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Is the REVOLUTION ON? they call it CSF


Eric
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quote:Originally posted by Bill Spiers

Do you seriously think that for one more dollar going to the CSA, they can assume all the services provided currently by the districts and the OSA?

No, definitely not. We have a number in mind that we believe the CSA would need per registrant (I won't share that number on a forum).

We were just thinking out loud about how to get the CSA their money while holding back the provincial and district money. It's not realistic at this point but it was an entertaining debate

quote:

Go to the OSA web site and go to:

Publications>>Annual Report>>7.0 Registration Summaries

thank you Bill... I find the OSA website a bit cumbersome.

quote: And if you go to:

Publications>>Annual Report>>2.0 Officers' Reports

you'll find the OSA Financial Statements.

In 2007, the OSA collected about $2.5 million in player fees for provincial programmes and about $2.2 million in CSA fees. The CSA will be collecting more in 2008 with the $1 player fee increase.

Between the province, the districts and the leagues, a huge sum of money is being collected. My question is whether the membership is

receiving full value for the vast sums of money being remitted. I would argue NO.

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quote:Originally posted by BringBackTheBlizzard

I'm surprised you would have a go at the districts like this. Just so you know a significant portion of that money you mention goes towards an insurance policy for participants without which clubs would find it difficult to operate from a legal liability standpoint. It also pays for the district office admin staff who process player registration and discipline matters and often although not always are also involved in local league administration. Without the network of district offices across the province of Ontario the whole system would break down because that is who most soccer people actually deal with through the course of the season.

The real waste of resources isn't at the district level but at the provincial association and CSA levels where there is significantly less scope for scrutiny by people who administrate clubs at the grassroots. The way to get change to happen is for people at the grassroots level to finally say enough is enough and stop kicking money upwards until there are sensible reforms and a system is put in place where there is genuine democracy and accountability. The easiest way to do that is to organize the local rec and house league sort of stuff, which account for most of the registrations fees, completely outside of the CSA umbrella.

If the people involved with CSF were serious about a "revolution" then as Nigel Reed pointed out on the Soccer Show they would have a well thought out strategy for going after the CSA where it really hurts them most, which is their key funding source. Entrenched bureaucracies that are filled with self serving apparatchiks who operate based on an old boys sort of network do not reform the way they operate just because you ask them nicely and appeal to their better nature. As things stand I think the answer to the thread title is, "No, and why do they even use the word Canadian in the first place if they are only going to have meetings in the GTA at 7pm on a weeknight?". :)

We understand perfectly well what the districts do and believe me we are well versed in the insurance issue.

Our plan already accounts for the need for "local/regional" representation. We account for the registration angle too. If you have read the supplemental, it's all there.

As for my comments on the radio on Thursday night, I was in no position to tell Nigel, Ben and Luke what we are definitively going to do. The purpose of the first meeting was to determine the mood of the membership. To make sweeping statements at this point regarding strategy would be foolhardy. I said what I said on purpose. I anticipated that question and made the decision in advance not to address it directly. We are not in a position to dictate to the membership what they must do. We'll tell them what we think they should do but ultimately, we are just 5 guys (actually, it looks like we've got more people willing to join the committee after Thursday). The membership must decide what its comfortable with doing because without the full support of the membership, we have nothing.

As for your last comment, that's uncalled for. At our next meeting, we will be discussing how we go about doing these meetings across the country. We've already got Vancouver pencilled in for late April. I would like us to get out to the Montreal area in the spring as well. We'll see what else we can afford to do after that (remember, we are doing this out of pocket).

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Argue NO on what basis? Where do you think this money is being wasted at the local district and league level given that at annual AGMs club representatives get a chance to scrutinize accounts and approve budgets and elect office holders. Obvious examples of waste at the provincial level in Ontario would be the building of the Soccer Centre in Vaughan and the whole shambles with player registration software and an obvious example at the CSA level would be the Fred Nykamp compensation package but having been involved in soccer administration at a less exalted level than that I think you are barking up the wrong tree if you think districts and leagues are a problem because at that level there is genuine democratic accountability involving people at the grassroots.

