It was also, as league commissioner David Clanachan proudly proclaimed, a big “lottery win” for the city as it welcomes Atlético Ottawa, who will begin play in the CPL in 2020.
Indeed, having one of the top 10 clubs in the world invest into in soccer economy and infrastructure is rarely a bad thing.
So, in that spirit, (and with our tongue wedged firmly in our cheek), we got thinking what other European outfit might be interested in buying a CPL club?
Here are a few possibilities to ponder…
5. Olympique Laval
Fresh off a plucky Ligue 1 campaign that saw Olympique Lyonnais surge back to the top three despite sitting mid-table by the mid-season mark, the historic French outfit has seen fit to extend the reach and scope of their brand to “New France” with a franchise in Laval, Quebec.
Olympique Laval dons the infamous blue, red, and gold of their parent club, paving the first road for the CPL into the province of Quebec, and appointing club legend and former France (and French Guiana) international Florent Malouda as their head coach, to much cheer.
Might Olympique Laval square off against Manchester City-owned Quebec City FC sometime soon after?
4. RasenBallsport Iqaluit
The masters of global brand expansion in random places around the world, extreme sport and energy drink behemoth’s Red Bull sees fit to charge forward into Canada in an unlikely spot.
Indeed, Red Bull RasenBallsport Iqaluit sees the Canadian Premier League expand into the northern Canadian territories for the first time, making this a truly coast-to-coast-to-coast endeavour for all parties involved.
And, with a strong organization-wide tactical approach overseen by the parent company – and executed by head coach Dwayne De Rosario of NYRB fame – this Iqaluit-based outfit promises to turn heads and shock the table in front of a 65,000+ seat stadium in Nunavut.
3. Saskatoon Town
Toon Army, assemble!
Newcastle United’s will-they, won’t-they Premier League promotion fates have left the team’s loyal supporters in a state of eternal turmoil and trepidation of late, but Mike Ashley’s deep pockets and a need for stability could have him looking across the Commonwealth for a league that cannot see him suffer relegation (yet).
Enter Canada’s own “Toon Town,” Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Besides the very obvious name-brand value, Newcastle’s new endeavour would also see the league enter this particular prairie province for the first time, and bring soccer to one of Canada’s most fervent fandoms. The Toon Army would grow exponentially, as such.
2. Internazionale de Moncton
Jose Mourinho and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, your next mission, if you choose to accept it, is to return under the Internazionale umbrella and build soccer in a place that’s never seen it before.
Moncton, New Brunswick would welcome the infamous blue-and-black stripes of Inter, of course. But, much like their parent club, Internazionale de Moncton would also need to share the spoils with fans in Fredericton and Saint John.
Inter, after all, has been sharing San Siro with AC Milan for quite some time, making Moncton a fitting locale for all parties involved. Fans of Inter largely don’t live in Milan like their opposites in red-and-black, and are more than accustomed to travelling from the city’s outskirts, anyway. Why not the same in New Brunswick?
1. Dur Ham United
Fans in Pickering will forever be blowing bubbles, and for some reason, those bubbles glow nuclear green and don’t seem to pop.
West Ham United’s effort to bring soccer to Pickering-Whitby-Ajax-Oshawa in a stadium overlooking the beautiful Frenchman’s Bay in Pickering (and the power plant, blaring morning phone alerts et al) is made sweeter by the fact that the city is already investing plenty in a massive casino and hotel complex right by a charming flea market, making this away trip one for the memories for the whole family … including and especially for grandma.
Just maybe keep an eye on where she heads off to at half-time. She was a hooligan back in her day, after all.