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38 minutes ago, Complete Homer said:

May I suggest a possibly more productive conversation (or accidentally ignite another flame war)? For those in the "I've seen this before" camp, what would you like seen done differently this time? 

Let's assume for the moment that you be got a few things different already:

1) Single entity 

2) Owners willing and capable to suffer heavy losses for 3 years and moderate losses for the first 10.

What else is on your wish list to give CPL its best shot? We already know BBTB wants MLS involvement, what else? 

This league needs to be presented in a professional manner as a serious pro soccer league and not family fun day at the soccer park. 

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I don't think we lack appreciation for the challenges; we lack appreciation for the charge that "it didn't work thirty years ago, clearly there is nothing to improve since then - and even if there was - it's not worth trying."

It's a constant refrain that gets tiring after a two-year long thread on a supporter's forum, and results in ever-more short-winded responses in return; for every argument has seemingly been covered a hundred times before.

The challenges are numerous: operational leagues and crowded sports markets in five of the country's biggest cities, narrowing the possibility of a television deal that would increase awareness and advertising value, uncertainty of longevity given unprofitable attendance in both historical & current clubs established at the same level and the continual delays in launching the league, leading to a lack of faith in foreign-signed Canadian players in the league's ability to provide a decent paycheque and add to their own future contract value.

The first one, in particular, could well be the harbinger of a whole host of problems if the CPL attempts to become the 4th simultaneous pro soccer league to operate in this country - it will be incredibly difficult to financially maintain the expected performance level for this league while fighting for a place in our nation's largest cities.

I don't pretend the league will be an overnight success.  I don't pretend the league will necessarily ever be a success.  I don't expect to suddenly see 12 professional, profitable, sustainable teams competing in this league two years from now.  I don't want them to try, because I don't feel that wide a net or unattainable a goal is good for the quality, objectives, or financial health of the league.  I don't honestly expect the league to match 2015-era NASL performance, though I'd be surprised if it couldn't match that of independent USL teams.  I don't think we'll suddenly see a romanticized rush home of overseas Canadians, and I don't have any expectation that our players to come home from Qatar five years from now, trophy in hand.

Truth be told, I don't think the league will be around ten years after it launches.

But I hope it is.

I hope that the league is able to use the advantages that may exist to overcome the host of challenges we worry about.  Advantages like a women's national team that drew incredible crowds and awareness during the World Cup.  Advantages like the framework laid down by the MLS teams through a decade of work to bring both soccer and supporters culture into the mainstream in this country, particularly for the younger generations.  Advantages like a poor Canadian dollar, which give teams far more predictable expenses than they'd have in American leagues.  Advantages like the success and near-failure of MLS - whose lessons we didn't have last time - accumulated through trial and many, many errors.  Advantages like the proliferation of TV channels and streaming options, providing more outlets for casual fans and advertisers to access the league.

They may not be able to - and even if they do - it may not be enough, but it doesn't mean I hope they won't succeed, and it doesn't mean I won't support the league.  It doesn't mean I'm going to ignore the plethora of issues that pose critical, existential challenges for the league - recognition of which is behind the strong reactions of some to constant negativity - but it likewise doesn't mean that I'll pretend there are no reasons why the league couldn't be a success if the stars align (yes, using NHL comparisons if necessary, because in many cases that's the best data we have to respond to baseless predictions in the absence of anything else).

Moreover, I want it to succeed because this is the current future of Canadian soccer - something which, I'm sure surprisingly, is something I also want to succeed.  If the CSA came out tomorrow and said that they were making USL D3 the height of Canadian soccer ambition, of course, yes, I would be disappointed, and more than a little frustrated - but I would ultimately support them in that goal; and hope that the teams involved in that initiative find success in growing their players, their team, their fan base, and their technical base - something that (all things considered) would not be a horrible option if those aspects (particularly the first one) could be executed properly to support the wider goal of improving Canadian soccer.

