Price is Right: Canadians deserve transparency from Canada Soccer accounting

Feb 16 2023, 6:50 pm

sekeres and price

Just over a year ago, we were radiating national soccer bliss in Canada.

The Canadian women were already Olympic champions, the Canadian men were qualified for their first World Cup in 36 years, and we had just found out that Vancouver was most certainly back in the mix to host the 2026 World Cup.

But of course, there were unfortunately cracks already showing.

It started with the sudden cancellation of the game vs Panama at BC Place.

One that was going to mark a celebration of Canada’s recent qualification for Qatar.

The players’ contract with Canada Soccer was at the root of that debacle.

One that would continue to dog the team almost right up to the point of the World Cup.

Rumours of team apparel needing to be returned and certain shortfalls that others on the world stage don’t have to deal with.

But now those worries from the men’s team are the dream of the already accomplished Canadian women.

The Olympic champs would love to get the treatment that the Canadian men just received, never mind comparing that to what England or France gets.

Canada Soccer has cut its budget ahead of the summer’s Women’s World Cup, and that means fewer players can be accommodated, with fewer staff members available, and players’ compensation a question mark once again, too. The women wanted to strike for the SheBelieves Cup, which is set to begin this week. But they’ve decided, because of the threat of litigation, to play under protest. Still, job action is likely coming.

And the unfortunate reality is, Canada Soccer is probably right — they probably don’t have the money around for this. But also unfortunate for them, that’s still their fault.

There has never been a better time to sell the sport, sell the Canadian National teams, than right now.

And the national Sports Organization should be the one benefitting from that with the trickle-down to the players and youth programs.

Instead, because of a business deal signed in 2018 with Canada Soccer Business (CSB), too much of the financial benefit for Canada Soccer itself is beyond its control.

CSB is none too pleased that they are viewed as the bad guy, obviously.

But if that’s the case, then open up; actual accounting is the only thing that will solve this… Where has the money gone, and where is it about to go? The federal government has now said it wants to know, the players want to know, and the fans that are looking forward to a run to the World Cup final this year are demanding it too: “show me the money.”

Blake PriceBlake Price

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