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Canada Soccer to increase membership fees in 2025

Canada Soccer to increase membership fees in 2025

Canada Soccer, facing financial challenges, took a step toward improving its bottom line on Saturday, voting to increase annual membership fees for players by $4 starting in 2025.

Soccer players will pay a fee of $13, up from $9, in what Canada Soccer says is the first increase in membership fees since 2017.

Canada Soccer also has a new president-elect in Peter Ogrosso. The Ontario Soccer Federation's president and president is running unopposed after incumbent Charmaine Crooks announced before the vote that she would not seek re-election in order to pursue other opportunities.

The fee increase came in the form of two proposals at the annual general meeting in Montreal.

The first called for raising $3 to go to the national governing body. The second called for an additional $1 increase, with half going to Canada's national youth programs and the other half going to Project 8, the group behind the women's domestic league currently under construction.

The $3 fee increase would generate an additional $2.2 million using current numbers, given Canada Football's 2023 annual report lists a nationwide membership of about 739,642 members.

Kevin Blow, president and secretary-general of the Canadian Football League, called the fee increase “part of a much broader effort to increase revenue” for the governing body.

According to the organization's 2023 annual report, membership fees represent about 20 per cent of Canada Soccer's revenue. The rest comes from trade and other fees (46 percent), FIFA and CONCACAF grants (22 percent), government grants (11 percent), and the 2026 FIFA World Cup (1 percent), the report says.

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Crooks was promoted to president from vice-president in February 2023 when Nick Pontis resigned, acknowledging that change was necessary to achieve labor peace with the Canadian men's and women's national teams. Crocs then defeated former Football Canada vice-president Rob Newman in the May 2023 presidential election.

This labor peace has not yet been achieved.

The lack of funding for Canadian youth teams has been a bone of contention with senior players concerned about the future.

Jaden Shaw of the United States, right, plays against Canada's Vanessa Gil during a SheBelieves Cup women's soccer match on Tuesday, April 9, 2024, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay Labret)

Crooks, a five-time Olympian who won a silver medal in the 4 x 400 relay at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, has been a member of Canada Football's board of directors since 2012-13 and has served as vice-chair since January 2021.

The role of President is an unpaid position where Blue is the highest-ranking official on staff.

New directors are Gayle Staton (BC/Yukon), Thierry Matosi (Ontario), Thierry Delblond (Quebec), and independent directors Brad Baker and Davide Zausa.

Staton has served as president of BC Soccer since November 2020. Mattucci is senior director of strategy and growth marketing for Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment.

The 48-year-old Xausa is a former Canadian international who earned 31 caps for Canada between 1999 and 2003. Baker is a member of the Squamish Nation from North Vancouver.

The number of members of the Board of Directors is 14, including the Chairman and Vice-Chairman. Not everyone was ready for re-election on Saturday.

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Kevin Culpo (BC), Natasha Errani, Paul Martin, Peter Rako, John Zerucelli (Ontario), Pierre Marchand and Marcial Prudhomme (Quebec) and Philippe Denis (Independent) ran unsuccessfully for board positions. Canadian Soccer 2033 Annual Report is expected to be released The organization's final audited 2023 financial numbers are due in the next few weeks.

Blue has already offered a look at what lies ahead, in a March 30 update that cited a projected operating shortfall of $4 million on total expenses of $30 million in the fiscal 2024 budget.

The Project 8 women's league was officially granted membership at Canada Soccer's 2023 annual meeting. The governing body has since confirmed that six women's clubs can move forward with operations and preparations to launch in 2025.

Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Halifax have already been identified as cities for Project 8 clubs, and information on the other clubs has not yet been announced. Six is ​​the minimum to start the league.

“We look forward to working with Peter (Ogrosso) and the newly elected Canada Soccer Board as we work together to create a path for the long-term growth and prosperity of women’s soccer in Canada,” Diana Matheson, former Canadian international and CEO and co-founder of Project 8, said in a statement. .

“Canadian Soccer’s continued support of our league underscores our shared commitment to promoting inclusivity, equality and excellence in girls’ and women’s soccer at all levels.”

Matheson gave a presentation about Project 8 to the annual meeting.

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