Jump to content

Things get really messy in Alberta


Oldtimer

Recommended Posts

(mods, please move this if it is the wrong section.)

Accounts frozen as soccer dispute intensifies

Payroll in jeopardy as rival factions battle for control of board

EDMONTON — The Alberta Soccer Association’s bank accounts have been frozen, action prompted by the ongoing battle in the boardroom.

Embattled ASA president Chris Billings confirmed Monday night that a TD Canada Trust branch in west Edmonton froze the accounts on Friday, after telling him that bank officials had received conflicting information as to the identity of the ASA’s rightful board of directors.

Billings first delivered that sobering financial news to about 40 ASA members attending a Saturday town hall meeting in Nisku called by Billings to discuss the ongoing boardroom turmoil that has rocked the association since late February.

Billings, of Beaumont, leads a five-member board of directors elected by ASA members at a special general meeting held April 24. A rival seven-member group also representing itself as the ASA board is led by Mario Charpentier of Edmonton. The Canadian Soccer Association has recognized this latter group as the official board. However, all seven were removed from office at the April 24 special general meeting by a unanimous vote of ASA members.

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/life/Accounts+frozen+soccer+dispute+intensifies/3094744/story.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why would a bank interfere when an organization has the weight of a lifetime of a provinces future registration fees behind them? That's illogical. Hell the City of Oakville alone floated something like 10 million dollars against them.

after telling him that bank officials had received conflicting information

I would ask who they received the information from. And if it was someone hardballing them and pushing them out onto the ledge, find out who that person was and give them a lifetime ban from any Canadian sports organization.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The provincial teams should not be affected. Business will carry on as usual with the ASA staff running the office and programs. A temporary trust account for ASA members to deposit their fees has been set up and will be used to pay staff salaries, rent, etc. until the banking situation is resolved. Quite likely, the two big minor soccer associations (Edmonton and Calgary) will probably not pay into this account and their leaders are still insisting the old Board is still in charge. The new Board of directors (interim until next January's AGM) is officially registered with the Alberta Societies Registry and will continue conducting the affairs of ASA. The staff is doing a fine job of running the day-to-day operations without the interference of Board members such as they experienced from the ousted Board.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The provincial teams should not be affected. Business will carry on as usual with the ASA staff running the office and programs. A temporary trust account for ASA members to deposit their fees has been set up and will be used to pay staff salaries, rent, etc. until the banking situation is resolved. Quite likely, the two big minor soccer associations (Edmonton and Calgary) will probably not pay into this account and their leaders are still insisting the old Board is still in charge. The new Board of directors (interim until next January's AGM) is officially registered with the Alberta Societies Registry and will continue conducting the affairs of ASA. The staff is doing a fine job of running the day-to-day operations without the interference of Board members such as they experienced from the ousted Board.

I've sent another email to the CMSA, as a Calgary minor soccer coach, asking if they could perhaps include some news on this in their email newsletters they produce on a weekly or so basis.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know how much salaries and operating costs are but it will cost about $100,000 to send those kids to nationals. Can you bring in a couple of hundred thousand in a month this late in the season on the small % the province scrapes off registration fees without Calgary and Edmonton? If not I'd go looking for a sponsor quick.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know how much salaries and operating costs are but it will cost about $100,000 to send those kids to nationals. Can you bring in a couple of hundred thousand in a month this late in the season on the small % the province scrapes off registration fees without Calgary and Edmonton? If not I'd go looking for a sponsor quick.

Fees from the members based on player registrations don't even start coming in until the end of May. There will be some substantial cheques being deposited this week even without EMSA and CMSA. ASA's staff fees are lower now as well. down from 12 to 8 including no Executive Director, which saves a considerable sum.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It appears the gloves are now off, Maestracci is now interfering directly in Alberta's affairs and has ordered President Chris Billings to appear in front of the ousted Board led by Mario Charpentier for a "hearing". If he does not comply before June 21, he will be dealt with by the CSA Executive Committee. Maestracci was not liked in Alberta before - when this gets out he will have made a large number of new enemies in Alberta. My take is that the anti-reform people at CSA will now stop at nothing to find a way to reject the governance report. I would never have believed such an incredibly unjust situation could be foisted upon not only Alberta but the entire CSA.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is what Mario Charpentier sent out (as part of a longer note) to some ASA members recently regarding the Alberta Delegation's role at the CSA AGM. Below that is a letter from Maestracci that should make everyone's blood run cold.

