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Ottawa CPL Club

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The issue of the salary cap level is probably something that the league should have unilaterally decided upon before accepting and announcing any franchises.  The fact that they weren't willing to do this suggests that they were really struggling with pulling together even 7 interested parties.

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Think that last bit was abundantly clear all along, once viable stadium solutions are factored in. Using membership sales to gauge interest before setting the cap is not necessarily a bad strategy though. Better to scale back based on that than to lose millions and fold outright only a year in.

Edited by BringBackTheBlizzard

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11 minutes ago, BringBackTheBlizzard said:

Think that last bit was abundantly clear all along, once viable stadium solutions are factored in. Using membership sales to gauge interest before setting the cap is not necessarily a bad strategy though. Better to scale back based on that than to lose millions and fold outright only a year in.

Membership sales definitely help give an idea but you really didn't even need that if you bothered to observe the economics of other Canada-only pro sports leagues and whip out a calculator to do some basic estimates.

My guess is some of the more business-astute owners talked down the soccer idealists involved with this.

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Some of those lower cap numbers that have been rumored are worrisome, to me anyway.  

There are far better ways for the league partners to, in effect, subsidize the operation costs of the lower revenue teams then through limiting the talent purchasing power of all the teams.      

      

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10 hours ago, Protega said:

Based on some of the posts above, I think the bigger issue now for the league is what type of product teams can possibly field with a $500k salary cap?  Fury has struggled in a weak USL with a much higher salary base that than.  I'm a sth, but to be honest, other than Adonijah Reid (who is only on loan and will be gone next season), that team is tough to watch.

This new supposed 500k salary cap is merely a rumour, a reddit one at that, mostly there's been the  talk of 750k-1.5 million. Whatever it actually turns out to be it seems it will likely be at or above USL salaries, not to mention that USL has no health insurance provided for players either.

USL teams pays 250-500k on average. If you have some links on solid info that Ottawa pays a "much higher salary base than that" please provide it, from what I've heard they don't.

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6 hours ago, Protega said:

The issue of the salary cap level is probably something that the league should have unilaterally decided upon before accepting and announcing any franchises.  The fact that they weren't willing to do this suggests that they were really struggling with pulling together even 7 interested parties.

Not necessarily, the CPL's clubs have an ownership stake in the league apparently, unlike a league like the USL who is privately owned. Therefore makes sense the clubs will have input in the salary structure of the new CPL.

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7 hours ago, Unnamed Trialist said:

It's the Whitecaps who really need a 2nd team, after cavalierly dumping WCII this season.

In any case, if I am an MLS club, I'd say: let's get a franchise in this new Canadian league, it is not too expensive and we expand our business model.

CPL has already nixed this idea, and rightly so, as its a D1 league and not a minor league of MLS.

Accepting MLS 2/B minor league affiliate teams in disguise at this point would go against everything they've said and de-legitimze Canada's Division 1 CPL from the outset.

CPL needs to continue to present a top tier D1 image not cave in to their standards for the sake of 1 more team added for 2018.

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3 minutes ago, CDNFootballer said:

CPL has already nixed this idea, and rightly so, as its a D1 league and not a minor league of MLS.

Accepting MLS 2/B minor league affiliate teams in disguise at this point would go against everything they've said and de-legitimze Canada's Division 1 CPL from the outset.

CPL needs to continue to present a top tier D1 image not cave in to their standards for the sake of 1 more team added for 2018.

I agree %100.  WFC can loan out 3 or 4 players even to, say, PFC but they will never control their minutes or development like they did with WFC2.

CPL will be a fairly low 1st div league but if it always maintains it's independence then it can grow into something more respectable (and comparable to MLS) whereas if it starts as a feeder league, it will be doomed to low attendances and disinterest.  Sports fans are keenly aware of when they are watching 'farm teams'

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11 minutes ago, CDNFootballer said:

CPL has already nixed this idea, and rightly so, as its a D1 league and not a minor league of MLS.

Accepting MLS 2/B minor league affiliate teams in disguise at this point would go against everything they've said and de-legitimze Canada's Division 1 CPL from the outset.

CPL needs to continue to present a top tier D1 image not cave in to their standards for the sake of 1 more team added for 2018.

But that is not the point I made. I said: as a club in a league, I look to expand my business model. And one way to do that is to get a franchise in the new league. I could even do it in a market that does not conflict with my own.

