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Initial B

Voyageur
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  1. Initial B

    CPL new teams speculation

    Honestly, I only see 10-14 clubs being constant Div 1 quality sides. If you break up the Div 2 clubs into regional areas with little or no cross-regional play, that might open up more markets in cities that might not handle a Div 1 schedule. That wouldn't be so expensive if you only had to bus between cities rather than fly. West/Central/East regions would break down the travel cost enough for some current Div 3 clubs to move up to Div 2. They could gather experience at that level before they make a push for Div 1 Promotion through quality. Say you have 10 Div 1 clubs, with 3 regions of 8-10 Div 2 clubs. At the end of each season, have the top Div 2 team from each region get promoted in place of the bottom three Div 1 clubs. Bottom Div 2 club in each region gets relegated to the regional Div 3, but only if the Top Div 3 for that season meets the Promotion requirements and/or doesn't decline promotion.
  2. Initial B

    Ottawa CPL Club

    I'm assuming the Fury gets some form or money from the USL (or there is a significant fine) because money is the only reason I can think of that OSEG would stay in the USL rather than the CPL. For them to not chose CPL must mean that they can't see a way to be financially viable at this time. On second thought, perhaps they could still make money in the CPL, but figure they could make more in the USL. At this point, I'm not sure who to believe anymore....
  3. Initial B

    CPL League Future Format and Table Structure

    I like the J-league model of growth too, but remember that Japan covers an area the size of the Quebec City-Windsor corridor with 10 times the population. Bullet trains can get teams to and from away stadiums the same day. I think looking at how countries of a similar surface area and population to Canada run things should be explored first.
  4. Initial B

    Ottawa CPL Club

    You know, I think I would be okay with this move, so long as OSEG sues CONCACAF for loss of revenues by forcing the move. I have no doubt they would win the case because courts look at economic effects and loses to a company due to being forced to make a move they did not have to take. It wouldn't hurt anybody but CONCACAF. CPL would be happy because Ottawa is in, Ottawa would be happy because they would get the expected revenues they were expecting from being in USL.
  5. Initial B

    Ottawa CPL Club

    FYP. But if you meant "join then fold", I think that is the fear.
  6. Initial B

    Ottawa CPL Club

    I woke up this morning and had no clue this was happenening until I heard about it as the lead sports item on the local radio on my drive to work. This is big news here. I am beyond furious that Montagliani would be such a dick and chose this ham-fisted approach to dealing with Ottawa. This strikes me as the petty reaction of a butt-hurt suitor who commits violence on the potential date who turned him down for the Prom. I thought he was better than that. Do you really think that the CPL can't survive two seasons without the Fury!? NOBODY likes being told what to do, especially when it isn't fair. You can't do this to the Fury and not to the other Canadian clubs that don't play in the CPL. You can bet that the MLS clubs will be giving under the table support to the Fury as they try to legally fight this, as the precedent is sets is staggering. That said, I do want the Fury to join CPL eventually, and I feel they have a plan to do so, as soon as they get paid their portion of the upcoming expansion fees from the new USL clubs. Monty is screwing with their business and may end up costing Canadian Soccer in the long run. And for those of you who are crowing about the Fury "getting theirs", we Ottawa fans would NEVER do that to any of your clubs. You should be ashamed of yourselves.
  7. Initial B

    CPL General

    I am furious that Montigliani would choose such a ham-fisted approach to dealing with one single team. Is the CPL is that dire straits that they can't survive without one team!? I'm positive that the Fury would be joining the league in either 2019 or 2020 when they get their share of the USL expansion fees. Monty didn't have to do this unless he feels the CPL won't survive for two years if the Fury aren't on board. This strikes me as punitive ego-salving of a suitor who is butt-hurt over their desired date turning them down for the dance to go to another one. The Canadian MLS clubs can't be too happy with this either as it will provide precedent to force them to move to the CPL. I'm sure that they will provide under-the-table backing to any legal challenge the Fury raise. The Fury's response.
  8. Initial B

