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Quick note: Anyone else going to be watching how TLN do ratings wise for the International Champions Cup? Them and their sister station Euro Sport World have exclusive rights to the competition and are airing 21 of the games. I'm curious to see how they do viewership wise with it.

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5 minutes ago, -Hammer- said:

Yeah, but each team only play 5-10 games which require flights. Would that be the case for the CPL?

Sure, less due to volume, but potentially more depending on number of trips.

If teams play twice in a week, perhaps they could just stay longer on the road?

example: Victoria plays Kitchener-Waterloo on Saturday. They stay in Ontario to play Hamilton on Tuesday and then they go back? Only a chartered bus would be required for that week and you play 2 games.

It would come down to be creative with scheduling until the league gets more teams

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I would like to see no playoffs - and really how much additional revenue will a total max of 6 post season truly bring when there will be travel costs involved? 
Would rather see a Cup competition to run along with the season- one-off quarters, semis and perhaps a 2 legged final? 
If playoffs are absolutely necessary, at least give the first place team a bye to final, with second and third playing a semi. Would make coming in first more of a reward. At least until there are more than 6 teams

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7 minutes ago, Red Renaissance said:

I would like to see no playoffs - and really how much additional revenue will a total max of 6 post season truly bring when there will be travel costs involved? 
Would rather see a Cup competition to run along with the season- one-off quarters, semis and perhaps a 2 legged final? 
If playoffs are absolutely necessary, at least give the first place team a bye to final, with second and third playing a semi. Would make coming in first more of a reward. At least until there are more than 6 teams

yea, it's so hard to talk about format when we have no idea how many teams there are even going to be.  6 teams is a world of difference from even something like 10 teams, let alone something like 16.

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I don't have strong feelings on formats. I like regular season championship, playoffs, cup competition. As such, I don't understand the mindset of people (majority of soccer fans it seems) who absolutely hate playoffs, especially if too many teams are involved, but advocate for a cup. In my mind a cup competition is essentially playoffs with everybody instead of just the top x teams. Is it the seeding that is a turn off? Is it the timing (end of season vs during the season)? Or is it the importance that is put on it and the devaluing of the regular season? The difference in my opinion is mostly semantics.

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12 hours ago, Kent said:

I don't have strong feelings on formats. I like regular season championship, playoffs, cup competition. As such, I don't understand the mindset of people (majority of soccer fans it seems) who absolutely hate playoffs, especially if too many teams are involved, but advocate for a cup. In my mind a cup competition is essentially playoffs with everybody instead of just the top x teams. Is it the seeding that is a turn off? Is it the timing (end of season vs during the season)? Or is it the importance that is put on it and the devaluing of the regular season? The difference in my opinion is mostly semantics.

I tend to agree.  Maybe it is just my desperation for all of this to work out and actually happen, but I am pretty ambivalent on Cup vs Playoffs.  In most Euro countries, they choose an overall "winner" based on total season points.  But the Cup winners (sometimes at least 1 Cup for league and 1 open Cup for the whole country) also come with some unique prestige that often isn't easy to characterize in the context of league results.  Win the EPL but crash out of the  FA Cup?  Its all good.  Get 3rd in the league but with the FA CUP? Not as good - but hey at least we hoisted the Cup.  Missed out on a Champion's League spot, but won the League Cup?  Not so sure, but we will sure as hell try to sell it like a victory to the supporters.  Et cetera.  In the context of that kind of muddied world of glory and achievement in "mature" footy nations, it is difficult to accept categorical statements that playoffs have no place in soccer (not directed at anyone in particular - just editorializing).  It really does seem to be a case of do what works, and much like pro/rel, I don't feel that we need to do it just because Euro country X does it that way. 

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the nice thing about playoffs is it allows the super casual fan to pick a time to pay attention.  Like the hardcore basketball/baseball/football fans who don't hate soccer can pay attention at the end while they just aren't likely to tune in for anything that runs the entire season, whether it be a cup or the league.

Then again, there is something about having every game matter that I don't think should be understated.  On some level, the entire european season is "playoffs"

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Another thing to touch upon- I think it would be neat if teams had to qualify for the Canadian Championship. Top 3/4 (in a 6 team league) or Top 5/6/7 (in an 8/10 league). This would give the bottom teams/fans something to play for until the very end even if not in league/playoff contention. I dont think there is a need for every team to qualify to Canada Cup when these teams are already playing eachother often. should be a best of CanPL vs MLS teams style format instead of US Open Cup format. 

