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Potential D3 Concepts for a Possible Rethink Phase II


Juby

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]Guidelines for this thread

  • This is a thread for a potential D3 DOMESTIC leagues, they could be regional or national, they could involve teams from other nations if it were still a CSA organized league and not USSF.

  • This in NOT a thread to discuss the overall validity of a D3 league in general, This thread is to discuss the feasability of a range of D-3 concepts in regards to each other.

  • D3 can be a very vague term, however the qualifiers will be simple: A national connection between your division and the CSA (in the pyramid) and going a step beyond amateur (even a mostly amateur domestic division that allowed a couple teams to pay it's players should be sufficient). Certain amateur elements are welcome talking points but should have an obvious connection to developing D3s

  • Subjects that are off topic: Non domestic leagues, argueing against any D-3 in general, *sigh* argueing against any d-2 in general *sigh*, D2 and D4 discussions that are not in tandem with a D-3 concept (ie restructuring to avoid creating a d-3, the topic)

I'm hoping that between all that, and me opening this, bbtb won't troll this thread.

I'll probably go through whats left of the other topic and edit in that little chart I made, feel free to just repost some good points you thought might have got lost here in the first couple pages.

Mostly I think it might be good to post a lot of concepts together so that anyone who wanted could pick and choose elements to make a good workable concept. Then we could individually submit whatever we each thought was best to rethink, assuming the phase II goes ahead.

here's the table post I thought was a bit useful, fairly easy to adjust to for other suggestions.

The goal of this table is to make good on the two largest expenses and necessary levels for incomes, the hope is that by being profitable too even, sponsors conceivably could overcome the smaller extra costs, and remember, if the attendance for that skill level is too high, it won't work.

REG|Travel |Youth |ATT=(ATT*10$*16GAMES~CON)=TO|SUGDSAL|Summary

1 |350000 |200000|4000=750 000,5000= 1 000 000|600 000|+0.95-1.2mil,-0.95mil 1

1 |350000 |150000|3000= 600 000, 4000= 750 000|480 000|+0.75-0.9mil,-0.83mil 2

2 |180000 |120000|2000= 400 000, 2500= 500 000|350 000|+0.52-0.62mil,-0.53mil 3

2 |180000 |100000|1000= 200 000, 1500= 300 000|200 000|+0.3-0.4mil, -0.38mil 4

4+?|80000* |70000 |750= 150 000, 500 = 100 000|120 000|+0.17-0.22mil, - 0.2mil 5

6+?|50000* |50000 |500= 100 000, 250 = 50 000 | 75 000|+0.1-0.15mil, -0.125mil 6

REG = Regions, Travel in negative $, Youth Programs are Positive $(I'm assuming the bigger the team the bigger the program, but that's not always true), SUGDSAL is suggested salary; it's still a variable but if you pull it too far down then attendance will follow

*means varies by region

ATT*10*16GAM~CON is attendence, times a ten dollar tickets over an ideal 16 home games rounded up around 20~25% to include concessions, it's not a guarentee, more like a necessary standard.

1 - looks good on paper but requires 4 - 5 000 regular attendees (not likely but it would be a pro product)

2 - Same boat as 1, high risk, potentially high reward, it's the more cost effective (lower salaried) version

3 - I like this level, the risk isn't too high, the needed attendance isn't huge but the salaries are still pretty good and theirs still room for sponsors.

4 - Like 2 is for 1, 4 is to 3, at this point we do see a shortfall but it's not as terrible because were dealing with a lot less money which requires far less sponsors to fix (like 40 000?).

5 and 6 - This is just spreading (6) and improving (5)something like the CSL model. It generally looks pretty stable consider a wide variety of ownership could handle it, sponsors weren't mentioned and it has the lowest attendance levels built in.

I also found Thiku's summaries of BC fairly informative, so if this thread starts up I might post them too.

