Regional Tier 3 League

ThiKu

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i really think it’s as simple as initiating the Tier 3 league to run parallel to the current Men’s fall / winter schedule. Invite the top clubs from all three leagues to participate. Take the top ten, leave the rest. Force the issue. Then maybe these league will figure out how to work together.
Sounds good to me. Move the semi-pro season/tier 3 league to winter, with maybe some sort of summer competition as well and you'll build nicely. But has to be existing clubs with connections in their respective communities.
 

LION

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Who’s supporting this league in the winter months? The top players are already playing winter ball. How many fans are coming to support them as it is now? all of a sudden it’s “tier 3” and the clubs start supporting their own?

How many supporters come out to watch National champions in CCB and Hurricanes play on a Friday night in November through February?
with both teams having some of the best local talent on their squad. ...
X MLS players, x youth national players etc etc.

other local men’s teams are playing, kids are in full hockey and soccer club mode, full time school. Who has the time to fit in a local match through the winter months?

let alone the season could stop for weeks on end just for weather issues like snow or frozen fields as we have seen in the past.

all the top leagues should be played in the spring/summer. The schedule would be set and on lock. With no last minute cancellations or postponements. Families could come watch. Younger club teams could come watch.

when’s the last time Dude took in a winter match on a cold wet November night?
 
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Dude

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A better question is when is the last time I took in a summer match? I'm WAY more likely to see Winter matches, but I am Atypical, I can't be fcuked to watch a summer match due to my current living situation. But Winter, when I'm down here Tuesday-Thursday for work? I honestly don't mind catching mid week games when they happen around Feb / March.

@LION : you aren't wrong, but it may also be a case of taking one step at a time. You want it all at once, and frankly, at the pace it's going now it'll never happen. Even if they did manage to find a few clubs to invest, the level still won't be up to the level of the better VMSL / VISL / FVSL Premier clubs. Sorry. It just isn't now w/ PDL.

Starting it in the winter will force the three leagues to adjust and likely collaborate. Especially if the final intention is to have pro/rel system eventually.

Honestly, when the original concept of the merged BC Premier League was first floated then kiboshed, it appeared that the kibosh was a matter of vocal minorities making the most noise then winning the day. What there is no doubt about is there is a disproportionate amount of development happening in "The Valley" as opposed to the city, and I count Coquitlam in that. Frankly, my patience level for the whole VMSL / FVSL / VISL debate has reached an end. A Tier III league like this needs to be formed of the ~10-14 best clubs from all three regions, and I don't care what league those clubs fall into. Hell, many have teams represented in both.

So, if you can't get these talking heads to collaborate and embrace the opportunity in front of them, fcuking jam it down their throats. Take their best clubs, and force the issue. Whatever was Premier in each league then eventually becomes "Championship", as the leagues would be forced into adjusting to the new landscape.

As for pro / semi-pro / amateur: leave it as Amateur, as we see now w/ PDL. Or, leave it as is and allow the paper bag system to continue. I really don't care. I just care about having a proper set-up for the best competition, a chance for the clubs in BC outside CPL and MLS to compete. Right now we are a million miles away from Ontario and Quebec in the echelon of football in this country, and that is because they have figured it out, we haven't. We've proven two years running we indeed do have the tallent, but for the most part we can't get out of our own way to put our best foot forward.

Then, @LION, once you have this thing running properly, move it to a Spring / Summer set-up so as to match the rest of Canada. That makes total sense. But before that, start with the least invasive way to get this going and going properly. A PDL type season is not proper, it's a less competitive loop than any of the big three ion this province.
 

Dude

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Also, you know I agree with you, as we've talked about this at nausea for some time. I just feel it'll never get done properly unless you force the issue, and step one in that would require a matching Fall / Winter season. After you get it set-up, move the league to Spring / Summer.
 

dezza

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Fall/winter loses you the existing USL2 teams as their rosters are predominantly made up of University players
 

Dude

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Fall/winter loses you the existing USL2 teams as their rosters are predominantly made up of University players
You lose two to gain 14. Besides, I'm sure they could adjust somehow, just like all the other squads make accommodations to wait for Uni players. There are going to be advantages / disadvantages to any plan. I'm simply proposing the one that makes the most sense collectively to get it done and have the best players involved. Take you guys for example, don't you think you should be involved in a Tier III league, assuming it was your primary focus and the league wasn't demanding stupid contingencies? Maybe you may need to travel to the Island two or three times a season, think you could figure that out? I'd rather have Metro Ford, LFC, Peg, maybe even Rinos as part of this league than a bunch of start-ups with little history. Clubs with history and built-in infrastructure. The best players, not just the best up-and-coming players. I prefer hitting the easy button.
 
