Change nearly here for CSA | Soccer | CBC Sports

SoccerChange nearly here for CSA

Posted: Sunday, November 27, 2011 | 06:10 PM

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Canada's Olivier Occean (centre) celebrates with Nik Ledgerwood (left) and Ashtone Morgan a goal during World Cup qualifying soccer action against St. Kitts and Nevis earlier this month. It's hoped the CSA's new system of governance will improve Canadian soccer as a whole. (Chris Young/Canadian Press) Canada's Olivier Occean (centre) celebrates with Nik Ledgerwood (left) and Ashtone Morgan a goal during World Cup qualifying soccer action against St. Kitts and Nevis earlier this month. It's hoped the CSA's new system of governance will improve Canadian soccer as a whole. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

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Over the last few years, members of the Canadian soccer community have become increasingly disillusioned with the state of the game in Canada. They have voiced their concerns, through this forum and many others, that our game has been hijacked.

Over the last few years, members of the Canadian soccer community have become increasingly disillusioned with the state of the game in Canada. They have voiced their concerns, through this forum and many others, that our game has been hijacked.

An 'old boys club', as it is commonly referred to, has controlled the balance of power on the CSA's Board of Directors for as long as folks can remember. The result has been a history of ineffective - even incompetent, according to some - leadership.

At the CSA's last annual general meeting in May, the membership voted for change.

The old system of governance - where provincial presidents sat on the CSA Board of Directors, conflicted by their loyalties to their own provinces - is being replaced by a new structure; one that brings with it balance and diversity.

Moving Canada forward 

These key ingredients are found within the board's composition; it will be comprised of an elected president and vice-president, six elected directors, and six appointed directors.

The appointed directors will be recruited to provide experience and capabilities including, but not limited to, law, finance, community fundraising and governance.

Given the importance of this new direction, the CSA recently released a request for names of individuals to serve on the CSA's Nominations Committee - the committee responsible for identifying and recruiting the six appointed directors.

The request reads, in part: 

The CSA is looking for individuals to serve on the Nominations Committee who can demonstrate that they have professional, personal or other contacts with the corporate, business, soccer, and/or other relevant communities to deliver a group of Board candidates who have the collective capacity to further the mission and goals of the CSA in the 21st century.

The Nominations Committee will be composed of five members, including two Directors of the CSA and three independents. Any member who sits on the Nominations Committee is not eligible to run for office at the 2012 Annual General Meeting.

The roles of the Nominations Committee are as follows:

  • To recruit candidates for the Board. 
  • To ensure that Board recruitment is driven by the strategic priorities of the CSA.
  • To ensure that Board composition complies with the CSA's by-laws and Governance Policies. 
  • To develop effective processes for the recruitment of candidates for the Board.

I have previously written of the importance of the Nominations Committee. It is fair to say that this group of five individuals will have a significant influence on the composition of the CSA Board of Directors, and by extension, the ability of that Board to effectively govern the game in Canada.

Recruit six strong, intelligent minds to sit on the Board, and the game will continue to grow and thrive in the years ahead.

Recruit six weak-minded, self-serving individuals to sit on the Board, and the CSA will be mired in the same muck that has hindered the efforts of so many of its excellent employees for years to come.

This is an opportunity that has never before been presented - an opportunity to shape the direction of the game in a positive way by hand-selecting individuals to serve on the CSA Board of Directors.

Time to lace up the boots 

Unfortunately, I am told that so far there has been very little interest shown in the independent positions on the Nominations Committee.

It would be a travesty if the three available independent positions failed to be filled. It would only serve to strengthen the position of the individuals who have fought against governance change from the beginning.

So this is your chance to get involved.

If you or someone you know has the necessary skill-set to enhance the Nominations Committee, send in your resume and references to the CSA before the deadline on the 30th.

Now is not the time to stand on the sidelines and complain about the standard of play at the CSA. Now is the time to lace up your boots, take to the field, and get in the game yourselves.

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