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quote:Originally posted by jasonm

CSA delays decision on national team coach

An emergency meeting of the Canadian Soccer Association executive scheduled to take place Saturday was postponed for three weeks after four provincial members said they would be unable to take part in the conference call.

A spokesperson for the CSA told the Globe and Mail that the meeting could not take place when such a substantial portion of its elected provincial officials were unavailable to finalize negotiations.

I suspect that Linford and the CSA want to raise funds for MNT by raising registration fees collected through the Provincial Associations. It's the only reason I can think of to delay the meeting because of four provincial members. At least I assume that it's one plausible way to raise funds to pay for Simoes.

The CSA should have hired a quality COO first before hiring a coach. Many of us said that last year in a thread back in October or November. If we had hired a COO before Christmas, we would have had 3 months now to get our finances together to afford a quality coach.

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quote:Originally posted by gwallace76

I suspect that Linford and the CSA want to raise funds for MNT by raising registration fees collected through the Provincial Associations. It's the only reason I can think of to delay the meeting because of four provincial members. At least I assume that it's one plausible way to raise funds to pay for Simoes.

The CSA should have hired a quality COO first before hiring a coach. Many of us said that last year in a thread back in October or November. If we had hired a COO before Christmas, we would have had 3 months now to get our finances together to afford a quality coach.

That is quite possible. Raising registration fees is usually opposed by Provincial Associations. BC used to subsidize part of the CSA fees for kids, but do no longer and passed the added cost to the players.

As to the COO I understand the Vice-Chairman is acting as COO. Probably without much success and know-how.

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Have you ever tried to arrange a conference call with 20 people on short notice? These are volunteers spread across 4.5 timezones and drawn from the sparsely-populated Territories to the urban populations of Ontario, BC, and Quebec. Some probably still also hold fulltime jobs.

This is a governance issue. If you read the constitution, you will see that even the Board cannot change the Budget without a General Meeting with the full membership. My sense is that if you were wanting to raise registrations fees, this process would not likely be done for months. My feeling is this is about doing something slightly different from what was originally planned between the roles of Technical Director and Head Coach. Changing that plan would likely require full Board approval.

Another thought. I have spoken to people in the business outside of Canada who thought the CSA idea of having the Technical Director as an equal partner with the National Head Coach would be unworkable. Their view was that one needed to be subservient to the other and more likely the Head Coach would be the top technical person. Something said here in an earlier post makes me wonder if the CSA is considering filling the two positions with a two-person team with Simoes as the Head Coach. I know it seems very radical and probably a longshot. Still when I see the Coaching positions that Simoes has held since T&T and I don't see one that would pay the $500,000 number being suggested. Also, he had his own staff (not sure what that means) in Iran.

quote:Originally posted by gwallace76

I suspect that Linford and the CSA want to raise funds for MNT by raising registration fees collected through the Provincial Associations. It's the only reason I can think of to delay the meeting because of four provincial members. At least I assume that it's one plausible way to raise funds to pay for Simoes.

The CSA should have hired a quality COO first before hiring a coach. Many of us said that last year in a thread back in October or November. If we had hired a COO before Christmas, we would have had 3 months now to get our finances together to afford a quality coach.

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This is such a dog a pony show. Linford, who I suspect is a decent man, is in well over his head. Not a great time for him to be learning on the job.

Unfortunate as this all is, it only - rightly - supports the thesis that the CSA is a Mickey Mouse organization.

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There's still time. A coach will be hired, and we'll make a good run in WCQ. However, for the longterm good of soccer in this country, the CEO position is likely more important.

Get a competent CEO in place, and we may see things run in a businesslike manner. Linford indicated that the CEO hiring was likely to be sooner than the coach. If the right CEO is named in the next couple of weeks, everything will change. We may actually have a professionally run CSA for the first time in many years.

Our players deserve it.

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Originally posted by Canuck Oranje

Have you ever tried to arrange a conference call with 20 people on short notice? These are volunteers spread across 4.5 timezones and drawn from the sparsely-populated Territories to the urban populations of Ontario, BC, and Quebec. Some probably still also hold fulltime jobs.

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And to build on the conference call matter with 20 people. I can't speak for anyone else, but I certainly have been involved in these types of calls - last minute, several participants, important issues, etc... And the answer is yes. You can do it - if the people who are to meet are committed and professional.

The whole thing really is a joke. You had Linford, just in the last weeks, declare to the media that this was all but done. And here we are...not all but done because they can't pull the board together to approve a candidate. Or at least that is what they're telling the world. You might as well have titled the press release "Update on Our Board Members Inability to Dial a Conference Call Number...20 Days and Counting"

We also have a similar situation with the CEO (I agree that this is the more important hire) - media speculation with a few tidbits on the search thrown in for public consumption...and still no decision (as an aside - if I were one of the candidates for that job, I would be investigating the possibility litigating the you know what out of the CSA on the basis that certain private information about the candidates had been leaked).