I realise I premised this on Caps needing a second team, but that was not the reason I think it would logical for them to get into CPL. It would be simply to have a presence in CPL. If any of the MLS teams' owners groups were to consider a venture into CPL, not premising it on being a feeder club, then what would be the objection? I am seriously asking. 

 

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8 minutes ago, Unnamed Trialist said:

But that is not the point I made. I said: as a club in a league, I look to expand my business model. And one way to do that is to get a franchise in the new league. I could even do it in a market that does not conflict with my own.

I realise I premised this on Caps needing a second team, but that was not the reason I think it would logical for them to get into CPL. It would be simply to have a presence in CPL. If any of the MLS teams' owners groups were to consider a venture into CPL, not premising it on being a feeder club, then what would be the objection? I am seriously asking. 

 

Well, first of all, the CPL has been very clear that they want their owners to be completely independent from MLS so it's not going to happen in any case.

But even if they were, follow the logical events.  Say WFC buys a CPL club in the Okanagan.  From their POV it makes lots of sense for their younger players needing meaningful minutes (or injured vets coming back into match fitness) and certainly wouldn't mess with their market like a Fraser Valley CPL team would.

Say they loaned an exciting young player to OFC (or whatever).  Since it would be under their control, and that WFC's on and off field success is much more consequential to the owner, they would have them develop according to what's best for WFC and not OFC.  

Also, you would see loans done in the same manner like an important player for the CPL club being loaned back- or 'called up'- to the big club during the business end of the both MLS and CPL seasons.  Would the fans of the Okanagan come to see OFC as THEIR club and grow it's fan base over time or like an AHL hockey team?

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Once they're in place the league bylaws should make it difficult for MLS owners to get involved in this league at any level whatsoever, for all the reasons discussed previously.  And I don't think there is anything wrong with that.  While not directly in competition they are in competition if you follow so fair enough.  You keep to yours, we'll keep to ours, and everyone can have a nice life. 

That being said, yeah, point taken.  Build all the fire walls you want these are clever people with money to back up their mouth so if they want to wedge their way into CanPL they'll wedge their way into CanPL, on the sly if they need to.  And it's easy to see the reasoning.  A self financing "friendly" organisation in Quebec City (or where ever) could be the best development money ever spent by an MLS franchise.  There doesn't necessarily have to be anything sinister about it. 

All that being said I'm pretty sure there are few things to wriggle around with MLS as well if it comes down to owning a footie property in North America that is outside of MLS.  

   

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9 hours ago, CDNFootballer said:

This new supposed 500k salary cap is merely a rumour, a reddit one at that, mostly there's been the  talk of 750k-1.5 million. Whatever it actually turns out to be it seems it will likely be at or above USL salaries, ...

It actually doesn't seem to be that way any more if Ottawa are steering clear because they can't keep a roster intact that they assembled in anticipation of moving to CanPL and that's coming from people that are known to have good inside contacts and to have broken similar stories on Twitter in the past in addition to what multiple anonymous reddit users are posting.

Overall I think people need to let go of this simplistic narrative of the USL being uniformly below CanPL in some way. Salary levels in the USL are difficult to pin down because it doesn't have a salary cap and has teams with wildly varying mandates. There are outright MLS reserve sides mainly focusing on player development, affiliates of MLS sides like Ottawa that place considerably more emphasis on results but need the subsidy the affiliation provides, and the independent clubs that can sometimes draw into five figures on average, which is something that appears unlikely at this point in a CanPL context. Most of the horror story that circulate about USL revolve around the MLS reserve teams rather than the likes of Sacramento and Cincinnati that have rosters that look expensive to assemble, so it's likely that CanPL will fall somewhere between those two extremes.

Edited by BringBackTheBlizzard

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Just now, BringBackTheBlizzard said:

......There are outright MLS reserve sides mainly focusing on player development, affiliates of MLS sides like Ottawa that place considerably more emphasis on results but need the subsidy the affiliation provides, and the independent clubs that can sometimes draw into five figures on average, which is something that appears unlikely at this point in a CanPL context. Most of the horror story that circulate about USL revolve around the MLS reserve teams rather than the likes of Sacramento and Cincinnati that have rosters that look expensive to assemble, so it's likely that CanPL will fall somewhere between those two extremes.