Beyond that if you claim to be a "federation" you shouldn't have to travel to all the other cities for things to get up and running. People should be organizing for themselves from coast to coast on an equal footing with what is happening in Toronto if the organization is in any way federal. Once you have a local presence in multiple provinces then you would be ready to think in terms of a national leadership based on the wishes of each federal branch. If you are only a Toronto grouping at this point I think you are getting way ahead of yourselves by announcing to the media that you are a "Canadian Soccer Federation" in other words. As for my comment about 7pm weeknight meetings in the GTA it is inspired by the fact that I am normally based in London, Ontario. How is somebody from a city like London, Windsor or Ottawa supposed to get to somewhere like Woodbridge on a weeknight for 7pm when they have to work the next morning or do people outside the GTA not matter?

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quote:Originally posted by Martyr

iii) The Officers shall not simultaneously hold elected office in a member organization for more than one calendar year. Failure to comply shall result in the Office in this Association being vacated.

Given the above clause how is it that Provincial Presidents can even be sitting on the CSA Board??? Or I’m I just reading it wrong?

There is a difference between Officers and Directors. The section quoted above applies only to Officers - basically the Executive Committee - and not to 'mere' Directors - mostly the Provincial Presidents.

And since the Provincial Presidents have their position on the CSA Board by virtue of their position with their Provincial Association, the time they are elected to the Provincial Presidency is more significant than when they are elected to the CSA Board. The latter is more of a 'rubber stamping'.

And - FYI - the CSA AGM for 2008 is May 3rd. in St. John's, Newfoundland.

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quote:Originally posted by BringBackTheBlizzard

Argue NO on what basis? Where do you think this money is being wasted at the local district and league level given that at annual AGMs club representatives get a chance to scrutinize accounts and approve budgets and elect office holders. Obvious examples of waste at the provincial level in Ontario would be the building of the Soccer Centre in Vaughan and the whole shambles with player registration software and an obvious example at the CSA level would be the Fred Nykamp compensation package but having been involved in soccer administration at a less exalted level than that I think you are barking up the wrong tree if you think districts and leagues are a problem because at that level there is genuine democratic accountability involving people at the grassroots.

Beyond that if you claim to be a "federation" you shouldn't have to travel to all the other cities for things to get up and running. People should be organizing for themselves from coast to coast on an equal footing with what is happening in Toronto if the organization is in any way federal. Once you have a local presence in multiple provinces then you would be ready to think in terms of a national leadership based on the wishes of each federal branch. If you are only a Toronto grouping at this point I think you are getting way ahead of yourselves by announcing to the media that you are a "Canadian Soccer Federation" in other words. As for my comment about 7pm weeknight meetings in the GTA it is inspired by the fact that I am normally based in London, Ontario. How is somebody from a city like London, Windsor or Ottawa supposed to get to somewhere like Woodbridge on a weeknight for 7pm when they have to work the next morning or do people outside the GTA not matter?

Our document lays out our belief as to how soccer should be governed and organized. The membership will decide ultimately how they wish the governance and organizational structure to be constructed. I think I have made it very clear that we are not dictating anything to anyone. Our vision for a better future is open to interpretation, compromise and reorganization. Our goal is to fix what ills the game. If our plan has weaknesses, I'm sure that the people at the grassroots level, people who are fully immersed in the day to day of soccer administration, will point out those weaknesses and suggest alternatives. We are all ears and we welcome the input and their participation in the process.

I will not argue with you that there is significant waste at the provincial and national level. But I can also tell you that I have spoken to MANY people who would tell you that there are significant problems at the district and league level as well. One of the club executives in attendance on Thursday brought up just one example of the problems with a specific league that met with approval from several other people in attendance who also have teams that participate in that league. Regardless, we agree that there need to be competitive leagues and we believe in regional representation (we call them Regional Soccer Centers). We just have a different vision of what the role of the leagues and the regional representation should be. We might be right...we might be wrong. It's just our vision. It's up to the people at the grassroots to decide, not us.

