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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old August 28th, 2007, 06:59 Thread Starter
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CSA in chaos

The CSA continues to lurch from crisis to crisis like a rudderless ship:

Linford steps down as CSA prez
August 27, 2007
Canadian Press

After months of internal strife within the organization, Colin Linford has decided to quit as president of the Canadian Soccer Association, The Canadian Press has learned.

Linford himself confirmed he is resigning when reached at home on Monday. He says it was a "lack of support from a majority of the executive and the board" of directors of the CSA that led him to his decision without elaborating further.

When asked if his departure was linked to the hiring of Fred Nykamp as chief executive officer, he answered that it "could have."

Linford was hired as CSA president in May 2006 for a four-year term and formally announced the hiring of Nykamp as CEO in May.

A source told The Canadian Press that Nykamp was supposed to start on Aug. 1, but his start date has been pushed back indefinitely. As of this weekend, Nykamp didn't even have a working voice mail at the CSA's Ottawa offices.

Richard Scott, communications director of the CSA, said he was unable to say what Nykamp's status was at the present time.

Earlier this week, during a Quebec Soccer Federation news conference, a member of the board of directors said that Linford had consented to certain working conditions for Nykamp that were not unanimous among the board.

The board members were to have met with Linford last weekend.

It has been reported that Linford has had problems with the board of directors over the selection of the Canadian National Team for the World Cup.

The name of Brazilian coach Rene Simoes had been circulating as Canada's next head coach and his hiring was considered a formality. But it was Canadian Dale Mitchell, head coach of Canada's Under-20 team, who was hired as head coach of the senior squad.

Simoes reportedly wanted the job technical director as well head coach and also wanted the ability to hire his own staff, which Linford was ready to accept.

However the board refused to ratify the agreement with Simoes and mandated that one of the jobs, whether it be technical director or head coach, had to go to a Canadian.

Mitchell is currently the head coach, but the technical director's position has not yet been filled.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old August 29th, 2007, 02:44 Thread Starter
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"The [Canadian Soccer] association basically will not accept change. The present structure will not see a successful Canadian Soccer Association in my opinion." - Colin Linford

First intelligent thing I've heard come from his lips.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old August 29th, 2007, 03:14
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Oh man, and we continue to be one of the laughing stocks of the football world. What a mess we are in terms of the people making the decisions, right from the top to the bottom. Complete mess.

A VENCER DESDE 1893

Oh lampião, levaste 5 no Dragão, nunca te esquecerás desta grande humilhação!

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old August 30th, 2007, 18:22 Thread Starter
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More media comment:

Soccer association must die, says angry Linford
Toronto Star, August 29, 2007
by Cathal Kelly

Outgoing president Colin Linford called for the "disbanding" of the Canadian Soccer Association yesterday and blasted its culture of amateurism.

"I don't know if `bitter' is the right word," Linford said of his state of mind. "Frustration. Betrayed, certainly, by a number of people within the organization."

Fifteen months into a four-year term, Linford submitted his resignation on Monday morning. Hours later, a friend called to tell him that his professional demise was being discussed on Internet chat boards. Linford believes a member of the board of directors leaked the news.

"This organization needs disbanding," the English-born Linford said with finality. "We do not have enough people who can make decisions based on what is good for the (national) association and not what is good for them."

A retired tool-and-die maker and former head of the Ontario Soccer Association, Linford was unanimously elected to head the CSA in May, 2006. He arrived at a moment of seeming optimism – just ahead of the birth of Toronto FC, the hosting of the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup and the 2007 women's World Cup, in which Canada hopes to excel.

He made bold promises about the senior men's team qualifying for the 2010 World Cup after a 24-year drought and instituting a "culture of change" in the CSA.

That initially excited his colleagues on the board, as the overwhelming vote attests. But ...

"It suddenly became apparent to many of these people that those changes ... would take some of them out of the decision making," Linford said.

According to him, the result was 15 months of clashes.

"It's an experience I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy," he said.

"We wish him all the best, but I can't comment on anything Colin has said," CSA spokesperson Richard Scott said yesterday.

The CSA will choose its next president at its annual general meeting in October.

Arrayed against Linford were his 19 colleagues on the CSA's board of directors – several national representatives plus one for each province and territory. The board is comprised of volunteers, like Linford, but can overrule decisions taken by the men and women hired to run the CSA.

