Canada Soccer recently announced it will begin releasing regular updates, informing media, fans and Canadians of matters pertaining to Canada Soccer’s National Teams, and the state of soccer in Canada. The renewed efforts are aimed at increasing communications during some of the most important months in the organisation’s history.
We are releasing another update to media, fans and all Canadians. Canada Soccer, alongside its partners and supporters, have experienced tremendous growth and unparalleled success in the past ten years. An ambitious plan to continue to build on the momentum of the sport of soccer in Canada is well underway.
The past decade has been a decade like no other for soccer in Canada: a bronze medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games; a bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games; a gold at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games; a winning bid to host the FIFA World Cup 2026 alongside Mexico and USA; a berth for the Men’s National Team at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 – the first in 36 years; a berth in the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023; and the launching of a men’s professional soccer league (CPL) to create a true pipeline of future talent in our country.
The work doesn’t stop there. After a history of engaging our Men’s and Women’s National Teams independently on contract negotiations, Canada Soccer has put fairness and pay equity at the forefront of our ongoing negotiations with our players. It is our commitment to equalise matters related to compensation for the player pool, travel policy, and the configuration of high-performance environments. These equitable standards and structures need to be made permanent for our organisation to thrive in the years ahead. In that spirit, we are proud of the new and revised agreements that are currently being proposed to our National Teams.
Canadian Soccer Business
In March 2018, Canada Soccer partnered with Canadian Soccer Business, as part of a 10-year agreement, allowing for representation for corporate partnerships and broadcast rights related to Canada Soccer’s core assets including its National Teams.
We are proud of this landmark partnership which has provided sustainable funding to the organisation to fulfill its strategic priorities with a growing stable of corporate partners that will help to develop and grow the game of soccer across the country. In addition, the launch of OneSoccer has provided a dedicated media channel to promote Canada Soccer’s National Teams and the Canadian Premier League.
In turn, the CPL has been able to attract new investors for growth including a landmark investment by Atlético Madrid in March 2020. The growth of the league continues with a new club scheduled to start play in 2023 and the performances of our CPL clubs in Concacaf competitions has been remarkable so far. In addition, more than 200 Canadians are playing and working in coaching, technical and administrative roles in the Canadian Premier League.
The Hiring of Bev Priestman
“Bev Priestman has brought a great deal of experience and strong leadership to her role as Head Coach. She has always had, and continues to have, the full support from the Board of Directors,” said Dr. Nick Bontis, President of Canada Soccer. “We are so proud of the work and accomplishments that she has garnered under her leadership of our Women’s National Team including an Olympic gold medal and a direct qualification for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023.”
Prior to Priestman’s appointment, a board-approved selection committee was created to manage the interviewing and hiring of Canada Soccer’s new Women’s National Team Head Coach. The Board approved the composition of the committee and gave it full hiring authority. The Board’s recommendations were listened to and included in the decision-making process. The Board was also updated on progress and ultimately informed when a final decision was made.
The Canada Soccer By-laws are the only governing document at Canada Soccer where the recruitment and appointment of the National Team Head Coaches is referenced. And the By-laws state only that the General Secretary makes a recommendation to the Board. There is no requirement for a vote by the Board, or even a discussion.
In essence, Canada Soccer has met and exceeded those standards, and looks forward to having Bev lead the Women’s National Team to even more success on the pitch in the months and years ahead.
The Pursuit of a Feasibility Study with the City of Vaughan
Canada Soccer has been engaged with officials from the City of Vaughan for more than five years and recently entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to look into the financial feasibility of the establishment of a National Training Centre.
For Canada to continue to grow the game at both the domestic and international level, the development of a truly soccer-specific, training centre is of paramount importance. To address this need, a facility at North Maple Regional Park in the City of Vaughan has been proposed that will not only serve as a recreational cornerstone of the community but as the focal point for all technical programming of our National Teams, coaching licenses, referee and player development programs and initiatives and in general, a destination for all things soccer in Canada.
FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ Prize Money
It is important to clarify that the CSB agreement and the negotiation of FIFA World Cup prize money are independent and have no bearing on each other.
We are in ongoing negotiations with Canada Soccer’s Men’s National Team and have presented to them an updated offer on 23 June 2022. In the spirit of fairness and equity, the same offer is in front of our Women’s National Team.
While we will continue to be respectful partners in these negotiations, with conversations held privately, we want to provide some context to our discussions while we search for a resolution.
The initial proposal received by the Men’s National Team on 4 June 2022, was untenable because it did not: a) consider any distribution of prize money for the Women’s National Team; and b) was not financially viable once a consideration of the Women’s National Team portion was accounted.
The Men’s National Team proposal included a request of 40% net of taxes of an estimated $10 million prize pool, which equates to $8 million given an estimated marginal tax rate of 50% on average. Given Canada Soccer’s commitment to pay the Women’s National Team the same dollar funds for each major tournament (and vice versa), this would have equaled a $16 million commitment based on a $10 million source of funds. This was, and still is, untenable. Canada Soccer reiterated its position of fairness and equity in several discussions with the Men’s National Team leading up to the scheduled Panama match.
It is critically important to reiterate and be abundantly clear: fairness and pay equity is at the heart of our ongoing negotiations and we are committed to finding a resolution that meets both of those values. We look forward to updating media, our fans and all Canadians as we continue to work towards a resolution.
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