Bunbury: CPL-Related Announcement Coming Next Month
It’s no secret that former Canadian international Alex Bunbury has been looking to launch a Canadian Premier League club in Quebec ever since he caught the CPL bug in the Got Game Open Trials, and now he’s hyped up an announcement related to the CPL set to come early next month.
The 53-year-old Canadian soccer icon – who is the principle owner of Portuguese third division side Sociedade Uniao 1º Dezembro – had previously been quite public about his pursuits to secure the CPL’s expansion in Montreal, but became much more quiet in late 2019 after simply telling fans that expansion will take time.
Northern Tribune had reached out to Bunbury following the news that Sandro Grande had joined the Montreal Manic, as he had previously been named as a key part of Bunbury’s youth-focused Canadian Premier League venture. Bunbury simply stated that he would be making his own announcement next month, and that it would be CPL-related.
Bunbury had been meeting with Montreal city officials to sort out a stadium situation there as far back as April 2019, stating that one “can not have a Canadian team without having at least one team in Quebec, if not two or three.” He’s still been actively following the Canadian Premier League, which recently awarded conditional and exclusive Saskatchewan expansion rights to an ownership group in Saskatoon.
With the Saskatoon-based venture having no firm entry date, there was immediate speculation that the league would be announcing expansion rights to another location so that two teams joining at once would allow for an even league schedule. For the upcoming 2021 CPL season, the league appears set to launch with eight clubs, with Atletico Ottawa remaining the newest expansion side.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadian Premier League commissioner David Clanachan had revealed that the league was getting close with multiple ownership groups in Quebec, with speculation mounting that the top two most-likely expansion locations would be Montreal or Quebec City. At the tail end of 2019, Quebec Soccer President Pierre Marchand had specifically earmarked a group from Quebec City as being a frontrunner, though Bunbury’s early efforts had been concentrated in Laval and Montreal.
Fans will be hoping that Bunbury’s unexpected announcement tease isn’t a misnomer, especially given how closely he has been linked with expansion rumours in the province. The tease should be taken with a grain of salt, however, as Bunbury had also once anticipated that he would be making an announcement regarding both Montreal and Quebec City back in May 2019, and that never materialized.
While the scope and scale of Bunbury’s announcement remains to be seen, the fact that he has disclosed an upcoming CPL-related announcement should turn a few heads, especially given how long he’s been radio silent regarding the project and how vocal he had once been. There’s no specific timeline for the announcement other than ‘early next month’, so fans will need to wait to hear what’s coming next from the Canadian club owner.