To argue about the semantics of our name is not worth my time quite honestly. Maybe you would have prefered we called ourselves "5 guys and a Plan". It's irrelevant. We have the right to call ourselves whatever we wish and we have the right to change the name at some point if people deem it worthwhile/important to do so.

As for having the first meeting in the GTA, we understand it is difficult for people outside the GTA to attend. We knew this going into it. I personally was very pleased that we had in attendance concerned soccer people from London, Windsor, Peterborough, Cottage Country and other points. We intend to get out to meet with more people in other parts of the province and outside the province. We have already told the people from Windsor and London that we would like to do an event in that part of the province. We are also keen to do something in Ottawa because of the strong soccer community up there. We are committed openess and inclusiveness. I am not sure how much more clear we need to be about that.

If elements of our document have upset you in anyway, I think it would be more constructive to post or email a summary of concerns so that we can discuss and consider them. We've already made some tweaks to our document based on the feedback we got after the first 2 weeks. Taking potshots at us is not constructive. We admit readily we do not have all the answers but we have made the effort to put out our document, knowing full well that we are going to be scrutinized and even criticized. We welcome constructive scrutiny and criticism. However, if the scrutiny and criticism do not have a constructive element to it, it's not really worth our time. We would rather engage the people who are willing to express their concerns and provide some possible solutions to problems that might exist with our vision.

So, with all due respect, I ask you to provide me with a summary of your concerns with our vision document. I'll gladly reply to each concern in detail, as I have done for numerous other people. I prefer email if possible

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When I assisted the Jamaica Canada game in 2006, I heard 3 guys in their teen's saying that they might be switching from soccer to hockey and swimming since they could not play soccer all year long.

They mentionned that the guys who did very well in soccer joined futsal league's in the Winter.

Perhap's promotting Futsal clubs should be one of the top priority of this association. Futsal produced many great football player's such as Ronaldo, and it helps for skill development.

Plus it is a way for players not to lose the grip during our long winter's.

Promoting Futsal or clubs to build all year long soccer stadium like BMO Field (with the bubble) would improve the sport in this country.

For the CSF

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^ totally agreed. Futsal and small sided indoor soccer are excellent ways to work on a players ball skills and keep fitness up during the winter.

I would like to see more emphasis placed on futsal at the club level during the winter. It is my understanding that school gyms are cheaper to rent than the indoor pitches so running a futsal program might be a way to keep playing more nights of the week at a lower cost. Just a thought.

There are so many ideas as to how to improve the technical skills of our players. Having the best young players playing at the highest level that their skills allow, regardless of age restrictions, is one thing that we talk about all the time. It goes hand in hand with the need for proper Senior level soccer.

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quote:Originally posted by Bill Spiers

There is a difference between Officers and Directors. The section quoted above applies only to Officers - basically the Executive Committee - and not to 'mere' Directors - mostly the Provincial Presidents.

I knew that.:) It was a stupid question. Thanks for taking the time to answer it anyway. That's what happens when you try and take a look at a set of bylaws in seperate sections rather than reading it as a whole. Sub-section 12: Board of Directors spells out what you've said above perfectly clearly.

However, I have another question. If the Directors representing each province are simply just the Presidents of each Provincial Association - why in Sub-section 13 are the Directors representing each Province listed as being 'elected' in even and odd numbered years along with the officers? Why list them in that section at all? Is this left over from a previous time when the Provincial Presidents did not double as CSA Directors?

quote:Originally posted by Bill Spiers

And since the Provincial Presidents have their position on the CSA Board by virtue of their position with their Provincial Association, the time they are elected to the Provincial Presidency is more significant than when they are elected to the CSA Board. The latter is more of a 'rubber stamping'.

I will amend my posting with those Provincial election dates as I find them. Thanks.

quote:Originally posted by Bill Spiers

And - FYI - the CSA AGM for 2008 is May 3rd. in St. John's, Newfoundland.

Thanks for the correction. I got the May 10th date from an article on the CSA web site. They must have changed it since then:

http://www.canadasoccer.com/eng/media/viewArtical.asp?Press_ID=2904

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The real question should be asked of the clubs. Where does the money go. Some clubs are charging 270.00 a month for kids to play. Others are charging children u10. 170.00 to play the game. Clubs are making big big money.