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Pyramid top-to-bottom:

1. MLS

2. NASL

3. USL Pro

3b. Canadian D2 nationwide 8-12 clubs (would be somewhere between NASL/USL Pro if FCE, Ottawa, Hamilton signed-on)

4. Canadian d3 regional - # of clubs TBD.

5. PDL/Elite Amateur?

6. Elite Youth

D3 Framework - My Idea

Financial:

-TV/Online streaming sponsorship by CBC, Sportsnet, or the Score (or all 3?). TV only for major games, cup finals and whatnot, online stream for the rest (if we can get it for the games at the cricket grounds in the last WCQ we can get streaming in Kelowna!)

-Highlights posted on sports site web pages

-League wide web page (ie, MLSsoccer.com is portal for all MLS teams, and all web sites follow same format)

-League wide sponsorship (ie, Barclays Premier League)

-Uniform sponsorship - every team wears a CANADIAN-made kit (doesn't have to be that company with the beaver on it!), provincial flag of where team is based, as well as Maple Leaf

-Flights sponsorship for national finals (but year long ads at stadia)

-Hotel sponsorship for nation finals (but year long ads at stadia)

OWNERSHIP: Every owner is able to provide proof of current financial standing, future earnings potential, and league-wide strata fund in the event an owner drops out mid-season ... you know, if yer condo needs a new balcony the strata covers it. Barring bankruptcy the owner leaving the league would be required to return the money to the strata over a period of time (legal arrangement)

Stadium: minimum 500, maximum 2000 seating. Soccer specific. Lighting. Concession. High fences to keep lurkers out, gated entry. High fence blocked out by league sponsored banners/tarps (ie, what Whitecaps had @ Swangard). Covered seating optional. Turf optional. Why a maximum? So the events are nice and cozy. If team consistently sells out then expand or move venues.

Tickets: Cheap of course. Local youth kids get "killer deal", things like that.

Cup: Winners of league come together for a week long championship (ie, not playing every day but maybe 4 games in 6 days?). Both finalists qualify for Amway Cup qualification round v. the USL/NASL/CanD2 teams (whichever is around).

Regional League Make-up:

BC (6-8 teams) & Alberta (4-6 teams) with interplay on a logical sched (ie, two games in one weekend, balanced travel).

Manitoba, Sask, West Ont - 10-14 teams (I am not sure what cities could field such a team in those areas)

Central Ont, Souther Ont, East Ont - 10-20 teams (really not certain, but imagine a lot could come from here)

Quebec (8-10 teams), Maritimes (2-4 teams) with a schedule not dissimilar to BC-Alta.

Cities in BC capable: Kelowna, Kamloops (or Penticton...2 of the 3), Fraser Valley (1 w/ growth potential for 2), Surrey (2), Richmond, Coquitlam &/or Burnaby, Vancouver (2), Victoria and potentially Nanaimo.

*capable = can get up 500+ fans with right circumstances of team and league, could find sponsorship above-beyond the league sponsorship, could drum-up support through youth leagues such as BCSPL (not financial), have stadiums already available that could be adapted to meet requirements.

Youth arrangement: Each "conference" must have a serious youth connection. Ie, a youth "feeder" league.

Squad make-up: maximum squad size of 20, permits available to call-up youth or age-appropriate players scouted through local rec leagues, 3 overage players max, 3 foreigners max (Americans count), NO age restrictions on remainder of squad, nor on playing time.

College considerations: As this is semi-pro there'd have to be something to ensure players don't lose university eligibility

"Generation Adidas": Domestic league national team similar to the MLS generation adidas. Get the best youngster in the league and have them enter into tournaments, complete tours, act as a National "B"type team to supplement those on the full u23, u20, u17 national teams already that are foreign-based or playing in NASL/USL Pro/MLS/University.

Club Canada u19 could enter (Club Canada u23 ideally could be placed in USL Pro).

Salary: Minimum salary 1000 per month age <20, minimum salary 1500 per months age 20-23, minimum salary age 23+ 2500.

Coach: Minimum Head coach, 2 assistants, 1 GK coach, 1 youth scout/liaison (regional), 1 amateur/university scout (regional) - not all coaches full-time.