    CPL League Future Format and Table Structure

    I think at first it would be the later option that makes the most sense. You want Canada's soccer profile to be growing on the world stage and for the forseeable future the MLS clubs will probably be the strongest clubs to carry that banner. We want our CPL clubs to get in more games for the Canadian Players so it would make sense for the CPL clubs to play in the Concacaf League to gain international experience. You could say that the boring old table and single season is the Fall Season. Or you could call them the playoffs. Or don't even call them seasons, but instead call them Stages or Rounds in a single season. I suppose it all depends on what the league feels would provide the best marketing angle. I agree that a Single Table, Single Season would be the ideal endgame, but for financial stability purposes it might be better to build from the bottom up. In a sense, you are 'promoting' teams to first division, allowing clubs to find their level. If a team does better than they expect in the Spring Season and don't think that they can afford the additional operating expenses, then they could defer the promotion to the next team in line in the regional table. If all the teams below them in the table decline the opportunity, then the Div 1 spots would be offered to the other Regional Divisions until you have your 8 teams. I'm sure that there will be at least 8 teams that can afford the cross-country air travel - Cavalry, Valour, Forge, FCE, and Fury (when they join) should all be expected to be able to handle those costs and will probably be perennial contenders. Probable contenders for me would include York, Quebec City, Laval, Regina and Halifax. Less probable Div 1 sustainable clubs would be Pacific FC, London, K-W, Saskatoon, Mississauga and Moncton. Cities that could probably sustain Div 2 teams would be Nanaimo, Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford, Kelowna, Red Deer, Lethbridge, Thunder Bay, Niagara, Windsor, Niagara, Brampton, Oakville, Sudbury, Kingston, Gatineau, Sherbrooke, Saguenay, and Trois Rivieres. That's 34 municipalities right there. One of my main concerns is having enough teams concentrated out west to sustain a Division 2 Regional league. I don't think places like Kamloops, Prince George, Medicine Hat, Moose Jaw or Brandon would be able to handle the fiscal weight, but if they had a prairie regional Div 3 league, hopefully they could build a sustainable business plan. Ottawa to Thunder Bay would be even longer, and Winnipeg to Vancouver would be longer still. A team in St John's would pretty much have no choice but fly to all their away games save maybe Halifax and Moncton. But financial sustainability is crucial at this stage of league development.
  9. Initial B

    CPL League Future Format and Table Structure

    You know, perhaps we're going about this all wrong trying to create a hierarchical Div1/2/3 system. Maybe regionalism is the way to go. In my research, both Cuba and Congo DR have regional round-robins for the first half of the season, with the top teams from each region competing nationally. If you look at Congo specifically, they have 3 regional groups of 8-10 clubs that play a fall season. The top 4 clubs from each region then go on to play in a 12 team spring season to crown the top teams that will go on to play in the Continental competitions. So what if the CPL was structured like this: The Spring (Sorting) Season: The CPL is divided into 3 regions; West (31.9% of the population Incl. the territories), Central (just Ontario w/ 38.7% of the population), and East (Quebec and Maritimes w/ 29.4% of the population), all with a variable number of clubs within them (Some number between 8-12). The season takes place from the beginning of April until mid-June (about 10 weeks), with each region plays the number of games they think they need to determine the top clubs within their respective leagues (at least 10-12 games). Transportation will be expected to be by bus between cities, but clubs can chose to fly is they wish. The top 3 teams from the Central and West and the top 2 teams of the East get promoted into Division 1 for the Fall Season. The Inter-Seasonal Break: This period occurs from mid-June to mid-July to allow for the Gold Cup, World Cup, and other international summer events to occur. It also gives clubs a chance to bolster their rosters for the upcoming season and rest/heal their players while the club FOs can sell more tickets. The Fall (Championship) Season: The top 8 Division 1 teams in CPL play a round-robin home and away schedule of 14 games to determine the league champion and which teams get into the CONCACAF competitions. Travel by aircraft is mandatory for games between inter-regional teams. The remaining teams in each of the 3 regions will continue to play regionally with travel by bus, with the winner getting the fall season regional trophy. In the case of there being fewer than 5 teams in each region, perhaps the regional Div 3 Semi-pro leagues could synchronise their schedule with the CPL and have their top teams be promoted for the season to play with the CPL clubs. Once all the fall seasons are complete, all teams revert back to their original regions and the off season begins. The advantage of this model would be that teams would settle each season to their comfortable level without too large of a capital outlay for airfares and other operational costs.
  10. Initial B

