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Moosehead

New Canadian League Thread...

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OK, so I incorporated the last few points (positive and negative) and took the liberty of switching some opportunities and strengths around.

I also added a possible league structure and budget.

STRENGTHS:

1) Good organizational infrastructure across Canada ie. provincial and local associations

2) Talent base

3) Strong existing Clubs that are ambitious

4) First world economy, capitalist society

5) Strong sports coverage across Canada (media)

6) Strong University league in place(amateur league for draft purposes)

7) Proliferation and acceptance of field turf, season extension.

8) Visibility of Global leagues strengthen case for TV deal

WEAKNESSES:

1) Weak national association

2) Weak public (media) image of sport

3) No identifiable Owners with deep pockets for a full fledged national league

4) Weak track record of paid attendance

5) Lack of identifiable and inexpensive facilities

6) Lack of identifiable revenue streams for Clubs

7) Short season

8) Part-time players have limited availability due to 'real work' commitments

9) Volunteer Management may not be capable or have required skills

OPPORTUNITIES:

1) Creation of strong regional leagues to serve as second division is feasible and will provided the immediate base for any future 'National League'

2) 2007 will provide buzz, but action needs to be taken (if MLS had waited a year to launch it would have lost any momentum the WC 94 provided)

3) league could obtain marketing databses through soccer schools and combined efforts with local associations

4) Get markting mentorship from NHL. NHL offseason = Soccer season. If Yankees and Man U can be partners....

5) Import of reserve talent from other leagues

6) Corporate involvement in league

7) Creation of official Voyageurs/Local Organizing Committees/Ultra groups to get involved locally, lobby businesses and media and help sell tickets. Possible incentive - Sell 10 tickets and get one free

8) Each team to have territorial rights so that they may market their teams as they wish, tailoring it to the local conditions and not concerning themselves with other teams

9) Adidas, Nike, Puma, etc might be interested if a watertight business plan and stability are offered

10) Linkage with Foreign Clubs to nurture talent, sponsorship and mentorship

THREATS:

1) Existing associations may not be keen to support any new ventures as they prefer to extend their own influence and power

2) No guarantee of a TV deal or positive media coverage. How much coverage did the Aviators and Mustangs receive locally?

3) Startup costs will undoubtedly keep many groups at bay

4) Competition fom MLS, A-League, and Europe (keeping talent)

5) American influence on our infrastructure. Canadian League vs. MLS

6) Competition with CFL for entertainment dollar, TV deal

POSSIBLE BUDGET

PLAYERS - Unpaid - $5,000/month/each

STAFF - Volunteer - ?

COACHING - Honorarium - ?

OPERATING EXPENSES - $50,000 - $100,000

NATIONAL CUP ENTRY - ?

TRAVEL - ?

POSSIBLE LEAGUE STRUCTURE

1) 1 Full scale National League

2) Regional Leagues with 12 Teams

3) Cup Tournament only

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Here's an idea I've had for quite awhile. Similar to the corporate league idea. Sell exclusive sponsorships to each of the 10-14 teams. Each team would have one corporate logo on their jersey and other merch, every stadium would have field level signage exclusively from the 10-14 sponsors (so they could be seen on TV, newspapers etc.), logos at official league events, and on national broadcasts (this game has been brought to you by...). They could be sold with 5 year terms at $500,000 a piece ($100,000 per year) like stadium naming rights. $5 million in revenue right there.

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quote:Originally posted by Richard

The Whitecaps have entered their reserve/development men's and women's teams in the PCSL this season. This is a good start. Maybe the Impact and Lynx could enter reserve teams in the CPSL?

That's actually one of the best ideas I've ever read here. Not that we have any authority to make it happen or even encourage it - and I'm sure the CPSL would screw it up by trying to force both the pay a franchise fee - but man this would be good for Central Canadian soccer.

Mike.