 

Edited by Argentina_111
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11 minutes ago, Red Renaissance said:

Another thing to touch upon- I think it would be neat if teams had to qualify for the Canadian Championship. Top 3/4 (in a 6 team league) or Top 5/6/7 (in an 8/10 league). This would give the bottom teams/fans something to play for until the very end even if not in league/playoff contention. I dont think there is a need for every team to qualify to Canada Cup when these teams are already playing eachother often. should be a best of CanPL vs MLS teams style format instead of US Open Cup format. 

 

Thing is, that systemically place CPL subservient to MLS, don't think that in the best interest of the league or the CSA. If CPL is tier 1, you have to consistently treat it as such 

As for playoffs, I'm in favour but maybe wait until there are at least 8 teams (or a single playoff series between the conference winners). 4/6 teams qualifying would make the season a bit weak 

Edited by Complete Homer
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1 hour ago, Red Renaissance said:

Another thing to touch upon- I think it would be neat if teams had to qualify for the Canadian Championship. Top 3/4 (in a 6 team league) or Top 5/6/7 (in an 8/10 league). This would give the bottom teams/fans something to play for until the very end even if not in league/playoff contention. I dont think there is a need for every team to qualify to Canada Cup when these teams are already playing eachother often. should be a best of CanPL vs MLS teams style format instead of US Open Cup format. 

 

I disagree.  The whole point of the Canadian championship is to have as many teams from as many leagues as possible(IMO).  Making some of our top teams qualify would limit the chances for lower div teams to pull off a Cinderella story and beat a giant.

all of our CPL/MLS teams should be considered giants, relative to some of the other teams we'll start allowing in V-cup.

 

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Just now, matty said:

VCup post CPL exists
Round 1: L1O vs PSLQ
Round 2: Round 1 winner + CPL 5 and 6 + MLS 3
Round 3:  Round 2 winner + CPL 1-4 + MLS Top 2

LOL as if the 3rd ranked MLS team is going to come in before ANY CanPL teams.

 

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31 minutes ago, matty said:

VCup post CPL exists
Round 1: L1O vs PSLQ
Round 2: Round 1 winner + CPL 5 and 6 + MLS 3
Round 3:  Round 2 winner + CPL 1-4 + MLS Top 2

Honestly, I would even open it up slightly more and allow the top two PLSQ and L1O squads in, but baby steps I suppose.  I could live with this.  Although I imagine ted is probably right, at least at first.

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1 hour ago, ted said:

LOL as if the 3rd ranked MLS team is going to come in before ANY CanPL teams.

 

The CSA gets to decide the format (as far as I know, but maybe the pro teams have some input?). It's in the CSA's best interest to treat it as D1 just like MLS, and to not give MLS any baked in advantage in the tournament. I will be disappointed if any CPL team starts earlier than MLS teams. The only exception that wouldn't be terrible is the Champion getting a bye.

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On 6/9/2017 at 5:55 PM, dsqpr said:

(Not having a go "nam", please don't take this personally!)

Ah yes, the North American obsession with ITALL, the trophy that must be awarded every season.

Newsflash: The League Champions have won ITALL. They are the best team. They have proved it comprehensively over an entire season.

But, there can be other important competitions! More trophies to go around! More big games! This is good! For everybody! This should not be hard to understand. Unless of course one is obsessed with and cannot see beyond ITALL.

I think the problem is when you don't have clear purposes that are distinct for each competition.  I can explain the purpose of the FA cup to my non-soccer friends in a way that they will understand why it exists(see my last post), and they can at least grasp the idea of league champion being ITALL as opposed to playoffs, as well as the purpose of a regional champions league(be it UEFA or CONCACAF).

Where it gets fuzzy is where you have multiple competitions that essentially serve the same purpose - aka the FA cup and the League cup and the Carling cup(i'm not even sure what they're all called anymore).  Soccer already gets a bad rap as being a participation trophy sport, we don't need to make it worse by having our own league have too many awards.  Awards are great because they're hard to get.  At the end of the day that's kinda the point(and a source of reluctance for many NA sports fan)

Canada should have the following, and nothing additional:

1. The League, whether the regular season champion is champion or, as I would prefer, as baseball style playoff where say 4-6 of 12-16 teams qualify.  Actually the NASL's format is decent for keeping things interesting late into the season, not a bad model to look at when you don't have relegation to keep to bottom teams interesting

2. The Voyageurs cup.  Fully open.  Anyone can get in if they play their way through regional qualifiers.  The way it should be.  CanPL/MLS teams will get a few byes, but will play minnows at some point.  It's gonna take some effort by the CSA to push this into smaller markets but really what is needed is the big clubs to play those teams.