From the beginning, Linford favoured a strong, salaried executive that could create a national strategy. Instead, he said, he was surrounded by regionalism.

"As a volunteer you have no accountability. You can walk away," Linford said.

This friction exploded into the headlines last spring over the botched hiring of a men's national team coach.

Linford headed a search committee that settled on Brazilian Rene Simoes, the manager who led Jamaica to an unlikely World Cup appearance in 1998.

But the board chafed at Simoes' insistence that he bring Brazilian coaches along with him. Instead, the board chose former Canadian international and men's under-20 coach Dale Mitchell to run the national team.

"I have nothing against Dale Mitchell. I think he's a good coach," Linford said. "But I think that he would have benefited immensely from being in an area where he could watch and listen and benefit from the experience of a Rene Simoes."

It was déjà vu for Linford when a second search committee recently went looking for a CEO to take charge of the CSA.

"We found the best person (Fred Nykamp). We even put him on TV as the next person to take over," Linford said. "But now that has not been approved by the board."

Was that the straw that broke the camel's back?

"Well, it certainly didn't help."

His brief tenure has left Linford angry and disillusioned. Despite decades of involvement with soccer as a coach and administrator, he says he's through with the sport.

"Am I being harsh? No," said Linford. "I'm being a realist."

Linford left with no conciliatory parting words for his former colleagues.

"Until these people are making decisions based on what is good for the game – not good for them or their province – you're not going to move the game forward."

Nor does he have any words of advice for his successor.

"I wouldn't know what to tell him, to be honest."
**************

And Stephen Brunt picks up on my "rudderless ship" simile (above):

To the barricades, it's time for change
By Stephen Brunt
Globe and Mail, August 30, 2007

Perhaps the revolution is at hand.

It has certainly felt that way since news broke this week of Colin Linford's resignation as president of the Canadian Soccer Association after a mere 15 months on the job.

Message boards were burning up, e-mails were flying, suggestions were made that it's time to cut the CSA's financial lifeline, tear down the walls, topple the ruling board of directors and start all over again.

Normally, you'd like to be able to argue in favour of a more positive, constructive course.

But given the farce of the past few months, given the fact Linford says without qualification that the CSA as currently constructed just can't work ... well, maybe it's time to head for the barricades.

The sad part is that this is in many ways a golden age for the sport in Canada. Toronto FC, despite recent woes on the field, has been a remarkable hit, with the best home crowds in Major League Soccer. The under-20 World Cup, aside from the home team's dismal performance, was an unqualified success, silencing those who had cynically predicted its failure.

Next month, the Canadian women head for the World Cup in China with a realistic chance to reach the final eight, and maybe more. Soon thereafter, the Canadian men begin their quest to qualify for the 2010 World Cup, having failed to make the big show since that lone, goalless appearance in 1986.

The playing talent is there, but it's hard not to believe the chaos in the national organizing body will hurt the team's chances.

On his way out the door, Linford painted a picture of a dysfunctional board comprised of provincial association heads, volunteers whose main interest is in participatory, recreational soccer and whose main goal is to protect their own, narrow interests.

A former head of the Ontario Soccer Association himself, Linford arrived with the goal of professionalizing the organization, and especially of jump-starting the national men's program, which is where most Canadians are going to measure success or failure.

But he was shut down when he tried to recruit Rene Simoes, one of those international coaches-for-hire who might have been just the ticket to get Canada to South Africa in 2010. After the post sat vacant for months, Dale Mitchell was finally signed, a compromise choice that placated those who thought a Canadian ought to be in charge of Canada's team (though the performance of Mitchell's side in the under-20 tournament didn't exactly help make their case).

Now, we also find out that the man already announced as the CSA's new chief executive officer, Fred Nykamp, is also being stonewalled by the board. With his contract yet to be approved, chances are he'll never wind up in the post, which you'd have to think sets the stage for some nasty litigation.

A rudderless ship? More like rudderless, motor-less, sail-less, compass-less ... you get the picture.

And, of course, most of all, hopeless.

If this were hockey, there'd be a royal commission by now. But it's not, never will be, and that's part of what has protected the CSA board in the past.

They exist in their own, little insular world, playing with large amounts of cash, but without any external pressure forcing them to act for the greater good.