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quote:Originally posted by HamiltonSteelers

Opportunities (perhaps a strength?): Visibility of the global game - More people are aware of the european leagues in this country more than ever. Kids know who Juventus and Real Madrid and Manchester United are. Soccer programming (on specialty channels) has exploded over the last few years. Soccer is slowly but surely becoming mainstream in Canada and awareness is growing. Convincing the masses that Winnipeg FC is as entertaining live as watching Sampadoria take on Udinese is on TV (meaning, converting the ratings that these shows get into patrons).

I would call this an oppurtunity and it's one that shouldn't be overlooked. Soccer is way more exposed than it ever has been in this country. In addition to the club soccer you mentioned the World Cup and Euro are bi-annual events that take hold of large swathes of the country when they come around - even the casual sports fans talk about them which is leading to a greater understanding and appreciating of the game.

The problem is that this also provides a dilemma. With constant exposure to high level foreign club soccer will Canadians turn up for anything less than a fully professional national league of at least MLS caliber play? It's an open question. For the last bunch of years I've envisaged a Canadian soccer league developing over time out of successful clubs graduating from pan-Canadian regional leagues (essentially Richard or Robert's idea - sorry guys, I know it sounds awful but I've been getting you confused in my head since the orignal thread began). Will Canadians be willing to go through the semi-pro stage to help clubs gain stability or will semi-pro status relegate the league to "bush-league" status in the Canadian soccer psyche. Witness the constant bashing the CPSL takes here.

What I think is necessary (if the idea is to graduate from regional semi-pro to national pro) is a stated plan that is constantly explained to the media and public of when and how this is going to happen. That way people will have a reason to invest in their clubs because they'll know that in the future the league plans to be "big-time" even if it starts off playing in high-school stadiums. I'll post a longer write-up of what I mean later when I get a chance.

Mike.

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quote:Originally posted by BHTC Mike

That's actually one of the best ideas I've ever read here. Not that we have any authority to make it happen or even encourage it - and I'm sure the CPSL would screw it up by trying to force both the pay a franchise fee - but man this would be good for Central Canadian soccer.

Mike.

The PCSL requires only a modest one-time entry fee relative to the high cost of a CPSL franchise fee and annual membership fees are modest as well. The PCSL has been courting the Whitecaps to participate for some time, they have in the past on an exhibition basis. Only now with their expanded 'European' style club format and financial security have they felt in a position to participate 100%.

Edit: Chris Bennett, 2004 coach of the champion Whitecaps women, has been appointed head coach of the Whitecaps reserve/development teams that will be playing in the PCSL so the club is taking this opportunity seriously.

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It's funny you mention a European style that the Whitecaps are having recently, with their development teams, etc.

Has there been any discussion as to whether or not a European stlye league would fly here? Maybe that could be something that is bantied about, having clubs go up and down, like they do overseas. That would keep the bottom teams excited, as they battle to stay in the top flight, etc,

What do you think?

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quote:Originally posted by Richard

The PCSL requires only a modest one-time entry fee relative to the high cost of a CPSL franchise fee and annual membership fees are modest as well. The PCSL has been courting the Whitecaps to participate for some time, they have in the past on an exhibition basis. Only now with their expanded 'European' style club format and financial security have they felt in a position to participate 100%.

Edit: Chris Bennett, 2004 coach of the champion Whitecaps women, has been appointed head coach of the Whitecaps reserve/development teams that will be playing in the PCSL so the club is taking this opportunity seriously.

If the Whitcaps' reserve/development team in the PCSL pay dividends, it would be hard for the Impact, the Lynx and the CPSL to ignore this type of structure. The Whitecaps should benefit from having a larger available player pool to operate from. They know what they'll be getting when the need to draw from this pool arises. Talent development, selection from national team commitments, injuries, suspensions and player attitudes will all have a less serious impact on the Whitecaps season.