Let's be clear as well - if the USL option was the CSA's desired route, and we'd gone this long without any concrete action while seeing a similar project burn to the ground before, most of us would be jaded pessimists screaming for the CSA to just set up our own league so we could do our own thing.

But it's not the option being advanced, and while measured discussion and conjecture can be a good thing (really the only thing we've got at present), and boundless optimism towards the current option may be a bit silly and will only certainly lead to disappointment if and when (honestly, still a big if in my mind) the league launches - if the success of the league (and by extension, the charted path to grow Canadian soccer) hinges on support from the soccer community, then relentless pessimism while not allowing for the most remote possibility of success is a far worse option.

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1 hour ago, BringBackTheBlizzard said:

...and if conditions are not ripe, be rational and honest about it and open to using USL instead.

Finally figured it out...you're Donald Trump

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CPL needs to launch with over the air TV exposure, not cable sports network or streaming only, but weekly on TV game at consistent time point ( CBC soccer night ? ).

CPL needs to launch with an in place method for Promotion and Relegation from Provincial D3 leagues to Regional D2 leagues up to CPL D1 status.

CPL needs to launch with no geographic limitations on clubs playing in league based on Promotion.

CPL should not have upper Salary Cap, but should limit expenditure on salaries to % of club revenues.

CSA needs to indicate that a ten year phase in for PRO/REL, and at end of ten years to only award clubs winning CPL the CONCACAF Champions League spots.

CSA needs to indicate maximum size of CPL D1 ( it can get to 20 teams in my opinion ).

CSA needs to phase out any clubs playing out of Canada in US based leagues, excepting the single entity MLS franchises.

CSA needs to indicate a Canadain/International ratio for all three Professional Divisions

CSA needs to impose the Canadian/International ratio on any MLS franchises in a ten year phase in process.

CPL/CSA need to recognize the single entity concept will not succeed in growing D2 and D3 clubs as access possibility to D1 would not exist for smaller clubs.

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13 minutes ago, longlugan said:

Finally figured it out...you're Donald Trump

I have no idea what that even means. Bearing in mind that if you disagree with what I wrote in that quote your position is basically that the CSA should plough on regardless even if it is clear to them that the league is going to be another fiasco like the original CPSL or the original CSL, I guess it's difficult to come up with something clear and rational in response. 

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Just now, BringBackTheBlizzard said:

I have no idea what that even means. Bearing in mind that if you disagree with what I wrote in that quote your position is basically that the CSA should plough on regardless even if it is clear to them that the league is going to be another fiasco like the original CPSL or the original CSL, I guess it's difficult to come up with something clear and rational in response. 

Wow...that's your problem right there...you make assumptions about people by implying you know their position simply because they disagree with your tiring pro USSF stance. Why even bother posting on here since the great US of A is your preferred saviour...just cut out the middle man and cheer for the yanks directly. By the way my stance was summarized nicely by Gopherbashi above but even more than that I am an avid follower of the anti-BBTB movement and when the CPL launches I can't wait to hear you tell us how this was your preferred choice all along. This league may or may not happen but I certainly hope it does and will support it with all my heart if/when it does so why don't you stop being such a dick and wait and see what happens with the rest of us instead of inserting your exhaustive diatribe on how we need to hook our bandwagon onto American coat tails or else we will fail. Try being a Voyageur ffs.

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A lot of the most vehement support on here for this league project has more to do with visceral level nationalism than anything else and I strongly suspect that there are people posting who would happily see pro soccer collapse into nothing again in Canada just as long as there is no cross-border angle going on. Just to be clear for those who struggle with English language comprehension, if the investors are there to make a proper go of it then I hope it happens, if not then it's time for the CSA to show some real leadership by behaving like rational actors in all of this rather than going into an Anthony Totera style irrational rant about having our own league when they don't have the money to pay for it. 

