Bunbury On Montreal Expansion Progress: ‘It Takes Time’
It’s no secret that former Canadian international Alex Bunbury intends to launch a Canadian Premier League expansion club in the Montreal area. The outspoken 52-year-old has chatted multiple times about his plans to establish a club in Laval, though he’s been quiet on the subject ever since he let fans know he was signing a non-disclosure agreement with the league.
Yesterday, a fan evidently grew frustrated with the silence, and asked the retired striker if he still intended on launching a club in the Montreal area. Bunbury followed up with an affirmative, and then made a tweet stating that while it takes time to complete the process, he’s doing everything that he can and firmly believes that expansion clubs will launch in both Montreal and Quebec City.
While Bunbury said fans can look at David Beckham (sic) as an example of how long the process of founding an expansion club can take, one can only hope the process of establishing a CPL club in Montreal goes smoother than Miami’s addition to Major League Soccer: Beckham announced plans for such in 2014, but difficulties securing a stadium location have ultimately resulted in a six year delay, with the team not due to kick a ball in MLS action until 2020.
It’s a subject that will feel familiar for fans hoping that a Mississauga expansion club will establish itself in the CPL: the soccer-hungry city certainly seems like the perfect location for a team, but there’s no suitable stadium options right now. The results of a city-funded stadium feasibility test are expected to release later this year.
Canadian Premier League commissioner David Clanachan will be hoping the process Bunbury is talking about won’t take Miami-levels of length, either: he said that while a few ownership groups had progressed much further beyond the pack than others, he’d simply be happy to see at least one expansion club be ready to play in the league’s second season. He also recently reiterated that the CPL needs to be in Ottawa.
While many fans had assumed Bunbury’s Montreal venture was a lock-in for 2020, the Canadian had previously admitted that it may take longer for him to establish the club – and with his new comment that it’s going to take time, this may indeed be the case.
At last check, Bunbury wanted the identity of his potential Montreal CPL team to be focused on youth development and grassroots initiatives, and was working with 41-year-old former Canadian international Sandro Grande to establish such a club philosophy.
Of course, Bunbury isn’t the only owner interested in the Quebec market: Clanachan revealed that there were a few potential ownership groups in the area, though they’re taking a fairly quiet approach to things as opposed to Bunbury’s highly-public process.
Bunbury had said a league calling itself Canadian needed to have a team in Quebec, if not two or three. For now, it seems like progress is being made behind the scenes to establish these Quebec-based clubs – it’s just going to take time to get there.
Source: Alex Bunbury (via Twitter)