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Canucks4Ever

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You lose two to gain 14. Besides, I'm sure they could adjust somehow, just like all the other squads make accommodations to wait for Uni players. There are going to be advantages / disadvantages to any plan. I'm simply proposing the one that makes the most sense collectively to get it done and have the best players involved. Take you guys for example, don't you think you should be involved in a Tier III league, assuming it was your primary focus and the league wasn't demanding stupid contingencies? Maybe you may need to travel to the Island two or three times a season, think you could figure that out? I'd rather have Metro Ford, LFC, Peg, maybe even Rinos as part of this league than a bunch of start-ups with little history. Clubs with history and built-in infrastructure. The best players, not just the best up-and-coming players. I prefer hitting the easy button.
I think this is expressly what BC Soccer, rightly or wrongly, wants to avoid. Starting from scrap allows them to leave the baggage behind. They are confident that if they can create the "best" league then they will get the best players, coaches, etc. It also allows them to have Province wide participation as opposed to just the Lower Mainland and the Island; which also dictates a summer season of play.

This is not the "dream" of a super league that was bandied about years ago. This is looking at it from the other end of the spectrum and thinking "CPL-lite". A few franchises in the Lower Mainland plus a couple on the Island and likely the interior with the idea being that the players will be willing to play in these places regardless of where they grew up etc. because of the "opportunity" it provides.

The issue seems to be that there does not appear to be great appetite for this. People in the soccer community want to see Coquitlam Metro Ford vs. Surrey United and West Van vs. Gorge, etc. featuring the best players plus the history and the local connections. I presume BC Soccer seems to think that there is a large enough general soccer population (that being those who like the sport, have kids playing, etc. but are not ensconced in the local adult amateur scene) who a ready and willing to support this league if it is billed as a professional development stepping stone - think BCHL. It would follow that they will do this by running roughshod over the current adult setup, assuming that some will convert and buy in to supporting this new league, if not right away then eventually, while the rest they can just survive without anyway.

Maybe they are right, but I am no so sure. I think they are setting up to have people actively pulling against them. What if the best players would rather just play in the VMSL/FVSL/VISL? What happens then? I think there is a middle-ground to be found here where the existing community could be brought in as a stakeholder. How do we get this moving in the right direction? Otherwise I think it just plateaus as a Summer League for the College Players - essentially what the BCCAA/PacWest used to be. Highlanders in Victoria which already draw heavily from UVic, TSS and another Vancouver based team drawing UBC players and maybe some former Whitecaps residency players plus other college players (Langara/Cap) with Whitecaps U23s themselves possibly as a team. A Tri-Cities team for Douglas/SFU players; a Langley/Surrey team for TWU/UFV/Douglas; Kelowna with UBCO; Kamloops with TRU; Prince George with UNBC and then Nanaimo with VIU.

That is a decent enough league, sure, but we already pretty much have that league from September to November with the University teams. Hence why I would love to know more about what BC Soccer's actual plans are so it could be discussed and input offered from the soccer community.
 
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Dude

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I can only presume the big clubs spurned the original RFP because of the crazy contingency fee floated (wasn't it $100K / squad?), plus all the other stipulations. It was WAY overdone, and way too administrative heavy.

What you describe can be accomplished over two seasons w/ way less barrier to entry, assuming you can move the season to summer after year 1.

Gotta remember, largely, what makes football in this province go around is volunteerism, not professionalism. The volunteers make it happen.

Try telling the better run clubs now (pick any), that in order to be involved they will need to potentially triple their workload? Oh, and in addition, we need to come up with crazy financial backing?

Who in their right mind would do that?

Maybe three or four, and those would be:

~TSS
~Highlanders.
~PFC
~WCFC

Now you only need 6-8 more clubs. That's either 6-8 start-ups, or 6-8 clubs willing to triple their work load, because presumably those clubs would want to hang onto their current Premier programs as it sits now. Why wouldn't they?

