to the highest bidders on the international market. Why have individual contracts and collective barganning. Sounds like burning the candle at both ends to me.

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quote:Originally posted by Richard

With this scheme the cream of Canadian talent i.e most prospects for the MNT, will still play offshore and you will end up with the equivalent of a diluted USL Division One or a jumped up CPSL/PCSL which would not necessarily be a bad thing but certainly not a top flight pro league. I also question whether it would be economically viable. Would be interesting to see a detailed business plan worked up based on this model.

Don't give away your plan for free H.S. If the CSA can pay KPMG then don't let them freeload off of you.

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"With this scheme the cream of Canadian talent i.e most prospects for the MNT, will still play offshore and you will end up with the equivalent of a diluted USL Division One or a jumped up CPSL/PCSL which would not necessarily be a bad thing but certainly not a top flight pro league. I also question whether it would be economically viable. Would be interesting to see a detailed business plan worked up based on this model."

well the USL teams in Vancouver and Montreal are viable, the CPSL is viable so if the league is going to be below USL Division 1 as you say then why wouldn't it be viable. If it is regionally based during the initial stages of the league, it would much lower travel expenses that the USL Division 1. We have the proof of viability we just need to expand this across Canada and link the leagues together. You mention that it will not be a top flight league, well short of some billionnaire coming up to start a league of course the league is not going to be comparable to Euro Pro Leagues. I think if structured right, in time, it could be close to Mls in quality. I also question the issue of economic viability and what that actually means, I am not sure any sports franchise is a good investment and many franchises lose money such as in the NHL. Yes, a lot of the stars will still go over to Europe if they can. This league will be for those that cannot or don't want to go to Europe. Even in Sweden or Norway their leagues do not prevent players from leaving and playing in the top Leagues of Europe.

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quote:Originally posted by Moosehead

"With this scheme the cream of Canadian talent i.e most prospects for the MNT, will still play offshore and you will end up with the equivalent of a diluted USL Division One or a jumped up CPSL/PCSL which would not necessarily be a bad thing but certainly not a top flight pro league. I also question whether it would be economically viable. Would be interesting to see a detailed business plan worked up based on this model."

well the USL teams in Vancouver and Montreal are viable, the CPSL is viable so if the league is going to be below USL Division 1 as you say then why wouldn't it be viable. If it is regionally based during the initial stages of the league, it would much lower travel expenses that the USL Division 1. We have the proof of viability we just need to expand this across Canada and link the leagues together. You mention that it will not be a top flight league, well short of some billionnaire coming up to start a league of course the league is not going to be comparable to Euro Pro Leagues. I think if structured right, in time, it could be close to Mls in quality. I also question the issue of economic viability and what that actually means, I am not sure any sports franchise is a good investment and many franchises lose money such as in the NHL. Yes, a lot of the stars will still go over to Europe if they can. This league will be for those that cannot or don't want to go to Europe. Even in Sweden or Norway their leagues do not prevent players from leaving and playing in the top Leagues of Europe.

Yes, the Impact and Whitecaps seem to be thriving thanks to the Quebec government and a wealthy philanthropist. What about the Toronto Lynx and the Alberta USL clubs that went out of business? I don't know the CPSL very well but so far it doesn't strike me as a particularly stable league or one that draws much in the way of gate receipts - clubs seem to come and go depending upon how much money their owners are willing to lose.

If you're talking regional essentially amateur leagues then you're describing what I have proposed for a while now - more applications of the PCSL model, not a fullscale national professional league serving as a home for our current and potential MNT members which seems to be what many here expect the CSA to conjure up somehow. The PCSL does not pretend to be a full professional league. A few players may well receive some cash and most at least have their expenses covered but PCSL clubs are not commercial operations, unlike USL and PCSL clubs. This is a much more viable option than any fullscale national pro league of any kind at this stage.

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[Yes, the Impact and Whitecaps seem to be thriving thanks to the Quebec government and a wealthy philanthropist. What about the Toronto Lynx and the Alberta USL clubs that went out of business?

--true about the Impact, thriving through government support and committment but this club is gettting close to an Mls level club and is drawing large crowds. The Whitecaps has a rich owner, but previously it was discussed that the Whitecaps either broke even or made a small loss. I am not sure that Keerfoot is bank rolling the Whitecaps, through his competent business skills the team may well be breaking even or making a small profit. In regards to the 2 Alberta teams and the Lynx, we can certainly have failures as result of poor business managers, but this does not mean that there is no market for soccer in those areas.

I don't know the CPSL very well but so far it doesn't strike me as a particularly stable league or one that draws much in the way of gate receipts - clubs seem to come and go depending upon how much money their owners are willing to lose.

--My recollection is it fairly stable and the Hamilton team draws fairly good numbers.

