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June 27, 2015

Manning Elliott’s Steve Reed – and the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015

You know Steve Reed. Steve is the leader of Manning Elliott’s Tax Department, where he provides advice to clients in all areas of personal, corporate and commodity tax. Steve has over 30 years’ experience in taxation, mostly with Manning Elliott, which he joined in 1989.

But did you know that Steve is also Vice-President of the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA)? An ardent soccer player since he was a kid, Steve still gets a major kick out of the sport. What’s more, he’s on CSA’s seven-member National Organizing Committee, responsible for making sure the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 is a resounding success – and a shining moment for our country.

A task not without challenges, as the tournament is being played on different football pitches all across Canada, explains Steve, who’s a tireless contributor to the national soccer program, and plays a key role in setting policy and direction for the future of the sport in Canada.

“The biggest difficulty we faced with holding the World Cup in Canada is the sheer size of our country. If the tournament was in Germany or the U.K., well, it’s pretty easy to get players and fans from one side of those countries to the other pretty quickly. It’s a lot harder here.”

Crossing Germany at its widest point is considerably less than 1,000 km, Steve notes.  From Vancouver to Moncton? Over 4,000 km!

“Because of the time zones and distances involved, and because we wanted to be fair and make sure no team had to travel significantly more than any other, we had to try over 100 different variations before we came up with the right schedule. And it wasn’t made easier by the expansion of the tournament from 16 to 24 teams.”

Among other things, the Organizing Committee is responsible for making sure that all the fields are suitable for World Cup play, that there are sufficient practice fields in each city, and that the rules and protocols of soccer are upheld for each and every game.

“Our staff, in collaboration with FIFA, is also responsible for arranging transportation for the teams,” says Steve, who has served on CSA’s Board of Directors for the past six years. “That means making sure they can get from their hotels or practice grounds quickly, and that there are no undue delays.”

Steve adds that one of the most important considerations is promoting ticket sales and seeing that fans at every game have a memorable World Cup experience.

“I think we’ve done exceptionally well there. Over 1.3 million World Cup tickets have been sold to date, and we’ve been getting tremendous support from the press, with pages of news every day. We’re really pleased with the crowd turnout and we’re confident that we will create a lasting legacy for women and soccer in Canada.”

On a personal note, Steve played as both a student and adult on national championship teams. Since then, he’s contributed countless hours of his free time to coaching and managing teams.

Congratulations, Steve, and thank you! You’re doing a fabulous job for soccer – and for Canada.