Clanachan: CPL Getting Close With Multiple Expansion Groups In Quebec
Leading into the two-legged finals of Canada’s only domestic professional football league, Canadian Premier League commissioner David Clanachan had hyped up the the idea of two to three CPL expansion site announcements set to be confirmed in the near future. While he has refrained from saying which locations are closest to being officially announced, it’s no secret that the likes of Saskatoon, Montreal, and Quebec City are making significant progress.
With multiple locations in la belle province at the forefront of expansion speculation, it only makes sense that TSN 690 just asked Clanachan if he could provide any details regarding the Canadian Premier League‘s expansion into Quebec.
In response, Clanachan officially confirmed that the league is close with multiple different groups within the province, though he didn’t say where they were – just that they were more likely for 2021 than 2020.
We’re getting close with a couple of different groups with Quebec, so I’m very pleased with that. Most likely, it will not happen for 2020, but 2021 could potentially be there. Certainly, it’s a big priority for us. It’s too big of a province with too much of a football public to not have a team there.David Clanachan
This timeline seems to lend credence to Quebec Soccer President Pierre Marchand’s earlier statement that a Quebec City ownership group was nearing a stadium deal. Marchand believed it was a bit late for this group to be ready for 2020, with a 2021 start date being much more feasible.
To compare, Pacific FC was the last entrant to the inaugural Canadian Premier League season, and it had some nine months to prepare before the season kicked off. Any team added in November would only have four months before preseason camp, which isn’t a lot of time to build a team from scratch.
Canadian international Alex Bunbury has been a highly public champion for a Montreal-based CPL club, though after signing an NDA with the league earlier this year he has been fairly quiet. When repeatedly asked about it online, he eventually tweeted that expansion takes time, implying that a 2021 date (or beyond) is more likely for his Laval-based venture, too.
Of course, it appears the Canadian Premier League isn’t only interested in Quebec for CPL expansion teams: there is plenty of speculation that the Canadian Premier League may acquire the PLSQ in a similar manner that it did to League1 Ontario, which is something that a recent report sanctioned by Quebec Soccer highly recommended looking into.
Clanachan wouldn’t comment on any developments regarding such a venture, but did confirm that Canadian Premier League officials would be sitting down with Quebec Soccer this weekend while league officials visited Montreal for the U SPORT Men’s Soccer Championship and the CPL-U SPORTS draft.
Clanachan stated that the relationship between the league and Quebec Soccer ‘had never been stronger’, confirming that the two parties were discussing what they could do together. Suffice to say, there could be some very significant announcements coming out in the near future regarding the Canadian Premier League and the province of Quebec, whether they be CPL expansion-related or not.