Edited by BringBackTheBlizzard

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3 minutes ago, BringBackTheBlizzard said:

A lot of the most vehement support on here for this league project has more to do with visceral level nationalism and I strongly suspectthat there are people who would happily see pro soccer collapse into nothing again in Canada just as long as there is no cross-border angle going on. Just to be clear for those who struggle with English language comprehension, if the investors are there to make a proper go of it then I hope it happens, if not then it's time for the CSA to show some real leadership by behaving like rational actors in all of this rather than going into an Anthony Totera style irrational rant. 

Get over yourself. Most of the vehement support on here for this league has to do with providing more pro opportunities for Canadian players and developing our professional infrastructure. I strongly suspect you have no dam idea what goes on in anybody's head over here.

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55 minutes ago, BringBackTheBlizzard said:

I have no idea what that even means. Bearing in mind that if you disagree with what I wrote in that quote your position is basically that the CSA should plough on regardless even if it is clear to them that the league is going to be another fiasco like the original CPSL or the original CSL, I guess it's difficult to come up with something clear and rational in response. 

But it's not clear to them it's going to be a fiasco, which is why there are rumours of this league starting up.

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On 02/01/2017 at 11:09 AM, Macksam said:

I have never been to BC Place but is it Rogers Centre (minus the decent hotel) bad or something else?

I've never been to Rogers Centre, but here's BC Place on game day in a nutshell:

Toilet bowl shaped, so no clear end or sides  (The main supporters group call themselves the Southsiders even though they're at an end, not a side.  I know, they were even called that at Swangard, and it was even sillier then when it was clearly and end, not a side.) 

There are tunnels that you could stuff about ten double decker buses along with a couple of cruise ships into right behind each goal to break up any continuous atmosphere that might exist from one corner to the other.  However, not to worry, as that rarely happens.  If any chanting can be accidentally overheard over the din of the constant yet unrhythmic drumming, there are giant curtains hanging over the stands to absorb the sound.  When it's a clear day, whoever makes the final decision often likes to have the roof closed.

If you ever go, take ear plugs.  The tannoy's at full volume. 

Swangard had about 25% of the attendance that BC Place has usually, but it had twice the atmosphere.

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7 hours ago, Toronto Ruffrider said:

I wish that the waterfront stadium was built - that thing was gorgeous in the renderings. I've never been to BC Place so I can't comment on the experience there, but the stadium looks very meh on TV.

A couldn't agree more.  I always had a feeling the Waterfront Stadium was too good to be true.  It would have been excellent.  A unique ground with the view of the mountains and a great location.  BC Place gets a "meh" on the TV?  I'm surprised, it's nowhere near as good as that in person. 

Edited by SuperCanuck
for mysterious editing purposes

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15 hours ago, BringBackTheBlizzard said:

I have no idea what that even means. Bearing in mind that if you disagree with what I wrote in that quote your position is basically that the CSA should plough on regardless even if it is clear to them that the league is going to be another fiasco like the original CPSL or the original CSL, I guess it's difficult to come up with something clear and rational in response. 

If everyone thought like you we'd still be living in caves(in the USA I guess since you're such a big" everything American is better" fan.

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17 hours ago, Gopherbashi said:

I don't think we lack appreciation for the challenges; we lack appreciation for the charge that "it didn't work thirty years ago, clearly there is nothing to improve since then - and even if there was - it's not worth trying."

It's a constant refrain that gets tiring after a two-year long thread on a supporter's forum, and results in ever-more short-winded responses in return; for every argument has seemingly been covered a hundred times before.

Two things

1.  None of us that have highlighted the challenges haven't said a Canadian league isn't worth doing.  Total strawman.  We just want to see if there are new solutions to address those old problems.  Just because it was 30 years ago doesn't mean it will happen now, but just because time has passed doesn't mean that all the problems of the past have faded away.  I find the "why can't we just let it roll, and see what happens?" lines very funny, considering that we're all on here talking about soccer before, during and after it happens. :) 

2. If every argument has been covered before, why are there a grand total of two posts like yours in the last 40 pages that actually address anything in substance?  Your post is excellent.  Measured and realistic.  Well done.

