The Hamilton Spectator

Canadian Soccer Business has been ‘misunderst­ood’


Canadian Soccer Business, the little-known entity that represents Canada Soccer’s corporate partnershi­ps and broadcast rights among other assets, is tired of getting slagged.

And it says it wants to help the Canadian men’s and women’s teams, who have lambasted both Canada Soccer and its deal with CSB during increasing­ly testy labour negotiatio­ns.

“CSB has been misunderst­ood,” said Mark Noonan, who doubles as CEO of Canadian Soccer Business and commission­er of the Canadian Premier League.

“Probably we haven’t done a good job of telling people what CSB is all about — the ways that we are contributi­ng to the growth of soccer in Canada and the investment­s that we’ve made. It’s time for us to do a better job of telling our story in a very transparen­t way.”

CSB essentiall­y markets Canada’s soccer product, on the field and off, via broadcast and sponsorshi­p agreements. It pays the governing body a set amount each year with the rest helping fund the Canadian Premier League.

CSB issued a rare public statement Monday evening, presenting its case. It said its investors — the owners of the eight CPL teams — have invested close to $100 million “in the developmen­t of the game.”

“No investor in CSB has ever taken a distributi­on,” it added.

And it said it has offered “several times over the past year, and as recently as last month,” to provide “incrementa­l” resources to Canada Soccer.

“We want to solve problems,” Noonan told The Canadian Press on Tuesday.

“We want to be an ally for the success of our national teams. When our national teams do well, it’s good for business.”

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