Although it continues to search for an eighth club, Canadian Premier League commissioner David Clanachan says the circuit is equipped to launch with seven teams in 2019.
The Canadian Premier League is taking shape for its inaugural 2019 season, and will feature clubs in several prominent markets around the country. Seven teams have been announced thus far and it was anticipated that the eighth and final member for 2019 could be Ottawa Fury FC, an established organization that has competed in the Division II USL since 2017. However, the Fury announced last week that it will not switch leagues ahead of next season and instead remain in the USL.
Ottawa will not be on board, so the search for an eighth team remains ongoing. Clanachan noted during a recent Q&A on the league’s website that the circuit continues discussions with prospective ownership groups and regions, but that it is “fully equipped to launch with seven clubs” if needed in 2019. More from CanPL.ca:
CanPL.ca: Commissioner, could you give us an update about the state of the league roughly seven months from the Canadian Premier League’s inaugural season?
Clanachan: “At this time, we’ve announced seven teams that are ready to go, and we’re continuing to work with other groups to get to eight. We’ve had huge success with the membership movements created in each of our cities, and on top of that, we’re talking to a number of other regions and potential owners: St. John’s, Newfoundland, Moncton, New Brunswick, Montreal/Laval and Quebec City in Quebec, as well as the ‘Grand River’ region of Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge, the Niagara Region, Durham Region – encompassing Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax and Pickering – as well as Mississauga, who already have a very engaged supporters’ group.
“We’re also having discussions with Regina and Saskatoon in Saskatchewan, as well as Lower Mainland B.C., which is a very active opportunity with interest from Kelowna. And we’ve had interest from Ottawa from multiple parties, which is very important to us. Frankly, we believe that the nation’s capital is a great place for a club, so we’ll be looking at that as well.”
Would the Canadian Premier League be content launching with seven clubs in 2019?
“We’re still chasing that eighth team and we have a couple options in the mix. We are fully equipped to launch with seven clubs and our schedule will still be strong and varied.”
As noted, seven teams have been announced for the Canadian Premier League’s inaugural 2019 season. That slate includes Calvary FC (Calgary), FC Edmonton, Forge FC (Hamilton), HFX Wanderers FC (Halifax), Pacific FC (Langford), Valour FC (Winnipeg), and York 9 FC.