Published in Briarpatch Magazine
When the Canadian Premier League (CanPL) first launched in 2019, it was met with excitement and acclaim. The start-up men’s professional soccer league was part of an unprecedented media deal worth $200 million over 10 years, saw promising match attendance in the debut season, and broadcast matches nationally through the CBC. In 2020, the league grew to eight teams and, despite the pandemic, successfully hosted a tournament in Charlottetown that was broadcast internationally. But beyond the glamour of the billboards and television broadcasts, CanPL’s players – the backbone of the whole league – have been struggling for respect and fair pay.