    CPL League Future Format and Table Structure

    I don't see 21 teams being able to travel coast to coast, hence why I was suggesting regional Division 2. I think the trick will be to make the First division not large enough to hold all the viable Div 1 clubs. Maybe we only need 8 clubs in Div 1 playing home and away twice, with the bottom 1 or 2 clubs being relegated to the East and West Div 2 leagues?
  11. Initial B

    At least the Whitecaps and Impact could join CPL

    My issue if they all went to CPL is - you're putting all your eggs in one basket. I think the only reason the CPL is even in a position to take off is due to the public's general awareness of the 3 Canadian teams in MLS and those teams showing that high-level soccer is viable in Canada.
  12. Initial B

    CPL League Future Format and Table Structure

    Believe it or not, Congo is the 11th largest country in the world and Top 5 FIFA Ranked in Africa, 30 spots higher than us. We might learn something from what they do considering they are much poorer than we are so that could translate into similar transportation and accommodation difficulties for teams that we have here in Canada. I agree about Belize, though.
  13. Initial B

    CPL League Future Format and Table Structure

    You might be more surprised by the variation in K-League First Division attendance - the top attended game had over 30,000 people but the lowest attended game had just under 300 spectators. South Korea is ranked 53rd in the world right now, so we probably shouldn't fret if some teams don't have really high attendance, so long as they're financially viable. Heck even in La Liga the High-Low attendance marks were 98,000 and 4,000 respectively. I think CPL was wise to suggest that all teams have stadiums of 6-8K capacity as that seems to be a decent size when comparing global minimums. In the future, I would suggest that Div 2 clubs should have at least a 5K capacity stadium, while Div 1 clubs should require an 8-10K minimum capacity stadium (very similar to some of those 10K small European stadiums that CPL executives visited this year). For comparison, Argentina (Ranked 11) has their teams play a single game against each club in Div 1, with the Champion at the top of the table at season's end being Boca Juniors. Australia (#41), Finland (#58) and Kazakhstan (#120) have each club play each other three times, with Finland and Kazakhstan declaring the top of the table their champion while Australia has a playoff to determine the winner. I suppose the CPL could do end-of-season playoffs if they wanted, but that would detract those top clubs from preparation for Concacaf League Final/Semi-Final games that would be occurring around the same time. As for the two single table ideas, I don't think both levels would have enough clubs to sustain the travel expenses. I recall working out that plane flights alone would cost a club over $40K per round-trip flight, as opposed to about $5K for round-trip bus/train travel within 8 hours of their home stadium. If Div 2 clubs could save up to $300K on travel, that could help their long term viability. The 45 leagues I researched were either local to our confederation, have a land area of over 2 million square km, or ranked Top 5 in their own confederations (except Oceania, which is mostly really, really small nations). I don't think we should try and emulate any one league, but find an amalgamation of ideas that would work and be a globally familiar format, but uniquely Canadian. Remember i'm talking future state, which could be 10, 20 or 50 years down the road. There is talk of increasing the CCL to 32 clubs in 8 group stages, much of it predicated around the arrival of the CPL. In the short term, I imagine that the CPL would only get one of the three Concacaf League slots currently given to the CFU, and start working their way to regional respectability from there. If you want to look at everything, I've attached my spreadsheet I used for analysis below. NationSoccerComp201811.xlsx
  14. One of the arguments I hear about the MLS is that it's not a 'real' First division because there's too many teams and no pro/rel. One of the arguments against CPL I hear in various forums is that it won't be a 'real' First division because of the so much better top divisions worldwide. It got me to thinking what makes a typical first division so I thought I'd do some digging to determine what the average first division looks like I've been spending some of my spare time reviewing the professional structures of the various countries around the world from First to Third division to see what we could learn and implement for Canada. I reviewed the top 5 ranked countries of CAF, AFC, and CONEMBOL; the top ten ranked countries of UEFA; and most of the major CONCACAF countries. In my analysis I gathered data on stadium sizes, number of teams at each level, season length and format, and Promotion/Relegation formats. I then ranked those nations based on how similar they were to Canada's population (as an indicator of talent potential), Land