This new group CSF are being pushed forward by Academy peoples who are making big money from the game. Ask them what they charging kids?

The meeting told us nothing. Robert the President (I believe ) did not even show. What it did demonstrate is that they are clueless as to the facts about the organization of the game in the country.

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quote:Originally posted by Martyr

However, I have another question. If the Directors representing each province are simply just the Presidents of each Provincial Association - why in Sub-section 13 are the Directors representing each Province listed as being 'elected' in even and odd numbered years along with the officers? Why list them in that section at all? Is this left over from a previous time when the Provincial Presidents did not double as CSA Directors?

I think it is a requirement for a corporation that the Directors are formally elected periodically. This just provides the means to satisfy that requirement.

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ANC2, your post shows only that you are as clueless as you believe them to be...

Academy people are NOT behind the CSF, sure we have offered input, but this is the brainchild of the 5 publicly identified members - none of which are associated with academies...

As for making big bucks - ha! - the director of one of the larger academies will offer to open his books to anyone that is interested - provided that they agree to pay the all debts that will be evident once the books are opened :). These teams have significant budgets which pay for facilities, coaches, therapists etc... Profit margins are virtually non-existent (but again, I digress and apologize)

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quote:Originally posted by ANC2

The real question should be asked of the clubs. Where does the money go. Some clubs are charging 270.00 a month for kids to play. Others are charging children u10. 170.00 to play the game. Clubs are making big big money.

This new group CSF are being pushed forward by Academy peoples who are making big money from the game. Ask them what they charging kids?

The meeting told us nothing. Robert the President (I believe ) did not even show. What it did demonstrate is that they are clueless as to the facts about the organization of the game in the country.

#1 - None of our members own, operate or are employed by a private Academy. We all have a lot of respect for the player development philosophy in place at many academies, especially those affiliated with SAAC.

#2 - the only 2 people in our group who are involved with soccer administration are Bob and Flynn. They are involved with North York Hearts and Toronto Azurri. Neither of these are academies. They are clubs sanctioned by the OSA.

#3 - Bob Iarusci is not the "President" of our group. He is a founding member. Unfortunately, his job as a sales executive for Labatts forced him to miss the meeting. He was called out of town at the last minute for emergency reasons.

As passionate as we all are about this project, we all have jobs that put food on our tables. If my work forced me to miss the event, I would have had to miss it as well. Bob was deeply disappointed to not be there.

As for club finances, there is no doubt that some clubs are doing fairly well financially. Some are not. If you have questions, request an invitation to attend their AGMs. They numbers are right there for everyone to see. As for private acadamy finances,

And, if we are clueless about how the game is organized in this country, please educate us. We are an open group. I hope you took the time to fill out the questionnaire that we included in our handout on Thursday night and offered to volunteer to work with us. I'm sure someone like Flynn, with 30 years in soccer administration or Stephen, who has been part of clubs for over 20 years as a coach or board member would appreciate your insight. Not to mention the many years Bob and Ron have been involved, in various ways, with youth soccer. I'm the only "rookie". I've only been involved with a club for 2 years, and only as a house league coach. I've made a concerted effort to listen when smart people tell me things and I try to meet as many smart people as I can.

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quote:Originally posted by Massive Attack

So, were the National Teams discussed last night, or was this more whining from those involved in youth/amateur soccer? With the main goal of having fees decreased?

I am catching up after a few days--and it seems there has been a lot of discussion!

I have to remind M.A. (as I have others :D ) that what the MNT and WNT really need are good youth clubs that develop Canadian boys and girls into the kind of men and women who will make the NTs consistently strong in the future. As for CSA youth taxes, I guess if we get zippo-zilch-nada for them then they ought to go down and if we get services and support and leadership then they could even go up. Right now I do not think that many clubs of any sort think that we are getting value for our money.

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quote:Originally posted by Free kick

But since this is a fan forum, we can safely say that what matters most is results and to get results you need to produce quality talent. I am yet to see any proposal or idea that brought forward that will achieve, in any way, improvements in producing quality talent. In fact, what I see instead is a withdrawal from the system rather than working to improve the players and quality produced by the system.

