August 24, 2003--CPSL--It's Called Futbol interview with Stan Adamson
Soccer Online interviewed Stan Adamson Aug 24, 2003 Author: Soccer Online - It's Called Futbol Soccer Online spoke with Stan Adamson in greater detail about the recent developments concerning the Open Canada Cup, the Ottawa Wizards and London City. Soccer Online: London has received both CPSL cup competitions this year, a move that has upset the Ottawa Wizards. Wouldn’t it have made more sense to split up the tournament sites and award the Open Canada Cup to Ottawa and the playoffs to London? Stan Adamson: (Wizard’s owner) Omur Sezerman was presented with the opportunity to host the 2003 Open Canada Cup, but that fell apart because he wanted everything his way. We made some concessions, but there were some things we couldn’t agree to. Soccer Online: What were some of these things? Stan Adamson: (Sezerman) didn’t want to be in the elimination game. Another problem he has is that the Wizards only have a small core number of players. We encourage CPSL teams to have large player pools so that if they have to play three games over a long weekend, it’s not a big deal. But for Ottawa, that was an issue. He refused to play three games. Some time ago, the CPSL made rule changes whereby we allow seven players on the bench, and all of them can be used in a game. Also we allowed affiliations with other senior amateur teams so that they could bring up players at will. If the Wizards want to bring up ten players from a team near Ottawa to help them, they can. But it was clear that he wasn’t going for that. Soccer Online: What other concessions did you make? Stan Adamson: Well, besides giving (Sezerman) the chance to host the competition – which we thought he would have jumped at – we gave him a bye in the early rounds. We told him that we could play the final round games on the Friday, not on Saturday and then on Sunday and Monday. We hadn’t planned on that, but there was some flexibility. He also disagreed with the financial terms – some of which were not negotiable. There was very little difference in the terms being discussed. We had rounded up a couple numbers and he pulled it back to the original amount. He obviously wasn’t prepared to meet the terms and conditions of hosting the Cup, so we pulled it back and went to London. Soccer Online: Were the Wizards promised anything last year? Stan Adamson: Ottawa was awarded the League Cup in its first year in the league. Last year, we took the Cup out of Hamilton and the League Management Committee awarded it to Ottawa. The teams protested because their fans had expected to travel to Hamilton but not to Ottawa. London, however, was closer to Hamilton. The Board of Directors looked closely at the situation and then overruled the League Management Committee and gave the competition to London. This year, Sezerman was given an opportunity to host again. That is how fair we have been with Ottawa. Soccer Online: City GM Harry Gauss has obviously been an integral part of bringing the Cups to London. He is also on the Competitions Committee. Isn’t that a conflict of interest? Stan Adamson: Yes, except he didn’t take part in that decision. He did take part in the draws, which were done out of a hat. He wasn’t party to anything that could be termed a conflict of interest, although people may accuse him of that. I’ll tell you what he did do. When we needed a club to host a preliminary round of the Canada Cup, Harry stepped up to host it. He essentially rescued the situation. He has a put a lot of time and effort into this. Soccer Online: How did London’s bid differ from Ottawa’s? Stan Adamson: London Tourism and the city were involved. The city sees what is happening with soccer in Canada and they want to be hub of southwestern soccer. They have had some success with Ontario Cup teams. They have the Henderson Tournament taking place on the Labour Day weekend. So they want to be involved in soccer. Soccer Online: What about the CPSL playoffs? Perhaps Ottawa could host that championship? Stan Adamson: No, that is going to London as well. We committed to London for hosting the playoffs and then Ottawa surprised us by refusing to meet the conditions of the Open Canada Cup. It’s an experiment giving both competitions to London, but we’re hoping there will be some carryover and synergy since the events are only a month apart. The city of London was really excited to get both, although we had initially expected Ottawa to get the first tournament. Soccer Online: What more can you tell us about London’s bid? Stan Adamson: Money is involved, accommodation and two live television programs, which they will help bear the cost. Soccer Online: Did London insist that they receive both tournaments? Stan Adamson: No, they wanted both, but no. We went through the process of giving Ottawa the opportunity to host the Open Canada Cup. London City and the city of London wanted both and they ended up getting them. Soccer Online: What about the other clubs that bid for the Cups? Stan Adamson: They were considered, but they didn’t come close to what Ottawa and London were offering in terms of a number of features. We had bids from the Metro Lions, St. Catharines and the Durham Flames. Soccer Online: How did those teams feel about the decision? Have any of the clubs expressed dissatisfaction with the process, as Ottawa has? Stan Adamson: No, we’ve never experienced anything like Ottawa before. Soccer Online: More often than not, a board does not overrule the recommendations of a committee, as happened with last year’s League Cup. This year, with London Tourism backing City’s bid, is it possible that even if Ottawa did meet the CPSL’s requirements, that the Open Canada Cup would eventually have been awarded to London? Stan Adamson: There is a difference between last year and this year. The terms offered to Ottawa met the approval of the CPSL board members. Soccer Online: But that only happened after the last round of the tournament, during the first weekend of August. Stan Adamson: That’s right. The Wizards just needed to accept those terms. They needed to play the elimination game and possibly three games in total. If they had agreed to that and the financial terms that we presented to them, they would have received the tournament. (Sezerman) had already been giving us a hard time. We knew what points he had problems with, but we put together the terms as acceptably as we could. We thought he would have snapped it up. Soccer Online: So (Sezerman) had already expressed reservations about the way the tournament was going to be structured. He was presented with pretty much the same concept that he had already protested about last year. The CPSL must have had an idea that the terms weren’t going to palatable to him. Stan Adamson: No, we thought that he would be so delighted to be awarded the tournament that he would be accepting of the terms. That’s where we misjudged him. The biggest issue, we thought, was that he really wanted to host the tournament. We thought the other terms were just minor irritants. Soccer Online: He threatened to boycott last year’s Canada Cup because his team would have to play the Wild Card game and also have to play three games in three days to win. Even after the Wizards won the final, they were clearly upset at the way the tournament was structured. The impression that the Wizards and their fans may receive with these developments is that the CPSL never seriously wanted Ottawa to host this year’s Open Canada Cup and that London’s bid was too strong for the league to ignore. Stan Adamson: (Sezerman’s) position was unreasonable on many points. He was given the opportunity to host the Open Cup had he agreed to the terms. It was a bidding process. (Ottawa) refused to meet the terms and conditions that were put to them, which made it easier to award the tournament to London. There are possibilities with London. London City in partnership with the City of London put together a highly attractive bid. More news to come on the 2003 Open Canada Cup.
back to CPSL menu