"CSA Annual Meeting Update

In the meantime, representatives of the Board of Directors of ASA attended the CSA annual meeting in

Winnipeg where a number of issues were discussed, including a proposed new CSA governance Model.

CSA’s governance committee proposed a framework for changing how CSA governs itself, in line with an

approach used in only 2 of over 200 countries in FIFA. Some provinces, including Alberta, were opposed

to some of the recommendations. One proposed change related to provincial representation. It was

suggested that only 2 Provinces be given permanent representation on the CSA Board: Ontario and

Quebec, with one other representative from the remaining provinces. This change, if enacted, could put

Alberta in a situation where the fourth largest province in the country would have no voice or vote on the

CSA Board. We therefore opposed that change.

The other change that was opposed by Alberta was the approach taken to the Technical committee and its

programs that we felt needed to be re-considered. Mike Traficante, from Edmonton, is a CSA Executive

Board Member who now chairs the CSA Technical Committee. He is responsible for all National Teams

and in addition he is responsible for player, coach and referee development across Canada. This is good

for Alberta and continues to promote Alberta’s strong contributions to soccer in Canada. We will continue

to work with the CSA Governance Committee to safeguard and advance Alberta’s interests at the national

level.

It was a great moment for Alberta at the CSA AGM when the members unanimously approved Edmonton

F.C. as Canada’s 4th Professional Club. The owner Thomas Fath made an elegant speech to the CSA

delegation. It is a great step forward for soccer in Alberta. We look forward to Edmonton F.C. playing in

the NASL and the enhanced profile it will bring to soccer in Alberta.

In these turbulent times, please feel free to call any of the Board members if you have any outstanding

questions or concerns.

On behalf of the Board of Directors

Mario Charpentier

First Vice President"

"June 3, 2010

Mr. Mario Charpentier, Alberta Soccer Association Board of Directors

Mr. Chris Billings

Dear Sirs:

Following the meeting of the Board of Directors of The Canadian Soccer Association (CSA)

held in Winnipeg, Manitoba on May 14, 2010, the Board has asked the Executive Committee

to “exercise all the powers of the Board in the direction of the CSA” as outlined in article 35 of

the CSA By-Laws.

In addition, the Board also requested that Kelly Santini advise both parties of the following:

1) The dispute that exists between the Alberta Soccer Association (ASA) and Mr. Chris

Billings needs to be resolved in accordance with the provisions of the ASA and CSA

By-Laws.

2) The Canadian Soccer Association maintains its position with the current elected Board

of Directors of the ASA (as elected or confirmed in January 2010 at the Annual

General Meeting of the ASA).

On June 1, 2010, the CSA Executive Committee met via conference call to discuss the CSA’s

next steps in assisting the ASA to resolve this issue. It was unanimously agreed that both

parties should abide by the established process:

1) Mr. Billings must recognize the legitimacy of the CSA. A hearing of Mr. Billings at the

provincial level under the ASA Board recognized by the CSA must take place. The

hearing must be held before June 21, 2010. If Mr. Billings refuses to appear at this

hearing, as he already refused to appear at the first hearing, the ASA and CSA will

take the necessary steps provided in the ASA and CSA By-Laws.

2) If the result of this hearing does not satisfy either one of the parties, the parties will

have the right to appeal the decision through the CSA Judicial Bodies (a) the

Disciplinary Committee and, if necessary, (B) the Appeals Committee (article 47 of

CSA By-Laws).

3) The suspension of Mr. Billings by the ASA Board as recognized by the CSA will remain

in effect until the entire process has been resolved.

