Estranged relations in Canadian football — STAND (and The Set Pieces)

Comment

Estranged relations in Canadian football — STAND (and The Set Pieces)

Attending Vancouver Whitecaps FC matches prior to 2011 was a brilliant experience. Games were held at a quaint ground nestled into the side of an urban forest that engulfed half of the stadium. Each spring, season openers would be marked by a haze of cottonwood seeds drifting through the air, so abundant that we would have make to sporadic efforts to remove them from our clothing. To the north, a picturesque view of mountains, while the main stand’s concrete skeleton dominated the western skyline.

The venue had a relaxed mood on match days. There was the same anticipation found at any large football ground around the world, but without the aggressive scrutiny or hostile atmosphere. Police were rarely in attendance and the minimal security officials present treated matches as one of their easier gigs and a chance to soak up some sunshine.

But when the club moved up to Major League Soccer in 2011 – thanks to buying their way in, rather than for any on-field achievements – it became a very different entity.

READ MORE

Comment

The top ten fan-owned clubs in English football (part 1) — Back Page Football

Comment

The top ten fan-owned clubs in English football (part 1) — Back Page Football

by Devon Rowcliffe

An enticing concept has been quietly incubating within English football in recent years: supporter ownership of clubs. While it may be the norm in places such as Germany and Argentina for football fans to own their club, it’s still a fairly alien idea in the United Kingdom and most of the Commonwealth.

The allure is obvious: football fans and club owners often disagree about how clubs should operate. Wealthy owners – often with minimal connection to the club’s community – tend to prioritise the pursuit of profit, and take financial risks that can destabilise or endanger clubs. Football fans, however, view their club as a community asset rather than as a business, and desire to be treated loyally as valued club members instead of as replaceable customers.

As English football becomes increasingly expensive – and stadium atmosphere inevitably dwindles – some fans are turning to supporter ownership as the antidote to the corporatisation and sanitisation of the game.

READ MORE


Comment

Not up for the Cup: Why so few amateur Cascadian clubs enter the US Open Cup —  TheCup.us

Comment

Not up for the Cup: Why so few amateur Cascadian clubs enter the US Open Cup — TheCup.us

by Devon Rowcliffe

The US Open Cup is perhaps the most compelling sport competition in the United States. An opportunity for amateur clubs to pit their skills against the best professional sides in competitive play – the only such tournament in the “big five” American team sports – is what makes it truly special. A pub team that plays in mismatched kits down at your local park on Sundays could, in theory, end up facing the Major League Soccer champions.

In one of the country’s key soccer regions, Washington and Oregon, despairingly few amateur clubs participate in the Open Cup. Why is this? Will recent changes to US Open Cup qualification entice more of these amateur Cascadian clubs to join?

READ MORE

Comment

Queen’s Park Stadium has significant heritage value — New Westminster Record

Comment

Queen’s Park Stadium has significant heritage value — New Westminster Record

by Devon Rowcliffe

While I support the refurbishment of Queen’s Park Stadium, as well as the continuation of its intended use of hosting high-level sport, I do not support one aspect of the current proposal: for the wooden stand on the stadium’s east side to be demolished.

This wooden stand is built in the tradition of British pitched-roof grandstands, and has significant heritage value.  

While it is not currently listed or designated for heritage protection by the City of New Westminster, there are very few such stands remaining anywhere in Canada, and thus it should be protected for the enjoyment of future generations.

The stadium’s wooden stand is a miniature version of similar stands in the United Kingdom that are today protected by English Heritage and Historic Scotland.  

It resembles stands designed by renowned Scottish architect Archibald Leitch, who built the stadiums of such famous soccer clubs as Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea.

READ MORE


Comment