Youth Development: Must have direct link with local youth elite club(s) and/or youth elite league, and ideally have those games mirror that of the u23 nationwide team (games scheduled to be immediately before or after the u23 team whenever possible).

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Youth arrangement: Each "conference" must have a serious youth connection. Ie, a youth "feeder" league.

Squad make-up: maximum squad size of 20, permits available to call-up youth or age-appropriate players scouted through local rec leagues, 3 overage players max, 3 foreigners max (Americans count), NO age restrictions on remainder of squad, nor on playing time.

I like the basics of the idea of trying to connect the d-3 to the varying youth levels, then we can form like voltron around a system that runs fairly consistently (relatively) from top to bottom. There's probably some variety here too, some teams might be best served with an academy, some by sponsoring a whole local youth league, some probably by putting their youth team in a local amateur men's leagues etc.

One thing I don't necessarily agree with, I've never really minded foreigners in our leagues. I can understand why MLS might be a gross example of this attitude gone wrong. But if we were making dozens of teams, each with a good dozen canadians, I'd be more then willing to let ten guys (a team) from anywhere that can help maintain a strong level of play. I know the concern might be the good contracts will go to players from countries with the same middle range problem, but my comfort level for foreign players is usually right around 50/50(before academies).

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With regards to foreigners, CSL is doing just fine with cheap eastern Europeans and Carribean players. If we added in Oriental players then we would have a solid base of imports who would raise the skill and tempo of the league, but not outclass the younger Canadians to the point of causing difficulties in syncing up the on-field formation.

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I think for any concept of a D3 league, there needs to be a max age imposed on the majority of Canadian players in the league that they be probably U-23. Tough to say if that is realistic, but this needs to be a developmental league.

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I think for any concept of a D3 league, there needs to be a max age imposed on the majority of Canadian players in the league that they be probably U-23. Tough to say if that is realistic, but this needs to be a developmental league.

I think having a certain number of over-age players a la the DPs of MLS or Marquis players in A-league that won't hit the restrictions caps is probably a good work-around for any issues with realism of the limits. On a roster of 30 players, I think having 10 overage players seems reasonable, that way you can import quality above the U-23 level which will help the on-field performance, keeps butts-in-seats via roster continuity/notoriety of players, and will provide on-field experience to help guide the youth players in their development.

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We all agree that we need some sort of unified third division in Canada to assist in the development of Canadian players and keep our best prospects from jumping abroad.

Folks, let me present to you, the (insert sponsor here) Championship!!!1!

League

-The league will be made up of 5 separate divisions; BC, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, and Maritimes. Sorry Prairies and Newfoundland, we love you but it's complicated.

-There will be no regular season play amongst divisions in order to keep travel practical. Bus rides should be no longer than 5-6 hours max.

-Each division should have an absolute minimum of 6 teams and a schedule of 24-28 matches per season.

Voyageur's Cup

-At minimum, each of the 5 division champions shall be included into the Cup. The league naming rights will be sold to assist travel for these teams. A portion of each team's league dues shall also be put aside to assist travel, as having these teams in the tournament is good for the league as a whole.

-There would be no league wide championship. The travel money would be better spent in the Big Boy cup.

Clubs

-The best way to engage the population is to let them have an actual stake in the club. Therefore each club shall be owned at least 51% by "Club Members". Club members would be constituted by anyone who has a current season ticket or has paid an annual membership due. This will also take some of the financial burden off of the local businessman or investors in trying to run a club.

-NO ETHNIC CLUBS! Clubs must represent the community as a whole, not just a small faction of it.

Roster

-I do not feel there is a need for age restriction, the competition needs to be the highest calibre it can possibly be. The best young prospects will always find there way on to a roster anyhow.

-Internationals would be capped at 5 per roster to start and reviewed every few seasons to fine tune the balance of talent and Canadian content.