Come on.

The common denominator in all this is that typically guys will want to challenge themselves to play at the highest possible level they can...by and large. For (I'm guessing) 80%-90% of the players, this is their desire.

That is also the common goal of this league, because even if it has a development mandate, the best way to develop is by having the best players around the kids, and making kids earn it. A development league limited to kids under 23, as an example, won't develop the best young players. The competitive environment already established w/in the three leagues is exactly what this Tier III league needs. You want the kids to rise up to Soolsma's level, not be content being the best striker on a summer university circuit.

So, you start by removing all barriers. Throw the RFP stipulations out. Simplify. Call it Amateur. You should be able to ask for- at the least- all home parks to have adequate change rooms, and ideally, viewing stands. Most big clubs can come up with that as it currently sits now.

The one carrot the Tier III league has that would entice over the players- and encourage clubs to pull their Premier teams and enter into the new league- is the opportunity to compete for a Canadian Championship. Get it done. Fcuk the existing three leagues, frankly. Pull over the top 12-14 Premier League Teams / Clubs, and you will force these three leagues into a new reality, and likely collaboration. This can EASILY be done if clubs desire it. The clubs hold the power when it comes to getting fields, not the leagues. Presumably, for example, CCB would hold a tremendous amount of clout, as would Surrey United, Abby, the big Island Clubs, and CMF. Why? Because they have the registrations. Simple as that.

The three leagues have not been involved in this, and that's fine. Establish parallel league schedules to start (removes one big barrier of entry), and fly at it. The leagues would be forced into restructuring, and that's fine too.

Fcuk man, you can "invite in all the stakeholders", and "work towards a sustainable, successful model", and "add in more corporate speak here". Fcuking hell, sometimes you have to actually just go ahead and shoot first, ask questions later. Get 'er done. It's really so simple it's maddening.
 

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Dude

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This thread and discussion started in 2015. Still nothing. The BCSA has been pissing about with this since then.

This is the post that has the most common sense tied to it, and it was about the third in.

The other good post was from one Mr. Base, who made mention "It is already watered down around here", and he's probably right.

"Investor Money" is as common as a unicorn in this venture. It's throw away money. Unless there is someone who's willing to piss away a bunch of money, a start-up league in the vision they had is a non-starter.

The CSA made noise about supporting a lower level professional league in Canada to give younger Canadians somewhere to play and develop. The CSA may have encouraged BCSA to investigate the possibility of a regional semi-pro league, call it tier 3 or something else. Without investors willing to lose wads of money, a Tier 3 league does not seem likely.
In addition, some BCSA folks looks at the HPL and wonder why a similar league does not exist at the adult level, at least on the mens side. We all know what happened when the leaders of the 3 largest mens adult leagues tried to create a Premier league for Vancouver, the mainland and Victoria.
Some BCSA Directors and maybe some staff travelled back east to talk to people there about their higher level adult leagues. Maybe they will report on what a Tier 3 league budget would look like and financial commitments needed of each team owner.
If there is conceptual support for a Tier 3 league, then the next question is whether BCSA can find a few dollars in its budget to support a Tier 3 league for men without cutting into the financial support already provided for the Mens Provincial cup?
 

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Dynamo Quebec have now dropped out of PLSQ citing financial difficulties


With Quebec City and Gatineau both dropping, the PLSQ is down to 8 men's teams, 100% of which are based in Greater Montreal.

I wonder if anyone here involved with L1BC is noticing... Maybe travel expenses are a real impediment? And Quebec teams didn't even have to deal with ferry costs when traveling!
 
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Dynamo Quebec have now dropped out of PLSQ citing financial difficulties


With Quebec City and Gatineau both dropping, the PLSQ is down to 8 men's teams, 100% of which are based in Greater Montreal.

I wonder if anyone here involved with L1BC is noticing... Maybe travel expenses are a real impediment? And Quebec teams didn't even have to deal with ferry costs when traveling!
Dunno.

It’s a bigger expense for Island Clubs, thought.

I would think of some of these VMSL clubs can come up with “creative funding” for players they can figure out travel expenses. Rob Peter to pay Paul.
 

