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The CSA is its own worst enemy

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...and in other news the sky is blue.

The Southsiders have a large banner featuring our web address: www.vancouversouthsiders.ca

We normally hang it over the fence in front of us, and it does not block or cover any advertising whatsoever.

My understanding of what happened at yesterdays V Cup match is as follows:

The CSA brass saw the banner and kicked up a stink... they complained to the Whitecaps operations staff and asked for it to be taken down. The Caps haggled with them on our behalf, and the CSA said they would be willing to leave it alone if the "www" and the ".ca" were covered up.

Realizing that this would completely defeat the purpose of our banner, namely drawing interest to our supporters group, the Caps moved the banner to a fence behind the Southside, approx 6 - 8 feet off the ground. The idea was that it would hopefully get some broadcast coverage in addition to decent stadium-wide visibility

This is not the first time the CSA has stepped in and made a fuss over supporters signage at Swangard. They meddled during WC qualifiers a few years back, and sent some coffee jockey along with security to ensure a similar banner was taken down then too.

Where is the common sense in this?

Why does the CSA not understand that it is in the organization's financial interest to attract more supporters to their games?

I completely understand that they can't have gonzo product marketing on site, or something that promotes a product or company which directly competes with a paid sponsor of the event.... but for f--- sake!

Let's be perfectly frank:

Companies who sponsor sports events generally do so for two reasons:

1) To increase their brand awareness

2) To claim the sponsorship investment as a business expense tax deduction

Does it not stand to reason that the CSA would appear much more attractive to prospective sponsors if they could boast better attendance numbers? Wouldn't sponsors see greater value in renewing their investment in the CSA next year if the stands were much fuller than they are now?

Why why why why then does the CSA discourage independent efforts to grow the loyal fan base?

These bureaucratic dinosaurs really need to back off and let the supporters groups do what the CSA cannot. If the CSA's mandate is to oversee the success of Canadian football at the club and country levels, they shouldn't be working against something that is helping make that happen.

To quote John C. Reilly, performing as Dewey Cox:

"When I was a boy, people used to say to me, 'Slow down Dewey, don't walk so hard!' I would tell 'em 'You are fat and old, now get the f--- out of my way! I'll walk as hard as I damn well please!'."

That seems rather fitting, don't you think?

CSA: find some common sense and USE IT.

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How about a nice big banner that says "www.canadasoccer.com" and as soon as the game starts it drops down and the one behind it reads "SACK THE CSA" ? Would that be more to the liking of the CSA? I'm sure it can be arranged. They should pick their fights more intelligently. They can't win and can be made to look bad. Never underestimate the ingenuity of a bunch of pissed off fans.

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Not at this particular match. Our best means of attracting newcomers (and fundraising) has been our pre-game tailgate parties. We will however be papering the stadium with pamphlets next week, and we will have a few PA announcements about our Portland bus trip as well.

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Is there not some legality issue going on here? Namely, that all other signage that is advertising anything has paid to be there.

Why not work with the CSA ahead of the next match to see why they took the action they did and get something in place ahead of the next game? Sure, that's not as much fun as complaining about how much the CSA sucks, but it might work.

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That's all fine n' dandy, but they take the view that anything with a website is "commercial advertising."

Besides, this still doesn't address my complaint - why aren't THEY recognizing the value in their supporters?

Remember, this is the same organization that cracked down on Southsiders and Voyageurs for having Canadian flags which "violated size policy" while they turned a blind eye to Guatemalans and Hondurans with even bigger ones.

My experience at Swangard has been that there appears to be more bureaucracy driving the CSA than football. It is a toxic, poisonous mix.

Perhaps fans have had better dealings with the CSA at other venues. The ones running the show out west are mindless policy wonks, and my patience for their absurdity is nil.

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Yeah, I get what you're saying. I think my post came off more antagonistic than I meant.

I just figure that if you want the exposure, it might be best to put together a "Southsiders: True Whitecaps Supporters" or something banner and then hope that the people who see it know how to use the Google to get more info. I can sort of see the CSA's point of view where a website could be construed as commercial advertising.

It doesn't make sense that they are discouraging supporters groups but in some cases it may make more sense to bend a little to get at least some exposure rather than having a confrontation every time, because most of the time they'll win.

Of course, I don't really know the whole story. Just throwing an opinion around.

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90% of CSA staff are ****wits, whereas the remaining 10% "get it".

El Hombre is right. We should find those 10%, and lobby them.

I remember Winnipeg Fury lobbied the CSA on behalf of the Voyageurs to allow us to hang flags at Stade Staputo during the 2008 World Cup quals. It worked, and that was the first footie match that flags were allowed.

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