It seems the most likely is that we will have the full range in CPL. It may end up looking like a reduced version of Portugal or Scotland: a few clubs drawing extremely well, some in the middle in terms of fans, others doing poorly at the gate (from what we are seeing, quite possibly due to their own errors) and fretting about continuity. The results going mostly to the sides with more money, salary caps notwithstanding (you can get advantages with better training facilities, coaching, the fan support, better travel conditions; you can add non-salary perks to bolster players' remuneration). A few exceptional seasons where a more modest club in terms of fans breaks through and wins it.

Over time, including over a relatively short period of time, we may see teams making a higher frequency of deals with Canadian MLS clubs. Not as feeders directly, but simply moving players around. There would be no legal impediment, and no logical reason to not do what benefits the guys on your roster. 

I am suggesting that the discrepancies in USL would not necessarily end up being unfamiliar to the CPL five years from now.

(I recognize I was insinuating something entirely different: owners or part-owners of MLS clubs having shares in CPL clubs; I think it is going to happen much sooner than we might think).

 

Edited by Unnamed Trialist

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Think this is why the salary cap would become the Alamo for some of the groups involved. A 500k salary cap allows for competitive parity if that's all the likes of York 9, Victoria and Halifax (only speculating who it might be, don't know for sure) can afford to or want to spend.

The league will finally have gone full CSL (you never go full CSL) if there is a low only barely above semi-pro cap like that and only a couple of teams can afford to based on revenues or are willing to actually consistently spend up to it through operating at a loss covered by the main investor (the latter day 86ers and Blizzard in other words), while others at the opposite extreme are operating at close to amateur level just to try to stay afloat as revenues don't even cover their fixed costs before salaries and they are not being actively back stopped by a wealthy investor. 

I don't think that sort of disparity range would happen with a 500k cap in the present day as things have moved on quite a bit over the last 30 years, but it might if they allowed something well above 1 million as some of the teams could easily be losing into seven figures per season at that scale of operations.

Edited by BringBackTheBlizzard

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2 hours ago, BringBackTheBlizzard said:

Think this is why the salary cap would become the Alamo for some of the groups involved. A 500k salary cap allows for competitive parity if that's all the likes of York 9, Victoria and Halifax (only speculating who it might be, don't know for sure) can afford to or want to spend.

The league will finally have gone full CSL (you never go full CSL) if there is a low only barely above semi-pro cap like that and only a couple of teams can afford to based on revenues or are willing to actually consistently spend up to it through operating at a loss covered by the main investor (the latter day 86ers and Blizzard in other words), while others at the opposite extreme are operating at close to amateur level just to try to stay afloat as revenues don't even cover their fixed costs before salaries and they are not being actively back stopped by a wealthy investor. 

I don't think that sort of disparity range would happen with a 500k cap in the present day as things have moved on quite a bit over the last 30 years, but it might if they allowed something well above 1 million as some of the teams could easily be losing into seven figures per season at that scale of operations.

The cap has to be over a million, otherwise you cannot attract any quality player at all to pay a "low" salary of 70 grand, because that would force you to pay poverty wages to part of the roster. You need to average at no lower than 45 thousand a season for a roster of 24. That gives you some guys over 100, and maybe a few around 30 grand. Then you may have some sub-20 or younger players added in who are outside that averaging.

It appears that these speculations are arising because they are just doing the numbers based on projected ticket sales so far. It is the easiest part of the numbers game. If you can get 4000 a game to pay an average of 15 bucks over 14 games, you are over 800k. If you have control over concessions, add that onto it. If you can sell merchandise in the stadium, that too. Control over stadium conditions bolsters your advertising, your promotions, the chance a business will pay to do a contest. But if you have no other revenue to properly add in (eg not controlling concessions or having a proper merchandising channel) you need to go down to a half a million salary cap and the rest for operations--and you'll still lose money. 

So at the worst, you have underpaid players, not great attendance, and teams absorbing losses to the tune of a million a year for a few years. Until especially attendance, then other streams, are improved.

Put the avg ticket price up to 20 for 14 games and 4000 fans, and you are still too low. That is why they were talking 6000 in stands, because it allows them to conceive of a proper salary cap over a million, cover other core expenses, and not lose money.