area (as an indicator of increased operational costs), and Human Development Index (as an indicator of how much money a nation has to throw at a problem and discretionary income). I weighted Land area a little greater than the other two factors and came up with a score out of 10, with the results shown in the attached chart. There were some interesting conclusions I drew from the data: The majority of leagues in Europe, Asia, and Africa play a single season, while CONCACAF is almost completely Apertura/Clausura format. South American leagues are an even mix of the two styles. The average number of clubs in top flight is 15, with the majority holding between 12 and 20 clubs depending on how robust the structure of the national league is. Smaller leagues tend to use the Apertura/Clausura system to give the seasons some meaning. Almost all the Div 1 leagues are single table, except for the US and Cuba. Even all the Second Divisions in Europe and South America are single table. However, in Africa and Asia (and almost all of CONCACAF) you start to see second Divisions broken down into 2 or 3 regional groups, with playoffs to determine who gets promoted. By the time you get down to the Third division, most of the leagues are split into several regional groups that have playoffs for the right to join the second division, but then they have to meet the financial and logistical standards to be approved for promotion. Some of these leagues still have a problem with the financial dissolution of clubs at the end of a season, which can mess up the Pro/Rel expectations. Season lengths vary from a low of 18 (India) to a high of 44 (Costa Rica). 80% of the leagues I reviewed have a season of average between 26 and 38 games. Of those leagues, the winner is usually the team that stands at the top of the table after all the games are complete, but there are a couple of leagues (and most of CONCACAF) that hold playoffs to determine the league winner. A small proportion of leagues have a Championship round to determine the league winner. There are a handful of leagues that don't have any pro/rel from their first division, the majority relegate between 12% to 20% of their clubs every season, with a slightly higher proportion of pro/rel between second and third divisions. Most of the relegations are automatic, but promotions often involve some sort of playoffs. Most of the top clubs in each league play in stadiums of over 50,000, with poorer countries having at least a capacity of 15,000. But on the low end of the scale, some teams have stadium capacities of less than 5,000 - even in the richer nations. So how does this relate to the CPL? Well, we have a cold climate without room for a long season, but it doesn't look like a league has to play a lot of games to still develop national-level players. Playoffs aren't necessarily an anathema to the world soccer order, either. So if you guys were to dream, what would you envision as being the ultimate form of the Canadian Soccer leagues structure? For myself, I would like to see a 10-team First Division playing a 27-game season, with the top of the table being declared champion and the top 3 places winning CCL spots (the fourth spot would go the the Voyageurs Cup winner). The bottom two clubs would be relegated to their respective regional Division 2 Conference. The 18-team, 2-Conference, Division 2 league would also play a 27-game season, playing one game against each team in the opposing Conference and the remaining games in their home conference. The opposing conference games would be half at home and half away, to keep operating costs down, but show that they can handle the additional costs in Division 1 if promoted. The Conferences themselves would be fluid, with one possibly having more than the other depending on the location of the promoted/relegated teams each season. Regardless, the bottom Div 2 team at the end of each season would be in danger of being relegated to it's respective Division 3, if that Div 3 Champion team meets the fiscal and logistical requirements of promotion. I forsee L1O, LPSQ and a yet-to be formed Western league being the Div 3 incubators for new teams that want to climb the Pyramid, with size and format limitations set by each individual league. The Voyageurs Cup would be open to all teams at the three levels of the Pyramid and would provide additional games to bring the total number of competitive games played each season to 30 or more. I think 28 pro clubs and any number of semi-pro/amateur clubs is sustainable in a nation like Canada. What do you think?
  15. Initial B

    CPL General

    I don't think the league will surpass MLS, but individual teams might. In just about every league I've researched, there are generally 2 or three teams that are the alphas of their league and have more money, more fans, and better players than the rest. Are we as Canadians okay with that? It's not parity, so would we watch if it's not? The rest of the world seems to, but I'm not sure about North Americans...
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