Edited by Marc

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20 hours ago, Complete Homer said:

May I suggest a possibly more productive conversation (or accidentally ignite another flame war)? For those in the "I've seen this before" camp, what would you like seen done differently this time? 

Let's assume for the moment that you be got a few things different already:

1) Single entity 

2) Owners willing and capable to suffer heavy losses for 3 years and moderate losses for the first 10.

What else is on your wish list to give CPL its best shot? We already know BBTB wants MLS involvement, what else? 

Great idea.  It's a bit Sim City for my liking, but I'd suggest:

  • Eight teams, with potential for four more if the league is successful
  • Ideally a majority of owners of known, national stature (that may be too hopeful)
  • A ten year plan that takes into account ten years of consistent losses and the ability to break even on attendances of 5000ish.
  • An alternate plan to mitigate effects of early league contraction and/or drastically low attendance figures
  • A last gasp disaster avoidance plan if league contracts significantly (e.g. shift to USL? Who knows, just need to find some way to keep continuity for clubs that are alive)
  • A twenty year plan for moving into more soccer-appropriate venues
  • Each club should have a plan for youth development (doesn't have to be academies, can use existing youth clubs)
  • Mandatory linkages/fostering/accommodation of fan groups in some manner
  • Canadian content rules of 50 percent, including coaches, with a plan to gradually increase Canadian content, both players and coaches
  • A three-year recruitment plan (this could be unnecessary if the league is single entity), I think finding good enough players will be a challenge in the current market
  • League-wide standard salary grid, including a salary floor / living wage for a set percentage of a club's players (ditto re: not being needed if single entity)
  • No amateur players; No NCAA kids; No MLS reserve sides; Judicious limits on the number of loaned players
  • League wide marketing plan, including merchandising through a major national retailer
  • National television coverage.  No local Rogers/Shaw crapola.
Edited by Marc

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1 hour ago, MtlMario said:

If everyone thought like you we'd still be living in caves(in the USA I guess since you're such a big" everything American is better" fan.

Another semi-coherent post based on visceral level nationalism rather than anything that resembles a reasoned argument. Just to be clear so there is no misunderstanding on this I would chose Justin Trudeau and the mainstream Canadian way of doing things politically over Donald Trump and Uncle Sam any day of the week, but what does that have to do with spectator sport? If a cross-border league is good enough for something as core to Canadian national identity as hockey, I find it bizarre that the need for soccer to follow a similar approach to make things work financially at the D1 level would ever have to be defended on here. Do you guys go onto NHL boards and campaign for a Canadian Hockey League with teams in Halifax and Regina rather than Los Angeles and New York? Somehow I seriously doubt it.

I agree with most of Marc's points above, but I think MLS affiliates in other cities as opposed to reserve teams should be allowed, because it pushes things at least 3/8ths of the way to stability and can be used to take better advantage of the new domestic player rule in MLS. Could there even be a way to get all the teams in the league affiliated loosely to an MLS franchise so all Canadian players signing their first pro contract would be leaving their options wide open in MLS terms further into their career? Think that sort of scenario should be explored if the greater good of the national program is a key consideration in all of this.

Beyond that, if one thing came out of recent pages, I hope the belief that FIFA tournament crowds can be used to gauge probable interest in a domestic pro leagues is something that is only confined to fan boards and is not happening in boardrooms where investment in soccer is being discussed. That said, it would help to explain the attributed quotes about 6000 to 8000 being the goal they have in mind in Halifax (if the Women's World Cup numbers from 2015 in Moncton were used for comparison purposes), and that is a little scary as it suggests the alternate plan and disaster avoidance scenarios might be needed a few games into the first season, if things follow the Edmonton Aviators trajectory. 