-Salary floor of $60,000 to a soft cap of $120,000 for 12-18 pro players. This gives the freedom to build a squad how the club sees fit, top heavy, balanced, or cheap if need be. So long as each club has a minimum of 12 players paid at least $5,000 per season. Remember this is Semi-Pro, it may not sound like a lot but $120,00 is triple of what most CSL teams spend. You'd be surprised at what this will get you.

Finances

The CSL and Quebec league but suggest an operating budget of $150,000 while League 1 is suggesting a trimmed down $100,000, closer to what most CSL teams actually operate at. Teams in (insert sponsor here) Championship should expect to budget $250-300,000 per season. This league is a more Pro Semi-Pro. Clubs need to present a product that looks and feel like fans expect at a pro sports event. The fans need to believe that their club is worthwhile and they can justify spending their entertainment dollars there.

-Because some clubs will have less travel than others there will be a "central travel fund". All travel expenses will be shared equally by all clubs. Any money generated by the soft salary cap would also go to this fund. Isn't communism great?

Media

-Every match needs to be viewable, be it on local cable or internet streaming. Produce weekly highlight shows for each division to be put on youtube.

-Social media, get all over that.

-Team websites will be built by the league to maintain a unified professional look. They will be maintained by the clubs and must be overflowing with content (video and articles).

-The league will have its own app that contains schedules, results, stats, and quick links to twitter feeds.

Conclusion

This league would be the foundation of our football pyramid. As teams grow they can move up to new leagues, whatever they may be. But if our country of 30+ million people and great wealth cannot sustain this level of pro soccer, well then my friends, we are truly ****ed!

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Alex I like your ideas, but you are presenting an "open" league rather than a u23 (with most proposing this age limit with some over-age players included anywhere from 3-10), which you acknowledge. As the lowest level of the pyramid above elite youth, having this league a u23-focus seems to make more sense. Leave the potential D2 for "open" ages...IMO.

Some remarks

1. Each league MUST be 6 minimum not "SHOULD" be.

2. Putting the league winners into VCup is great, but there must be a national playoff as well...maybe the top 2 from each league get together for a weeklong "mini world cup" type competition.

3. Club membership is a great idea but I see this as an option rather than a rule

4. $5000 per player is nice.

Can you comment further on why you think it should be open-age not u23?

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Can you comment further on why you think it should be open-age not u23?

Quality over quantity basically. I'd rather see a couple outstanding prospects playing against men instead of a bunch of decent U23's playing each other. There's already a league for that, it's the NCAA.

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-NO ETHNIC CLUBS! Clubs must represent the community as a whole, not just a small faction of it.

I can see your point but I would like to suggest one exception. Some big areas might be able to support a couple teams, if this was a way to bring in a lot of solid teams (and roster spots) to one area I'd take it. These teams probably wouldn't get much bigger (blessed by enthusiasm but eventually limited in numbers) they could help stabilize sub divisions (and occasionally venture into D-3).

In reality, the ethnic teams in the CSL are fairly inclusive and are geared towards developing Canadians (albeit like 50% a specific canadian ethnicity) so I'm not terribly bothered by them (I can see why it might set confusing example at a higher level).

I would say amend the point to say, the first team in any community (maybe second as well) must be geared towards it's entire market (ie not an ethnic club even if it's a former ethnic club's organization). After giving the central national ?ideology? first right to any market, letting ethnic clubs beef up the next level might be healthy. It also would avoid out-an-out excluding anybody. It could also be a retroactive rule, if the community team goes down, as a comprimise put the city name in front of the original name.

If you guys don't like it, I'll probably just wait till I do a big 'my concept' post to rebut by highlighting my views so we can avoid a big, often awkward debate on subjects in and around ethnicty.

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These teams probably wouldn't get much bigger (blessed by enthusiasm but eventually limited in numbers)

This is my problem with the ethnic teams. I'd hope this league would be beyond them. The can run their own GTA diaspora league if they want.

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Quality over quantity basically. I'd rather see a couple outstanding prospects playing against men instead of a bunch of decent U23's playing each other. There's already a league for that, it's the NCAA.