This process has been stated repeatedly in CSA correspondence directed to both parties and

must be followed. The CSA Executive Committee is ready to mediate to ensure a resolution

is achieved. This will be done without prejudicing the process.

The CSA is hoping that both parties will act accordingly in view of the interest of our sport in

Alberta and Canada.

Sincerely,

Dominique Maestracci

President"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is what Mario Charpentier sent out (as part of a longer note) to some ASA members recently regarding the Alberta Delegation's role at the CSA AGM.

"CSA Annual Meeting Update

It was suggested that only 2 Provinces be given permanent representation on the CSA Board: Ontario and Quebec, with one other representative from the remaining provinces. This change, if enacted, could put Alberta in a situation where the fourth largest province in the country would have no voice or vote on the CSA Board. We therefore opposed that change.

The other change that was opposed by Alberta was the approach taken to the Technical committee and its programs that we felt needed to be re-considered. Mike Traficante, from Edmonton, is a CSA Executive Board Member who now chairs the CSA Technical Committee. He is responsible for all National Teams and in addition he is responsible for player, coach and referee development across Canada. This is good for Alberta and continues to promote Alberta's strong contributions to soccer in Canada.

On the first point, that is not what I heard - and not what JDV reported. Six regions will each elect someone to the CSA Board. (Alberta and the NWT being one of those regions). Did I misunderstand or is someone mis-representing the proposal?

On the second point, shouldn't Mike Traficante - as a member of the CSA Executive Committee - be doing what is good for all of Canada - not just what is good for Alberta?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Below is a letter from Maestracci that should make everyone's blood run cold.

"June 3, 2010

Mr. Mario Charpentier, Alberta Soccer Association Board of Directors

Mr. Chris Billings

Dear Sirs:

Following the meeting of the Board of Directors of The Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) held in Winnipeg, Manitoba on May 14, 2010, the Board has asked the Executive Committee

to "exercise all the powers of the Board in the direction of the CSA" as outlined in article 35 of the CSA By-Laws.

In addition, the Board also requested that Kelly Santini advise both parties of the following:

1) The dispute that exists between the Alberta Soccer Association (ASA) and Mr. Chris Billings needs to be resolved in accordance with the provisions of the ASA and CSA By-Laws.

2) The Canadian Soccer Association maintains its position with the current elected Board of Directors of the ASA (as elected or confirmed in January 2010 at the Annual General Meeting of the ASA).

On June 1, 2010, the CSA Executive Committee met via conference call to discuss the CSA's next steps in assisting the ASA to resolve this issue. It was unanimously agreed that both

parties should abide by the established process:

1) Mr. Billings must recognize the legitimacy of the CSA. A hearing of Mr. Billings at the provincial level under the ASA Board recognized by the CSA must take place. The hearing must be held before June 21, 2010. If Mr. Billings refuses to appear at this hearing, as he already refused to appear at the first hearing, the ASA and CSA will take the necessary steps provided in the ASA and CSA By-Laws.

2) If the result of this hearing does not satisfy either one of the parties, the parties will have the right to appeal the decision through the CSA Judicial Bodies (a) the Disciplinary Committee and, if necessary, (B) the Appeals Committee (article 47 of CSA By-Laws).

3) The suspension of Mr. Billings by the ASA Board as recognized by the CSA will remain in effect until the entire process has been resolved.

This process has been stated repeatedly in CSA correspondence directed to both parties and must be followed. The CSA Executive Committee is ready to mediate to ensure a resolution

is achieved. This will be done without prejudicing the process. The CSA is hoping that both parties will act accordingly in view of the interest of our sport in Alberta and Canada.

