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yellowsweatygorilla

CPL Players' Union

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So I am sure almost everyone here has heard by now, the players are trying to organize a union. I was able to get more info about that recently. It's picking up steam, but they want fan support, which will hopefully convince the league that it's in their self-interest to work with players instead of potentially having a long drawn out public fight.

I think it'd be amazing if as supporters we could publicly support the players. I am planning on starting a social media campaign with others, so I just wanted to gauge people's thoughts.

 

Some fellow fans have asked me what's in it for us as supporters of the game. Here'd be my pitch:

1. I think one of the major complaints about the league so far has been transparency. We like to complain about the convoluted MLS rules but at least it's out there (or some of it at least). Player wages are also public, which gives us something to talk about.
2. Improving work conditions for players will have a dramatic impact on player development. Right now a lot of players are having to take on second jobs etc. It would be great if players are allowed to just focus on honing their craft, instead of worrying about bills or whether they'll receive health benefits etc.
3. Improving working conditions will led to a higher standard of players. While some players are struggling with bills, others have flat out refused to join the league, since they make far more money in their side jobs - as accountants, as youth coaches etc. Having a body to push for improvement in those conditions will make the league more attractive to players.
4. Our league is young, and it seems to me that it'd make a lot of sense to be proactive, to avoid any potential hic-ups with unscrupulous dealings with players. Player representation ensures accountability, which will hopefully improve the league's sustainability.

 

 

But yea, would love to hear what others think.

 

 

 

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There's another problem which has to be said: CPL clubs are apparently generous with coaches and staff, who make market value wages, so that it seems much more is being spent on what's off the field than what's on. The only ones being "asked" to make a sacrifice financially are the players,  the ones who make the game happen and who we go to watch. So they should not be the only ones bearing the brunt of budget restrictions. 

In modern football player salaries represent well over half and closer to 65-70% of club budgets. In CPL, if the cap really is below a million as rumoured, salaries are below 30%. 

Even if a union or similar does not require salaries to be published, they can work for a higher cap, a published minimum wage, 12 month contracts, protection against dismissal and the right to refuse trades, medical insurance in case of injury, minimum travel and scheduling conditions and the equivalent to free agency. 

Edited by Unnamed Trialist

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1 hour ago, yellowsweatygorilla said:

So I am sure almost everyone here has heard by now, the players are trying to organize a union. I was able to get more info about that recently. It's picking up steam, but they want fan support, which will hopefully convince the league that it's in their self-interest to work with players instead of potentially having a long drawn out public fight.

I think it'd be amazing if as supporters we could publicly support the players. I am planning on starting a social media campaign with others, so I just wanted to gauge people's thoughts.

 

Some fellow fans have asked me what's in it for us as supporters of the game. Here'd be my pitch:

1. I think one of the major complaints about the league so far has been transparency. We like to complain about the convoluted MLS rules but at least it's out there (or some of it at least). Player wages are also public, which gives us something to talk about.
2. Improving work conditions for players will have a dramatic impact on player development. Right now a lot of players are having to take on second jobs etc. It would be great if players are allowed to just focus on honing their craft, instead of worrying about bills or whether they'll receive health benefits etc.
3. Improving working conditions will led to a higher standard of players. While some players are struggling with bills, others have flat out refused to join the league, since they make far more money in their side jobs - as accountants, as youth coaches etc. Having a body to push for improvement in those conditions will make the league more attractive to players.
4. Our league is young, and it seems to me that it'd make a lot of sense to be proactive, to avoid any potential hic-ups with unscrupulous dealings with players. Player representation ensures accountability, which will hopefully improve the league's sustainability.

 

 

But yea, would love to hear what others think.

 

 

 

My biggest worry about this is that if the union becomes too onerous or demanding, it could hamper the financial viability of what is still a very new and fragile thing. I’m not necessarily against a players’ association, I think that most leagues have them. I just hope that it’s kept reasonable and collaborative. 

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46 minutes ago, Ams1984 said:

My biggest worry about this is that if the union becomes too onerous or demanding, it could hamper the financial viability of what is still a very new and fragile thing. I’m not necessarily against a players’ association, I think that most leagues have them. I just hope that it’s kept reasonable and collaborative. 