When will the 2005 PCSL schedule be released? Will the Whitecaps r.d. team be playing their home games at Swangard? Just the thought of that should scare Ted and Vic U. Will their be doubleheaders with the senior side? Must be the sunshine. I'm ready to watch some good live Canadian soccer.

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quote:Originally posted by Richard

Asking questions about money, stadiums etc. is absolutely critical. Once those have been answered the rest comes relatively easily. Addressing general strengths, weaknesses pros, cons etc. is all very well and pads out any business plan but without money and a comprehensive viable plan you will go nowhere except wear out your keyboard posting dreamy wishlists to this forum.

Yes it is critical to talk about money and stadiums. That's why you've repeated yourelf 100's of times. I'm just tired of reading the same thing over again. I know there is a solution out there that the powers that be have not thought of, and I would love it if the Voyageurs came up with it. I'm just tryng to stimulate the coversation into something more than just money and stadiums. The SWOT thing is just a step in the process in maybe getting both.

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quote:Originally posted by G-Man

Robert,

What are your feelings on a pro league for Canada? Don't hold back.

Personally, I would love to see a Canadian soccer league, whether it be pro, semi-pro or amateur. However, at this point in time, I do not believe that Canadian climat is capable of supporting a successful national league regardless of its structure. IMO the main reason for this is a lack of desire on behalf of all the parties that would be required to be involved in accomplishing such an enterprise. To organize an undertaking of this magnatude requires a leadership that is strong and committed. It is clear that we can not look to the current body of the CSA to fill this role. Therefore, who is going to step up to the plate and unite all those that are needed? Whoever that eventually turns out to be, will first need to find and unite all who are interested and willing to invest into this goal. Once that has been firmly established, and only then, can a process of investigating the feasability be commenced. In essence, Canada has been in a perpetual state of pause since the collapse of the old CSL. Our national governing body has a fear of failure complex, and is unwilling to assume any responsibility where there is a risk of failure. Instead, they are more competent at ignoring the critizism directed at them for doing nothing of any substantial worth.

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quote:Originally posted by Danny Boy

Yes it is critical to talk about money and stadiums. That's why you've repeated yourelf 100's of times. I'm just tired of reading the same thing over again. I know there is a solution out there that the powers that be have not thought of, and I would love it if the Voyageurs came up with it. I'm just tryng to stimulate the coversation into something more than just money and stadiums. The SWOT thing is just a step in the process in maybe getting both.

Well I can assure you I am just as tired of reading about airy-fairy schemes that stand no chance of ever seeing the light of day. Somebody needs to bring some sense of the real world into this discussion and sorry if that bothers you.

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quote:Originally posted by Robert

[

When will the 2005 PCSL schedule be released? Will the Whitecaps r.d. team be playing their home games at Swangard? Just the thought of that should scare Ted and Vic U. Will their be doubleheaders with the senior side? Must be the sunshine. I'm ready to watch some good live Canadian soccer.

The PCSL schedule should be out soon, keep checking the website. For good live and inexpensive Canadian soccer turn out to any PCSL game through the season.

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quote:Originally posted by Robert

When will the 2005 PCSL schedule be released? Will the Whitecaps r.d. team be playing their home games at Swangard? Just the thought of that should scare Ted and Vic U.

Hah! We have a fine record against the 86ers/Whitecaps teams, bring 'em on. [8D]

** Inappropriate content deleted by author **

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that frustration is felt by myself as well with coaching my u11 rep boys. two weeks before the last weekend the league changed the entire schedule and we have to play a team for the second time away and lost a home match because of it! (also, this schedule change makes us play the tops team instead of the bottom team!!! no big deal on that front though, i don't care who we play)

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quote:Originally posted by Richard

Well I can assure you I am just as tired of reading about airy-fairy schemes that stand no chance of ever seeing the light of day. Somebody needs to bring some sense of the real world into this discussion and sorry if that bothers you.