Fair enough logic - likely it'd be a u23 league almost by default as men over age 23 likely won't be able to or interested in living on the meager income and a part-time job.

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Quality over quantity basically. I'd rather see a couple outstanding prospects playing against men instead of a bunch of decent U23's playing each other. There's already a league for that, it's the NCAA.

I'm with you on that one. I'd go open-aged and implement a youth quota, then you get the best of both worlds...

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I'm with you on that one. I'd go open-aged and implement a youth quota, then you get the best of both worlds...

I agree with this. Open-age, each team must have X U-23 players. Then we've got a professional foundation with an aim to fostering future pros. Also, the U-23 players wouldn't be left thinking "what happens when I'm 24?" in every case because those youths who are strong players but not strong enough to move up to a higher league will still have the opportunity to score a contract with their club.

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sorry for another big image post but I wanted to discuss the obvious travel advantages of domestic D-3

pdlmap.jpg

The problem we currently see in pdl divisions is that they have traditional, 'area' boundaries. It may work in the states but the process of having your division mostly along it's territorial perimeter really ramps up travel costs.

For example, Montreal has to travel the same maximum distance to Windsor as the Toronto Lynx do to reach Chicago. But every successive trip for Montreal is significantly shorter, as well it's terribly easy to plan a multi game road trip when all the teams run in a fairly straight line (with a tiny exception to the Niagra/St Catherines region). The Toronto Lynx could coordinate their two trips to Chicago (two teams), but will have to drive almost as far (or on another trip) down to Kentucky and then Ohio. The short trips are for a team each in Hamilton, London and Michigan.

Now think about Toronto CSL teams, they are nicely positioned near the middle of the league, this means they'll have half the travel time to the far sides as Montreal and Windsor and almost no travel time in the GTA. It just makes so much more sense to operate with the biggest population in the middle then around the extremities.

The praire example is another strong one for this, we have a far flung division with one decent hot spot (that were not in). A basic line from Saskatoon to Thunder Bay might make a lot more sense then covering an area thats as massive as the heartlands division. Also we would have the biggest city in the middle instead of on the perimeter.

After that my proposed Canadian divisions do vary from what I described, for example, the Alberta line has the two big cities at it's extremities but at least it's still a line and not a triangle/square (or crazy 8 and big dipper ahaha).

Technically Ottawa would travel furthest to Windsor over it's trip to Boston, but the rest of their games would be closer with most in Toronto which is closer then the american teams in the Fury's division. Whereas after that mildly shorter trip to Boston over Windsor, their now going about as far in a completely different direction to Maine, they might have to make multiple trips to Massachusettes and their closer trips are to Vermont, NH and Connecticut.

Also Montreal isn't perfectly in the middle but even stretching it from Gatineau to Montreal to Sherbrooke to Quebec City (maybe even Chicoutimi) is a lot smaller then the PDL Northeast division for Ottawa. Also I think Montreal is big enough to be the central hotspot rather then in the Fury's case again, in Massachusettes.

The jist of it is, on paper, these domestic, hopefully semi pro, divisions actually make more sense then many of the cross border amateur leagues. In these area's especially the benefits are self apparent (less money for travel could mean more money for salaries which could realistically boost attendance, a better game in a smaller area). By centrally planning with our hot spots in the middle, our travel budgets go down significantly and successively from the farthest trip instead of often remaining static in completely different directions as an area based division over a 'line' based division.

The other two regions I wanted to highlight, was BC and the Maritimes.

With BC, the pdl division does look a lot better (less far flung) but technically the Victoria to Okanagan, as a basic 'line', should be cheaper travel wise then a small box pdl division. The only reason I want to mess around is because I think it's more likely that's our teams will be inclined to step up as a group. After that though I'd love to bring Seattle and Portland into our d-3 division.

The Maritimes get's a little more two dimensional because of the Bay of Fundy and keep in mind Charlottetown would require a ferry, but at the same time it is a very small area compared to most of the map. Perhaps the local cities could develop a six team, amateur/semi pro division that will hopefully become semi pro. TBH I think this Maritimes division would be similar to the Praire division with smaller cities and smaller distances, in other words probably not quite as competitive (hopefully just overall, not the top team) as the other four proposed divisions.