Hence, all of those years in the international wilderness.

But the game's recent domestic success, more in spite of the CSA than because of it, may yet be the board's undoing. Had all of this happened two years ago, five years ago, the anger and outrage would have been limited to a cultish group of supporters, excluding those who cared more about what was happening in England or Italy or Portugal than what was happening in Canada.

That's changed now. There are a whole lot more people paying attention. They're not yet worn down by years of broken promises. They don't understand why the sport is in such a mess. They're asking uncomfortable questions.

Mix that unrest with the right, credible, vocal leadership, and watch as a rebellion is born.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old September 22nd, 2007, 05:23 Thread Starter
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Unbe-frickin'-lievable!

The CSA, currently in a state of utter chaos and without leadership or direction, will elect a new President, BETWEEN FOUR AND EIGHT MONTHS from now!!

From their website:

• an interim President will be elected by a vote of the full Board of Directors at its October 20 meeting;

• the interim President will be chosen from one of the two current Board Vice Presidents and will serve until a new President is elected by a General Meeting of the full membership of the CSA;

a General Meeting of CSA members will be held in early 2008 or at the CSA’s scheduled AGM on May 10, 2008; and,

• after being elected, the new President will serve the remainder of the former President’s term (i.e. 2010).
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old September 23rd, 2007, 01:13 Thread Starter
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Nykamp sues CSA, claiming wrongful hiring and firing
by Peter Mallett, Globe and Mail
September 22, 2007

The problems continue to mount for the Canadian Soccer Association.

One day after the women's senior national team was ousted from the FIFA Women's World Cup in China, Fred Nykamp announced he is suing the country's governing soccer body for breach of contract and negligent misrepresentation.

"It has been a nightmarish summer for me and my family," the former Basketball Canada chief executive officer said from his home in Ancaster, Ont., yesterday.

"The CSA board [of directors] aggressively recruited me, hired me and then fired me, saying they had not in fact hired me at all. I ask you, what does that say about this organization?"

Nykamp, who was trumpeted by former CSA president Colin Linford as the organization's new CEO at a news conference in May, was never able to take up the post after the board failed to complete his contract.

The failure to hire Nykamp eventually led to Linford's stormy resignation from the governing body two weeks ago.

Nykamp said he was expecting to begin his term at the CSA on Aug. 1, but was told during a meeting at the Ontario Soccer Association headquarters in Vaughan on July 30 that there was a problem with his appointment.

Nykamp said he was flown to Ottawa for a staff welcoming ceremony shortly after the news conference in Toronto in May and also met with players on the women's World Cup team in Vancouver, where they discussed the need for big changes to the CSA's player-development model.

"They enticed me through an executive search and I was contacted in March," Nykamp said. "From there, I was aggressively pursued by the executive. I was recruited away from a job [at Basketball Canada] that I liked and had been successful at."

Toronto lawyer John Gibson, who is representing Nykamp, declined to disclose a dollar figure for the lawsuit. Gibson said a contract was sent by fax to Nykamp's home in May, signed and returned and that the CSA has failed to honour the conditions of the contract.

Yesterday, Nykamp told The Globe and Mail that as early as Monday he made an offer to CSA officials that he was still willing to take up his position, but received no response.

Victor Mantagliani, the vice-president of the CSA, said yesterday he was "surprised over the course of action taken by Mr. Nykamp over his employment issue and we have retained legal counsel."
--------------------------

So the CSA, which says it can't afford $300,000 to host the CONCACAF Women's Olympic qualifying tournament, will now spend at least twice that amount on lawyers and, ultimately, on compensation to Nykamp.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old November 1st, 2007, 02:12 Thread Starter
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More stupidity from the CSA.

In September, the CSA said it couldn't afford the paltry cost of $300,000 to $400,000 to host the CONCACAF Women's Olympic qualifying tournament early next year. Now the Whitecaps are offering to put up the money, but the CSA seems determined to let the opportunity slip through their grasp.

-------------------------------
CSA loses two tournaments in one week
Whitecaps angry that offer to host Olympic qualifiers rejected
by Steve Ewen
The Province
Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Had there been a referee around Tuesday when Bob Lenarduzzi was talking about the Canadian Soccer Association, red cards would have been flying.

The usually diplomatic Vancouver Whitecaps president snapped at the latest snafu from soccer's governing body in this country.