The real world is that there is some major conflicts here about what can work and what won't work. And simply responding to someone saying there's no money or stadiums just exasperates the situation. How do we get the money? How can we get stadiums? No one is tackling those ideas here. Since we are the ones that want a league in the worst way, maybe we should find a way to make one happen.

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Should we start a new thread to look at the details of starting a new league without getting sidetracked into the merits/problems of the PCSL and CPSL as well as not being reminded every step of the way with all of the challenges we will have to face?

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The cancellation of the 2004-2005 NHL season and the very strong likelihood that if the NHL ever comes back to life it will probably be a very different animal, just serves to illustrate how a pro league can fail miserably when those involved neglect to apply sound business principles.

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quote:Originally posted by Danny Boy

The real world is that there is some major conflicts here about what can work and what won't work. And simply responding to someone saying there's no money or stadiums just exasperates the situation. How do we get the money? How can we get stadiums? No one is tackling those ideas here. Since we are the ones that want a league in the worst way, maybe we should find a way to make one happen.

I think there are all sorts of good ideas sprinkled in amongst the dreams here, don't knock them. The CSA has taken a material step in the right direction by securing the 2007 youth tournament. It prompted the new York stadium project and will have a spinoff effect on facilities in several other cities around the country. The tournament will also greatly raise the profile of the competitive game in Canada. All of this helps create a better soccer environment where a successful national and perhaps eventually pro league could take root. One of the best ways the ordinary fan can help achieve this is to get out and buy tickets for your local CPSL/PCSL/USL games and ensure sellouts for every 2007 game to demonstrate that there is a real, dependable and growing market for the elite level and pro game in Canada. Without a visible and convincing market/demand, few governments, entrepeneurs or wealthy industrialists will be interested in investing in stadiums or financing clubs or leagues and you can whistle goodbye to hopes for a national pro league.

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quote:Originally posted by Richard

I think there are all sorts of good ideas sprinkled in amongst the dreams here, don't knock them. The CSA has taken a material step in the right direction by securing the 2007 youth tournament. It prompted the new York stadium project and will have a spinoff effect on facilities in several other cities around the country. The tournament will also greatly raise the profile of the competitive game in Canada. All of this helps create a better soccer environment where a successful national and perhaps eventually pro league could take root. One of the best ways the ordinary fan can help achieve this is to get out and buy tickets for your local CPSL/PCSL/USL games and ensure sellouts for every 2007 game to demonstrate that there is a real, dependable and growing market for the elite level and pro game in Canada. Without a visible and convincing market/demand, few governments, entrepeneurs or wealthy industrialists will be interested in investing in stadiums or financing clubs or leagues and you can whistle goodbye to hopes for a national pro league.

I agree, let's move forward.

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8 teams to start out with no expansion for at least 5 years

26 game regular season. Top 4 go to the semi-finals in two game total goal series (1 v 4, 2 v 3) with a one-off final.

Team budgets ranging from 850-1.2 Million. Max a player could earn would be $30,000 season.

Offer incentives for university age players to play pro. For example, offer a salary of $12,000/year plus the coverage of university tuition costs.

Travel partnerships between teams or rasing of travel bonds to cover some travel costs of visiting teams.

Work on exclusive deals with companies, especially Canadian companies.

Work to get the amateur system to get them behind the team.

Strengths

- More playing soccer than ever before

- Much broader choice in media

- Stronger economic base

- 2007 WYC as a base to build a national league

Weakness

- Lack of commited owners

- Weak national assocination and possibel bickering at provincial level

- Lack of suitable facilities and a lack of support to improve or build them

- Old guard in the media still prevalent

Opprotunities

- Young soccer players that can be made into followers of the game

- Problem in estabished sports leagues produce apathetic fans

- Use the independent nature to encourage overseas clubs to loan out players for a summer season

Threats

- Resurgent CFL and the rise of other independent sports leagues

- Eurosnobbery and the inferiority complex compared to other national leagues.

- Jumpers onto the gravey train just to make a quick buck.

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