I hear you. But I think it's important to remember that the players will surely be considering that in bargaining - the restraint around that would of course be that none of the players want to be out of their jobs. I don't think there's been a single example of a league folding because of union demands.  Right now the MLS, USL, LigaMX all have unions.

Fan support and the hopes of voluntary recognition from the league will hopefully ensure that they get off on the right foot. 

Edited by yellowsweatygorilla

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58 minutes ago, Unnamed Trialist said:

There's another problem which has to be said: CPL clubs are apparently generous with coaches and staff, who make market value wages, so that it seems much more is being spent on what's off the field than what's on. The only ones being "asked" to make a sacrifice financially are the players,  the ones who make the game happen and who we go to watch. So they should not be the only ones bearing the brunt of budget restrictions. 

In modern football player salaries represent well over half and closer to 65-70% of club budgets. In CPL, if the cap really is below a million as rumoured, salaries are below 30%. 

Even if a union or similar does not require salaries to be published, they can work for a higher cap, a published minimum wage, 12 month contracts, protection against dismissal and the right to refuse trades, medical insurance in case of injury, minimum travel and scheduling conditions and the equivalent to free agency. 

Absolutely. It all comes down to representation. We have to remember that the league is made up of a lot of younger players, sometimes from foreign countries, that have little in the way of ensuring accountability around enforcing their current contracts (let along making bigger demands). Anyone whose tried to make an ESA claim know full well the hurdles (let along unilaterally trying to enforce contracts).

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My thoughts :

I support the players and the clubs/league, seems kind of strange to me that some trying to organize a players association or union would be asking fans to support one side over the other. Haven't seen this in other sports really, seems kind of weird and out of place for us fans to do so.

This is kind of early with the CPL just having one year under its belt - USL took about 10 years to finally get a players union a few months ago, and with their poor wages and treatment of players it was needed. From all accounts, CPL has treated they're players well and stated their intent to do so from the beginning.

I'll let the clubs and the players hammer out their agreement and simply stick to the fan aspect.

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16 minutes ago, BrennanFan said:

I think its too soon. Canadian soccer is a fragile thing.  I'd give it another year, let the league grow to 10 teams, then stick it to the owners. 

I really want to understand where this presumption that a union is going to crack this fragility, instead of help solidify it. 

In the end of the day isn't this league supposed to be for the players?

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Just now, yellowsweatygorilla said:

I really want to understand where this presumption that a union is going to crack this fragility, instead of help solidify it. 

In the end of the day isn't this league supposed to be for the players?

The league is for the players, but it doesnt exist without interested owners.

Perhaps this is oversimplifying, but assuming the players want more money, the league will become less profitable for the individual owners.  To what extent, I don't know.  If I was on the fence about buying a business with existing employees, I would much rather they be unorganized and poorly paid.  

What power do the players have right now?  What, are they going to strike if they don't get raises?  The league would fold. 

Let it grow. Let it stabilize.  Don't bite the hand that feeds.

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8 minutes ago, BrennanFan said:

The league is for the players, but it doesnt exist without interested owners.

Perhaps this is oversimplifying, but assuming the players want more money, the league will become less profitable for the individual owners.  To what extent, I don't know.  If I was on the fence about buying a business with existing employees, I would much rather they be unorganized and poorly paid.  

What power do the players have right now?  What, are they going to strike if they don't get raises?  The league would fold. 

Let it grow. Let it stabilize.  Don't bite the hand that feeds.

Here's the thing, the union is going to happen at one point or another, the players are organizing. The question is, do we want a long drawn out ugly public fight for certification, or do we want an amicable agreement between the league and players (which is how things went down with the USL at least on the surface).

That's where I see fans playing a role at encouraging this. I've been speaking to supporters groups and other fans and it's all been very encouraging, almost everyone seems on board. And unions are a pretty common sight both in sports in North America, and in football across the world. Let's get on with it, and give players a direct voice at the table. And once again players aren't stupid, they will be assessing the risks associated with bargaining positions. It's in their interest to stabilize the league too. I don't see any evidence to the contrary. 

Edited by yellowsweatygorilla

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16 minutes ago, Obinna said:

I am curious about a long drawn out ugly public fight for certification. @yellowsweatygorilla can you share your thoughts as to why you expect this to occur without fan support?

Sorry, I should be clear. I don't mean to say that's going to happen without fan support. But fan support (we are the customers after all) would do well in encouraging the league towards avoiding a public fight.

