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Richard

An open letter to the CSA

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Barking at the moon there a bit if he's complaining that the WNT is lost in the shadow of the U20s. What really do you expect? The CSA isn't an organization with enough breadth to focus beyond that right now. (Hell, I'd guess that with each passing day panic is closer to setting in but I suppose we'll see).

I don't think you'd find much argument that the MNT isn't also lost in the shadow of the U20s.

And beside, Linford sums things up nicely...

Obviously, the women give the country exposure," said Linford. "But if you're talking about major, major revenues and major, major sponsors, the men will always in any country in the world generate more money and more exposure and more interest than the women's game."

Like it or no, that's a reality on planet earth. If you want to criticize Linford for being honest you're welcome to.

So when it comes to funding, where do you best invest for a positive return? And I'm not just talking about money here.

Point number two that I'd like to make which often gets neglected, when it comes to equal funding between the mens and womens programs for me it comes down to how far a dollar spent on the womens program "stretches" (ie an amateur program) when compared to the mens? Plain and simple, it's far, far more expensive to operate a MNT program than it is to operate a WNT program simply because your dealing with professionals on the one hand, and amateurs on the other.

Spot on about financial disclosure from the CSA. Shameful the lengths that one would have to go in order to get them. Absolutely shameful and not in keeping with modern expectations for publicly funded organizations. If you accept public funds you have to live with accepting public scrutiny. And that's exactly how it should be.

Shameful.

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quote:

Like it or no, that's a reality on planet earth. If you want to criticize Linford for being honest you're welcome to.

Gender equity is about right, not money.

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if you want the CSA to be run more as a professional business type organization, it's about optimizing revenue vs costs.

MNT return on equity is the highest - spend $1; should get back 3-5x more. All other teams - spend $1; hoping to get back $1 is quite unlikely.

In effect, run it as Division 1 NCAA schools - generate 80%+ revenue from football and then use the required portion to finance all other sports teams.

If you spend it as per membership breakdown, we're basically doomed to medicority for all teams - men & women - senior & youth

and as seen with MNT coach selection, you don't want to be at the mercy of decentralized or equitable approach - time for leadership decisions and accountability.

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In Today's Toronto Star. Looks like the CSA will give everyone the same treatment....NONE

CSA's lack of respect is no bull

Jun 07, 2007 04:30 AM

Cathal Kelly

http://www.thestar.com/Sports/article/222707

In the interest of moving this transaction along quickly, let's start the rumour right here: The Canadian Soccer Association is willing to sell the senior women's national team.

The CSA got together and said: "Hey, why not? We're not doing anything with them."

The CSA can't find them a World Cup warm-up game at home. (China plays host to the World Cup this coming September.)

And the CSA doesn't fund them on par with our men's teams because people don't like watching girls play soccer (an approximation of their words, not mine).

And despite the fact viewers are nearly blinded during every televised sporting event by all the ring-ding-dinging for power drinks and athletic gear and nutritional supplements, the CSA could not find a single sponsor.

It doesn't seem like they even like the women's team that much. If they did, they'd be up in Ottawa screaming holy murder about how we have the defending semifinalists about to play in the world's biggest emerging economy and they practically have to row themselves overseas if they want to get there.

Since the CSA has taken their collective foot off the gas, let's get some private sector know-how at the wheel.

Representatives of the most obvious buyer – Red Bull – were in town last night.

The power drink manufacturer loves buying up sports teams, particularly soccer teams. They've purchased the former MetroStars of New York and AC Salzburg of the Austrian football league. Red Bull also has made inroads with Formula One racing teams.

But this is their ultimate challenge – rebranding a country.

And when you consider our women have received just $150,000 to help set them up for September's big event, the price sounds right.

As a nation, we're going to have to make a few adjustments.

First, how does Red Bull Canada sound to you? We know it doesn't sound that good, but success has a price.

The Maple Leaf?

Yeah, that has to go. People associate it with syrup, and nobody drinks power syrup. Instead, we get those charging bulls. In the interests of gender equality, Red Bull might be open to changing one of those to a cow. That's going to have to be a long negotiation.

The national anthem? Don't worry, we'll still have one of those. But not Canada's. The Red Bull Canada national anthem will be "Land der Berge, Land am Strome." That's Austria's national anthem, Red Bull's home country.