But again, I think that so far they have not established other revenue streams with any confidence. They are a long way from TV, shirt sponsors, merchandising, concessions, local sponsors, travel sponsors, naming rights on stadiums, a sponsor for the league itself. They have not quantified sponsorship in kind, which could be local transportation, housing, legal support for players' families, other medical-dental plans. In many of these areas, each club will be able to forge better or worse conditions based on knowledge and experience, as well as existing infrastructure to support revenue (even as specific as owning stadium parking or having existing office space to spare, as with the CFL teams).

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I know, I know... Some will think that I'm taking a shortcut here and that I'm overstretching here but look at this!

 

 The demand for soccer IS real in Ottawa region but, USL an NASL could never spark that kind of interest. 

I'm in no mean saying that the Fury in Ottawa could draw this number in their year 1 in CPL. However, it shows the potential if the marketing, the presentation, the league and Canadian content is done right and presented the right way to the fans.

Potential is there, up to the league and the team to make it happen 

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On 9/3/2018 at 9:44 AM, BringBackTheBlizzard said:

I agree that the Fury have a strong negotiating hand right now but so do Victoria and York 9 if they want to keep the cap very low due to their sluggish membership sales. 

Huh? 

PFC is doing great but until there is actual construction on the stadium, and player signings, and a proper marketing/season ticket drive WTF would anyone but us total nutters buy in? 

I'd also be curious what percentage of sales are Season Tickets for the Victoria Royals (hockey) and Victoria Harbourcats (baseball). This town is know for it's "walk-up" culture in all live events (sports, music, theater).

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BBTB quotes this.

"and the independent clubs that can sometimes draw into five figures on average, which is something that appears unlikely at this point in a CanPL context"

I wonder what evidence he has that it would appear unlikely for a Hamilton or Winnipeg to draw five figures on average. Not saying they will but seems more his usual narrative than anything.

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2 hours ago, ted said:

Huh? 

PFC is doing great but until there is actual construction on the stadium, and player signings, and a proper marketing/season ticket drive WTF would anyone but us total nutters buy in? 

I'd also be curious what percentage of sales are Season Tickets for the Victoria Royals (hockey) and Victoria Harbourcats (baseball). This town is know for it's "walk-up" culture in all live events (sports, music, theater).

I'll add to that.

Some people can't seem to understand that they are putting way too much weight on membership numbers. Season ticket sales is what TRULY MATTERS! Very likely that people who haven't put down money for a membership will buy Season tickets or flex packages. 

For most markets as of today, CPL is just a concept. Besides logos, plans, twitter and stuff, there's not a lot of concrete things to go by for a CASUAL fan in comparison to the leagues that already exists. Can't expect all of them to put down 50$ into something they don't fully understand yet. 

However...

Once we know the 8th club, the league can go all out on details like rosters, rules, TV and fill all the gaps that are missing. When we actually get rosters, dates and all the details revealed, marketing should gear up to the next level and tickets will go on sales then. Casuals are way more likely to buy into something CONCRETE & TANGIBLE than a CONCEPT & IDEA. They need to see ROSTERS, PLAYERS NAMES, ACTUAL KITS, TV DEAL, SEASON SCHEDULE, THE TROPHY ITSELF. ETC...

Don't get what's so hard to understand.

People writing the clubs eulogy this early based on membership numbers needs to chill and try some patience

Edited by Ansem

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5 hours ago, Unnamed Trialist said:

The cap has to be over a million, otherwise you cannot attract any quality player at all to pay a "low" salary of 70 grand, because that would force you to pay poverty wages to part of the roster....

Can definitely see where you are coming from, but when putting the viable number of franchises together is challenging as is the case with CanPL, if they want to hang around they are only going to be as strong as their weakest links, so their cap can only be what their weakest links think they can sustain and be competitive on. If they are going for 500k, which would be very surprising as it's actually considerably lower than the $350k cap that the CSL had back in the late 1980s when it is adjusted for inflation, it will be because some of the franchises think that's all they can afford to spend. I am sure we'll get clarity on this soon, if the staff at the clubs have already been told what's happening, because the window for any further negotiation to get Ottawa back into the fold and formally announced is likely to be quite narrow now given they will need to get the ball rolling on so many other aspects of the launch over the next few weeks.

Edited by BringBackTheBlizzard

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2 hours ago, Macksam said:

BBTB quotes this.

