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Guest Jeffery S.

Voyageurs Protest Letter: reactions and references

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quote:Originally posted by Gordon

The Voyageurs have never become much of a cohesive force. Part of that is distance, part of that is the lack of games in Canada, part of that is the lack of will. All of which has conspired to keep us from gaining focus. That and incessent childish bickering.

40-50 sounds about right at any given time and I don't think the losses from GTA have been any more pronounced than the losses from the Rest of Canada. I'd also disagree that we (The Voyageurs) were "influential" as Cathal Kelly suggests.

I think you are right. But, At the root of it, I dont think its about a GTA versus Rest of Canada thing. The inescapable fact is that, since the GC in 2000, there has been little to get exited about.

If you look at the average total numbers that have, at least on one occasion, stood in the voyageurs the section at various Canada matches accross the country or nearby in the past 3 years ( Ie.: Edmonton, Kingston, Burnaby, Montreal, Boston ). Then add another 10-20 % to that number which would represent V's who sat elsewhere in the stadium and those who cannot make it out due to travel distance ( eg Europe, asia), personal commitments etc. The total number might be 70-100. That is still too small when you consider the numbers that some of concacaf rivals can get out to the game.

The "Influential" point is also a good one. I think that we could be. But that would require IMO better monitoring of content on this forum. What i would regard as the ideal level of influence would be in offerred an informed viewpoint. Informed, being the key word.

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I'm not saying that there hasn't been a drop off in other geographic regions of the country, but I do believe the single biggest area of former posters has been in the GTA.

I still expect there to be a large number of supporters & people cheering on Canada at games in Toronto (tomorrow's game will be the first test of that, though I expect a lot of TFC season ticket holders may not show up if they have to drive downtown on a Friday night & then again on a Saturday afternoon) - it's just that a lot of them won't be doing so under the Voyageurs banner, unfortunately.

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quote:Originally posted by Gian-Luca

I'm not saying that there hasn't been a drop off in other geographic regions of the country, but I do believe the single biggest area of former posters has been in the GTA.

I still expect there to be a large number of supporters & people cheering on Canada at games in Toronto (tomorrow's game will be the first test of that, though I expect a lot of TFC season ticket holders may not show up if they have to drive downtown on a Friday night & then again on a Saturday afternoon) - it's just that a lot of them won't be doing so under the Voyageurs banner, unfortunately.

I'd agree with largest single group. But in relative proportion to the general membership of which the GTA is the largest single geopgraphical area represented. Most recently, I'd agree, even out of proportion to membership as TFC and "hurt feelings" has added to normal attrition. But there was a huge drop in participation from BC and Alberta particularly a bit earlier, probably for many of the same reasons.

It is a particular shame, now that Canada is essentially Toronto based, that many GTA fans have wandered away.

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quote:Originally posted by Free kick

But that would require IMO better monitoring of content on this forum. What i would regard as the ideal level of influence would be in offerred an informed viewpoint. Informed, being the key word.

I have often thought that we needed an Owen Hargeaves (and ilk), Canadian Soccer League, and CSA FAQ that hashes through, without judgemen,t the different arguments, pro and con, for each that would be madatory reading before one can become a voyageur. Then, every blank form for a new post should pop up with the Phrase "Reasonable People can Disagree Reasonably" emblazoned across it in bold. Then Moderate to that motto :)

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quote:Originally posted by Gordon

It is a particular shame, now that Canada is essentially Toronto based, that many GTA fans have wandered away.

However, as Hombre has pointed out, U-sector, as well as Red Patch Boys now, have a strong pro-Canada MNT slant. Many people attending Can-Arg tomorrow are from these supporter groups, but have never even heard of Voyageurs. The drop-off from Voyageurs does not mean a drop-off in support for Canada. In any event, what needs to happen is for Voyageurs to work with these and other supporter groups (Both TFC groups have more active message boards than Voyageurs) to advance the agenda for accountability and professionalism from the CSA. Recent events (ie the beer pricing scandal at the NSS) have shown that the powers that be do pay attention when these groups make noise. The reality now is that many Canada supporters choose to support through the supporter clubs, and we need to adjust for this reality.

