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CSA 2009 Annual Report and Financial Statements


Bill Spiers

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What I find surprising is that they have neatly glossed over the fact that player registrations dropped dramatically between 2008 and 2009. Because there is no comparison with previous years, this is not readily apparent. However, if you check the previous year's report - or the Demographics Report on the CSA web site - you will see that the 2008 figures were 873,032 compared to only 804,378 in 2009 - a drop of almost 8%! Yet there is no hint of this - or any concern expressed - in the written reports.

In fact, the President's Report says:

"With over 800,000 registered players, our collective passion for the sport continues to grow".

Having a suspicious mind, this appears to me to have been carefully crafted to give the impression that our registration figures continue to grow!

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What I find surprising is that they have neatly glossed over the fact that player registrations dropped dramatically between 2008 and 2009. Because there is no comparison with previous years, this is not readily apparent. However, if you check the previous year's report - or the Demographics Report on the CSA web site - you will see that the 2008 figures were 873,032 compared to only 804,378 in 2009 - a drop of almost 8%! Yet there is no hint of this - or any concern expressed - in the written reports.

In fact, the President's Report says:

"With over 800,000 registered players, our collective passion for the sport continues to grow".

Having a suspicious mind, this appears to me to have been carefully crafted to give the impression that our registration figures continue to grow!

Worse is not showing where the loses occured so they can be addressed is it senior men leagues dropping out and going independent or is it loss of youth players to other sports.

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Worse is not showing where the loses occured so they can be addressed is it senior men leagues dropping out and going independent or is it loss of youth players to other sports.

It certainly would be interesting to see where exactly these drops are coming from. Are the bulk of the loses at youth or senior? Which provinces have lost the most registered players? Is the fluctuation of registration numbers simply a mirror the relative birth rate (people having less kids than before)?

Also, who are the parties that owe the CSA nearly $2 million? It says that 63% of the outstanding accounts receivable is from four debtors. Are they provinces that haven't passed on their dues?

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Well it's not much but it's an improvement. The financials are still crap, but at least they attached the schedules this year to go with the various statement items.

Good production value on the annual and some good fluff material but the substance is still lacking.

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One thing to remember is the vast majority of players in Canada are recreational. How much long term commitment to the sport do a lot of them have? Also (and I can only speak for Alberta here, although I expect the same is true elsewhere) the age demographic is changing as well, our population is aging rapidly. Also a large part of the tremendous growth is numbers was a direct result of the amount of female players. That group has pretty much plateaued. 10% seems very unlikely though, I wonder if the other provinces have a similar situation as exists in Alberta, where, with the large increase in immigration, there are now semi-informal ethnic men's leagues formed that don't report to any CSA affiliated organization. If they can find their own referees (many registered refs do "moonlight" for these leagues) why would they need to pay the exorbitant fees charged by ASA for instance? I know in Alberta the growing popularity of Rugby for both boys and girls has hurt youth registration where I live. Also Lacrosse has increased here and for boys, canadian rules football grows every year and at least in Alberta there isn't much crossover between those sports. Maybe if you add up all that and take into account the fact that some areas have stopped including their mini-soccer players when they pay their provincial fees, you could possibly account for a fairly high drop in numbers. I would expect though that you would see that as a trend taking place over 3-5 years - not in one year. Could be artificially propped up numbers over the last couple of years and now they're telling the truth?

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It certainly would be interesting to see where exactly these drops are coming from. Are the bulk of the loses at youth or senior? Which provinces have lost the most registered players? Is the fluctuation of registration numbers simply a mirror the relative birth rate (people having less kids than before)?

The CSA Demographics Report has enough information for you to dig around and come up with some theories. Breakdowns by province, male v. female, youth v. senior, etc. are included. You may have to compare with a previous year - e.g 2007 but the information is all there.

Unfortunately, there is no Demographics Report for 2009 yet so the available information is not as up-to-date as you might like.

However, just looking at the total figures for each province, the one that jumps out at me is Quebec. They went from 164,901 players in 2007 - big jump to 186,671 in 2008 - but an even bigger drop to 144,371 in 2009??? Something strange there! BC and Alberta also had significant decreases - over 6% each.

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The number of players in Quebec didn't drop 25% in one year, and if you look at the two numbers (186,671 and 144,371) the difference is 42,300 which is a little too round for anyone to believe it's anything but guesstimation of something.

The English FA and USSF both report salaries and run an identical 19% (not including severance, pensions, etc). I'd like to know what that number is here.

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