"and the independent clubs that can sometimes draw into five figures on average, which is something that appears unlikely at this point in a CanPL context"

I wonder what evidence he has that it would appear unlikely for a Hamilton or Winnipeg to draw five figures on average. Not saying they will but seems more his usual narrative than anything.

No bias here.  I think that Hamilton is going to average 8,000-10,000 next year.  

They’re capping the lower stadium at 14,000 and I’m not bold enough to say they get that high, but I’m comfortable seeing what I see in this market to say 8,000+.  I don’t think that’s going to far out on a limb.

I know that the general awareness, memberships sold, cross selling to the 30,000 registered players and 14,000 (estimate) Ti-Cats season seat holders is going to translate.  I don’t know if other teams have that kind of cross tie ins.  Maybe Winnipeg?  

I do think it’s close to the best we will see in the CPL in year 1.

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26 minutes ago, BringBackTheBlizzard said:

Can definitely see where you are coming from, but when putting the viable number of franchises together is challenging as is the case with CanPL, if they want to hang around they are only going to be as strong as their weakest links, so their cap can only be what their weakest links think they can sustain and be competitive on. If they are going for 500k, which would be very surprising as it's actually considerably lower than the $350k cap that the CSL had back in the late 1980s when it is adjusted for inflation, it will be because some of the franchises think that's all they can afford to spend. I am sure we'll get clarity on this soon, if the staff at the clubs have already been told what's happening, because the window for any further negotiation to get Ottawa back into the fold and formally announced is likely to be quite narrow now given they will need to get the ball rolling on so many other aspects of the launch over the next few weeks.

500K rumour is based on a person on reddit saying that "1.5Million, just under $1Million and 500K had been thrown around"....when that statement in itself is the only place that I have even see 500K stated as a possible salary cap for CPL. So I don't put much stock into it.

I go more by what we recently heard from the Victoria owner. I'd say the lowest possible will be $800-$900K.

 

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From what I remember 750k was also being mentioned more recently than that by somebody on Facebook said to be linked in some way to York 9 ahead of the league meeting to explain roster rules etc to staff, and the 500k thing was coming from two different reddit users.

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50 minutes ago, baulderdash77 said:

No bias here.  I think that Hamilton is going to average 8,000-10,000 next year.  

They’re capping the lower stadium at 14,000 and I’m not bold enough to say they get that high, but I’m comfortable seeing what I see in this market to say 8,000+.  I don’t think that’s going to far out on a limb.

I know that the general awareness, memberships sold, cross selling to the 30,000 registered players and 14,000 (estimate) Ti-Cats season seat holders is going to translate.  I don’t know if other teams have that kind of cross tie ins.  Maybe Winnipeg?  

I do think it’s close to the best we will see in the CPL in year 1.

I think you're way too high (although I don't know the Hamilton market as well as you would).  Ottawa draws around 5,000, but that includes quite a bit of giveaway tickets, or $5 youth tickets.  Edmonton was drawing maybe a couple of thousand in NASL (I realize they had stadium issues and possibly other problems).  And they both had much stronger teams than could be fielded with a  $500k salary cap (although I really do hope this $500k cap turns out to be just a bad rumour).

I always figured a tv deal would be a big driver of revenue for the teams, even if it was only a relatively small deal to begin with.  But with a very low cap, we're into a catch 22 situation where people won't want to watch a poor product on tv, but you can't get that tv deal without paying players more.

As for the Fury's payroll, I don't have any concrete numbers, but was assuming that it had to be quite a bit more than the $500k CPL rumour just based on the fact that players and their families can't possibly live on $20k/season.

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7 hours ago, Ansem said:

I know, I know... Some will think that I'm taking a shortcut here and that I'm overstretching here but look at this!

 

 The demand for soccer IS real in Ottawa region but, USL an NASL could never spark that kind of interest. 

I'm in no mean saying that the Fury in Ottawa could draw this number in their year 1 in CPL. However, it shows the potential if the marketing, the presentation, the league and Canadian content is done right and presented the right way to the fans.

Potential is there, up to the league and the team to make it happen 

Ahem, Ottawa NASL :

Fury set NASL attendance record @ TD Place opener 14593

image.jpeg.6b77d9eaee8e4f1f471611a32868e9b8.jpeg

But your point is correct, potential is there and CPL and the club has to make it happen.

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