Bob Young thought it strange that Canada didn’t have a soccer league of its own.
“When I see weird things that shouldn’t be happening happen,” he told Sportsnet‘s John Molinaro, “I just say to myself, there’s got to be a business opportunity there somewhere and there must be something I can do.”
Young found success in his career by doing exactly that, identifying areas in the tech space that were lacking, and addressing them proactively. His sporting ventures, as such, follow a similar method.
His vision for soccer, in particular, will come full circle when Forge FC hosts York9 FC in the league’s inaugural match (April 27, 1:00 p.m. ET at Tim Hortons Field), and for the charismatic owner, the venue and city certainly merit the occasion.
Young’s foray into this sort of sporting venture isn’t typical for a tech entrepreneur, though this isn’t his first go at being a team owner: He is also the owner of the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Young hopes to see the growth of soccer in Canada – inspired by his personal history with the sport – come to fruition, regardless of questions as to why he first became involved.
“I’m a Canadian first and foremost. I was a soccer player as a kid, admittedly not a very good one, but I was a soccer player,” Young told Sportsnet.
“I’m someone who has always been entertained by sports. I realized when I was 12 that I was not going to be an athlete, but that did not stop me from admiring the athletes all these years, especially Canadian athletes.
“So, the question isn’t why did I get involved (with the CPL,) but rather why not?”
That’s not to say this is a pure passion play from the man affectionately dubbed “Caretaker Bob” in Hamilton.
He also sees the business opportunity in Canada, alongside other owners who CPL Commissioner David Clanachan affirmed have the patience and the desire for legacy to see the project through over the long term.
“It made no sense to me or anyone else in the larger Canadian soccer community that Canada (didn’t have its own league), despite being one of the wealthiest countries in the world,” Young explained to Sportsnet.