Tedward

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It’s a bigger expense for Island Clubs, thought.
Highlanders have dealt with it for years. Rovers (and other teams) had to deal with it for games over here. It's just part of the budget. PDL /USL2 teams have to travel. If the L1O and PLSQ teams are not budgeting for this they have no business being in a D3 league.

This BTW is the reason that a D3 needs to be what is sometimes called a "spectator" league. They have to attract paying spectators to provide ticket revenue and attract sponsorships that cover the travel expenses associated with the league. This means it cannot be a glorified VMSL. It must be presented and marketed as something that is a step above.
 
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Dude

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Highlanders have dealt with it for years. Rovers (and other teams) had to deal with it for games over here. It's just part of the budget. PDL /USL2 teams have to travel. If the L1O and PLSQ teams are not budgeting for this they have no business being in a D3 league.

This BTW is the reason that a D3 needs to be what is sometimes called a "spectator" league. They have to attract paying spectators to provide ticket revenue and attract sponsorships that cover the travel expenses associated with the league. This means it cannot be a glorified VMSL. It must be presented and marketed as something that is a step above.
Agree. I'm simply talking tactics and implementation. I believe the RFP was way to onerous and way too many roadblocks. Throw it out, simplify, and I think the easiest is year one you run a pseudo parallel schedule, then transition that directly into summer. It'd be simple. Play 2020/2021 matching the winter schedule (but ending late November, restarting Feb), take a short break June / July / August, then run a shortened Summer / fall schedule again in 2021, starting in September, ending late November. End that season, declare a champion who can represent in Canadian Championships. Then start new season matching the current CPL. Sounds complicated, but the reason why is you want to get players / clubs at the start of a typical winter season is to encourage certain clubs to simply jump ship and move their top men's program over. It's way cleaner, and actually something they can implement. Easy Button, more better.
 
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Tedward

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Well, the "easy" way would be to designate the PCSL as D3 and hire some competent staff to run it. ;)
 

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Well, the "easy" way would be to designate the PCSL as D3 and hire some competent staff to run it. ;)
No.

because then you are asking the clubs to run two "Premier" programs, triple the work. The only way this Tier III works is if you involve the biggest stakeholders, the players, and the players are tied to the clubs, the clubs volunteer run. If you tell them it's summer to start, they won't shut down their existing programs to wait for summer, because the players want to play.

The PCSL was run into the ground, and failed because players value winter over it. If you give the best players an easy transition, I bet the clubs could get on board.
 

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You keep using the word "volunteer" and speaking of clubs that are amateur, primarily youth organizations. I disagree that this is a basis to start.

Highlanders and Rovers are the model to follow here, and all due respect, no matter how well-intentioned, amateur, youth-focused clubs will have too many competing demands. Clubs in a D3 must be professionally run and oriented from the start. They cannot be worried about renting or maintaining recreational fields for U7 boys and girls.

Pretty much the whole argument that has been made for the last decade that finally resulted in the CanPL. People made similar arguments about taking local clubs "pro" based on powerful amateur dynasties. Just not the way to go IMO.
 

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You keep using the word "volunteer" and speaking of clubs that are amateur, primarily youth organizations. I disagree that this is a basis to start.

Highlanders and Rovers are the model to follow here, and all due respect, no matter how well-intentioned, amateur, youth-focused clubs will have too many competing demands. Clubs in a D3 must be professionally run and oriented from the start. They cannot be worried about renting or maintaining recreational fields for U7 boys and girls.

Pretty much the whole argument that has been made for the last decade that finally resulted in the CanPL. People made similar arguments about taking local clubs "pro" based on powerful amateur dynasties. Just not the way to go IMO.
Ted: if you can tell me how exactly you are going to find 8-10 different fat wallets willing to empty them all, plus some, so support a dream that will never sustain itself, I'm all ears. You are in search of a unicorn. The RFP already tried that approach and was a resounding thud. The existing clubs have established infrastructure that works, and already know how to run what essentially is a Tier III squad. Why try and reinvent the wheel when it's already there? It's supposed to be an amateur league anyways, and there is no reason each squad can't have a small payroll for administrative and coaching staff.

Good?
 

Dude

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You know what's crazy? The easy and long term sustainable path forward on this is so fcuking clear to me. Why hasn't this been done? Oh, right....
 

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