3. CONCACAF Champions League - need I explain?

 

I see no purpose for any other sanctioned tournaments, although if someone disagrees I'll listen to your reasoning.

despite the ITALL ideology that NA fans have, I know that I can convince them(or at least most) to understand these three separate competitions and their purpose.

Edited by GuillermoDelQuarto
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1 hour ago, dsqpr said:

Very good post and yes, I totally agree with all of that except the bit about playoffs for the league. Certainly the idea of CPL Champions and a separate Voyageurs Cup where teams from multiple leagues compete in a knockout format is what I envision too. I also agree there is no need for any other competition.

A few points though:

1. Participation trophy sport?! Come on! There are 92 teams in the EPL/EFL. Each team can win its division of 20 or 24 teams but only the EPL winners are the Champions. But every team has a chance to win its division, whatever the league.

Hundreds of teams play in the FA Cup. There is one winner.

92 teams play in the League Cup (previously sponsored by Carling). There is one winner. 

64 teams (all of League One and League Two and some Academy teams) play in the EFL trophy. There is one winner.

=> It is very hard to win a trophy!!

2. None of the above competitions serve the same purpose! Do I need to elaborate?

3. I am adamantly opposed to the type of NA style playoff you suggest because it renders the entire "regular" season irrelevant (so long as you make the playoffs). It is part of the heart and soul of football that every game matters.

4. And the whole "Presidents Cup or whatever" that they do in hockey to "reward" the team that busted a gut all season to end with the best record is laughable. Nobody gives two hoots about it! God forbid that CPL should ever do the same.

1. Not saying I agree with this perception, but it is the common way of looking at it when they see that there are 5 different cups.  Like I think people (over here) would take it more seriously if it was ONLY the FA cup (Or V-cup, in our case).  The problem is that there's the carling cup and the league cup which are essentially the same thing.  You have to remember the casual sports fan is fairly ignorant of soccer.  Half of them barely understand the rules, let alone the nuances of different competitions.  I know they're all difficult to win.

2. They may not serve the exact same purpose, but to the uninitiated it's hard to tell the difference.  Again, not saying I agree, just saying what makes sense for Canada given the current situation.

3.  I would be okay with that, but I don't agree that the regular season is irrelevant if only say 20-30 percent of the teams make the post-season.  I would generally agree if we were talking 50-60%(as is the case with hockey and basketball).  The only skin I have in this line of reasoning is suggesting what I think will be most effective in winning over fans, given my familiarity with Canadian sports fans.  My reasoning is that you want to give people a chance to tune in for the most exciting possible games (I had people asking me about Toronto - Montreal and aggregate scoring last year - folks who have probably never sat through an entire european match in their lives).

4. Yea, I don't disagree.  I mean it's an acknowledgement of an accomplishment, but thats about it.  No one cares in hockey and no one would care in CanPL either(assuming we had the playoff format I mentioned).

Edited by GuillermoDelQuarto
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I have always felt that the League a Cup is redundant. What is its purpose?

As for the "every game matters" idea, not every game matters in the regular season even when they crown the champions based on it. Teams clinch their championship before the season is done, or teams are assured to be relegated/get champions league place/get Europa space/fall in the dead zone of getting no rewards and no penalties. On the flip side, in the playoffs every game actually DOES matter. It's why they don't keep playing a best of seven after someone has won 4 games. I would also argue that since the CPL is not likely to have things like relegation or Europa, that more of the regular season will matter with playoffs. The scenario you would prefer would involve only the top couple teams on the bell curve to have games that matter late in the season. With playoffs on the line though the middle-ish teams would all have games that matter, and for seeding purposes the top teams would still have something to shoot for.

I DO understand the appeal of crowning a champion from the regular season, but I think it's incorrect to say that it means all the games matter, or even that more games matter than in a playoff system.

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24 minutes ago, dsqpr said:

But given the other way is continually failing, don't you think it is time to give the ubiquitous system a try?

No. It hasn't been tried because executives trust market research. The audience wants playoffs. 

Also playoff games are cash cows. If something is great for business and the consumer is asking for it why wouldn't you have playoffs?

Edited by harrycoyster
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11 hours ago, Kent said:

As for the "every game matters" idea, not every game matters in the regular season even when they crown the champions based on it... I DO understand the appeal of crowning a champion from the regular season, but I think it's incorrect to say that it means all the games matter, or even that more games matter than in a playoff system.