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Ya, that'd be just fine for a nationwide D3...

BC/Alta, Prairie/West Ont, Southern Ont, QC/Maritimes. Covers the major population.

Now we need to see the money.

These are obviously over simplified solutions, but that's about all I can do short of getting on the phone and calling people.

In BC, obviously not a guareentee but if you can get six reasonable ambitious groups, new or existing (PDL, VMSL, PCL, others?). I don't know if you can 'lure' these teams away from their league but on paper, 'less travel, a bit of salaries, a better game' it's not exactly a crazy sell, might not work but it's somewhat realistic IMO.

In the praires and northern ontario their are also a couple of groups that might be open to saving on travel to pay players but it would require new business groups, TBH this region would probably not be quite as high of standard (still the biggest in length, near the smallest in population). All you can really do is have the CSA try and use their pull to give 'new soccer divisions' some publicity to generate interest and concurrently do a tonne of business marketing (calling investors, even if it's cold calling which is brutally hard).

In Alberta, maybe a team or two from the AMSL might be interested and capable? After that I'd recommend the same basic campaign, but I am more optimistic here because were talking about two million people in two large cities rather than 1.2? over 4? smaller cities in the praires. Obviously I don't know what it's like in Alberta but I just can't help but think two big cities with one NASL squad is leaving the area with a relative abudance in interest for solutions/anything (sorry if that's mean). Now that Quebec has a division and an MLS team I'd describe Alberta as the most obviously undersaturated demographically.

Quebec finally started to bubble over all on it's own, hoping for the best and that it can eventually expand (at this point, I wouldn't even be upset if the Impact reserves changed leagues, it might just encourage the whitecaps to finally encourage their own backyard league(not settle for wherever the american's are)). The hypothetical 'new divisions' CSA campaign might also galvanize a few more groups to join the PLSQ just becuase of the large population.

Ontario probably has the groups to continue to step up, and the population to potentially bring in new groups from a national campaign. To be honest I don't care how everything settles here, as long as teams don't get thrown away. If the new league starts and it's not catching up, hopefully they'll throw in the towel try and settle in under the CSL, conversely if this new league caught on and surpassed the CSL, hopefully they could suck it up and get with the program. That said, that's at least 5 years away and potentially a non-issue, for my part I just want more stable teams to make the necessity for some sort of southern ontario promotion relegation to emerge (to literally get as many teams at as many levels as our biggest population will take).

Maritimes is tricky, but I think like the Praires this would be a somewhat lower level, but the imaginary media campaign I want might do well: You'd be offering, for example, Moncton, the chance to play Halifax and still some local rivals, you would have created a higher tier (better game), you'd be connecting them to national system (your hockey team might never make the CHL but you feel a 'national' connection/legitimacy from the system that connects the regional hockey leagues). I think if theirs groups in the maritimes that want to step up to D-3, they'd take advantage of this.

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Juby, why don't you draft a proposal and post it here. See what ppl think. Reality is you don't need anyone's approval to do so, but you could then submit it to REThink. Cover all major areas: geography/cities, min-max teams, minimum salary, squad make-up, stadium, sponsorship, ownership requirements, Amway Cup...everything. Succinct. Short. To the point.

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Juby, why don't you draft a proposal and post it here. See what ppl think. Reality is you don't need anyone's approval to do so, but you could then submit it to REThink. Cover all major areas: geography/cities, min-max teams, minimum salary, squad make-up, stadium, sponsorship, ownership requirements, Amway Cup...everything. Succinct. Short. To the point.

I second this suggestion.

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I keep planning on it but it's a very complicated issue, so I usually just lazy out to one issue (like travel). But even talking about just travel I managed to go on for a while because were talking about 6ish very distinct divisions.

