February 14 – Following the debacle over the Canadian Women’s team strike threat, and accusations of a lack of financial transparency over the commercial deals of Canadian Soccer Business (CSB), the commercial partner of Canada Soccer, has issued a statement.
Established in 2018, CSB said it has invested close to $100 million in Canadian soccer and no partner or investor had yet to earn any money from revenue generated for Canadian soccer.
CSB represents all sponsorships and broadcast rights related to Canada’s national teams, paying Canada Soccer a guarantee each year but with the right to keep any income above that guarantee.
The Canadian men’s and women’s teams believe that CSB has been pocketing money that should be invested in supporting them and have called for the agreement to be torn up.
In particular the women’s team, led by Canadian football legend Christine Sinclair, said it was evidence that the Canada Soccer was “not willing or able” to support the team.
CSB in its statement said that “no investor in CSB has ever taken a distribution”.
“Our goal since inception has been to work with all stakeholders in the game to help make soccer Canada’s most popular sport. In pursuit of this goal, we have invested close to $100 million dollars in the development of the game and will continue to do so. Our group of partners includes former Canadian Men’s National Team players Rob Friend and Josh Simpson, who are giving back to the game and country that provided the platform for their success,” said the statement.
CSB went further saying that it was prepared to increase funding support for Canada Soccer.
“A central element of this outreach is ensuring any incremental funding provided by CSB is directed toward programming that can make a meaningful impact now and in future, such as a fitting send-off series for the Canadian Women’s National Team on Canadian soil ahead of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup,” said the CSB statement.
CSB said these discussions were on-going.
“The Women’s National Team deserves the resources it needs to be successful in the lead up to the Women’s World Cup and beyond. We are ready, willing, and able to partner with all stakeholders to play our part to make that happen,” said CSB.
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