When Canadian players are interviewed, they will have to do so holding a can of Red Bull. If Christine Sinclair is named tournament MVP, she can't give the credit to her parents. She'll have to say Red Bull made her one of the world's best players.

From now on, it isn't called the 4-4-2. It's called the Red Bull Goring Formation. These women will have to learn how to snort.

In order to sex up Canada's dour international image, the women are going to have to wear more, er, form-fitting uniforms. Spandex fan and FIFA boss Sepp Blatter will like that one.

A national embarrassment?

No doubt.

But not much worse than the one currently on display by the CSA.

Our women are being left to drift only months before the beginning of one of the world's premier sporting events. And all anyone can bother to do about is shrug their shoulders.

Everything that team accomplishes from this point on is entirely their own doing.

If, fingers crossed, they prosper in September, don't you dare jump on their bandwagon.

If you're going to support this team, do it now.

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quote:Originally posted by Regs

Yawn.

Give me strength.

There will be more stuff coming about the CSA in the next few days that will surely awake any yawning.

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quote:Originally posted by red card

if you want the CSA to be run more as a professional business type organization, it's about optimizing revenue vs costs.

MNT return on equity is the highest - spend $1; should get back 3-5x more. All other teams - spend $1; hoping to get back $1 is quite unlikely.

In effect, run it as Division 1 NCAA schools - generate 80%+ revenue from football and then use the required portion to finance all other sports teams.

If you spend it as per membership breakdown, we're basically doomed to medicority for all teams - men & women - senior & youth

and as seen with MNT coach selection, you don't want to be at the mercy of decentralized or equitable approach - time for leadership decisions and accountability.

I think most of us agree we want the CSA to be run more as a professional business type organization so it benefits the grassroots which is paying for the CSA's existence. But look at their track record which the media is now starting to ask questions about.

If a Hockey Canada can do what they have done w/ the Women's program there, why can't the CSA do the same as after all the CSA is almost 2x the size in membership but more importantly is 43% female.

Btw gender equity is a right especially when the NSO is funded in part by public money.

You talk about the USA will sports their have benefited all across the board because of Title IX. Why do you think the USA WNT does so well.

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It has nothing to do with equality.

The women's game benfits from the men simply because the latter has more financial opprotunities.

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Look at the crowd at a soccer match outside N. America. 80 - 90 % male. In North America fan support at matches are closer to an even split between the genders. Full support for the WNT will cause the fan base to grow faster in Canada and ultimately support professional mens' teams and hopefully a top women's league. I have also noticed that when the women play we don't get "Canadians" rooting for their old homeland. It is not just a fairness issue it makes good economic sense too.

Besides, you get more bang for your bucks. Do you really think that Canada can spend any amount of money to get the mens' team ranked in the top twenty in the world in the next 10 years?

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Toronto FC games are 80-90% males in attendance (possibly even higher).

Part of the problem is demographic. Most women don't give a damn about any professional sports at all, even those played by other women. Sure, they do enjoy joining the bandwagon though.

On the flipside, most men care a lot about sport, but not a lot about women's sport.

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quote:Originally posted by terpfan68

Look at the crowd at a soccer match outside N. America. 80 - 90 % male. In North America fan support at matches are closer to an even split between the genders. Full support for the WNT will cause the fan base to grow faster in Canada and ultimately support professional mens' teams and hopefully a top women's league. I have also noticed that when the women play we don't get "Canadians" rooting for their old homeland. It is not just a fairness issue it makes good economic sense too.

Besides, you get more bang for your bucks. Do you really think that Canada can spend any amount of money to get the mens' team ranked in the top twenty in the world in the next 10 years?

Support for women's sports never equals support for men's. It's accepted and will continue to be accepted for a long time.

Let's see what the problem's are with women's soccer:

1) It's seen as an amateur sport in the eyes of the public. The same argument also applies to women's hockey. Canada is dominant but that hasn't led to professional women's hockey in Canada.

2) The policy of the CSA in regards to the women's team is to paper the stand with as many fans as possible. When the WNT played Mexico in Edmonton, they achived the high attendance by selling the side that faced the camera's as cheap General Admission. When the team came back to play Germany, fans balked at the high ticket prices.

