Story and Photos by Erich Eichhorn (www.allsportmedia.ca)
In true Campbell fashion, Alex Campbell Jr., along with the Highlanders FC soccer organization announced officially Monday that they would be giving back financially to the community starting in 2012 soccer season. During a packed media and team announcement at the Uplands Golf Course Monday night, Mr. Campbell explained the direction he hopes to see Vancouver Island soccer to take.
On the heals of encouraging attendance numbers last season, the Highlanders FC will now offer a part ownership of the club to all season ticket holders, offering profit sharing on total club profit basis with little investment to the season ticket holder than their purchase of an $84.00 season ticket. Only the first 1500 season ticket holders will be eligible. Local minor soccer organizations will also play an important part in the Highlander’s future holding 30% stake in the organization, participating in the ownership and development of players.
Campbell hopes that, with the mutual commitment of local soccer organizations and the Highlanders, that they will be eventually “provide more home-grown skilled athletes”, feeding their development levels, and ultimately their top tier men’s and women’s teams. In essence, creating “a soccer factory”.
When questioned about rumors of the City of Victoria entertaining another professional baseball team for the 2013 season and ousting the Highlanders from RAP, Mr. Campbell put on his game face and replied by saying that it was an “unacceptable move” and “undemocratic” by the city, referring to the consideration to move back to a single-usage field configuration for baseball only as was in the recent past era of the Victoria Seals. Although it is reported that the City of Victoria is in talks with an unnamed suitor, Alex Campbell stated that he is not worried about the circumstance and possibility of a single use field, but asked all those in attendance at the media release to voice to local politicians their concerns in hopes that action will be taken with elections around the corner.
If there was any one common thread that most left the night with, was that the Highlanders FC will now be a partially community-owned team, following in the successful footsteps of other professional teams such as the Green Bay Packers, Saskatchewan Roughriders, and the Barcelona soccer clubs, and will be giving back to the community that supports it.
Highlander season tickets are now on sale. Contact 250.590.8432 or inquire @ www.victoriahighlandersFC.com