Sincerely,

Dominique Maestracci

President"

What surprises me here (assuming the letter quoted above is correct) is that Dominique Maestracci makes a point about following process and abiding by ASA and CSA By-Laws yet that is exactly what the ASA and CSA (in my opinion) have NOT done themselves. From what I have read, the ASA Board (led by MC) suspended Chris Billings without a hearing - and that is in direct contravention of the CSA Rules. The CSA cannot pick and choose which rules to follow and which rules to ignore.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You heard right Bill, this has nothing to do with due process. It's simply a blatant attempt by the power clique on the CSA executive to make absolutely sure that Alberta will vote their way. These guys don't care what other people think, they'll maintain a charade of pseudo-legality but they don't care if you're offended by it or not. What they're saying here is they will do whatever they have to do to keep power. It's no co-incidence that they insist CB attend a "hearing" by June 21. They want to do everything they can to keep him out of the way prior to the next CSA Board meeting. If that means direct interference in a Provincial Association's affairs then so be it. These creeps make me physically ill.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mario send a threatening email to all ASA staff yesterday. If they communicate with Chris Billings and don't accept the "authority" of Mario and his group he will make time to schedule exit interviews for them early next week.

Nice guy. Bully the people caught in the middle.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On the first point, that is not what I heard - and not what JDV reported. Six regions will each elect someone to the CSA Board. (Alberta and the NWT being one of those regions). Did I misunderstand or is someone mis-representing the proposal?

On the second point, shouldn't Mike Traficante - as a member of the CSA Executive Committee - be doing what is good for all of Canada - not just what is good for Alberta?

Bill, a repost from last month:

First, I must have an old Atlas because mine doesn't have "the six regions of Canada"

 4,500,000 - BC/YT

 3,750,000 - AB/NT

 2,250,000 - MAN/SK

13,150,000 - ON

 7,875,000 - QC

 2,350,000 - Atlantic

Especially one where I can add up four of five and not be the size of the sixth.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know how it will turn out but I'm glad the CSA is in gear and acting to resolve things and not looking the other way and handing out the SDRCC card. I have no idea how it will turn out but I imagine the CSA will push their agenda, that's pretty natural in any situation like this and the point of a national body. Someone could object to their handling of it but they didn't make this happen or ask to be in the position they are. If Albertans are unhappy with where things are going or end up it is their responsibility to put down their differences and pull together and lobby hard. I would think if you could block together a number of the biggest representative groups the weight of that interest would go a very long way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know how it will turn out but I'm glad the CSA is in gear and acting to resolve things and not looking the other way and handing out the SDRCC card. I have no idea how it will turn out but I imagine the CSA will push their agenda, that's pretty natural in any situation like this and the point of a national body. Someone could object to their handling of it but they didn't make this happen or ask to be in the position they are. If Albertans are unhappy with where things are going or end up it is their responsibility to put down their differences and pull together and lobby hard. I would think if you could block together a number of the biggest representative groups the weight of that interest would go a very long way.