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quote:Originally posted by El Hombre

The really good thing about what Ryan, Sean and Rudi are doing with U-Sector though is that most of the guys that are going to TFC games will also start going to Canada games in Toronto (and area) if they hadn't before. Whether we fall under one moniker or two (Voyageurs/U-Sector) is a non-issue.

Supporting Canada will always be a top priority for the U-Sector, and I think with TFC in the mix, we have a bigger platform for which to do just that.

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quote:Originally posted by RealGooner

However, as Hombre has pointed out, U-sector, as well as Red Patch Boys now, have a strong pro-Canada MNT slant. Many people attending Can-Arg tomorrow are from these supporter groups, but have never even heard of Voyageurs. The drop-off from Voyageurs does not mean a drop-off in support for Canada.

Indeed. In fact I expect that support for Canada in Toronto will be better than it ever was, and should hopefully increase when TFC's roster becomes more Canadian than it has been initially.

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quote:Originally posted by Gian-Luca

Indeed. In fact I expect that support for Canada in Toronto will be better than it ever was, and should hopefully increase when TFC's roster becomes more Canadian than it has been initially.

Definately. I think that TFC's high profile can be expertly used to increase the profile for the MNT...unfortunately, the CSA will probably not have a hand in that. It will end up being MLSE good will and supporter club enthusiasm that raises the MNT profile in the Southern Ontario.

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Guest Jeffery S.

Voyageurs is small, it is, for media purposes, a specialized pressure group. Since the national teams play so little and so inconsistently in Canada, there is much less opportunity to organize Voyageurs activities, establish better networking, bring people into the debates about the national team. Essentially the CSA has kept the senior men away from Canadian fans.

That is very different from a club, which plays pretty well weekly in season. Just that level of continuity gives supporters of a club a constant and insistent chance to grow as a group.

So there is an important difference. You will find hundreds of Arsenal or Olympiakos or Barça supporters clubs around the world, but not too many who meet to support and talk about their national teams, it is not usual. And I think that there is a reason for that, which is how few games are played. National team support, at the best of times is occasional, and in Canada, even more so.

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Jeffrey, do you think it would help to forward this letter to FIFA or Concacaf? Or ebven the Ministry of Sports? I'm not sure if those bodies have much sway over internal CSA bullsh#t, but it might be good for the CSA to know that Canadian soccer fans mean business about the CSA cleaning up its act.

PS Cathal Kelly is not a 'she'.

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Guest Jeffery S.
quote:Originally posted by RealGooner

Jeffrey, do you think it would help to forward this letter to FIFA or Concacaf? Or ebven the Ministry of Sports? I'm not sure if those bodies have much sway over internal CSA bullsh#t, but it might be good for the CSA to know that Canadian soccer fans mean business about the CSA cleaning up its act.

Geez, just assumed Cathal was a she. Was once fired from a great translating job in Barcelona, well-paid, because I made a Finnish women into a man. So I can appreciate the importance, will correct.

I sent the letter to Blatter at FIFA, to two different email addresses, and wrote a preface:

"Coinciding with the visit of FIFA to Canada this week

in anticipation of the World u-20 championship,

Canadian football fans wish to share their concerns

with the president of FIFA. All is not well in

Canadian football, and we feel that FIFA should be

aware. We need your support.

Our protest letter, which has received widespread

media reaction, follows."

I wrote something similar to Jack Warner via the contact e-mail on the Concacaf site, and got a Mailer demon for my efforts. What we might expect from Concacaf. If anyone else wants to insist with Concacaf please take a shot.

The letter was sent to the Minister responsible for sports, and to Sport Canada. As both claim they actually read what they receive and reply, well I am waiting for one from both. As you have to send those through internal forms, I don't have the exact text of what I wrote, but I did suggest to Sport Canada that the CSA was not fulfilling the mandate that would justify Sport Canada funding (some 1,300,000 base funding last year, 1% of the total funding to Canadian sport associations).