If you're talking regional essentially amateur leagues then you're describing what I have proposed for a while now - more applications of the PCSL model, not a fullscale national professional league serving as a home for our current and potential MNT members which seems to be what many here expect the CSA to conjure up somehow.

--If you read my posts carefully, I am not proposing a full scale national pro league. I would just propose a league, regionally based and club non profit based. What would make it professional would be the training regime not the player salaries. The majority of the players would come from the region of the team and salary cap would be imposed. Again, I proposed splitting the league so when the league went to the Premier stage it would be more of a pro league as the teams would travel and more imported players would be allowed resulting likely more competition for players and thus a pro league.

The PCSL does not pretend to be a full professional league. A few players may well receive some cash and most at least have their expenses covered but PCSL clubs are not commercial operations, unlike USL and PCSL clubs. This is a much more viable option than any fullscale national pro league of any kind at this stage.

I think we do not need a full scale national pro league at this stage meaning we need to have it regional for 1/2 of the time, but can do a bit more than the PCSL.

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Seems you and I are more or less on the same wavelength although I would be careful about how you use the word 'professional'. Several PCSL clubs are coached by professional soccer coaches but that does not make it a professional league as is generally understood by those calling for a Canadian pro league.

As for your comments about there being a market in Alberta, yes that is one element for a successful operation but it takes much more than just having a market for a club or league to succeed. There are several key elements that must be in place, the primary ones I listed in the thread now deleted. Clearly they were not present in Alberta and are currently not present in many of the markets some people dream of having a pro club operate either.

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I've noticed several themes emerge here as the pulse of Canadian soccer continues to chime in. It seems like many people want to see a grass roots league, and the idea of promotion-relegation is often mentioned.

I don't honestly think that could ever work, and still believe that any future league would have to built top down. There isn't a market in Canada that couldn't support a club team, if it had a suitable and permanent home, with owner(s) that were committed beyond just "next season". (See KPMG report)

We get romanced into the promotion-relgation idea because of its heritage in Europe, but over there you can travel by coach within a day, and there's a football ground in practically every neighbourhood.

Edmonton and Calgary have always had decent support, but never long term committed ownership. (Joe Petrone should not be allowed to ever be involved in Alberta or Canadian soccer ever again)

The biggest challenge apart from $$$$ is co-operation between all the soccer associations...so that everyone is working towards the same cause.

Montreal and Vancouver have been getting plenty of props lately, but Toronto has had a history of identifying, developing and selling players abroad. For that, the Lynx family should be given their fair due in the Canadian soccer landscape.

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Guest HamiltonSteelers

Robert, thanks for the compliments. Sports business has been a hobby of mine since I discovered thriving minor league sports and how and why they do so.

These individual caps are to be set high enough that the top player in the league would consider staying if an offer came in from Norway to play because he can pursue his career at home. If the league is financially viable to afford increased salaries, then the cap would increase... but it would be attached to revenue, based on the NFL model. I limit it to a player so there is no punishment by the team to not give players the raise they deserve without forcing them to move him to another side. I'm looking to build player loyalty at the fiscal level. Create that charm of Matt LeTissier at Southampton (which will likely never happen again at the top level).

From an outsider looking in, the primary reason the Alberta teams failed was a lack of a decent facility and pathetic marketing. Commonwealth notwithstanding, but charging the fees to get into the gate where admission prices are well known. We used to have a WBL team (much like Calgary did) called the Skyhawks. First year was awesome... every game felt like an event, the team was decent, the play was quality and adults could get in to Copps Coliseum for $16. The league folded and the Canadian teams started their own league. A new owner came in and that $16 ticket became a $25 dollar ticket. A 50% spike in one year?! Sporting suicide. In the 1st year, we drew an average of just under 5000 per game. 2nd season, the opener got 2500, and it kept sliding and sliding. I suspect the official average was around 800. I blame the USL for not getting their **** straight and finding out exactly what was the stadium issue.

The Lynx' marketing is just as bad. Every night they pay tribute to a culture, or an ethnicity, or a subsection of the community to spike the gate. Do they even promote the GAME? Better question, does this actually affect the gate?! I'm surprised they get the crowds they do, but I'm also glad they remain in the league.

And for the record, the Thunder drew between 100-500 last season, which I guess was OK, but it should get better next season.

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I think having decent soccer specific stadiums is very important for any new league.I am not sure though you can put the blame on the demise of the Calgary Storm and Mustangs to the stadium situation alone. The Storm in the PDL was drawing very decent crowds and was playing out of sub bar City facility with a track. I think the Storm did well intially because they were playing well, the team was new, there was good relations with the clubs and a lot of the players were local. The linkage with clubs I think is key in the success of a team unless you are going to go very big and professional to attract the non soccer playing crowd.

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