Lenarduzzi said that the CSA has turned down an offer from the Whitecaps to pick up the tab to host the CONCACAF Olympic women's qualifying tournament at Swangard Stadium. There's been a similar offer from Quebec, too, he admitted.

CSA director of communications Richard Scott had a different story Tuesday, saying that his group was still getting back to the two bidders.

CONCACAF officials, Scott said, were talking to another country about hosting, but had promised the CSA that if that fell through, they would look at Canada again.

"I wish people would stop calling it a bid ... it's a lifeline," Lenarduzzi said of the Whitecaps offer.

"There's another one from Quebec, so now they have two lifelines. And you know what? If that group wants it, give it to them then. We just want the tournament to be in Canada. We don't want it to be in Mexico or somewhere else.

"They're not bids. They're gifts. Take your pick. Take one or take the other. Just don't not take either, but that's what they did."

CSA officials had admitted at the Women's World Cup in China in September that they had once turned down the CONCACAF tournament host spot already. Speculation then was that the qualifier would go to Haiti. An announcement is expected from CONCACAF in the coming weeks.

"The door has not been shut," Scott said of the Whitecaps and Quebec offers. "It comes down to what CONCACAF wants to do."

Still, that didn't placate a fired-up Lenarduzzi.

"It didn't catch me off guard," Lenarduzzi said of Scott's comments. "It further reinforced that they didn't do what they should have done and that's open their arms to this [Whitecaps offer] and say, 'Thank you very much.'

"It feels like the faces change [with the CSA], but the outcome is always the same."

Meanwhile, the CSA also heard Tuesday that it had lost out to Germany for the right to host the 2011 Women's World Cup. Veteran Canadian national team defender Randee Hermus said that she had heard that Canada put together a solid presentation Tuesday, but she knew that it would be difficult to beat Germany, the reigning World Cup titleholders.

As for the CONCACAF qualifying tournament, she's hopeful for a change.

"It would be so much easier to qualify if we were hosting," said the Langley native. "Anywhere in Canada would be good for us.

"It would be nice to not have to be in a different country for 75 per cent of the year."
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old December 23rd, 2007, 03:38 Thread Starter
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Ottawa Citizen article:

Former Captain Canada Jason deVos used the surgeon for London's Royal Ballet Company this spring to repair a toe injury that was threatening his career.

Yesterday, from his Ipswich home where he captains the Championship League team, he was anxious to put his totally repaired boot into the Canadian Soccer Association.

"When I started with the national team, the CSA was a complete shambles and nothing's changed. Make no bones about it, it's a farce," he told me.

"There was no manager for a year and the CSA is run by people who know nothing about football. They've never played the game and they've never been involved in a professional capacity in the game. It is like the blind leading the blind, a complete shambles."

I've heard and written about this before. But to be told it by someone who has lived the experience comes as a strangely comforting shock.

- Read more
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old January 4th, 2008, 16:42 Thread Starter
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Somebody wrote a letter to the Ottawa Citizen in reply to the above item about deVos:

---------------
Canada sadly is not a soccer nation
The Ottawa Citizen
Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Re: CSA 'is a farce,' deVos charges, Dec. 22.

The Canadian Soccer Association is a typically Canadian organization: Let's assemble a national team, do a little bit of training and compete for the World Cup. Give me a break. I do acknowledge that they are fighting an uphill battle. Canada is not a soccer nation.

Yes, we all put our kids in soccer programs in the summer but that is more of a financial and social decision than anything else. Just like the CSA, we send our kids out to play a game after a one-hour practice. Should we expect more from our national team when the country only plays the game an hour a week in the warm months?

We do not watch soccer on TV. Our sports channels do not show games. There are some token games shown on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Like our national programs, this exposure to the game fits right in.

With the introduction of GOLTV and Setanta soccer, viewing has become elitist. Our sportscasts do not provide soccer highlights. The sportscasters do not know the game. The sports channels show poker as if it were a sport. Yeah, that will get our kids off the couch.

And what is with repeating the hockey highlights over and over and over?