Yes, I guess if you consider supporting a group which completely ignores the bylaws of their own association and then gets their senior group to ignore their bylaws to gain a purely political advantage then I guess you could be glad that CSA is "acting to resolve things". In that vein I would then assume a lawless free-for-all would be the way to go. The biggest bully would come out on top and all would be well with the world. Sorry Vic but for some reason many of us in Alberta have respect for due process and will fight this. Or I suppose we could, as suggested by MC, get Albertans such as Mike Traficante to run as many things as possible. I would assume if it's good for Alberta then it follows that it's good for Canada - right?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I didn't say I agree with what they are doing, I said I support a national body that does something. I don't know 1% of enough about the parties or the issues to gauge the merit of the direction they are taking. That's for the courts and the people of the province to decide. Albertans didn't ask for this either, they woke up and found it on their front lawn - but the options are now pretend it isn't there and let someone "take care of it for you" or seize the moment and control your destiny. All the players in this game are simply the people representing your voices. Pull together and make that known. If a number of the biggest soccer groups in the province assemble and throw their clear support behind a group or direction, no one will be able to ignore or misrepresent that voice and interests.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Regrettably Vic, the two largest soccer bodies in the province are the Edmonton Minor Soccer Association and the Calgary Minor Soccer Association. EMSA has the most votes of any association with CMSA not far behind. The large majority of these two youth associations are recreational players with fairly disinterested parents. There are some high level clubs in Calgary that do not agree with the actions of the Board that was legally removed but they haven't flexed their muscles yet. The majority of the District members of ASA held a legally constituted Special General Meeting that is permitted under our bylaws. 9 members of the Board that suspended Chris Billings (without following the bylaws and without any sort of due process) were unanimously removed by the members who attended. The result was accepted by The Alberta Societies Registry and a new Board was duly registered. The old Board refuses to go away. Because the whole affair was set up by Mike Traficante, Mario Charpentier (president of EMSA). Colin Innes, Fred Kern, CSA president Maestracci and his executive committee sympathizers to get rid of Chris and his pro governance reform position, they were easily able to get the support of Maestracci, etc. Needless to say Ontario and Saskatchewan did not vote to recognize the ousted ASA Board but they were very narrowly defeated (10-9) at the friday afternoon CSA full Board meeting before the AGM and Mario and company were allowed to vote on Saturday. Of course they filled their end of the unholy bargain and voted against reform. For their effort they were rewarded with the continued support of Maestracci and company. Our new Board has the unwavering support of the majority of the Districts and the loyalty of the ASA staff. Of course we'll carry on but will have to endure threats, bullying, possible suspensions by CSA and who knows what else. Anyone would have a hard time understanding this unless you were here and had to endure the last eight years of strife that we've had. It may very well end up in court, as you may know the CSA Executive has declared that "no group or individual may use the courts to settle national or provincial disputes". Previous to this they have made a point of rejecting appeals as well, referring all members in dispute to the Sports Dispute Resolution Council, an organization which is poorly equipped to deal with this type of dispute. So there we stand, all we ask is a chance to be fairly heard and for the bylaws of ASA and CSA to be followed. I think we are dreaming if we expect we will get that.

Believe me, this time no one is pretending it isn't there but you would not believe the tenacity of these people, they don't care if everyone in the province disagrees with them, they are still trying to threaten and bully the new Board and the staff. Definitely there doesn't exist anyone who'll take care of it for us, we are prepared to go it alone even if we get booted from CSA. The rest of Canada will have to deal with it then.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The ASA staff is caught completely in the middle. They have tried to act fairly, but it is becoming increasingly difficult. They have been threatened with termination of employment if they have any contact with Chris and his group, but the majority of the districts support Chris.

They are in a terrible position. Someone needs to step up and look after the employees who are simply trying to do a job. Maybe there should be a court order that at least stipulates an acceptable communications protocol while this gets sorted out. Staff don't even know that they are going to be paid for the work they are doing. The bank accounts are frozen. Chris has a trust account set up to pay them, but if staff accepts that cheque and Mario ends up winning staff will be fired for communicating with Chris

The alternative is a great increase in legal costs as employees end up suing ASA for wrongful dismissal or a hostile working environment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Regrettably Vic, the two largest soccer bodies in the province are the Edmonton Minor Soccer Association and the Calgary Minor Soccer Association. EMSA has the most votes of any association with CMSA not far behind. The large majority of these two youth associations are recreational players with fairly disinterested parents. There are some high level clubs in Calgary that do not agree with the actions of the Board that was legally removed but they haven't flexed their muscles yet. The majority of the District members of ASA held a legally constituted Special General Meeting that is permitted under our bylaws. 9 members of the Board that suspended Chris Billings (without following the bylaws and without any sort of due process) were unanimously removed by the members who attended. The result was accepted by The Alberta Societies Registry and a new Board was duly registered. The old Board refuses to go away. Because the whole affair was set up by Mike Traficante, Mario Charpentier (president of EMSA). Colin Innes, Fred Kern, CSA president Maestracci and his executive committee sympathizers to get rid of Chris and his pro governance reform position, they were easily able to get the support of Maestracci, etc. Needless to say Ontario and Saskatchewan did not vote to recognize the ousted ASA Board but they were very narrowly defeated (10-9) at the friday afternoon CSA full Board meeting before the AGM and Mario and company were allowed to vote on Saturday. Of course they filled their end of the unholy bargain and voted against reform. For their effort they were rewarded with the continued support of Maestracci and company. Our new Board has the unwavering support of the majority of the Districts and the loyalty of the ASA staff. Of course we'll carry on but will have to endure threats, bullying, possible suspensions by CSA and who knows what else. Anyone would have a hard time understanding this unless you were here and had to endure the last eight years of strife that we've had. It may very well end up in court, as you may know the CSA Executive has declared that "no group or individual may use the courts to settle national or provincial disputes". Previous to this they have made a point of rejecting appeals as well, referring all members in dispute to the Sports Dispute Resolution Council, an organization which is poorly equipped to deal with this type of dispute. So there we stand, all we ask is a chance to be fairly heard and for the bylaws of ASA and CSA to be followed. I think we are dreaming if we expect we will get that.