Edited by BringBackTheBlizzard

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Great post.  For the record, I'm totally down with some sort of MLS linkages - particularly loaning players - my only anti-MLS sentiment is no MLS reserve sides in the league.

It's probably naive, but some sort of transfer agreement with our MLS clubs might make signing more attractive if players can see that the league won't go to egregious means to stop them from moving upwards.

I remember from the Lynx days that some prospective players were put off by the potential to have their career progression stymied by a pro contract.  I always found the Hartrells to be pretty good about letting guys go, but I can understand the trepidation of signing a binding contract to play bush league soccer for KFC money.  And in this climate, with real opportunities in MLS, other US leagues and Europe, I can see players being reticent to sign on.

Edited by Marc

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Notes on yo post

36 minutes ago, Marc said:

Great idea.  It's a bit Sim City for my liking, but I'd suggest:

  • Eight teams, with potential for four more if the league is successful WHILE I THINK THE LAUNCH WILL THE 6 TEAMS, 8 TEAMS SHOULD BE THE GOAL WITHIN THE FIRST 5 YEARS. I ALSO THINK IT WILL BE A LONG TERM NUMBER FOR 10 YEARS~
  • Ideally a majority of owners of known, national stature (that may be too hopeful) WOULD LOVE THIS
  • A ten year plan that takes into account ten years of consistent losses and the ability to break even on attendances of 5000ish. YES
  • An alternate plan to mitigate effects of early league contraction and/or drastically low attendance figures YES
  • A last gasp disaster avoidance plan if league contracts significantly (e.g. shift to USL? Who knows, just need to find some way to keep continuity for clubs that are alive) YES
  • A twenty year plan for moving into more soccer-appropriate venues MAYBE, I THINK THIS PLAN IS DEPENDANT ON 2026. I ALSO DON'T SEE NEW 10-15K SEATER STADIUMS BEING BUILT IN CITIES THAT HAVE BUILT A NEW CFL STADIUM IN THE LAST DECADE ALREADY WITHIN THE NEXT 20 YEARS.
  • Each club should have a plan for youth development (doesn't have to be academies, can use existing youth clubs) YES. WHETHER ACADIMIES (WHICH WE WOULDN'T LIKELY SEE FOR 3-5 YEARS) OR PARTNERSHIPS WITH SCHOOLS
  • Mandatory linkages/fostering/accommodation of fan groups in some manner YES
  • Canadian content rules of 50 percent, including coaches, with a plan to gradually increase Canadian content, both players and coaches YES FOR PLAYERS, MAYBE A TWO CANADIAN COACHING STAFF MEMBER MINIMUM. I DO THINK WHEN THE LEAGUE LAUNCHES, GUYS LIKE MARCINA, BRENNAN AND WATSON WILL BE AMONG THE FIRST BATCH OF HEAD COACHES
  • A three-year recruitment plan (this could be unnecessary if the league is single entity)
  • League-wide standard salary grid, including a salary floor / living wage for a set percentage of a club's players (ditto re: not being needed if single entity) $35,000 MINIMUM SALARY I HOPE
  • No amateur players; No MLS reserve sides YES
  • League wide marketing plan, including merchandising through a major national retailer CANADIAN TIRE. I WOULD ALSO ADD A NATIONAL RESTAURANT/SPORTSBAR CHAIN TO MY CPL MARKETING WISH LIST
  • National television coverage.  No local Rogers/Shaw crapola. YES

 

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3 minutes ago, Marc said:

Great post.  For the record, I'm totally down with some sort of MLS linkages - particularly loaning players - my only anti-MLS sentiment is no MLS reserve sides in the league. 

to that linkage idea, I have a feeling the Canadian Generation Adidas rule will essentially be used to give kids in the CPL with bigger potential a shot to sign with MLS cap-hit free. Basically what you see happening with Shome right now.

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