Canadian Premier League Sets Sight On Full Season This Summer
An official press release from the Canadian Premier League has confirmed that the league’s third season will begin with all eight clubs in one location in either mid-June or early July, without fans in the stands.
In an update from league commissioner David Clanachan, it was confirmed that this upcoming season will run the full gamut of a full 28 regular season games in a single season table, which is a big step up from last year’s condensed Island Games bubble tournament.
The previous season saw Hamilton-based side Forge FC retain its championship title with a 2-0 victory over the Halifax Wanderers in the final.
The league remains hopeful that home markets with fans in attendance could take place in the latter stages of the 2021 CPL season, leaving room for flexibility as Canada continues to make progress during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Once the regular season concludes, the format of the 2021 CPL Final has yet to be determined.
While we speculated that the Canadian Premier League could be returning to the east coast to kick off the season, the league kept the single location set to host the start of its 2021 campaign undisclosed for now.
Here’s the letter from David Clanachan in full:
We continue to move forward with our plans for a full 2021 season with the strong support of our Club Owners and are working non-stop with several locations creating options to begin our season. We remain adaptable to change because of the COVID- 19 pandemic across the country and are focused on working with the public health authorities, along with their protocols that will help govern our 2021 season.
Our target date to start the season is mid-June to early July.
We will start the season in one location with all eight Clubs without fans in stands.
Each CPL club will play 28 regular-season games and we will follow a single table format that will provide fans with a more competitive season that creates more exciting matches right to the end of the season – including matches in our home markets potentially with our Supporters and Fans cheering on their Clubs.
The start of the CPL 2021 season will be a Made-for-TV event with all matches broadcast exclusively via the Canadian Premier League’s media partner OneSoccer and its linear partners.
Updating and expanding on the League’s virtual stadium, created by wTVision and implemented in 2020 at The Island Games is a priority. We are dedicated to making each match a first-class viewing experience that delivers unique club and partner branding executions and exciting fan engagement opportunities.
As we continue to finalize our plans, we will keep you posted on our progress and look forward to announcing the start of our 2021 season.– David Clanachan, CPL Commissioner
With many provinces still not where they need to be for health officials to green light home markets with absolute certainty in the near future, it’s not surprising to see the league kickstart the season from a single location.
That being said, the news that it will indeed be a full 28 game season – with hopes of home markets at a later date – should prove positive for fans and players eager for a return to normalcy.
It is unclear how much players have been involved in the process of organizing the delayed 2021 Canadian Premier League season, though a recent comment from Sergio Camargo suggests that many CPL athletes been left in the dark regarding the process.
This will be the first season with a raised, more transparent salary cap following offseason pressure from fans, players, and PFA Canada.
The mid-June or early July start falls relatively in line with similar plans for League1 Ontario, though it ultimately remains to be seen how the full length 2021 Canadian Premier League season will unfold.
Further updates to be posted as they become available.