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quote:Originally posted by Gordon

I have often thought that we needed an Owen Hargeaves (and ilk), Canadian Soccer League, and CSA FAQ that hashes through, without judgemen,t the different arguments, pro and con, for each that would be madatory reading before one can become a voyageur. Then, every blank form for a new post should pop up with the Phrase "Reasonable People can Disagree Reasonably" emblazoned across it in bold. Then Moderate to that motto :)

Its quite amazing when I think about it. The supporters groups for the local MLS club has grown to the numbers that would never have been imaginable. Its almost at a point where it has become impersonal. Its imposible to know who everybody is when you show up at an event. This tells me what the potential is for a group like this. So why hasn't this group grown to the same extent and why have people left? well yes, geography is a main one as are the MNT results and lack of games. You would probably get 10 different answer from 10 different people if you were to ask but one prevailing theme is that this group is a bit of a "Joke". Some of that, I think, is unfair but in other cases there is point. And that is where my earlier point about proper moderation of the content that gets posted is key. Specifically, there need to be some kind of "Know what your talking about" code applied. I know it only applies to a small minority of posters but a small minority is enough to influence what an occasional lurker thinks.

Which leads me to the influentail bit. I have noted a distict and IMO very significant difference between the local supporters here in comparaison to the Voyageur and to the same extent the groups in other USL canadians cities. That is that in Toronto (be it the Lynx or TFC) the club and it officals are very accessible to the fans. In some cases they even post here? but is that the case when it comes to CSA or the other MLS clubs? Morgan Quarry used to post here but stopped a long time ago. The subsequent media relations people have never bothered and quite frankly, I dont blame them given some of the material that is permitted to get posted. If there was some kind of "know what you are talking about" they might still be here and hence we would be take more seriously. Thats how you become influential. But for some reason, this forum ( inlike all the others that I have lurked on) seems to be a magnet of the uninformed rantings, the other "psycho" fringe that critise for the sake of critisizing rather than being constructive and other single issue stuff ( that looks ike hidden agenda) much of which has nothing to do with the game. The recent protest letter is a good example of being constructive. But, aside from that, Its pretty simple really, If you collectively dont sound credible, you dont get taken seriously.

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Free kick, here is a question that I expect a very honest answer from you.

When I joined last year I knew next to nothing about Soccer in Canada and just as little about World Wide Soccer. I joined so that I could learn more about Soccer. Should I have been allowed to join and post? Did I add to the feeling of the forum being a joke?

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quote:Originally posted by Free kick

Its quite amazing when I think about it. The supporters groups for the local MLS club has grown to the numbers that would never have been imaginable. Its almost at a point where it has become impersonal. Its imposible to know who everybody is when you show up at an event. This tells me what the potential is for a group like this. So why hasn't this group grown to the same extent and why have people left?

I agree that there is large potential to expand the group.

In my opinion the poor results of the MNT and the lack of home games has helped slow the new recruits to this board. I remember when I first found this board during the Gold Cup of 2000, there seemed to be quite a few new posters.

Kudos for Toronto for getting TFC and BMO Field off the ground. Compared to Team Canada, they have a new product and new stadium which by itself generates lots of hype and support in the Greater Toronto Area.

Canada on the other hand is old news. Failed to qualify for the World Cup. Incompetant CSA. etc.

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quote:Originally posted by Free kick

Specifically, there need to be some kind of "Know what your talking about" code applied. I know it only applies to a small minority of posters but a small minority is enough to influence what an occasional lurker thinks.

......The subsequent media relations people have never bothered and quite frankly, I dont blame them given some of the material that is permitted to get posted. If there was some kind of "know what you are talking about" they might still be here and hence we would be take more seriously. Thats how you become influential. But for some reason, this forum ( inlike all the others that I have lurked on) seems to be a magnet of the uninformed rantings, the other "psycho" fringe that critise for the sake of critisizing rather than being constructive and other single issue stuff ( that looks ike hidden agenda) much of which has nothing to do with the game. The recent protest letter is a good example of being constructive. But, aside from that, Its pretty simple really, If you collectively dont sound credible, you dont get taken seriously.