Once I have seen the highlights, I am done. I do not want to see any more highlights until tomorrow. Why not show some sport? Late night, overnight or early-morning soccer games would be a start. Some English premier games, some Spanish, Italian or Portuguese games. Tape delay is fine. Rogers had all the games from the last World Cup which I watched over and over again. These games have been removed and not replaced with anything. We are lovers of the beautiful game. Anything would be better than this vacuum.
------------------
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old January 7th, 2008, 22:52 Thread Starter
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George Gross in the Toronto Sun:

The problem with soccer in Canada is this: The soccer ball is round, but it is being used by squarehead executives.

How do I know?

Well, FIFA -- the world's top soccer organization -- told me so by ranking Canada 55th behind such world soccer powers as Mali, Moldova, Honduras and Slovakia.

Not to be alone in this assessment, I contacted Dick Howard, a former star goalkeeper in these parts, member of FIFA's Technical Committee, chairman of Ontario's Technical Committee and respected television analyst.

"I think the problem with soccer in Canada is the fact that at the present time the Canadian Soccer Association is not showing leadership," Howard said. "The departure of Kevan Pipe (director general) and Colin Linford (president), left a vacuum in the CSA.

"We had a chance of getting England's Dick Bate, one of the world's top technical directors, but once he found out the situation, he decided to join Watford in England, something he probably wanted to do, anyway. The problem is that in Canadian soccer the people are not working together. Indeed, the provinces are battling each other and it comes at the wrong time."

What do you mean by wrong time, I asked.

"You see, in CONCACAF we are not facing the U.S. and Mexico alone. Other countries, such as Jamaica and Honduras have greatly improved. What we need is leadership, which we don't have. We don't even have a president. We have an interim president from Quebec -- Dominik Maestracci -- who'll serve until the next annual general meting in the summer."
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old January 17th, 2008, 19:01 Thread Starter
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Toronto Star, Jan. 17:

[excerpt]

The Canadian Soccer Association's board of directors meet in Toronto this weekend to continue their recent effort to run the game into the ground.

There will surely be a lot of talk about "bright futures'' and "technical plans.'' (Here's a technical plan for you: Hire someone who knows what they're doing and get out of their way. Our national team set-up has been without a technical director for almost two years. The organization has been without a full-time, salaried leader since COO Kevan Pipe's swipe card was deactivated fourteen months ago. An ant farm has more managerial guidance.)

The real purpose of the sitdown is wringing a few more pennies out of the more than 800,000 registered soccer participants in this country who keep the CSA afloat. According to one participant, a proposal is on the table to boost their registration fee to $8 from $7 for 2008 only. That's still not enough to properly fund a host of national teams taking part in competitions from World Cup qualifying to the Olympics this year, the ostensible purpose of the bump.

It's widely accepted that the CSA board has never been able to manage its affairs. Pipe, who's beginning to look like a genius in hindsight, kept the factionalism and disarray down to a dull roar. Without him, the ship isn't just rudderless, it's sinking fast. Now we have public bust-ups, player dissension, economic imprudence and an eerie silence in the midst of mounting criticism from fans and the press.
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old January 17th, 2008, 21:59
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Very sad.

But tomorrow is new day and new chance. -- Alija

Nel cielo biancazzurro brilla un'altra stella - In the lightblue sky another star shines. Alija tu non sarai mai sola. Alija you will never be alone.
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old January 30th, 2008, 21:11 Thread Starter
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Ben Knight blogs:

The Canadian Soccer Association has reached a settlement in the wrongful dismissal action brought by former Basketball Canada chief executive Fred Nykamp.

The background: Nykamp was recruited last year – and hired – by former CSA president Colin Linford. The contract was agreed, Nykamp left his old job, and an uncomfortable amount of empty time went by. The CSA board – with all of its provincial reps with all their different agendas – finally decided it had had enough of Linford’s hard-edged push for change. They vetoed the deal. Linford subsequently quit, while Nykamp, who pretty much everyone involved agrees had a valid gripe, sued.

The CSA has just told me the deal includes a confidentiality agreement. Nykamp's claims had topped $1.75-million, but the amount of the settlement will not be revealed.

So, since I can’t give you an answer, let me pose a question:

How can it possibly be right for a publicly funded organization like the CSA to make confidential deals involving large amounts of public money?

There is no dispute that Nykamp is being compensated for a CSA foul-up. Whether the fault ultimately lay with Linford or the board is no longer relevant.