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I think that once it was determined that Pipe was the wrong leader, the right thing to do was to fire him. It was the only fair thing to do - for Mr Pipe included.

What should have happended was a quick and aggressive search (maybe they tried that, I can't say) with an interim CEO being named. What appears to have happened is a prolonged search with Linford acting as the interim de facto CEO. That would have been fine if he was not so unqualified.

What pains me as a fan, is that this lack of professionalism is playing itself out in the media at a time when soccer is becoming front and centre in the media (with TFC and the U20s both happening this summer).

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quote:Originally posted by Dave

There's still time. A coach will be hired, and we'll make a good run in WCQ. However, for the longterm good of soccer in this country, the CEO position is likely more important.

Get a competent CEO in place, and we may see things run in a businesslike manner. Linford indicated that the CEO hiring was likely to be sooner than the coach. If the right CEO is named in the next couple of weeks, everything will change. We may actually have a professionally run CSA for the first time in many years.

Our players deserve it.

I don't underestimate the importance of a good CEO but the most important thing for the longterm development of soccer is a successful senior men's national team, ie. a good coach and TD. If we are qualifying for the WC on a regular basis I can certainly live with a chaotic organization. Best case scenario is good people in all position but give me a good coach and TD and I am happy.

Regarding Pipe, anytime was the right time to fire him because he was not doing a good job. Sure 10 years earlier would have been better but the last thing I am going to criticize the CSA or Linford for is firing Pipe. If they don't hire someone good to replace him they will be in for some criticism. If they don't hire a good coach and TD they will be in for a lot of criticism and hopefully lose their jobs.

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quote:Originally posted by Canuck Oranje

Have you ever tried to arrange a conference call with 20 people on short notice? These are volunteers spread across 4.5 timezones and drawn from the sparsely-populated Territories to the urban populations of Ontario, BC, and Quebec. Some probably still also hold fulltime jobs.

Conference calls are arranged by your local telephone company. You just give them the names of the people and they do all the leg work. May be across the country or across the world.

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quote:Originally posted by Grizzly

But first getting a a good CEO in place gives you a better chance of hiring a good coach. As we are seeing, trying to do this without a CEO in place or the input from a CEO exposes flaws in the process. you might even lose good candidates.

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The point is not whether it can be done or how it is done. My point was the logistics of bringing all 20 people together on a weekend on short notice. The press report indicates that 4 of the 20 were not able to attend and that those were representatives of provincial associations (meaning Presidents). I am sure Provincial associations are also holding their own emergency meetings at this time of year because of the upcoming summer season.

I don't want to be seen as defending the CSA because I agree that the organizational structure is a problem and will only get worse as professional soccer begins to take hold in Canada (if it does). Also the delays in determining who they wanted as Head Coach is also a separate issue and I agree that it could have been done more quickly. The issue that I am addressing is that given the structure of the CSA and the logistics of getting 20 people together over 4.5 timezones on a weekend, it should not be all that surprising that final approval has to wait for the next regular full Board meeting. While it may be the case that there are factions on the Board that are opposed to the selection, I am not sure that the delay is a clear indication of that.

At the same time, I suspect sufficient assurances could be given to the selected Coach (assumed to be Simoes) because there is nothing saying that you can't have communication among Board Members and have a clear sense of the outcome.

However, these are governance issues that go beyond Linford and the Hiring Committee. These structural issues are things that can only be addressed at an Annual General Meeting of the full membership. In other words, Linford cannot even address those on his own.

Finally, the role of being a Board member in most organizations (including multinational businesses) is not fulltime. Yes, sometimes senior executives also have Board positions, but they tend to be in the minority on most well-structured Boards. It is also common for important operational decisions to be announced after a regular Board meetings of large corporations rather than attempting to bring their Board together for emergency meetings because they too face the same logistical problems.

quote:Originally posted by The Ref

Conference calls are arranged by your local telephone company. You just give them the names of the people and they do all the leg work. May be across the country or across the world.

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Then why did Linford represent to the media that it would be done by March 31?

Again - I have been involved in several time zone/emergency/call scenarios. It is so simple it's stupid. I really mean that. All you need is a will and, perhaps, a bit of leadership. And a phone number.

The whole thing is a little more than magnificent pharse. The problem is that it is being played out in public.

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First of all, I agree that this whole process should have been more confidential.

Second, much larger organizations with much more significant decisions routinely leave these announcements until after a regular board meeting.

Third, if both sides are comfortable with waiting until the board meeting, what is the emergency? What can the new Coach do in the next two weeks that he couldn't be doing now?

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Guest Jeffery S.

There are a couple things I find odd about all this.

First, we are running the CSA in such a way that executive decisions have to be voted by the people that put the executive in place. I can't get into the legal side, as I don't understand it, but isn't that odd that the executive cannot make the decision on its own, that it can't be delegated to the executive itself?