First off, I would like to say that I think that the moderators do a good job on this site. Remember, the mods have lives too and they simply can't be on here at all times.

Secondly, I find it a bit amusing to use the TFC groups (ie. Red Patch Boys) as saying that is something we should try to emulate.

No offense to any Red Patch Boys at all, but I have very little to no time for their message board.

Their message board has loads of people spouting off exactly what you are saying is going on here, only it is 10 fold because the size of their membership level is as well.

I have read RPB boards many times and there are loads of people who talk totally out of their backside, with little to no knowledge of soccer at all. The amount of profanity and off-the-wall nonsense, not to mention personal and character attacks, posted by some of their members is outrageous.

Obviously, I am in no way am trying to say this is the case with all of the RPBs. I recognize that there are many of their members who are very well spoken, intelligent individuals. I am simply saying that their message board is no better than ours, and that they are in no way any more eloquent or knowledgeable than we are.

So basically, I think we are very well moderated and knowledgeable soccer mad individuals. The big difference between us and the TFC fan clubs is their sheer size as being the reason they likely have more influence.

Though, based on the media's response to our letter of protest, you wouldn't know we were any less credible or influential.

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quote:Originally posted by maccaliam

Secondly, I find it a bit amusing to use the TFC groups (ie. Red Patch Boys) as saying that is something we should try to emulate.

Well the TFC groups can offer their members MNT news, discussion, co-ordinated access to MNT games, group events, and road-trips to MNT games. Unless Voyageurs can offer the same then their isn't much value to a TFC fan in being active in this group as a an MNT supporters group. I only post here because I happen to have heard about Vs first, a few years ago. If I had just joined Usector from the start I wouldn't see any reason to be active here at all. I guess this group has to figure out what it wants to be. If it is happy being an advocacy-type group rather than a supporters group then it shouldn't be concerned with numbers. It should focus instead on being it close to the pulse of ordinary MNT supporters, both Vs members and non-members alike.

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Guest Jeffery S.

Got a tip on this thread on the Ontario Soccer Web, check the post May 10 by squid, this is rich.

http://www.ontariosoccerweb.com/ost/viewtopic.php?t=4264&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=45

Is this the same squid we have seen here lately?

In any case, the first time we have had an inkling of how the provincial associations have lined up (BC and Nova Scotia against Linford, Ontario and Québec with him, have I got that right?), and what may have been a key point of contention: Simoes bringing in an all Brazilian team (instead of apprenticing Canadian staff) and the supposed impermanence of hiring a foreigner who would not stay beyond 2010.

That Mitchell might have lobbied in BC (and with the help of Quarry!) and Hart in Nova Scotia seems highly logical.

Time to look again at squid's post here, as well as one by Rocco (some of those he says were lobbying vs. Simoes coincide), a somewhat overlooked thread that could have some worthwhile stuff:

http://www.canadian-soccer.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=11875

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quote:Originally posted by Jamit

Free kick, here is a question that I expect a very honest answer from you.

When I joined last year I knew next to nothing about Soccer in Canada and just as little about World Wide Soccer. I joined so that I could learn more about Soccer. Should I have been allowed to join and post? Did I add to the feeling of the forum being a joke?

No I am not talking about about you! Or an other newby. This is the problem and this is why I hate raising this topic because its always the wrong people who think that they are targetted. I'd love to name names but that thats just not me. For a good example go to the tread on the womens national team forum and check out that thread titled Womens team in turmoil". you should have a pretty good idea of who I am referring to and what Massive Attack meant about single issue / hidden agenda type poster. There are so many other examples from always the same few people .