Believe me, this time no one is pretending it isn't there but you would not believe the tenacity of these people, they don't care if everyone in the province disagrees with them, they are still trying to threaten and bully the new Board and the staff. Definitely there doesn't exist anyone who'll take care of it for us, we are prepared to go it alone even if we get booted from CSA. The rest of Canada will have to deal with it then.

If going to court is against CSA and ASA guidelines then why wasn't Mario suspended when he has gone to court over previous issues? (wasn't there an EMSA battle or two that went to court). It seems as though precedent has been set that it is OK to take soccer issues to the courts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The CSA and to an extent FIFA demand that

soccer entities be incorporated.

The CSA does it for itself and demands it of the

provinces, hence they have placed themselves

under the courts and under corporate laws of

Canada.

All that can be demanded by the CSA is that

persons use the appeal process they have, before

going to court.

But the CSA process has to be open, transparent

and based on natural justice, which appeal processes

in soccer in Canada often fail to be.

Thus a great fear of appearing before a court and

defending an appeal decision made in a back room or

before an appeal is actually lodged. Such situations

revealed in court could lead to embarassing sanctions

and even criminal liabilty above the civil liabilty

that exists.

FIFA believe it is greater than any government, yet it

eagerly seeks government money to fund its programs, the

CSA is the same.

This weeping boil in Alberta is actually a good thing for

soccer in Canada and needs to be pushed to the final

decision, is soccer going to be run by a democratic process

of its members i.e. votes of the Alberta provincial members

to choose its leadership or are we going to have the CSA

running a closed shop old boys club, that demands you

are silent outside the family...

Every other provincial body should support good governance

in Alberta, even if the CSA executive does not.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

FIFA has the same stance, the big difference if if you upset FIFA your national teams can't enter any competitions. CSA doesn't really have any big stick to hit you with. Also remember that Mario doesn't get suspended for what he does - he does the suspending. Even though he, along with Colin Innes and their supporters (sheep) were removed legally by the member's SGM, they just ignore it and pretend they still run ASA. If it wasn't for Maestracci and his cohorts at CSA, they would be truly finished, they wouldn't get far in court as they've proven in the past.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

FIFA has the same stance, the big difference if if you upset FIFA your national teams can't enter any competitions. CSA doesn't really have any big stick to hit you with. Also remember that Mario doesn't get suspended for what he does - he does the suspending. Even though he, along with Colin Innes and their supporters (sheep) were removed legally by the member's SGM, they just ignore it and pretend they still run ASA. If it wasn't for Maestracci and his cohorts at CSA, they would be truly finished, they wouldn't get far in court as they've proven in the past.

Thank you so much Trillium, I have been emailing a link to this thread to everyone I can think of in Alberta. The support of people outside of our province means an incredible amount to us. At times, after the constant barrage of threats and intimidation it can get very depressing and some begin to question if it's really worth it. Comments like yours and others on this forum are an huge boost to morale. I suspect that one result of this could be new members for the Voyageurs as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hope Chris and his board can win this fight and soon. The last thing anyone wants is for this to affect the kids. Can CSA prevent provincials and other tournaments from happening if Chris and his board continue to resist their threats?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...