An unspecified chunk of the CSA’s really quite small $13-million operating budget has just been utterly wasted, and you’re darn right the huge numbers of amateur soccer players across this country, who pay their money every year to support both the CSA and the sport, want to know how much – and why?
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old February 13th, 2008, 07:53 Thread Starter
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So now we have a rival to the CSA - the Canadian Soccer Federation.

Last edited by Jeff; February 27th, 2008 at 02:23.
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old February 27th, 2008, 02:18 Thread Starter
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"I'm fed up with the state of our game and the mediocre (at best) governance we had to endure as players directly, and now, as people who are directly involved in the management of soccer at every level.

"When I played, we had developed a pretty strong team (no thanks to the CSA), but rather the NASL (North American Soccer League) where all of our players were playing. We qualified for the World Cup in Mexico in 1986 and should have qualified for Spain four years earlier. (We were coached by a high school coach from Chiliwack, B.C., with no offence to Chiliwack.) We were a better side than the U.S. then.

"Today, we are in complete disarray, with no light at the end of the tunnel. I'm going to rally my fellow Canadian national team players from the past to get behind this movement (the newly created Canadian Soccer Federation), players like Jason DeVos, Bruce Wilson, Bobby Lenarduzzi, Bruce Twamley, Les Wilson, etc."

- Bob Iarusci, former Canadian national team member.
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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old May 30th, 2008, 18:00 Thread Starter
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De Rosario, de Guzman call out CSA
by Matthew Scianitti
The Globe and Mail, May 30, 2008

Dwayne De Rosario and Julian de Guzman, two of Canada's most prominent soccer players, are speaking out against what De Rosario calls the Canadian Soccer Association's "poor support" of the men's national team.

The two players made the comments as Canada prepares for an exhibition match against Brazil, ranked No. 2 in the world, at Qwest Field in Seattle tomorrow. Canada will also face Panama in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Wednesday.

The two matches are preparation for Canada's FIFA World Cup qualifying series against St. Vincent and the Grenadines next month.

John Billingsley, the CSA's deputy chief operating officer, has said the 2008 budget for the men's team is more than $1-million.

"It's not enough," said De Rosario, a two-time Canadian soccer player of the year, "and they know it's not enough. ... The CSA has to realize some of the situations that the players are under and realize that there is more than just going out there and playing."

De Rosario bemoans the lack of international matches, quality accommodations and proper transportation that he feels are essential to creating team chemistry. He scoffs at the notion that added sponsorship - which Billingsley says has helped to increase the CSA's annual budget to an estimated $13-million - has trickled down to the men's team.

"If we do have sponsorships," De Rosario said, "it is either they [the CSA] get the money and we are not seeing much of the benefits, or the money is coming in and we do not know where it is going."

De Guzman says the CSA would rather hedge its bets on the continued success of the women's national team, which has appeared in four consecutive FIFA Women's World Cup tournament since 1995, than take a risk on the men, who have not qualified for the World Cup since 1986.

"The women qualify for every World Cup that there is and I think the CSA feels it is a much safer investment for them to support the women," de Guzman said.

Both Toronto-born players agree Canada now has a men's team worth investing in. During last summer's Gold Cup, Canada's creative attacking style was praised by fans and pundits alike, and de Guzman believes Canada has the talent to beat CONCACAF giants Mexico, Costa Rica and the United States and qualify for he World Cup in 2010 in South Africa.

"We have the team that can run with these guys and give them a much more difficult time than before," de Guzman said.

The CSA's technical director, Stephen Hart, was the head coach of the men's team during the Gold Cup and agrees with both De Rosario's assessment of the association's budget and de Guzman's evaluation of the team's talent. However, Hart is confident that changes to the CSA's structure will be made soon.

"At present, our budget is definitely not sufficient, and that is not a secret," Hart said. "I think people will see some surprising things happening in the next few months, things that may please the players. ... We are certainly not going to throw our hands up and give up."

De Guzman says the men's team deserves the CSA's full support.

"I am sure they [the CSA] know that we have a good enough team to qualify," he said, "but are they willing to take that risk? I think this is what the game is all about ... and this is the perfect time to take the risk."

De Rosario extols the efforts of head coach Dale Mitchell, but concedes that without more money, Mitchell's task of leading Canada to South Africa is difficult.