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quote:Originally posted by maccaliam

Secondly, I find it a bit amusing to use the TFC groups (ie. Red Patch Boys) as saying that is something we should try to emulate.

No offense to any Red Patch Boys at all, but I have very little to no time for their message board.

Their message board has loads of people spouting off exactly what you are saying is going on here, only it is 10 fold because the size of their membership level is as well.

I have read RPB boards many times and there are loads of people who talk totally out of their backside, with little to no knowledge of soccer at all. The amount of profanity and off-the-wall nonsense, not to mention personal and character attacks, posted by some of their members is outrageous.

Obviously, I am in no way am trying to say this is the case with all of the RPBs. I recognize that there are many of their members who are very well spoken, intelligent individuals. I am simply saying that their message board is no better than ours, and that they are in no way any more eloquent or knowledgeable than we are.

No disrespect to the RPB, but they themselves have said that it's the U-Sector that support the Canadian national teams more out of the two TFC supporters groups.

That is not a slag on anyone, just a difference in philosophy (especially given that almost everyone who joined the current incarnation of the U-Sector board when it launched did so after reading about it here). Hence why RPB is planning a roadtrip to support TFC in Chicago during the U-20 tournament and the U-Sector is not.

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Thats correct. I'm one of those who joined here first, heard about usector and went on to join them, and theirs many others like me. Again, Voyageurs has to figure out if it wants to be a supporters group or an advocacy group. Radical changes have to happen if its going to be a supporters group attractive enough to grow its active membership.

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quote:Originally posted by RealGooner

Voyageurs has to figure out if it wants to be a supporters group or an advocacy group. Radical changes have to happen if its going to be a supporters group attractive enough to grow its active membership.

Absolutely. My choice would be to be strictly a supporters group. for no other reason than the fact you could never achieve the consensus on any issue that you need to be a advocacy group. Plus, to be a effective advocacy group you would need some kind of structure that some one would head up.

A further problem is the fact we have not met ( save one person or two on a very rare occasion) anyone who taken some kind of initiative or leadership role on either the administrative side or even special projects like the Voyageurs cup. the Voyageurs cup is good example. A superb initiative, but nobody has ever met face to face to discuss things and exchange ideas with anyone spearheading the initiatve. Imagine what could have been possible with the Vcup if those people had bothered to come out and introduce themselves once in a while at those outings where we get meet and chat wioth club officals and so forth. We might still V-cup tourny this year. And I am talking about the Vcup organizers that live in TO or sourthern Ontario.

The drawback of course of being a supporters group is geography.

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quote:Originally posted by RealGooner

Voyageurs has to figure out if it wants to be a supporters group or an advocacy group. Radical changes have to happen if its going to be a supporters group attractive enough to grow its active membership.

Absolutely. My choice would be to be strictly a supporters group. for no other reason than the fact you could never achieve the consensus on any issue that you need to be a advocacy group. Plus, to be a effective advocacy group you would need some kind of structure that some one would head up.

A further problem is the fact we have not met ( save one person or two on a very rare occasion) anyone who taken some kind of initiative or leadership role on either the administrative side or even special projects like the Voyageurs cup. the Voyageurs cup is good example. A superb initiative, but nobody has ever met face to face to discuss things and exchange ideas with anyone spearheading the initiatve. Imagine what could have been possible with the Vcup if those people had bothered to come out and introduce themselves once in a while at those outings where we get meet and chat wioth club officals and so forth. We might still V-cup tourny this year. And I am talking about the Vcup organizers that live in TO or sourthern Ontario.

The drawback of course of being a supporters group is geography.

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quote:Originally posted by Free kick

This is the problem and this is why I hate raising this topic because its always the wrong people who think that they are targetted.

Hey I wasn't ticked and I didn't think you were targeting me. What I thought you were saying was to kinda have like a skill test or something to find out if people are smart enought to post on these boards. I clearly didn't read your post right, my mistake.

I have lots to say on us getting smaller. I don't think it is a bad thing. But I am going to save my reasons for the new look Canuck Report.:)

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