Getting financial's, and auditors reports and other reports to be made public is all well and good. But it DOES NOTHING TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF PLAYERS PRODUCED, RESULTS ON THE PITCH OR THE QUALITY OF SOCCER PLAYED IN THIS PROVINCE OR COUNTRY. If it did or if the ultimate aims were to achieve those objectives, I would full endorse those measures.

This is not a short-term thing. To get more and better Canadian players, we have to get the youth and youth-to-adult systems working much better. But, except for discovering a hidden star or two, nothing that we do today is going to have any significant effect on players above about U15-U16, and little on those about about U12-U13. The real gains will be for those who are now U9-ish and younger.

"Fans" are pretty fair-weather types, IMHO, if all they care about is another victory today, when the road to lasting improvement means we forget about today and work for tomorrow. The whole CSF thing is about tomorrow. Today was screwed by the CSA yesterday. :D

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There is no magic bullet that will fix all that is wrong with Canadian soccer overnight. The governance and structure of the system of administration and player development needs to be fixed, the right kind of people put in place and then and only then does the real hard work begin... This is the approach advocated by the CSF and they are on the right track.

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quote:Originally posted by VPjr

If elements of our document have upset you in anyway, I think it would be more constructive to post or email a summary of concerns so that we can discuss and consider them. We've already made some tweaks to our document based on the feedback we got after the first 2 weeks. Taking potshots at us is not constructive. We admit readily we do not have all the answers but we have made the effort to put out our document, knowing full well that we are going to be scrutinized and even criticized. We welcome constructive scrutiny and criticism. However, if the scrutiny and criticism do not have a constructive element to it, it's not really worth our time. We would rather engage the people who are willing to express their concerns and provide some possible solutions to problems that might exist with our vision.

So, with all due respect, I ask you to provide me with a summary of your concerns with our vision document. I'll gladly reply to each concern in detail, as I have done for numerous other people. I prefer email if possible

So in other words don't dare disagree with me again on a public forum. :) I gave you two constructive suggestions in terms of how to go after the CSA in terms of finances and how to organize a "federation" without having to spend lots of money on air fares. I suspect your desire to go to email is really based on having no easy answers to either. I don't think you are close to the stage yet where a national leadership or vision should have emerged and I don't see how you seriously expect to be able to reach and engage people from coast to coast unless issues like these can be hashed out on the internet using public messageboards. Sadly, all I see at the moment is the same old Toronto-centric mentality that leads to the top Toronto area league being called the Canadian Soccer League and the rest of the country tuning it out and continuing to do their own thing for the most part.

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^ Your suggestions for going after the CSA in terms of finances are not unique. Everything you mentioned in that previous post (OSA Soccer Center, Nykamp settlement, Registration software boondoggle) are all things that are on our list. How we use those fiascos (and others) is still to be determined.

As for organizing our federation, we are working on building our network. We wanted to get our document out as soon as possible. We did not want to be trumped. The support from across the country is coming in. However, I personally feel that the only way to seal your support is to meet with your potential supporters face to face. That's why we'll be cashing in some Aeroplan points this spring I suspect.

To be quite honest, engaging people on message boards is important but not critical to our efforts. Our #1 priority is lining up support from the people at the clubs and academies, as well as the media and important members of the Canadian soccer community. These are the people who control the votes, the pursestrings and can affect public opinion. That's all starting to take shape. Personally, I enjoy the back and forth with people on the forums. The ideas that are exchanged are very helpful and the scrutiny is important to the process. I prefer to go to email because public forums are not the place to discuss all things. We are all for openness and transparency but there are some limits. "People" do monitor this site. No need to tell them everything we are planning.

We will agree to disagree on the Toronto-centric thing. To me, it's a potshot and could not be further from the truth. Funny how alot of people outside Toronto who have been contacting us daily since Feb 11th don't seem to share that opinion. Out of 500+ emails received, i have only had 2 people accuse us of being Toronto-centric. However, the minute we let them know that we plan to come to them in person to solicit their opinions in a face to face forum, their attitudes change and they tell us that they will definitely be in attendance. People seem to understand that it doesn't matter where the ideas to fix our sport come from as long as they are out there and something is being done to move these ideas forward.