It's not possible to design a system where literally every game matters an equal amount.  No matter if we have playoffs or no playoffs there are always some games that are more meaningful than other games.

In a non-playoff system you're going to have games like Chelsea's final match this season against Sunderland. They already won the EPL and there wasn't really anything to play for.  At the same time, in a playoff system, you'll see teams get to the last game of the season were their playoff spot is already clinched and they'll rest their best players since they still have playoff games.  In both systems that final game is meaningless for a lot of teams.

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10 hours ago, dsqpr said:

Every game matters because it isn't just about promotion and relegation! It is about how many points you can accumulate and where you finish in the league table. Once the season is over that league table is forever carved into the annals of history. And teams care about finishing higher. Think Brentford fans aren't delighted at finishing higher than QPR fans this season? Go ask one of them. Think QPR fans don't care about the seasons we finished as the top team in London, even though we didn't win anything? Wrong again!

To say that points don't matter once you can no longer be promoted or relegated is like saying your vote at an election doesn't matter so you shouldn't bother to vote. It is a specious argument that is quite clearly wrong.

With playoff leagues the league table is also forever carved into the annals of history. You can care about all of those things you mentioned even if there are playoffs. Just like you can care about QPR being the top team in London even if they also happened to get eliminated from a cup competition by a London rival. I'm a TFC fan, and even though there are playoffs and I hope TFC wins MLS Cup, I also hope they win the Supporter's Shield (and most importantly the Voyageurs Cup of course).

"To say that points don't matter once you can no longer be promoted or relegated is like saying your vote at an election doesn't matter so you shouldn't bother to vote." No. It's like saying the points don't matter once you have clinched a playoff spot or can no longer clinch a playoff spot. That's what you said, and I was giving a counter point.

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12 hours ago, dsqpr said:

I think the fundamental difference of opinion we have is that you want to "Americanize" the game to appeal to the average North American sports fan whereas I do not want to do that because I believe it is the most popular sport in the World for a reason. And I think that to make it the most popular sport in North America you need to do the exact opposite; in other words, you need to "footballize" North American sports fans. Of course many won't buy in but I believe that so many will, as they do everywhere else, that success will follow.

To support my argument I give you the failed NASL of the 70s and 80s, which tried very hard to change the game to appeal to North American fans, and 20 years or so of MLS, which is also Americanized with franchises instead of Clubs, and playoffs; and is still very much a fringe sport over here.

Of course the missing part of my thesis is the bit where embracing the way it is done everywhere else is proven successful over here. But given the other way is continually failing, don't you think it is time to give the ubiquitous system a try?

I would say I want to "Canadianize" it, and only slightly.  You go all around the world and sure, the fundamentals are the same, but don't tell me there isn't a different feel to the game in england as opposed to south america.  The refereeing is slightly different and every country does things slightly differently in order to tailor it to their countries unique needs.  I do not see how what I am suggesting is any different.

It's apples and oranges comparing NASL of the 70s to anything today.  Soccer simply wasn't consumed like it is today - i'm not saying this means your wrong, I'm just saying I don't think we should be talking about the 70s like it has much relevance.  My dad is nearly in his sixties now and he says soccer is televised now in a way that it just wasn't when he was a kid.

A comparison to MLS is more appropriate, and MLS may not be thriving, but it is surviving, and I don't think we should ignore that.

To be honest, playoffs or no playoffs isn't the hill I would die on anyways.  I think you can make the case that without relegation, you need to find some way to keep fans of struggling teams engaged if one or two top teams are running away with it.  Sure if we had the threat of relegation I would agree with you that playoffs are not necessary, but until then I think this is a fundamental flaw of the single table.

Now if we get to 16 teams and we can put in relegation, then I will rescind my support for playoffs.  Until then though.

I'd actually like to see us use a similar model to the current NASL with a spring and fall champion qualifying.  The name of the game is keeping people engaged.

The hill I would die on however, is Instant replay and retroactive punishment for simulation.  I say I want to Canadianize the game, and I do, in these ways.  Soccer, like it or not, has a reputation for being a "soft" sport.  We should nip this narrative in the bud by sternly retroactively punishing simulation.  Instant replay - well - I understand the slippery slope narrative of like "where does it end" - but just because we don't want every single offside being reviewed, doesn't mean we couldn't have it in two very select cases (a play involving a goal, or a play involving the awarding of a penalty kick).  If this is Canadianizing the sport, then so be it.

 

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