Canada Soccer’s finances are worse than you thought
The GIST: As discussed on yesterday’s episode of The GIST of It, it’s a tumultuous time in international women’s soccer. And that was before the news that Canada Soccer’s finances are worse than you thought.
- According to TSN, CanWNT funding is “on life support” and the governing body is accepting handouts to keep the program running, raising new questions about Canada Soccer’s operations in the midst of a labor dispute with the women’s team.
The details: Last November, Canada Soccer reportedly couldn’t afford to send the CanMNT to Qatar for the men’s World Cup and the CanWNT to friendlies in Brazil. A “private-sector donation” came to the organization’s rescue and footed the bill for most of the CanWNT’s trip, as well as the women’s U17 and U20 camps that month.
The context: Pressure’s pushin’ down on Canada Soccer after the CanWNT played last month’s SheBelieves Cup while protesting budget cuts. President Nick Bontis stepped down on Monday after receiving a request for his resignation, and the governing body must now comply with a probe from the House of Commons’ Heritage Committee.
- In a meeting yesterday, the committee directed Canada Soccer to turn over its contract with Canada Soccer Business (CSB) and all board meeting minutes from 2017 by this Friday.
- CSB scored commercial rights to the CanWNT and CanMNT in 2019, but the contract has raised red flags after details of the deal emerged last year. CSB pays $3.5M max annually for the rights, which should be closer to $15M a year.
The lingering questions: Yesterday’s report begs the question: Just how bad are Canada Soccer’s finances, and what is CSB’s role in the organization’s economic woes? It also substantiates the CanWNT’s concerns about its own budget, especially relating to public funds earmarked for the women’s program.
- There’s also a big decision facing the CanWNT: Will they officially go on strike once a legally-mandated 17-day countdown ends next week? They’re on the clock.