I get worried it would be like dozen pages. I don't know if anyone know's this but I write short stories for fun and official rejection (I'm puntastic), I often get about 4000 words in and I have no idea how I can fit the rest of the plot in the about 6000 words I have left. So right now, I see a basic plan, I have a pretty widespread knowledge of many important factors, all the words are there like a good story, but it takes a while to get the motivation to start a big paper.

Also, the older I get, the more I hesitat to keep doing things that resemble work for free. I've already put in a few hundred hours making video's to get probably a few dozen fans for us at various levels. I hesitate to do anything now that resembles a full day's work because I'm not a promotional/marketing/writting machine that works for free. I'll still make a video when I want to or support the team in general ( and I will put out a big overall post eventually) but I'm in no hurry (basically on principal).

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haha, just copy and paste the various ideas posted here into a word doc or email and send that to RETHINK! :)

haha, okay, I decided I would still split it into smaller chunks but I'll try and be more organized, sorry about another big post but it should be a lot easier to read:

Part 1:

The Bureaucratic Standardization of the Nation (or the Demise of the D’s).

(this is by far the cheapest solution, it’s just a restructuring, which means words, paper work and phone calls)

How do you organize multiple tiers into a more detailed structure without ostensibly ‘relegating’ existing teams into lower tiers?

I am proposing we include the USSF Teams in our pyramid but the CSA establishes a completely new hierarchy for CSA affiliated leagues. In other words, in a silly bit of nomenclature, it would go, D1 MLS, D2 NASL, L1 (nonexistent league standard), L2 (nonexistent league standard), L3 (CSL, LPSQ), L4 (nonexistent league standard), L5 (top amateur).

League 1 is a standard that must be achieved independantly, not a direct business venture by the CSA. It would be a national division of professional teams, probably not too far off NASL standards. This is a goal but it may not happen.

League 2 is regional, but it’s standards will be based on the minimum requirements for professional status (IMO, 11 FT players, 1-2? FT staff, 2-3? PT staff). Also this is probably the ideal time to really introduce some decent stadium standards (no more <1000 seaters, maybe football lines too).

League 3 is similar to the current D-3 (because it is) and could generally be viewed as ‘strong semi pro’. I’m willing to relax some (not all) of institutional standards at this level just to encourage teams to get into the 50 000 – 150 000 salary expenditure range. Between travel, salary and stadiums, I would put the emphasis on salary for the actual ‘enjoyment as a fan’ factor at this level. I want to encourage all the clubs at this level to focus on gameplay.

League 4 should sound familiar to Thiku, it’s basically encouraging teams to get on the semi pro path. It was based on the idea that a basic minimum of 10 000 in a minimum of three contracts (1 PT, 2 Youth/scholarships) would be a fairly realistic way to encourage amateur teams to take that step.

The new advantage this system would offer is: let’s say you worked your way into L-5 status as a regional league by meeting standards, your already working with near semi pro levels of money (travel, pitch time etc), so the idea of raising another 10 000$ per team for a complete advancement into League 4 is a much easier step.

League 4 is a very basic standard, just a stepping stone where divisions might sit between 10 000 and 50 000 in salary expenditure per team until they can properly step up into a more stringent semi pro (L3) standard.

Finally, League 5 is the reward for the establishment of a high level amateur division. If any amateur divisions took all the steps outside of salaries to improve, they should be rewarded. If they meet the new standards they will hopefully be put in a higher profile, and as a part of the system, buzz would invariably start regarding going to L4.

In this system, the CSA does not ‘create’ any leagues, just a new set of standards to apply to the existing leagues. Each league would also be closer to the next step (we’ve more the doubled the stairs) and hopefully more aware of the impending step.

The CSA would only apply and check standards for private ventures and generally encourage the introduction/increase of salaries. It would be up to the teams to take the smaller steps up the stairs. I would also recommend they encourage all leagues to co-operate as a system and form relegation/promotion systems were applicable (once again just encourage) because it minimizes the consequences of failing teams (they drop leagues instead of gush cash) and it makes bringing in groups easier (you can build instead of buy your way up).

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