I've just witnessed so many really messy certification fights in different settings, would rather the league avoid it and the bad press associated with it.

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Players have choices, both in football and in life. If CPL is a crappy place to play, players won't come and that will be the end of CPL. Nobody is over a barrel here, particularly when there are other leagues that do have a player union (and therefore have better benefits and wages?).

A player association is a good idea for discussing player interests with the league but I don't see any need for fans to be lobbying for anything right now.

Edit: And why does one person feel the need to reply to every post on this thread?

Edited by Lofty

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5 minutes ago, Lofty said:

Players have choices, both in football and in life. If CPL is a crappy place to play, players won't come and that will be the end of CPL. Nobody is over a barrel here, particularly when there are other leagues that do have a player union (and therefore have better benefits and wages?).

A player association is a good idea for discussing player interests with the league but I don't see any need for fans to be lobbying for anything right now.

Edit: And why does one person feel the need to reply to every post on this thread?

Because I feel invested in the issue, and want the league and its players to succeed?

Surely no need for snide comments?

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1 hour ago, yellowsweatygorilla said:

Because I feel invested in the issue, and want the league and its players to succeed?

Surely no need for snide comments?

Touchy. We all want the league and its players to succeed!

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28 minutes ago, Lofty said:

Touchy. We all want the league and its players to succeed!

Noone questioned your desire for league and player success. I was just explaining why I've been replying so much? I just think there's no need to try to push buttons for no apparent reason?

I heard from players that they wanted to organize and were interested in fan support. You are entitled to disagree.  I haven't been rude to anyone here have I?

Edited by yellowsweatygorilla

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4 minutes ago, yellowsweatygorilla said:

Noone questioned your desire for league and player success. I was just explaining why I've been replying so much? I just think there's no need to try to push buttons for no apparent reason?

I heard from players that they wanted to organize and were interested in fan support. You are entitled to disagree.  I haven't been rude to anyone here have I?

I was not suggesting you have been rude. I was just suggesting that your position was pretty clear from your OP so perhaps you could just let other people share their thoughts without making a counter post to every one who does not seem to agree with you.

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3 minutes ago, Lofty said:

I was not suggesting you have been rude. I was just suggesting that your position was pretty clear from your OP so perhaps you could just let other people share their thoughts without making a counter post to every one who does not seem to agree with you.

Fair enough

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You realize Obinna tagged him, Lofty?

Quote

Players have choices, both in football and in life. If CPL is a crappy place to play, players won't come and that will be the end of CPL. Nobody is over a barrel here, particularly when there are other leagues that do have a player union (and therefore have better benefits and wages?).

A player association is a good idea for discussing player interests with the league but I don't see any need for fans to be lobbying for anything right now.

Edit: And why does one person feel the need to reply to every post on this thread?

And those all sound like good reasons to form a union - other leagues do, and it's a good idea for discussing player interests. So why shouldn't fans be supporting it? It's important for the players not to be shortchanged as we all ride the initial wave of enthusiasm in the league

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12 hours ago, BrennanFan said:

The league is for the players, but it doesnt exist without interested owners.

Perhaps this is oversimplifying, but assuming the players want more money, the league will become less profitable for the individual owners.  To what extent, I don't know.  If I was on the fence about buying a business with existing employees, I would much rather they be unorganized and poorly paid.  

What power do the players have right now?  What, are they going to strike if they don't get raises?  The league would fold. 

Let it grow. Let it stabilize.  Don't bite the hand that feeds.

@BrennanFan thinks footballers are circus animals he can throw his peanuts at. 

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Article on the minimum standards in the US women's league (as it is on Sydney Leroux I link reluctantly), states that "The NWSL announced increased salaries this offseason, bringing the maximum up from $46,200 to $50,000. The minimum is only up to $20,000."

https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/news/sydney-leroux-says-she-paid-more-for-childcare-than-she-made-in-salary-from-nwsl-pride-012355672.html

Then there are endorsements the players can get, but still: there's a maximum for that league? No wonder the US National team players feel they have to pressure USSoccer and not their clubs to get to some kind of decent salary structure. 

As is, that is not a bad way to go: establish a minimum at least, so clubs do not overspend on a few players and pay peanuts to the rest.

Edited by Unnamed Trialist

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