Okay, so we have a federal model, meaning the parts have a say. Fine. They did that when Linford was put into place. In any case, if they vote against their president, against the recommendation of the hiring committee, then Linford is going to have to be faced with a possible resignation. I don't think anyone is going to force him into that position. So I see the whole meeting as a formality anyways.

Unless the question is money. Perhaps the salary requirement of the person they want is considerably more than what has been agreed upon or even mandated by the people who put Linford in place. So it is an exceptional decision he is asking them to approve, and for budgetary reasons, or even for questions of financial principle, he needs to get them together to hash it out.

We have always known this, but when you have the provincial associations having their say on national matters you are not always going to get positions that are benefitial to the national men's program. Most of these guys could care less, or care a lot less than they do about the clubs and youth programs, with literally tens of thousands of kids paying their dues. Most provincial heads are behoven to that sort of constituency, and we have to expect a sort of unnatural leap from them when it comes to a positive contribution to professional soccer in general and to the true financial needs of the senior men's program especially. They ask, what is in it for us? And they are mostly right if they answer: very little.

Which is why I could see a bit of a lobby emerging with the view of getting a guy who is with us anyways and especially is not asking this or that "outrageous" sum. One of our own, modest in his financial requirements, and not "unnecessarily taking money away from the kids in my province". Meaning a move to block the hiring of someone like Simoes or the fourth unnamed candidate for purely financial reasons, and maybe Linford just going along with it to keep his caucus happy. What many here would look upon as a sellout, or as a lowering of standards, or of more of the status quo.

I would have liked to think that this is all like having work done on your house, it is a hellhole while it is going on and damn stressful, but when it is finally finished you forget about all the hassles, as long as the work was done right. So the good scenario would be all this mess just being forgotten in a few months.

The bad scenario is that the leading candidate is not hired, the one that is brought in knows he was not the first choice and that the president especially did not want him, that even players on the team he is supposed to be coaching did not consider him to be the best option. Not just a problem on a purely technical level of his ability to take us to success, but a problem of lack of belief in his being able to do so on top of that.

I am wondering now if having the players get involved in the hiring was a way for Linford to actually move a few pieces in his favour, as now he has an argument he can face the provincial denizens with: we can hire cheaper, but the guys the new coach has to deal with in the dressing room and on the field don't want him. A good way of pressuring the board to spend the extra money.

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Some of my final comments on the issue of Board structure.

The Board of Directors of any corporation/organization hires the Chief Executive Officer and approves the most senior executives. The issue with the CSA in regards to its functionality is the size of the Board of Director moreso than anything else. 10-12 members would be far more workable than 20. To complicate things further, the Board is currently operating without an Executive Director (COO). I also think that the CSA needs to clear up some confusion and refer to Linford as the Board Chairman (while I know incorporated associations tend to use the term, President) because I think the term, President, leads to the assumption that the person holding that position is a fulltime professional.

The issue of who should be represented on the Board of the CSA is another structural issue but not directly related to the situation at hand but also related to the size of the Board. I think the CSA membership, in the past, simply added Board members when the question arose and then gave the Board's Executive Committee more powers (but not enough) to offset the inefficiency that Board size brought with it.

These two issues will need to be addressed more ruthlessly down the road.

Finally, there is no question that the CSA structure is convoluted. But that cannot be changed by Linford nor the Board without a vote of the membership which is another battle. I also suspect that other national federations around the world have many of the same issues. The difference? Probably available money and Board size.

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Guest Jeffery S.
quote:Originally posted by Richard

You said in nine paragraphs not much more than I did in three sentences on March 31st :-)

Thank you for summing things up before I even got to the subject Richard, but if you don't mind I'll just leave my post as an example of redundancy and superfluity.

As you have done so well elsewhere to the pleasure of us all.

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quote:Originally posted by Jeffrey S.

Thank you for summing things up before I even got to the subject Richard, but if you don't mind I'll just leave my post as an example of redundancy and superfluity.

As you have done so well elsewhere to the pleasure of us all.

Good response.

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quote:Originally posted by Jeffrey S.

Thank you for summing things up before I even got to the subject Richard, but if you don't mind I'll just leave my post as an example of redundancy and superfluity.

As you have done so well elsewhere to the pleasure of us all.

As you wish. You did observe the smiley I trust, forum etiquette as you were at pains to emphasise elsewhere.
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Guest Jeffery S.
quote:Originally posted by Richard

As you wish. You did observe the smiley I trust, forum etiquette as you were at pains to emphasise elsewhere.

I hate smileys, you should be able to read the humour, sarcasm or irony in the words.

And yes, in spite of my reply, you pretty well did sum it up in your short post, so credit to you.

So tell us, would you happen to know where the BC association president stands in all this?

It is interesting for all the attention given to the CSA on this board, noone ever gives us a take on the provincial level of how the associations relate to the national programs that interest us.

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