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You have no way of knowing at this stage if the feedback you receive is in any way representative. Suffice to say I won't be helping you sell any t-shirts in future because I think your approach is fundamentally flawed. Think eventually you might be surprised by how little attention soccer people outside Toronto actually pay to the Toronto based radio and print media and what happens within the Toronto soccer community and that you will find that your media connections don't count for as much as you think they do. There is no way that you will be able to reach the whole country face to face and if you are serious about reform what happens in Newfoundland, PEI, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba could very well be as important as what happens in Ontario, BC and Quebec. That's the nature of Canada based on federalism. Over and out from me for now.

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^ Talk about giving up before you've even begun! In all the years people have been griping about the ineffectiveness of the CSA management no group has had more constructive impact across the country than the CSF and still people whine and complain that they've got it all wrong.

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quote:Originally posted by BringBackTheBlizzard

You have no way of knowing at this stage if the feedback you receive is in any way representative. Suffice to say I won't be helping you sell any t-shirts in future because I think your approach is fundamentally flawed. Think eventually you might be surprised by how little attention soccer people outside Toronto actually pay to the Toronto based radio and print media and what happens within the Toronto soccer community and that you will find that your media connections don't count for as much as you think they do. There is no way that you will be able to reach the whole country face to face and if you are serious about reform what happens in Newfoundland, PEI, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba could very well be as important as what happens in Ontario, BC and Quebec. That's the nature of Canada based on federalism. Over and out from me for now.

Of course we have no way of knowing if the words of support are representative of every person in each province. But you have no way of knowing that its not. We've heard from people in 7 provinces thus far. We've had media attention in 3 provinces with 1 more being worked on. We have people volunteering to join our committee from 5 provinces so far. That's a start. We are only at the VERY beginning. I'd say we are doing OK. It could always be better but we are pleased with the response.

You're right...we'll never meet everyone involved in Canadian soccer. I don't believe we have to. Initially, we have to just get out and meet as many people as are interested in meeting us. It will grow from there. If it doesn't, we're doomed but at least we gave it a shot.

I know you are out of the country these days. If you do get back to Ontario during TFC season, I'd love to sit down, share a pint and discuss this further at the RPB pub. I hope you will be good enough to grant me that request.

It must be getting close to lunchtime soon for you so enjoy your day.

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If we bump into each other at the tailgate in Columbus I'll have no problem chatting away with you over a beer as one TFC fan to another but it's probably not worth getting into it on this CSF stuff. It's obvious we are never going to agree on that. At the pro level the CSA is now largely irrelevant thankfully due to top Canadian teams being able to get into USSF sanctioned leagues. I tend to tune out the rest of Canadian soccer most of the time now as a waste of time and/or a lost cause unless I see a course of action like the black t-shirts vs Costa Rica that I think might actually succeed in doing some good. One final thought I'll add is that it is actually the status quo that is doing irreparable damage to the national teams and that is why a drastic course of action like an intervention by federal politicians (even if it means problems with FIFA for a year or two) or a mass defection by clubs when it comes to paying registration fees to cut off their funding will be needed to fix the mess. Without that 20 years from now people will still be talking about all the same old issues on boards like this, in my opinion.

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Any lingering doubt on your identity is now removed. :) Counting down the days now basically. Too bad it had to be Columbus in some ways. Taking a 2000 or 3000 sized away support to DC and outsinging the Barra Brava etc would have been the ultimate. Hopefully the Columbus thing won't become a tradition. Returning this thread to its original subject matter the big threat to the CSA has to be what happens when so many people who used to tune Canadian soccer out for the most part and who only paid attention to what happens overseas but who are now finally passionate about soccer in a North American context as well start noticing how amateur the CSA is in comparison to TFC. Pro soccer probably only needs to become a little bit more mainstream now before at least some federal politicians are liable to finally see it as worth their time to get involved.

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