It has been announced that the Canadian Premier League (CPL), sanctioned by FIFA, will commence its inaugural season starting 2019. Longtime Tim Hortons executive, David Clanachan, will be the league’s first-ever commissioner. Paul Beirne will be the president of the CPL. When Toronto FC was founded, Paul Beirne yielded off-field rewards by the club’s fan engagements in the teams first years. He left 2013, to be a business executive of the Ottawa Senators in the NHL. Beirne was also the head of commercial development for Brighton Hove & Albion, an English Premier League team. Beirne will be tasked with engaging fans into the newly formed league.
What’s admirable is David Clanachan’s aspirations for the future of the CPL. In an interview with Steven Sandor of the 11, Clanachan want’s the league to develop a professional soccer industry in Canada. Clanachan’s future endeavors seem far-fetched, nonetheless, It’s commendable that he has a vision in mind and a goal to reach. He aspires to have 3 divisions. He’d like to start off with 16 teams in the 1st division. He later explains that if other communities decide to join the league, he’d take an extensive look at a promotion-relegation system.
Although, Hamilton and Winnipeg are confirmed franchises. There has been an abundance of rumored cities who could have teams down the road. Calgary Sports and Entertainment are believed to be one of the ownership groups, having a team play on McMahon Field. Halifax has suggested a 5,000-8,000 capacity stadium for a future CPL franchise in the Maritimes region. On June 20, 2017, Halifax city councilors collectively supported the formation of a 7,000 capacity stadium at the Wanderers Grounds on the Halifax Commons. Moncton has expressed interest in joining the league within a 3-year period. A Saskatchewan-based ownership group is also planning a team in Regina or Saskatoon and former TFC Captain is reported to be involved in a bid for a team in the York region. David Clanachan expects the league to field 8-10 franchises by 2019.
This league will be centralized towards developing the game of soccer in Canada. The teams will need a rumored amount of 75% players from Canada. This is great news knowing that Canadian soccer players will be developed. The news also implies that the Canadian senior team and U-23 to U-16 will be keen on scouting the Canadian players.
Are you interested in the Canadian Premier League?
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This league offers hope for Canadian Soccer. The league can attract many fans from far and wide. The league can conceivably interest a younger audience, making them want to play the beautiful game.