by Ben Knight
Published on 02-03-2011 07:49 AM
Even if we end in a state of compromise, I must admit I never thought the fight to reform the Canadian Soccer Association would get this far – or, that the embattled, over-matched provincial soccer association presidents themselves would be the ones to vote themselves out of the national soccer business.
If – as now seems all but inevitable – we are left with a streamlined, largely professional CSA board of directors with no more than three provincial presidents sitting in, that should signal a bold new time of possibilities for the biggest victims in Canada’s entire sad and soggy soccer governance standoff – our national teams.
As the second-last day to do any dealing dawns:
- Quebec isn’t returning messages.
- Neither is Alberta.
- We still don’t know how Ontario will wield its massive vote block, should the original, all-out, no-provincial-presidents-at-all reform motion be defeated on Saturday.
Oh, and it’s a secret vote. We won’t know who did what until the gleeful or disgruntled start answering journalistic follow-up questions. (But that’s been true all throughout this debate. Clarity shouldn’t be much of a problem.)
What we will see (or hear second-hand rumours of) on Saturday is – simply put – history. Canada will vote (in some form) to hand its global soccer fortunes over to professional soccer and business people.
That should (soon, one dearly hopes) put an end to the mockable situation of Canada trying to pay for World Cup runs using amateur player registration fees.
It should (In whole, or in part) kaibosh the reign of amateur directors from the provinces, who serve two masters and have no real experience (or ability) to run a professional, ambitious national soccer program.
And even though they didn’t really ask to be in this situation, the provincial presidents are to be admired for stepping up to vote on a motion which boots all (or most) off the CSA board forever.
I believe – on the balance – that they know what needs to be done, and that they will find a way to accomplish it. The two provincial presidents who agreed to my interview requests – Ontario’s Ron Smale and Charlie Cuzzetto from British Columbia – know it is finally time for change.
Quebec is said to be adamantly opposed to the full, no-presidents reform, but did (apparently) back the compromise model when it was drafted in December.
What Alberta will do is baffling. They will be represented by rookies – the last men standing from the hated and deposed Mario Charpentier anti-reform regime. Their membership just passed local reforms even more sweeping than the CSA proposals. Whose lead will their reps follow?
The smart money’s been saying for the last two months that the compromise plan is the only one that can pass. As an added bonus, the compromise also includes the elimination of the National Teams Committee, which will further distance the well-meaning yet unqualified from booking any more blizzardy friendlies in Estonia, or long leg-wobbling boat rides to Martinique.
Unless Quebec or Alberta (or Manitoba) start answering their e-mails, this is likely the last you will hear from me until after the voting is complete.
I leave you with this:
Please contact your local provincial or territorial soccer association, and stress to them the importance of passing these reforms. The time has long-since come to hugely reduce the regional agendas hampering our national soccer dreams.
Yes, there will still be regional representation on the new, streamlined board. But no more than three of those people will be allowed to answer to a smaller, more regional association – none at all if the main reform is passed.
We must either the original plan, or the compromise. The third option – compromise with a one-year delay – is massively and hopelessly inadequate. And any possibility that all three governance blueprints could fail is too awful a consequence to consider.
Make your voice heard – today. Canadian Soccer News will keep you fully informed of everything that happens next.
For Ben Knight’s article and comments, visit the Voyageurs Forum at canadiansoccernews.com.
See CSA Reform — Ontario Speaks and interview below
Filed under: Academies, Club and Team News, District News, Member News, Team Canada, The OSA News Related Posts: CSA Reform — Waiting To See What Ontario Does | Sweeping Reform For The CSA | Player Of The Week | 2013 National Appointments For Referees | So Deeply, Deeply Canadian! |