Earl Cochrane Resigns As Canada Soccer General secetary
Another big domino fell on Thursday as Canada Soccer’s general secretary agreed to resign.
Earl Cochrane will leave his post less than a year after he was appointed to the job and weeks before an annual meeting where Canada Soccer was to vote on a replacement for exiting president Nick Bontis.
Currently, Charmaine Crooks is the organization’s the interim president and will be running against Rob Newman, which was first learned by TSN. The winner will finish Bontis term which ends in 2024.
Cochrane was originally hired as the general secretary back in July 2022, replacing the departing Peter Montopoli after what Canada Soccer called a global search.
He worked with the federation for eleven years and had been serving as the general secretary since January 2022, after Montopoli went to go work with the 2026 World Cup organizing committee.
On the day he was appointed, both the men’s and the women’s teams issued a joint statement demanding Sport Canada scrutinize Canada Soccer governance and practices around the Canada Soccer Business deal.
Under the terms of the deal negotiated back in 2017-18, CSB pays Canada Soccer a guaranteed fee annually between 2019-2027 in exchange for broadcasting and corporate sponsorships rights to both the men’s and women’s national teams.
In 2019 that fee was three million dollars, which was confirmed by a contract obtained by TSN.
Board member Paul-Claude Berube confirmed the payout when he testified in front of the Heritage Committee on March 20th. Berube confirmed CSB generated $8.2 million dollars in sponsorships.
Canada Soccer has 14 national corporate partners on their website and CSB gets revenue from all their agreements.
CSB’s payment to Canada Soccer increases each year maxing out at $3.5 million in 2027. The contract was signed by Steve Reed who was Canada Soccer’s president from 2017-20.
The contract also states it has a clause where the deal can be extended another ten years and if triggered CSB would have to pay Canada Soccer four million per year from 2028-2037.
Cochrane defended the deal during his testimony and mentioned that while it needs to be modified, he hailed it as a good deal for the federation.
“Prior to the CSB agreement, Canada Soccer was paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to broadcast women’s and men’s national team’s games,” Cochrane had said during his testimony on March 20.
“No Canadian broadcaster was willing to pay to broadcast those games. The CSB agreement has resolved that issue and has helped grow the women’s game in Canada…today, the unilateral term option and limited ability for us to share in upside revenue are drawbacks of the agreement with CSB, but we hope to resolve those issues shortly.”
Cochrane has also worked for FIFA and Concacaf and from 2011-13 he was the managing director of TFC for Maple Leaf Sport and Entertainment.