3) What's been the most notable moment in women's soccer? Chastain ripping her shirt off after scoring the winning penalty kick. US Women's soccer has easily been overtaken by the men as people that find out that the men's game brings more financial success than the women. Does on really think the USWNT would be anywhere near it's peak without the success of the men? Hardly.

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How about the success of the WNT in Ice Hockey? They are treated fairly even though they don't have the numbers. To kill the CSA's WNT program right now when they are preparing doesn't make sense. What make sense is poor marketing & equity as stated in the Toronto Star. Remember in the CSA that 43% of the fees come from women. IMO is all comes down to marketing a product to a certain target that will generate support for a growing female youth market now & for the future.

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Put the oney where it makes sense. If we have a good chance for success then money should be put into it. At this point, with the quality of players we have in Europe and given the high profile of the Men's World Cup. it makes sense to direct it there.

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quote:Originally posted by CoachRich

How about the success of the WNT in Ice Hockey? They are treated fairly even though they don't have the numbers. To kill the CSA's WNT program right now when they are preparing doesn't make sense. What make sense is poor marketing & equity as stated in the Toronto Star. Remember in the CSA that 43% of the fees come from women. IMO is all comes down to marketing a product to a certain target that will generate support for a growing female youth market now & for the future.

But are the women being ill-prepared for the World Cup? That's the important thing isn't it? Sure, we all want to see the women marketed better but if no-one in corporate Canada is willing to step up, what is the CSA suppose to do?

As much as there has been controversy in the residency program, at least someone has stepped up to give he women some money for being involved in the national team.

By the way, isn't the Women's World Cup going to be on CBC? I'm sure that after the U-20's passes, we'll be hearing a lot more about the women's team.

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quote:Originally posted by JesseDart

Put the oney where it makes sense. If we have a good chance for success then money should be put into it. At this point, with the quality of players we have in Europe and given the high profile of the Men's World Cup. it makes sense to direct it there.

So we should accept more 6-1 losses to US? Just I would like to see more international both for men and women teams. Everyone was excited when the women U-20 World Cup was played a few years back...

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Comparing the hockey program to the soccer program is flawed w/o some concrete numbers. I would guess that Hockey Canada has a lot more money to throw around than does the CSA. What proportion of total money that Hockey Canada has, is directed towards the women?

Also, where is this 'better' exposure that the hockey program enjoys? Seriously, after Haley Wickenheiser(sp?), can you picture or even name 2 others? Can you point out a series of commercials?

Support for the women is great and I agree it could be better but be realistic. The men's side of things have 2 huge events taking place immediately with the women being months away.

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Equity is about opportunity not money. The women's team plays approximately twice as many games as the men's team because a men's program costs more to operate. The Canadian women's team is not suffering at all in comparison to the men's program - at any level in Canada.

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This is an interesting conversation, but it's a little misinformed. The WNT program this year is about five times as intense, thorough and lengthy as any previous WWC run. And the lack of opponents is an EP smokescreen. There are hundreds of quality male/boys opponents for the WNT in this country.

My favourite part of the Fair Play code:

"Help to kick racism and bigotry out of football. Treat all players and everyone else equally, regardless of their religion, race, sex or national origin."

Unfortunatley, that's just PR. Gender bigotry exists in this sport right from Sepp Blatter to Colin Linford to posters here. And what you do in a dysfunctional personal, business or professional relationship when that happens is you get a lawyer and walk out the door, and take half your national funding with you.

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this isn't about killing the women's team; but if you're looking for a long run sustainable stand alone csa, the MNT is the flagship product. It's the cash cow that can help support all other teams better than existing standards.

It's similar to most company's product lineup - 80% of the revenue comes from 20% of their products.

And I have to say the prep for this Women's WC so far has been well thought out by Pellerud. Up until recently, focus was on strength & endurance training - less on football. Now, they're just getting into the football play. They have enough games scheduled pre WC. Scorelines aren't that relevant for now.

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to put it in a nutshell, Linford was right the Mens program must come first. as a football supporter i do not and will not watch womens football,it;s so weak in competition. The CSA

must get the Mens team more games and involved in more tournaments.

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quote:Originally posted by Regs

Comparing the hockey program to the soccer program is flawed w/o some concrete numbers. I would guess that Hockey Canada has a lot more money to throw around than does the CSA. What proportion of total money that Hockey Canada has, is directed towards the women?