"I feel bad for our coaching staff," De Rosario said, "because when they have these figures thrown their way, they are, like, 'Okay, well, how are we going to make this work?' "

To qualify for the World Cup, De Rosario says the men's team will need the lion's share of the CSA's budget. But without increased support, he knows talent will take the men's team only so far.

"I think we have the ability, the potential, the focus, the determination and the desire," De Rosario said. "Whether that is enough remains to been seen. If we don't get the proper funding we need in order to be successful, hopefully that will be enough."
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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old September 18th, 2008, 06:00 Thread Starter
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On June 2, 2008 Canadian national women's team coach Even Pellerud announced he would be resigning his position after the Beijing Olympics.

Did the CSA immediately snap into action to start looking for a replacement? Hardly.

3½ months later, the CSA is finally launching its search. We wouldn't want them to do anything hasty, now, would we? :rollani:

How long will they take to start a serious search for Dale Mitchell's replacement after his inevitable resignation as coach of the men's team?

Last edited by Jeff; October 30th, 2008 at 00:33.
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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old October 30th, 2008, 00:39 Thread Starter
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CSA needs to double budget, report says
by Neil Davidson, Canadian Press
October 28, 2008

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The Canadian Soccer Association needs to revamp its structure and more than double its budget to a minimum of $25-million by 2013, the organization says in a new five-year plan released Tuesday.

More than a year in the making, the association's "Strategic Plan" and "Strategic Activities" 2009-13 documents are billed as "the starting points to a co-ordinated approach to soccer's future in Canada."

The documents are long on good intentions and, at this stage, largely short of specifics other than identifying a myriad of areas that have to be fixed or improved.

Still it recognizes that the sport in Canada needs to be fixed.

"We aim to regain the confidence of the Canadian soccer community by giving our teams the means to improve their performances within CONCACAF and FIFA," the plan concludes. "We also aim to show that the association does what it should for the development of our sport."

The CSA plan comes in the wake of elimination of the men's national team, the association's flagship team, from World Cup finals contention in 2010 (one of the report's stated goals). Canada has not qualified for the sport's showcase event since 1986. The failure of the men's team has also been accompanied by reports of dissatisfaction from several of its players.

The report raises the bar significantly on on-field performance, calling for the Canadian women's team, currently ranked 10th in the world by FIFA, to win a medal at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympics and at the 2011 World Cup.

The men's goal is to reach the round of 16 at the 2018 World Cup. The plan also calls for the Canadian men to crack the top 40 of the FIFA rankings and top three in CONCACAF, which covers North and Central America and the Caribbean. Canada is currently 84th in the world and fifth in CONCACAF.

National team plans include establishing European and Central American training camp locations.

Improved funding is seen as the lifeblood for on-field improvement and the report concludes that the CSA has to be reorganized if it is to secure the resources to properly fund its soccer teams.

"It is a start. It's ongoing, it is fluid, " association general secretary Peter Montopoli, speaking from Ottawa, said of the report. "And I think we have to recognize that ... but I think we've captured the essence of soccer in the strategic plan itself, as a start. But we do know and we probably all agree that there is tremendous potential for the future."

Money is needed to translate that potential into reality.

The CSA's 2007 budget was $12-million, $5.9-million or 43 per cent of which came from membership fees from the more than 867,000 registered players in the country.

Of that budget, $4.5-million or 36 per cent was spent on senior teams. Another $1.8-million or 14 per cent went to youth teams. The remaining 50 per cent went to expenditures described as technical, marketing and communication, national competitions and administration and meetings.

The new plan calls for hiring of a "senior business development person" to help increase revenue and establish a business advisory committee as well as maximize existing revenue streams such as gate receipts from home games, sponsors, merchandising and CSA members.

It also cites the objective of a new staff structure, with the goal of "more efficient organization."

The association has already released the first part of its so-called "Wellness to World Cup" plan. Issued in June, it was billed as a framework for long-term player development and is the first of several instalments.

The new strategic plan identifies the 2012 women's CONCACAF Olympic qualifier, 2010 Peace Cup, 2015 Women's World Cup, and the men's CONCACAF Gold Cup, as well as a new tournament called the Canada Cup as potential events Canada could host.

While there are big-picture goals, there are also smaller ones like ensuring the CSA website is bilingual and having "ongoing positive relationships with media outlets."