Also, where is this 'better' exposure that the hockey program enjoys? Seriously, after Haley Wickenheiser(sp?), can you picture or even name 2 others? Can you point out a series of commercials?

Support for the women is great and I agree it could be better but be realistic. The men's side of things have 2 huge events taking place immediately with the women being months away.

Yes, it's hard to compare the numbers as when is the last time anyone saw the CSA financials? Hockey Canada's $6.3M are here -

http://www.hockeycanada.ca/index.cfm/ci_id/24756/la_id/1.htm

Look at how business like & well marketed HC is.

As for the CSA & if I remember right, affilation fees to CSA are about $8 so x 854K = $6.8M. Usually 30% outflow from PSO to the CSA. Maybe someone knows better but w/out financials who knows.

Hockey Canada (15% female) is 35% the size of the CSA yet look at the job they do money wise. HC has only 545,00 members vs CSA's 854,000 (43% female & rising) so just on affiliaton fees CSA is off to a better start.

HC have the same issues of bringing up players to play NT but are lucky that all the players are NA based. If the CSA would do a better job of marketing itself, help create more pro teams maybe our best players would be in NA.

Linford was quoted in the Toronto Star saying spending any money on the WNT would bankrupt the CSA. What about all the revenues (600,000 tickets being sold) that the U20 is bringing in. Can't that be used to keep or strengthen the MNT & WNT programs. We don't know as no communication or financials from the CSA. Why such a statement from our head of the BOD. It really doesn't instill confidience for us in the soccer community.

When the U20's get scouted how many of them are going to stay in Canada? Very few as they will play pro in Europe or go to the US for a scholarship. As a soccer community we don't supply anything further for players beyond NT. Thankfully we now have TFC but much like the USL Teams they are still in their diapers when it comes to salaries.

Marketing to generate revenue in a sport comes down to creating a market not wishing one was there. Many NSO's have done a poor job of that so maybe looking at those NSO's like the HC who is smaller than the CSA that have done well is where the CSA should be looking.

How can as a sport of 850,000 reg'ed players & that doesn't even count school teams, acadamies, street teams & etc not know how to market itself after club levels. Any successful youth club out there w/ 1000 plus players has an operating budget of $400-600K & knows how to market itself to its community. How is the money spent in youth clubs that are boys & girls? Equally upon membership numbers otherwise no goverment gaming monies.

The WNT is doing well because of Kerfoot & Pellerud's commitment & excellent programing skills on very little money. They are not happy w/ what is going on w/ the lack of money & you can see them says so if you visit there sites & the forums they go to. Not a good situation when 43% of the membership is female. Female youth players are not happy as they can't connect w/ their role models. Where's the equity for them???? Remeber youth is the largest stakeholder in the CSA at 85%.

IMO the CSA has 2 Flagships & how they generate money comes down to understanding the opportunities & being effective in marketing. Again I point you to the marketing success of women's hockey so why not women's soccer so the female youth players have something to shoot for............

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Good job on producing numbers for Hockey Canada!

However, I went through it and saw no total revenue number for the year? Where did you get $6.3 million? Don't confuse Hockey Canada with the Hockey Canada FUND! Your figure is way outta whack considering just the hosting of the World Juniors (male BTW) contributed $8.6 million dollars alone. Hell, according to that document, revenue from merchandising alone in Winter Olympic years total over $40 million each.

Based on what I read through the document, you are making a lot of assumptions, no? How did you come to the conclusion that HC collects less money from members than the CSA? The closest figure I can gain any insight with is that only 6.3% of HC's funds is derived from the membership - and that is not further broken down by gender anywhere else in the document. Of that 6.3%, 42.6% went back to development programs - again, the figure is not broken down by gender anywhere.

Sorry but the rest of your points are all over the map... are you trying to infer that because successful boys will go to Europe that we should cut their piece of the pie and give to the girls because they will stay at home?

I must say, I will never think the same as another person who feels grassroots should control the whole structure. I have a feeling from your posts, that is where your ideals are coming from.

quote:Again I point you to the marketing success of women's hockey so why not women's soccer so the female youth players have something to shoot for............
Actually, you haven't pointed out any marketing success for women's hockey?

Cheers,

~Regs.

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