Soccer in Canada has produced a variety of plans over the last decade, including failed blueprints to launch a top-tier domestic league. And it has spent long hours trying to find ways to translate its enormous grassoots playing base into success at the national and international level.

In the process, there has been a revolving door of CSA executives, coaches and other officials.

Holger Osieck, then men's head coach and technical director, and Andy Sharpe, then CSA vice-president, released a damning look at the sport in Canada in 1999.

"Freezing temperatures, rain-soaked shale, gravel fields, gymnasium-type playing areas are not suitable to prepare our national teams to compete against our CONCACAF neighbours such as Mexico, U.S.A., Costa Rica, El Salvador, Jamaica, and Guatemala," the report stated bluntly.

"In addition the lack of a professional infrastructure further handicaps our young Canadian players. We found the CSA staff feeling helpless due to the lack of facilities available and proper funding."

In 2000, there was another association five-year plan dubbed Blueprint for Success. And in 2005, there was a Deloitte review of the CSA's organization structure and planning.

Many have tried to fix the problem, including England's Dick Bate, who came on board as technical director in the fall of 2005 and soon learned the challenge facing him.

"There's a lot to do," he said in an interview in February 2006. "There's a lot of very enthusiastic, very willing people working in the game. Many wishing it was different. Not having the staff or the authority to change things. That's a first impression.

"It seems to be very fragmented. ... Nothing particularly universally co-ordinated."

Bates resigned five months later, after just 10 months on the job, to accept a technical director's job with English club Watford.
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The poor administration of the CSA does not make sense. CSA administration has harmed our national teams and also harms good initiatives, such as the visit of the AC Coríntians to Canada.

It is my belief that if the soccer grass roots were to hire professionals to form a new administrative body to function like FIFA reps in other soccer culture countries do, soccer would change for the better in Canada.

It is time for our athletes to be exposed to professionals from nations that consistently participate in the largest international sporting event – The World Cup.

It is time for Canada to conquer a respectful space on that stage. An amateur administration, at the national level, is not up to the task, as has been proven time and time again.
- The Soccer Paper
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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old November 30th, 2008, 19:36 Thread Starter
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Canadian soccer hits rock bottom
by Bob Mackin
Vancouver Courier
November 28, 2008

[excerpt]
Quote:
There it is. On page six. Canada is 10th in the world in registered soccer players.

There are 867,869 of them from coast to coast to coast, 58 per cent male and 42 per cent female.

Six is also a fitting number, because that's the number of consecutive World Cups Canada's men have failed to qualify for since their first and only appearance in 1986 at Mexico. Three losses and no goal scored. Ole.

Canada does have an Olympic gold medal from 1904, but that's when the Games were in St. Louis and the World's Fair was the real reason to meet in St. Louis.

A dysfunctional men's national team program is at the root of the Canadian Soccer Association Strategic Plan 2009-2013: Leading Canada to Victory and Canadians to a Life-long Passion for Soccer. Peter Montopoli is the third general secretary in as many years and he's trying to guide the organization in the right direction. It's not an easy job.

"The CSA is at a pivotal moment in its existence" to position itself as a major sport body in Canada, says the five-year plan. To become a soccer power, Canada needs a new way of developing and operating the sport at all levels.

By 2013, the CSA wants to have an annual budget of more than $25 million, qualify for a senior men's World Cup, win the right to host the 2015 Women's World Cup and reach the one million player level.

A cynic might call it a wish list. If you're going to dream, why not dream big?

The CSA ends 2008 with elimination from the quest for a spot in South Africa 2010 and no women's medal from the Beijing Games. A parallel report on strategic activities sets a round of 16 appearance in the 2018 World Cup and a medal in the 2011 Women's World Cup as goals.

The CSA wants European and Central American training camp sites and partnerships with top professional clubs. Canada could have hosted the 2008 North and Central American and Caribbean zone women's Olympic qualifier, but the new goal is 2012. The CSA wants to enter and host more CONCACAF and FIFA events. It also wants a seat at the table in committees for the confederation and the globe's governing body.

The CSA's budget is $12 million, including $5.9 million from a tithe on members and just $2.3 million from 15 sponsors. Only 65 Canadians abroad and 40 on either side of the 49th parallel are classified as professionals.

This isn't the first time the CSA has gone through such an exercise. In 2000, there was the Road to Success: Blueprint for the Expansion of the CSA.
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